sexually liberated

New poll shows how waaaaaaay more gays endorse open relationships than straights

Two gay men
Posed by models (Photo: Marcelo Chagas for Pexels)

We know that LGBTQ+ people enjoy a more nuanced understanding of romantic relationships than the greater population.

But when it comes to polyamory, even we didn’t know the gap was this large!

A new Pew survey about Americans’ views on open marriages shows 33% of adults find the concept to be acceptable. As one would expect, age is a good quantifier when it comes to surmising how somebody may feel about the idea.

More than half of adults aged 18-29 (51%) endorse open marriages, while just 26% of 50-64 year olds are on board with the concept. For those over 65, support falls to 15%.

But that’s nothing compared to the tab representing LGBTQ+ folx. An overwhelming 75% of gay and bisexual people say it’s appropriate for adults to have an open marriage, compared to 29% of straight people.

Those heteros fail to think outside of the box, don’t they?

It’s long been established that significant chunks of gays engage in open relationships. A 2021 study found that 30% of gay men are in polyamorous setups, and that number is even lower than previously believed. A 2010 study conducted by San Francisco State University showed half of gay men weren’t in monogamous relationships.

Perhaps the truth, like most things, falls somewhere in the middle.

There are a myriad of reasons why gays are drawn to non-traditional romantic setups. For starters, we get to write our own rules! We were left out of the 1950 nuclear family ideal. We’re making things up as we go!

Aside from sheer fun and horniness, there are also practical reasons why couples may decide to open things up. One particularly illuminating Reddit thread contains many explanations, ranging from physical to emotional.

For some, it simply comes down to sexual preferences.

“I have been in situations where one of the people has a kink the other does not,” added one commenter. “Currently, I am a dom for a guy who loves to be a submissive pig, but his husband isn’t into kink. He can get that kinky enjoyment with me, and then he and his husband will have more vanilla sex that they both enjoy. People have different needs that don’t always align with their partner.”

For others, open relationships represent the complexity of relationships themselves. Different people can fill different needs.

“Some people are capable of having loving, intimate relationships with more than one person, even if their partner is their priority in life,” said a commenter.

Now, whenever the topic of non-monogamy comes up, the “cheating” question usually gets raised. How do open couples establish trust?

Unsurprisingly, the ground rules vary. Some say emotional attractions cross the line, while others say transparency is the biggest key.

With all of these complications, the most successful open relationships may be between mature partners who’ve experienced the ups and downs of life together.

“The most successful open relationships I’ve seen are not the young, new, volatile couples still working through their trauma. It’s the older dudes who have been through thick and thin together, and worked through their sh*t,” said one Reddit user.

Amen to that! At Queerty, we do not endorse any specific kind of romantic arrangement. We think everybody should figure out their sh*t, and do what works best for them.

Per usual, the gays are well ahead of the country.