Monday, July 5, 2010

Why be gay when men are liars and cheats?

Be sure to read the comments. They're the best part.

***

I had a boyfriend when I was 17. He cheated on me.

I had a friend with benefits for five years, from ages 32 to 37. Our sexual relationship ended when he cheated on me.

Men cheat all the time, often, just because they can't help themselves.

Women are no saints. But I think their motivation to cheat is much different than it is for men. Men are mostly motivated to put their dicks into someone new. Women want a partner who pays attention to them. If you ignore a woman for too long, she'll eventually want to cheat. But if you consistently pay attention to her and at least try to meet her needs, she'll stay loyal to you for life.

Cheating happens in straight culture. But it is frowned upon and discouraged. A man risks losing even his best male friends if he cheats on his wife.

Cheating in the gay world is not especially taboo. Monogamy is mostly a quaint, straight concept. Hook-ups are just so much more fun. Fun to do, fun to talk about, fun to fantasize about. For a huge percentage of the gay population, cheating is the norm; it's a way of life.

I'm a fan of fidelity. I like the whole "partners for life" idea. I made a sincere commitment to my marriage 18 years ago and if, some day in the future, I find myself single again, I will want to find a man to partner with, for life.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to a bisexual, married blogger about his relationships with men. His experience is a fresh reminder that when a formerly married 40-something enters the gay world, he could be in for a lot of heartache.

Rob of The BiMarried Mafia says he's bisexual or gay but he doesn't want to date guys anymore. Why? They cheat.

Rob is a fascinating guy and his story is compelling because his heartbreak is so raw. He explains how he and his wife love each other very much and how she has supported him as he seeks to find fulfillment with a man. Yes, he's happily married, planning to stay that way, he's out to his wife, and she WANTS him to have a male lover.

What Rob is looking for first is a friendship with a good man - a sincere, honest caring man. Sex will naturally follow, but in time. He wants his man to be an open part of his life, a friend to his wife and his children.

Miraculously, Rob has found two such men in the past five years. He enjoyed deep, emotionally satisfying relationships with these men. Eventually, but not immediately, sex became part of the friendships. With both relationships, Rob worked hard to be open and honest with the men and his wife. Every thing worked. Yet, in both cases, he found out months after the fact that the men were cheating on him. "Is it me?" he asked. "I thought I did everything the right way. What did I do to deserve to have my heart broken this way?"

After the first relationship fell apart, you can be certain Rob was more cautious the second time around. Yet it happened again. For reasons Rob doesn't understand, the second guy won't even speak to him. "He cheated on me, lied to me over and over...and now he won't speak to me?"

I don't know why these guys cheated. I don't know why they took the heart of an open, honest man and stomped on it for no good reason. I've read many complaints from gay men who say they'd like to date a man who is emotionally available. I know a man who WAS emotionally available. Now, after being open yet cautious, Rob feels burned. "Both of these guys had issues before I met them. I knew that. And now that I've been burned, I have issues."

When I was cheated on 17, I was hurt and disappointed, but I was never in love so I didn't feel burned.

When Marc, my friend with benefits cheated on me, I was very disappointed. But I always knew love between us was off-limits.

So, although I have been cheated on, I have not been jaded by personal experience.

After talking to Rob, I really have to wonder if expecting an honest, loving, monogamous relationship with a gay man over the age of 40 is expecting too much.

When it comes to love, I'll avoid a lot of heartache and disappointment, if I forget men and stay married to my wife. Right?

***

Be sure to check out Rob's blog. One of his recent posts is hilarious as he details a recent night out, his first ever, in the Gay Village of Toronto.

9 comments:

  1. WOW I want to thank you for such a gracious inclusion in your Blog. A couple of things to note. First my wife does not WANT me to have another relationship with a man but she does ALLOW one (In fairness to her). Secondly it is obvious that not ALL WAS WELL in my relationshiop with these men. It may have been better in my eyes than theirs... thus the outcome.

    I have been thinking about all of these responses and the kind words that I have received from so many strangers. This has been a very introspective time for me.

    There is no doubt that when anyone writes their history, they write it from their own eyes and with their own slants on the interpretation. I have wondered if my interpretation of events is flawed and that perhaps I am just only demanding that past relationships be interpreted from my side. OF COURSE I AM to some extent. The fact that I ponder this reality though, I have to remind myself... speaks healthy of me.

    This I do know... a relationship with a married man is not easy. If you are single, and thinking of dating a married man, know that everything changes once emotions get involved. In fairness to these men, all said and done, married men go home to another. And for the single, their house that never felt so... now seems strangely emptier and lonelier.

