Are You Open or Closed?


No, I’m not talking about your store hours.  I’m talking about relationships.   From threeways & playing together, to open relationships, to completely monogamous relationships.  It’s a really interesting topic to me because, particularly in the gay world, the latter seems very rare.  In fact, I don’t know  if I can name one gay couple that I know that has not open their bedroom door up to little sexual adventure with a guest.

I think that gay couples do eventually get to the threesome stage.  My opinion would be that you should wait until at LEAST after 3 years.  You may find it a very difficult experience to see someone else “touching” the one you’re with.  But if you can see it as just sex, then chances are it can work.  I don’t think open relationships could work for me because it dramatically increases the risk that you could get emotionally involved with someone, and that would drive me crazy.  That being said, I can’t say that if I was in a relationship with someone where we were away from each other all the time due to traveling, it could work potentially.  The most important thing with all of the above is communication and safety.  Talk about the rules and play safe.  

I wonder – typically are straight relationships like this?  I’ve often felt that we as gays people don’t have any relationship role models to look up to.  I mean I guess we kind of do within each of our own circles, but it seems loosely defined for us.  For straight couples the formula is pretty simple.  

Meet + Date + Get Married + Have Children = Happily Ever After.  

What about us?  What’s the formula?  As we continue to get more equal rights and adopt children, etc., do you think things would be different?  If we could be open about our sexuality at a younger age, do you think we may not have so much “catching up” to do when we step out of the closet?

I have no judgment when it comes to threesomes, etc. having been there myself.  It just makes me curious.  Is it because we are guys and guys typically are built differently in that they want to f### all the time?  Or are straight couples like this too, but it just isn’t an openly discussed topic because it isn’t in line with the conventional formula?  

I don’t know.   You tell me – what has your experience been?

Which category do you fall into?

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Looking forward to hearing your own opinions / experience on the topic.

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  • Chase Wick

    Been in a mono-relationship for over 13 years…yes there have been tough times, and some super times. Sometimes it’s just a matter of stop playing Peter Pan and focus on your partner and what you both have.

  • I agree with Chase for sure, even though my longest relationship to date has been 3 years. Being in a relationship means a commitment to each other, and for me, part of that commitment is saying that the sexual part of me as a person is “just for you”. Likewise, monogamy reinforces a commitment to someone by saying “you are what & who I want” both physically & emotionally. If I were approached by a boyfriend to open our relationship to a third person, it would signify to me that there is a problem with our relationship or commitment. If I’m not enough for them, then I’m clearly not who they really want to be with.

    I also have a concern with this because of the way it feeds into the stereotypes of gay men. This is more important for people in the US since the fight for equality is still being fought in full force there – but open relationships perpetuate the stereotype that gay men are sex-crazed maniacs (so to speak). Now, don’t get me wrong, because I have a problem with that stereotype in general since there are definitely straight people who are every bit as “sexually deviant” as people say “we” are, they just aren’t in the limelight because they don’t have anything to fight for (marriage, equality, etc…)

    Having said all that, I’ve realized over the last 10 years that a lot of what shapes me as a person is the way I was brought up (in an LDS conservative household). I mention that because it truly affects the opinions I have on some things – especially like this. Because of that, I realize that others are absolutely going to have differing opinions than me and while I may feel one way, I don’t begrudge others their own opinions/actions, so long as they are being responsible.

  • Artem

    There is an omission in the survey above… Specifically whether one has/has not and would/would not participate in a threesome as “the third. ”

    Without disclosing anything previously not in evidence, it would seem to me that there are fairly weighty choices that a “third” participant has to sift through before engaging or declining to engage in a threesome. Some guys I’ve talked to categorically reject the idea, fearing becoming emotionally entangled with one or both members of the couple (this suggests prior experience maybe?), others dismiss the idea on the grounds of a threesome being inconsistent with their search for a boyfriend

    The other side of that fence is equally layered with motivations ranging from the free spirited to the pathological… In any case, something worth exploring.

  • Yeah, great points guys! Thanks!

  • Jason

    I’m married (almost a year), and my husband and I have been together for almost 6 years. In that 6 years we have only opened up our relationship twice (interestingly, at around your suggested 3-year point, Patrick, and then not long before we got engaged).

    I wouldn’t say that our decisions in those instances had anything to do with compensating for something that was lacking in our relationship at all… in fact, it was kind of the opposite. We have a fantastic, strong, and respectful relationship, and when very specific and healthy opportunities to have new experiences presented themselves we took them.

