You know, it’s funny Elle Beau ❇︎ and Patsy Fergusson, I’ve never been in a sexually monogamous relationship and the idea of making one work seems formidable to me. I mean, all the energy that goes into sexual jealousy strikes me as exhausting. It’s easier not to have to worry about it.

My first committed partner (of ten years) died while I was still fairly young or we would probably still be together. He was older than me. I was in my mid twenties when we met. He was a very traditional NYC gay man — meaning he was part and parcel of the gay demi-monde, following traditions that went all the way back to when gay men were almost completely in the shadows.

Sexual monogamy was not very valued in that world. Why is a question I haven’t looked into deeply, but would like to one day. By the time I got together with Lenny, values about open relationships were cultural norms that tended to reinforce themselves by inertia. People valued the things they valued because that’s the way things were, and they passed those values on.

He and I were careful about setting ground rules and norms that reinforced our devotion to each other, things like spending real leisure time together and being present for each other. Keeping things reasonably sexually open didn’t seem strange because it was the done thing.

That doesn’t mean either of us had mad amounts of sex with other people, but we each occasionally did, and that never put a strain in our relationship. It might have helped. If the hot guy I met at the gym wanted a matinee, I didn’t have to feel guilty about it. I could go home and make dinner for Lenny and tell him all about it.

So instead of that hot guy being a stressor, he was just another part of life.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts.


Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store