    In fairness to married men, I am convinced that most married men (especially those with children) are more used to having to think of others and the responsibilities of that are involved with living intimately with others. We typically have learned the ground rules of growing and maintaining relationships and understand how our actions affect others.

    Some people might interpret my writing all of this as trying to shift blame on another. Actually not the case... I need to understand myself. If there are issues in my life that need to be faced, I want to face them. We all know that it is hard to see yourself clearly. I think it’s easy to assume the role of the victim. Perhaps I’m not as “with it” as I think? Perhaps I’m a controller? Perhaps my interpretation of honesty and integrity is slanted? Regardless is it difficult to figure this out in a void where you are the only one trying to interpret what happened.

    I think that this is what bothers me the most about cheating and bad breakups. It’s kind of like when someone commits suicide... no answers. What was my responsibility? What was the inherent issues with the person that is gone? What do I need to face in my life and what do I need to let go of as the challenges belonging to another?

    I’m working hard to understand what happened with my relationship with these men... to understand myself and to forgive them. I have come to understand that I am not going to get any kind of understanding or closure from these men. I conclude for two reasons; First they are truly embarrassed by their actions and secondly apologizing would mean that they would have to accept a certain amount of responsibility and face themselves in a way that they may be unwilling or unable to do.

    My post was most certainly written on a down day. Having said that, I want to stand by my decision to not date men... certainly for the time being. When the dust settles, I desire to be a unhindered individual before I offer myself to anyone else. I want to attract other healthy men of character. And most certainly, I don’t want to go through this foolishness again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW I want to thank you for such a gracious inclusion in your Blog. A couple of things to note. First my wife does not WANT me to have another relationship with a man but she does ALLOW one (In fairness to her). Secondly it is obvious that not ALL WAS WELL in my relationshiop with these men. It may have been better in my eyes than theirs... thus the outcome.

    I have been thinking about all of these responses and the kind words that I have received from so many strangers. This has been a very introspective time for me.

    There is no doubt that when anyone writes their history, they write it from their own eyes and with their own slants on the interpretation. I have wondered if my interpretation of events is flawed and that perhaps I am just only demanding that past relationships be interpreted from my side. OF COURSE I AM to some extent. The fact that I ponder this reality though, I have to remind myself... speaks healthy of me.

    This I do know... a relationship with a married man is not easy. If you are single, and thinking of dating a married man, know that everything changes once emotions get involved. In fairness to these men, all said and done, married men go home to another. And for the single, their house that never felt so... now seems strangely emptier and lonelier.

    In fairness to married men, I am convinced that most married men (especially those with children) are more used to having to think of others and the responsibilities of that are involved with living intimately with others. We typically have learned the ground rules of growing and maintaining relationships and understand how our actions affect others.

    Some people might interpret my writing all of this as trying to shift blame on another. Actually not the case... I need to understand myself. If there are issues in my life that need to be faced, I want to face them. We all know that it is hard to see yourself clearly. I think it’s easy to assume the role of the victim. Perhaps I’m not as “with it” as I think? Perhaps I’m a controller? Perhaps my interpretation of honesty and integrity is slanted? Regardless is it difficult to figure this out in a void where you are the only one trying to interpret what happened.

    I think that this is what bothers me the most about cheating and bad breakups. It’s kind of like when someone commits suicide... no answers. What was my responsibility? What was the inherent issues with the person that is gone? What do I need to face in my life and what do I need to let go of as the challenges belonging to another?

    I’m working hard to understand what happened with my relationship with these men... to understand myself and to forgive them. I have come to understand that I am not going to get any kind of understanding or closure from these men. I conclude for two reasons; First they are truly embarrassed by their actions and secondly apologizing would mean that they would have to accept a certain amount of responsibility and face themselves in a way that they may be unwilling or unable to do.

    My post was most certainly written on a down day. Having said that, I want to stand by my decision to not date men... certainly for the time being. When the dust settles, I desire to be a unhindered individual before I offer myself to anyone else. I want to attract other healthy men of character. And most certainly, I don’t want to go through this foolishness again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bi_Gentleman has left a new comment on your post "Why be gay when men are liars and cheats?":

    WOW I want to thank you for such a gracious inclusion in your Blog. A couple of things to note. First my wife does not WANT me to have another relationship with a man but she does ALLOW one (In fairness to her). Secondly it is obvious that not ALL WAS WELL in my relationshiop with these men. It may have been better in my eyes than theirs... thus the outcome.

    I have been thinking about all of these responses and the kind words that I have received from so many strangers. This has been a very introspective time for me.