    Of course, the most important thing is open, honest, and direct communication afterwards. What did we like about the experience? What (if anything) made us uncomfortable?… etc. Not talking about it, or simply just saying, “That was hot, huh?” doesn’t cover off all of the emotional bases.

    As for an equation, this is the one we followed:

    met at a party in our early 20s + dated for five years + adopted a pomeranian + got married + buying another pomeranian. Seems pretty gay to me. (Next steps are to be the awesomest uncles we can be to our nieces and nephews, and then TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL when our breeder friends inevitably get a little weird and talk at dinner parties about nothing but play groups and the consistency of their babies’ diaper messes.

    (Sorry for the epic post: this place has a lot of great topics to chime in about!!)

  • Wow, thanks so much for sharing all of that Jason! I have shared custody of two miniature dachshund chihuahua crosses already so I can check those of the list 🙂 I like the formula you mentioned as well. Travel DOES sound a lot better than talking about play groups – haha.

  • Jason

    I admit, I just squealed a little when you mentioned your dogs. They sound ridiculously adorable!

    (And now, look at us – dog owners are, in some ways, even *worse* than parents of human babies.)

  • Awww. Jason. I’m still sorry I missed your wedding. If I ever have one, you’ll have to bring your pom(s)!

  • Jason

    You were definitely missed, Rich… but never fear… when you decide to tie the knot there will be two ultra-furry flower poms at your disposal! xo

  • Jesse B

    Spit-roasting has been around since time immemorial.

  • I still believe the closed relationships. Part of your commitment should be sexual exclusion.I personally can never imagine allowing anyone else touching the one i’m with!

  • Let’s not forget that the moment you open up a relationship to other sexual partners, the risk of contracting diseases increase. I personally could never be in an open relationship like Dulce says, I could never imagine someone else touching my man.

  • David E

    I don’t think there should be a difference between gay role models and straight role models. I look to my parents, my straight friends, and family when it comes to how I treat my boyfriend. I don’t have to look up to a gay person to know how I should be acting. I have never thought that sex is just sex. If sex is just sex for anyone, then it should be their occupation and shouldn’t be messing with individuals who see it as otherwise. Sex to me is an emotional journey, it is about sharing yourself with someone, the one you love. That being said, I even take cheating to the next level. I believe you don’t have to have sex with someone else to cheat. Emotionally investing yourself in someone on an intimate level or soul level is just as bad as having sex with someone else. I plan on creating a story and going on a journey with the one person I love, my soulmate.

  • Thanks, David – great points! I totally agree on the emotional investing thing too. Yes, getting emotionally involved with someone else is definitely just as bad. If you are with someone, sounds like they have themselves a great bf – best of luck to both of you!

  • And thank you Patrick!

    I am pretty lucky in the grand “gay” scheme of things when it comes to relationships.

  • Definitely closed!can’t imagine having anyone else sexually involved in our relationship!

  • Brad

    I just happened to have come across both your site and this posting. Firstly, great site… good variety of topics and personalities (how do i get invited to the hot boy parties??).
    Secondly, I’ve found myself wondering about monogamous and open relationships, as my bf and I have been together for just under two years. At times, it’s really hard. We both like to flirt and, in my opinion, we’re both attractive guys who enjoy sexual attention. That being said, we’ve got your crazy….. we’re both super jealous people and I can’t imagine a situation in which we allow another person to touch us. I keep telling myself, if a third were to fit into the equation, it would be super random and spontaneous. Does taking a random guy back to the hotel room while on holiday count as opening it up? Or would we still be considered monogamous?
    Nonetheless, great topic, refreshing to see the gay culture reflected in a younger, more diverse manner.

  • Jeremy

    I am closed to the idea. I am a straight man and have been with the love of my life now for 6 years. We have a very strong, loving, and exciting relationship. I feel that by inviting a third person it seems that there is something in the relationship that is lacking. It doesnt even have to be sexual… could be financial strain or stress with your job or problems in your family. I would be very uncomfortable with someone else “touching” my girl and would be afraid to lose her to them. I also feel that if the 3rd person were to be female then I dont think that my girl would appreciate me “touching” her. It just all seems weird to me but I do appreciate all of your points of view. Thanks for the interesting post.

  • Adam

    This is such an interesting topic. I find myself in an interesting position, where in the past I have been that third person brought in for a one time deal. At the time, it didn’t seem to bother me about what was happening. That being said, I definitely noticed one of the couple didn’t seem fully comfortable with the situation, although his partner kept pushing the situation and he finally relented. With all that going on, I didn’t really think as to what the negative or positive implications of my participation would be.

