Friday, October 17, 2008


There's nothing like clicking on "PUBLISH" to suddenly make you wish you had thought things through a little longer, or had added something, or had left something out. That is probably why, aside from the insane idea that my blog needs lots of stolen pictures to keep things lively, and needs them endlessly resized to line up with paragraph ends [on my own computer only, it turns out--why can't layout just be layout, like it was when we did it with pencils and glue?], it takes me about a day and a half to put a post to rest...

Anyway, one little item that got cut to be moved and then never got pasted in, was a development of the thought that I had known lots of marriages that had not survived the intrusion of a third party, a few that had, and that in most cases the issue was not "ours" at all. My thought was that while marriages might overcome the one-time intrusion of a particular third party, the constant intrusion of constantly new third parties, known and unknown [were the lights ever turned on?], would be a horse of a different color altogether.

My only new thought is that of course I have had to take on board the fact that the Goat, in the twenty-five or thirty years since leaving home, has not been a paragon of monogamy much of the time. Witness my own entry into the Goat Sweepstakes.

That was supposedly fine with all parties--a practically European or Eskimo (sorry, Inuit) open- mindedness--until the chips were down, and it turned out that hearts had indeed followed other body parts. Now, in my internalized homophobia and general ignorance of anything outside a book, let alone the flesh-and-blood of gay life in real life, I had first to persuade myself that I was dealing with a whole different set of parameters here on this side of the Looking-Glass, and then to realize that I wasn't. Both steps were a bit of a stretch, to tell the truth.

I had a hard enough time dealing with my wife's former boyfriends, who seemed numerous until I found about my boyfriend's former boyfriends, who are considerably more numerous, if not numerous for a gay man. How can I complain that so much of our social life, insofar as we are not indeed "cocooning," seems to revolve around his former lovers and @#$%-buddies, when I had eventually made my peace with the whole "scene" once before? It does still boggles my mind that he can remember the scores of men he "saw," not to mention those with whom the connection was too brief to register, but we are not talking about the phenomenal numbers generated by some men, for which I am suitably, if not profoundly, grateful. The deliciously neutrally named Family Research Council [and neutral it rather obviously is not] has gathered some rather startling numbers [click here]. Here are some of the more embarrassing bits, with the proviso that much as you may not like the source, sometimes you just have to give the devil his due:

Research indicates that the average male homosexual has hundreds of sex partners in his lifetime:

· The Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal
AIDS, found that men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year.

· Bell and Weinberg, in their classic study of male and female homosexuality, found that
43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners.

· In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the
Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that "the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101-500." In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.

· A survey conducted by the homosexual magazine
Genre found that 24 percent of the respondents said they had had more than one hundred sexual partners in their lifetime. The magazine noted that several respondents suggested including a category of those who had more than one thousand sexual partners...

Even in those homosexual relationships in which the partners consider themselves to be in a committed relationship, the meaning of "committed" or "monogamous" typically means something radically different than in heterosexual marriage.

· A Canadian study of homosexual men who had been in committed relationships lasting longer than one year found that only 25 percent of those interviewed reported being monogamous." According to study author Barry Adam, "Gay culture allows men to explore different... forms of relationships besides the monogamy coveted by heterosexuals."

The Handbook of Family Diversity reported a study in which "many self-described 'monogamous' couples reported an average of three to five partners in the past year. Blasband and Peplau (1985) observed a similar pattern."

· In
The Male Couple, authors David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison reported that, in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting from one to thirty-seven years:
Only seven couples have a totally exclusive sexual relationship, and these men all have been together for less than five years. Stated another way, all couples with a relationship lasting more than five years have incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity in their relationships...
According to McWhirter and Mattison, most homosexual men understood sexual relations outside the relationship to be the norm and viewed adopting monogamous standards as an act of oppression.

Meanwhile, the Goat very sweetly tells me that as long as we are together, he doesn't want to be with anyone else. Here's hoping it stays that way. I won't have much of a leg to stand on when it doesn't.

On that cheerful note, hang in there, everyone.

If you would like to look at a rebuttal to some of these "statistics," and their sources, try clicking here.

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