As a service to the gay community, throughout this Valentine’s Day season, Queerty is playing Anne Landers/Dan Savage to the online gay world of Craigslist, our favorite go-to spot for unintentional hilarity. We’ll give our advice to online suitors, but we hope you’ll get involved as well, helping to play cupid to the digital masses teeming to breathe heavy.
We were getting a little bored with the Missed Connections and this time found someone actually looking for love advice on Seattle’s m4m board:
Need advice on having an open relationship – m4m – 22 (dt)
Reply to: [email protected] [?]
Date: 2009-02-05, 7:45PM PST
I know this is probably the last place someone would go to for advice, but I thought I might give it a shot. My boyfriend wants to open up our relationship and I asked my lesbian sister and her girlfriend what I should do, since they’re in an open relationship. They told me that they have a deal where if one of them fall’s for someone and develops a close emotional bond, they’ll talk about it and allow it if it’s serious, but that casual sex is out. I told this to my boyfriend and he thinks they’re crazy, but I dunno…
Your wannabe-philandering boyfriend is right. To start off with, if you want to be in a monogamous relationship with your boyfriend, you should just tell him and let the chips fall where they may, but if you do want to have some sort of open relationship, for god’s sakes, don’t fall your lesbian sister’s advice, since it makes absolutely no sense at all.
As we understand it, she’s telling you that if you or your boyfriend (or her and her girlfriend) fall in love with someone else, it’s cool, but that random hook-ups are out. This is totally backwards, but after thinking about it for a few head-scratching minutes, we think we’ve figured out where the problem lies– though, we’re going to have to make some wild (and probably sexist) generalizations to make sense of it.
One of the great things about being a gay guy is that you’re attracted to a gender that doesn’t make a big deal about sex. As a guy, you know you want sex like all the time and as a guy, you know that sex doesn’t really have to be a big deal. See? I told you there would be sexist generalizations. Women on the other hand (in a general, oh god, “please, don’t send us hate mail” sort of way) are all about emotions. Sex is an expression of an emotional bond for many women, as opposed to a quick desire to get your rocks off.
What’s crazy about your sister’s advice is that she’s telling you and your boyfriend that an open-relationship is okay (for them) if there’s a deep emotional bond, but not if it’s just to get your jollies off. This has to be one of those “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” moments, because we think it’s far worse to go and fall in love with someone than it is to randomly hook-up with them.
And because we’re already out here on the ledge, let’s jump off: Men get accused of being lying, cheating horny sluts all the time and of course, when they do, they respond “It didn’t mean anything!”, which women never believe, because for them, sex is Big Deal full of import and promises and what not. But seriously, ladies, men will have sex with most anything that moves given the opportunity and availability.
But women, or at the very least, Lesbian Sister and her girlfriend, are just as bad as the horny dudes. If, for women, it’s the emotional bond that matters, then they’re just as guilty as the guys, because let’s face it, women go around making deep, emotional bonds with everything that moves. If men are pervy sex sluts (which they are), women are emotional sluts (oh god, so much hate mail), not necessarily hooking-up with other people physically, but “hooking up” over deep late-night talks or after-work trips to the local wine bar.
So, our real advice to you is to tell your boyfriend you want to be in a monogamous relationship, because that sounds like what you really want, but unless you want to confuse your boyfriend, don’t go to him and tell him that he can have sex with other people he falls in love with– because then, you’d be a lesbian.
I’m desperate for some lesbians who are in or know of open relationships to weigh in here. Is this sister typical? Are hook-ups really worse than falling in love with someone else? Also, does anyone have advice for people looking to get into an open relationship?