    That was at a time when I was single, but now in my current relationship, I would never consider doing something like that. I am not comfortable knowing that someone else might be involved/get attached/take my partners attention away form me. I find it weird considering my past actions. I don’t judge other couples decisions, and I think that is what made it easier for me.

    It’s funny though that with this topic, no one has really gone deeper as to why. I am sure that this happens in str8 couples as we all know of swingers, etc. But it just seems that this situation is of a high prevalence in the gay community….is it because we are more open in talking about or sexuality? (perhaps the str8s do it just as much as we do, but don’t talk about it), but I think that is not the case. I am not an expert on the gay community, although I am gay, and can’t speak for everyone. I find it funny how we fight day and night to attain equality in life, but then we turn around and perpetuate stereotypes about ourselves…..which leads a lot more topics.

    I have met a lot of gay couples, most who seem very together. I have also seen what happens when these relationships end as well, usually that same night both parties are out there looking for that great fuck. So are we just a hyper-sexed demographic…who knows????

  • Calan

    Despite the fact that I have never been in a relationship before I still believe that I would never want to bring a third party into the bedroom. I know that once I have picked someone to be with that I am going to be 100% there for them and I expect the same from them. It’s just the type of person I am and not what I’m interested in, if I was I would be going crazy now (sexually) in my younger years but it just doesn’t interest me.

    I think that all this sexual “horn dog”-ness might come from way back when we had to live very secretly in the shadows. Those days before Stonewall where we met in shady bars and no one wanted to be out and proud and would have rather just been “straight and married” and just fucking on the side. Maybe from all that shifty f***ing around the gay community grew up thinking that that’s just the way it was. That being gay was wrong so why bother with the relationship part of it and falling in love when you could just have sex and be content with that. I don’t think falling in love was on the agenda back when because of the situations and by default created the gay culture of today where it seems just “ok” to f*** around all the time.

    I have tuns of straight friends who are huge whores but because it’s not a stereotype they are trying to ride themselves of then it’s not a big deal or talked about.

    I do believe that the gay world is changing for the better and I see more and more solid relationships and can only hope this trend continues. And have less stereotypes walking around us.

  • Bruce Wayne

    At the coming of age time in my life of 19 I fell head over heels in love. Despite all our insecurity and self-esteem issues at that time, my boyfriend and I were quick to realize that without the further physical exploration of our sexuality our young blossoming relationship would be cut down by infidelity. This was quickly was followed by the realization of the importance of negotiation, boundaries, and communication. As the two of us moved into our twenties and our hormones raged, it was our openness to indulging in threesomes (again within a set range of boundaries) that kept us from foolishly cheating on one another and destroying our relationship altogether.
    Over time my boyfriend and I ,through all our trials and tribulations grew up together got married and are coming up on our three year anniversary. My husband and I long ago brushed off our insecurities and are now more confident in ourselves,each other and our relationship than ever before. I think our society would have us believe (thanks in a large part to religion) that a relationship can only be pure and complete between two people, and that adultery in any form should breed jealously, distrust and resentment. I however have always been more of a fan of human nature, and while I know jealously is a part of that, I find it hard to believe our dawn of age ancestors would have so neatly boxed concepts like love, but rather took a more organic approach to their emotional and sexual partners.
    To conclude, after almost six years of being together, my husband and I have opened up our relationship a little more, and starting spending a lot of time with an awesome guy. Besides the obvious positives of this, it has solidified our ability to communicate with one another and helped us reflect on how much we truly mean to each and why we are together.
    If I had never been willing to caste off the boundaries of my social upbringing and truly explore who I am as a person, I would not have the confidence and contentment that I feel at this very moment.

  • Chris F

    You can definitely name at least one gay couple who you know Patrick; Chris & Jason! Almost 4 years, never even entertained the idea. We’re both on the same page with this one, what happens in our bedroom, is for us alone! I 100 percent agree with Kevin’s initial comments.

    I think one’s social network can influence this as well, most of the people I hang out with most of the time, would not be into opening up their relationships either. Environment definitely could be a contributing factor. But I suppose people put themselves into social environments that correspond to their comfort level and belief’s and surround themselves with like minded people for the most part.

  • Patrick!!! Are you being funny..?