    There is no doubt that when anyone writes their history, they write it from their own eyes and with their own slants on the interpretation. I have wondered if my interpretation of events is flawed and that perhaps I am just only demanding that past relationships be interpreted from my side. OF COURSE I AM to some extent. The fact that I ponder this reality though, I have to remind myself... speaks healthy of me.

    This I do know... a relationship with a married man is not easy. If you are single, and thinking of dating a married man, know that everything changes once emotions get involved. In fairness to these men, all said and done, married men go home to another. And for the single, their house that never felt so... now seems strangely emptier and lonelier.

    In fairness to married men, I am convinced that most married men (especially those with children) are more used to having to think of others and the responsibilities of that are involved with living intimately with others. We typically have learned the ground rules of growing and maintaining relationships and understand how our actions affect others.

    Some people might interpret my writing all of this as trying to shift blame on another. Actually not the case... I need to understand myself. If there are issues in my life that need to be faced, I want to face them. We all know that it is hard to see yourself clearly. I think it’s easy to assume the role of the victim. Perhaps I’m not as “with it” as I think? Perhaps I’m a controller? Perhaps my interpretation of honesty and integrity is slanted? Regardless is it difficult to figure this out in a void where you are the only one trying to interpret what happened.

    I think that this is what bothers me the most about cheating and bad breakups. It’s kind of like when someone commits suicide... no answers. What was my responsibility? What was the inherent issues with the person that is gone? What do I need to face in my life and what do I need to let go of as the challenges belonging to another?

    I’m working hard to understand what happened with my relationship with these men... to understand myself and to forgive them. I have come to understand that I am not going to get any kind of understanding or closure from these men. I conclude for two reasons; First they are truly embarrassed by their actions and secondly apologizing would mean that they would have to accept a certain amount of responsibility and face themselves in a way that they may be unwilling or unable to do.

    My post was most certainly written on a down day. Having said that, I want to stand by my decision to not date men... certainly for the time being. When the dust settles, I desire to be a unhindered individual before I offer myself to anyone else. I want to attract other healthy men of character. And most certainly, I don’t want to go through this foolishness again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Have you noticed how many gay men don't want anything to do with married (to a woman) men? I have been called a cheater by a couple such. Seems a bit of a double standard when they will have sex with almost anything else with pants who posts on Craigs List

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like that you are pushing this kind of provocative inquiry Cameron, and the inclusion of a real man's own experience (and his own comments as well) on "dating" men while trying to stay married. Perhaps the whole nature of finding the right person, then making a long term commitment, is fraught with false steps and disappointments and doing it later in life is no more easy than when young - Add to that some idea one could have a wife AND find another long term committed partner, woman or man, and this is really not an easy emotional math equation. We can look at the stats for divorce - after I wrote an article on that subject new data has come out showing 50% of all marriages end in divorce, and dallying around is a big part of that. Maybe the problem is how we manage the theoretical ideal of monogamy against temptations and urges and feelings that we have no model for. It feels bad to be cheated on of course, but then there are few mature adults able to openly say what they are really doing or feeling in a whole range of situations. A lot of making committed relationships is prefaced by random searches and negative experiences if we are honest with ourselves, so why should the romantic idea of finding Mr. right after a date or two make sense, any more than finding price or princess charming at the age of 18?

    Many of us tried on many dozens or hundreds of relationships before we found our wife or partner. Having a couple of affairs that do not pan out is pretty par for the course in trying to beat the odds and find the next soul mate I would expect, being a realist about this all.

    And expecting a gay or single man to become a lover when one has a have a wife is a whole other one sided thing I cannot imagine anyone going for over the long haul.

    But the issue of do men cheat more? Yes, as we are wired to keep finding other mates and monogamy is a more recent social construct and the two are at war in every man. Not all act this out of course, but we are liars if we do not admit temptation and hunger and desire, while women make and nurture strong emotional family relationships by both instinct and by the protection of monogamy, and they lose other things in the process. It is all messy and unpredictable and daunting and disappointing a lot, and that is true about much in life worth going through.

    I like how your questions bring up all these forces we all have to grapple with individually, and wish you well as always in sorting out what you can apply to your own situation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cameron:

    I again happened upon your blog, and am happy to do so...

    Being married to (2 women) for more than 25 years collectively, I agree with your notion that men are "wired" differently... We are more sexual for the most part, yet we also seem to "settle" for immediate gratification vs: what we have... I truly loved my 2nd wife (of almost 20 years) yet I told her before we got married I knew I was gay... not bi... but GAY...