    Dave & Paul.
    Colby & Matt.
    Farmer and Jason (see above).
    Lucas & Antonio.
    Caspar & Jesse.
    Geoff & Christof.
    David B. & Trevor.
    David T. & Jeff M.
    Jamie & Justin.
    Josh K. & Mark.
    Kevin & Stephen.
    Landon & Sean.
    Mitch & Andrew.

    …did you need a few more 😉 x

  • Justin

    Sorry for the late reply. But here is another consideration: Is monogamy realistic?

    If it is not, wouldn’t an open relationship in which both partners are honest about their sex lives be preferable to a situation in which one partner cheats on the other and could hurt the other due to dishonesty (and potentially bring in a STD in the process)?

  • hot open couple in weho


  • mikey

    Wow! So many different experiences and, thus, perspectives on this subject — love it! I wanna chime in! haha I’m not sure if I actually have any concrete opinions to share on the matter so much as I have further questions to raise.

    I guess I’ll start with this: one thing to really consider about this great debate (over what potential implications and values are associated with open and closed relationships) is inherent in Patrick’s closing remark wondering how our views on this subject are effected by whether or not they fall “in line with the conventional formula”? What I want to get at is, perhaps neither the merits of open or closed relationships can be measured or critiqued fairly with any real tangible or defined set of language (hmmm… wordy, I know). I mean, it’s the actual language we use that muddles all of this up, non? Before we can decide if we condone or condemn open or closed relationships, we have to define what a relationship is. What kind of relationship do you have? Do you consider it to be a monogamous union? Are both parties committed to the relationship and how much?

    The descriptors we use to categorize our relationships are loaded with ambiguity. It has become obvious that over time words adopt more than one meaning and we have become an increasingly detail-oriented (i.e., hyphenated) society. For instance, if I said I wanted a red room in my house, one might ask what shade of red (cherry, ruby, crimson, cardinal, or burgundy)? Follow-up questions might include: do I want the whole room painted red or just one wall? do I want a red bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen? how long and why do I want to have this red room? can I call it a red room if it’s generally multi-coloured, but with a few red accents (pillows, picture frames, fresh flowers, etc.)? In other words, how do I want to define my red room?

    What about relationships: how do we want to define such terms as “commitment,” “monogamy,” and “love”? Have our definitions shifted, broadened, or possibly even narrowed over the years? It seems as though many couples today — gay, straight and everything in between — feel empowered by this process of REdefining things. Is someone still considered to be committed to his partner if he is committed emotionally, but not sexually — is this a commited relationship? Does love become quantifiable if someone loves his partner, but complete monogamy (mental, emotional, physical) is not there — is this a monogamous relationship? If both partners allow outsiders into their bedrooms, even with formally established ground rules and boundaries, can each partner’s love really be said to be enough — is this a loving relationship? What does it mean to be in a commited, monogamous, loving relationship these days? Can we all agree that we don’t all share the same definitions?

    Patrick’s query probes at this tension between tradition/”conservative” and modern/”progressive.” Would gay relationships see better success rates if we could drop or change such labels as “committed” and “monogamous.” Do these descriptors still uphold their original inherent meanings when they come with conditions (i.e., Joe agrees with Bob, “This can work for us and our love for one another… as long as we keep it spicy… … … … with Tom”)?

    Personally, in my overly romanticized stance on long-term, commited, monogamous, loving relationships, I don’t think I could stomach opening my doors (or legs) to a third party while in a relationship. I like it old school. Furthermore, if we’re talking “real deal” relationships — those that bear marriage potential (in the traditional sense) and necessitate the values and practices associated with that brand of coupling — I am all for the one-man-for-all-your-wants-and-needs type. I find the argument that opening a relationship is a preventative action towards the possibility of cheating is problematic because cheating, in its most basic definition, means to do something wrong/unfair/dishonourable/disrespectful/dishonest when what is right/fair/honourable/respectful/honest is NOT unknown. Can we agree that cheating implies choice? In other words, cheating is a result of one party feeling he can get elsewhere what he is not getting to a satisfactory degree in his relationship (which requires thinking, not natural impulse)? If yes, then can we also agree that the tempted party has the choice of whether to end the relationship first before he gets what he “needs” (i.e., might suck, but at least honest and free of constraints of relationship) or to try to get what he “needs” without his partner finding out (i.e., “cheating bastard douchebag” syndrome)?

    This topic is definitely a provocative one and could continue forever along a number of tangents… but alas, I must go eat. I just wanted to pivot off a few of the responses already posted and share some thoughts for others to ponder, add onto, reject, whatever… Happy Saturday y’all!