    We had two children, two exceptionally wonderful children, one of which refuses to acknowledge me since our separation 5 years ago after coming out, and I mean really coming out...

    Back to men... We like sex. As my wife once said:

    "Women need a reason to have sex, Men just need the opportunity"... She passed away last year but was so in tune with me...

    Personally, I hate the fact that no one can control who you fall in love with... She was truly my soul mate for those years... When I left her, life has become much more complicated...

    Love your posts...

    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ohhhh boo-hoo!!!

    My mind is swirling after reading your post and the comments. I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll just tell you about me.

    I’m a 49 year old gay man who is married (legally married) to my husband. We met in 2002 shortly after I’d had an ugly breakup that ended a tortuous (for me) 5-1/2 year relationship with a boyfriend I was glad to finally be rid of.

    When I met “D” (my husband), I wasn’t looking for anything more than a big, strapping man with a big dick who I could play with. No commitments, no obligations – just sex. And for a couple of months that’s all D and I had. Sex, sex, sex! Kinky sex, hot sex, sweaty animalistic sex – every kind of sex but “emotional” sex. It was fucking glorious!

    After a couple of months I came to the realization that I really liked D. I wasn’t pursuing anyone else and I found that I wanted to get to know him better – better than someone who was just a hook up. I told him that and to my surprise he said he had the same feelings about me. He’d also been in bad relationships – previous boyfriends had really screwed him over and left a bad taste in his mouth. So neither of us were “looking” for a partner, we just sort of fell into it.

    About a month after our conversation on exclusivity I had the opportunity to cheat with a HOT guy I’d tricked with before my previous relationship. 6’5” of tall, dark and handsome (TDH), beautiful eyes and 9” x 6” of rock hardness between his legs. TDH and I had always had a passion for each other, but strictly as playmates – we never dated. We went back to his place, got nekkid and went at it – but I couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t get hard, I didn’t enjoy it at all. I kept on asking myself why I was risking fucking up a promising relationship to trick with a guy who had never wanted a relationship – with me or anyone else? I figured my lack of interest was a clear sign that D really was the one for me. I felt so guilty that I confessed to D and he then confessed he’d done the same thing I had and had the same issues while doing it.

    We’ve been monogamous ever since. We had a Commitment Ceremony in 2004 and we got married in 2008 before Proposition 8 passed (so we’re grandfathered in).

    I think a big difference between having a boyfriend and a husband is the level of commitment. When you are standing in front of friends and family who mean the world to you and you commit to each other it’s a helluva lot more binding than setting up house together. Registered domestic partnerships and marriages are legal arrangements recognized by the state. You’re no longer playing house with each other – you may actually OWN the house together. You think long and hard before you make that kind of a commitment. You can’t just undo it by renting a U-Haul and taking “your stuff” because it’s now legally “our stuff”. Your friends become OUR friends.

    I have a hard time understanding how a guy who’s married to a woman can really expect his gay lover on the side to be “monogamous”, as well as a friend to his wife and his children? Webster’s defines monogamy as “the condition or practice of having a single mate during a period of time”. Married guy gets it on with a man and a woman, but his man and woman are only supposed to get it on with him exclusively? That’s not monogamy. I see that as a self serving double standard. I see married guy as a bit of a selfish, hypocritical prick frankly. You may not like the sound of that, but that’s what I see. Don’t ask of others what you aren’t willing to do yourself.

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  9. It is a sad fat that most gay men no matterhow old they are are liars andcheats and have hearts that are as sincere as a squashed ham sandwich. They are only interested in the fantasy, the sex, he lust ad once that has ceased to excite them they move on leaving the other person disappointed and jaded. I have been through so many bad relationships over the past twenty years since i was 19 and all i ever wanted was a life partner.... yeas im one or a rare and I suspect dying breed. Over the past ten years particularly I have com to understand that Gay men are just superficial animals with no real grasp of anything beyond their own desire and selfish needs. Anything that means committment for longer than a few weeks or months becomes frightening to them. I have had my hart trasdso many times I think I need super glue to hold i together. I have become cold and so wary of men and what they sa to me now and what hope i had of finding a life partner who is genuine and not afraid and has onviction - all that has gone. I am 41 this year and after 20 years I look at men now and see nothing but another potential heart break. Gay men give the excuse of "Well we're guys we just love sex and gtting it on" well perhaps mn should take a step back frm their own selfish wants and stop and think about the potential hurt teir selfishness can cause. So in response to the Bi Gentleman who posted thi blog, I totally appreciate your dilemma where men are concerned.

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