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Comment: Why do so many gay guys not ‘do’ relationships?

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  1. I don’t believe there is any significant difference in the number of people who do not “do” relationships who are LGBT or heterosexual.

    I went through a phase when I was younger when I felt I was not ready for a committed relationship, as I became older (in my case when I reached my mid 20s) I felt I was ready to consider commitment. I know many of my heterosexual friends and colleagues have felt similar things (some of them until much older).

    Relationships to work need to be things that both of those involved in it want and are seeking. They should be about how they love, care for and support each other. They should not be doing it because they feel societal constraints make them “feel they should”. There is an element of timing being important.

    We all develop at different rates, experience different other pressures on our lives, have different motivations and desires. It should not be a mark of value on anyone whether they are or are not in a relationship.

    That said, I love

    1. my boyfriend very much and want to marry him when I am legally able to do so as an expression of my love for him and my commitment to him. Would I have felt the same had I met him 15 years ago (probably not – I was not ready and had other issues I was contending with and needed to resolve first)

    2. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 2:08pm

      I totally disagree.
      Men are inherently promiscuous. It is in our nature.
      The difference is that women are picky as to who they go with, and are ultimately looking for commitment, so straight men have to work accordingly to this.

      Gay men are dealing with other men, so they do not have this complication, and commitment doesnt even enter into it.

      As Billy Crystal once said in “City Slickers”:
      “Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place.”

      1. I profoundly disagree with you Spanner.

        Some women are promiscuous, some men are promiscuous.

        Its sexist and patronising to suggest that gender makes you more promiscuous or less likely to seek a relationship.

        The idea that men try to impregnate as many women as possible while women try to hold on to a provider is derived from fruit fly behavior. Its applicability to humans is becoming increasingly questionable.

        The initial study was conducted in 1948 by Angus J. Bateman, who showed that female fruit flies had fewer mating partners and their overall offspring had less genetic diversity than male fruit flies’ overall offspring.

        No one disputes the accuracy of Bateman’s work, just its indiscriminate application to human behavior without any regard to social of cultural factors. A new study by Dr. Gillian R. Brown at the University of St. Andrews seeks to provide more depth to our understanding of human sexuality.

        “The conventional view of promiscuous, undiscriminating males and…

        1. … coy, choosy females has also been applied to our own species,” says lead study author Dr. Gillian R. Brown from the School of Psychology at the University of St. Andrews. “We sought to make a comprehensive review of sexual selection theory and examine data on mating behavior and reproductive success in current human populations in order to further our understanding of human sex roles.”

          That’s a rather generous explanation for the acceptance of a model that conforms to cultural norms and expectations of men and women’s roles in society and reinforces the idea that women who aren’t seeking to settle down with one sex partner are somehow dysfunctional.

          However, Professor Gillian R. Brown, the study’s lead researcher, says that the research also found big differences among populations on the patterns of reproductive success for men and women.

          For example, the study cites societies in Botswana, Paraguay and Tanzania in which women – not just men – conceive children with multiple …

        2. … partners.

          “Evidence for sex differences in variation in reproductive success alone does not allow us to make generalizations about sex roles, as numerous variables will influence [Bateman's findings] for men and women,” Brown writes.

          Population size is one such variable: both men and women will be selective about mates when there are lots of options – in a large city, for example. Conversely, neither gender will be choosy in low-population areas. In such a scenario, both men and women will take what they can get.

          That probably explains why every woman in every major city I know complains about how their city is the worst to date in.

          Brown’s research also addresses the issue of reproduction within a monogamous partnership; while only 16 percent of societies have monogamous marriage systems, they make up a large percentage of relationships in the developed world. In such societies, variances in male and female reproductive success were similar. Furthermore, in half of the …

        3. … world’s polygamous marriages – which account for 83 percent of the world’s societies – less than 5 percent of men take more than one wife.

          Brown found men may be exaggerating upwards their number of sexual partners, and that women are probably also exaggerating downwards, contributing to the expectation that men will have more sex partners and women fewer.

          And it’s not just women who are being judged. The social expectation for men to sleep around — particularly in the developing world, where Brown’s research shows the greatest variance in reproductive success between men and women — is toxic for society at large and the people in it.

        4. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:00pm

          Of course I am being sexist!
          Believe it or not we are two very different and well-defined sexes, and we think, act and emote in entirely different ways.
          Stop trying to apply your ‘one rule covers all’ PC politics to matter-of-fact biology and human nature.

          To coin a phrase:
          “One sex is different to another. Get over it.”

          1. @Spanner

            You miss my point entirely.

            I am saying that your “one rule covers all” approach to men and women is false and inaccurate.

            I am saying everyone is an individual and that they may well behave in manners different to how those who wish to set up stereotyping constructs would have us believe.

            Your own admissions, would suggest your knowledge of relationships is limited.

          2. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:39pm

            @Stu:
            “Its sexist and patronising to suggest that gender makes you more promiscuous or less likely to seek a relationship.”

            I have never heard so much PC pigswill in my life!
            OF COURSE IT IS!
            Look at any creature from the fruit fly up and you will see it is the male’s prime directive to copulate with as many females as possible.
            Darwin got it half right when he talked about “survival of the fittest” – What he didn’t know then that we do now is it is about survival of the fittest gene.

            Homosexuality is something of an anomaly, but we all still have those primitive drives and directives, we just happen to associate them with our own sex.
            (and please do not use the term ‘gender’, that is a complete red herring.)

          3. I prefer to believe the word of an eminent psychologist who has reviewed hundred of pieces of literature and studied numerous aspects of human interaction from a recent report than one from the 1940s (or your speculation). Particularly given as there a multiple psychological studies that demonstrate the same as the St Andrews findings.

          4. I certainly prefer the results of a detailed and sustained study from St Andrews University than the words of Billy Crystal!

          5. the male’s prime directive to copulate with as many females

            Actually not always so, swans – to cite just one example that comes straight to mind – usually mate for life (and sometimes with a same-sex mate).

          6. Also social and sexual monogamy is seen in dwarf antelopes, wild seahorse, some apes, some bears, some reptiles, some fish and some birds.

          7. In the same way as I find homophobia unacceptable, I find sexism unacceptable.

    3. If you take into account that most gay relationships are discouraged by most people you will find your answer.

      1. Billy

        Obviously you talk to some very different people to those I talk to.

        All my friends, colleagues and many others encourage me in my relationship with my boyfriend.

        Perhaps it speaks more of the company you keep?

  2. I think you miss the point Ethan: there as many varieties of gay relationships out there as straight ones and I personally know many gay people in committed happy relationships. My inner circle of friends boasts 3 such sets! If you go down the road of believing that gays are incapable of relationships then aren’t u colluding with the age-old homophobic stereotypes? If you look at the figures for dissolution of civil partnerships for instance then u will see that by proportion they are much lower than divorce rates so that rather gives the lie to what you are saying. Remember because in your young life you have received set backs and knocks doesn’t mean it’s a global truth…

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:25pm

      Stereotypes are by their very nature, often generalised versions of the truth. That is not to say you cannot break the mould, but I would say life generally leans towards those statistics rather than away from them.

      1. The stereotypes you perpetuate have been shown to be wrong. (See psychological research above)

        They are true for fruit flies but do not extend to humans (necessarily). The evidence suggests rarely do they extend to humans (although some perceive they do).

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:15pm

          I’ve seen fruit flies with more moral fibre than some gay men, so please don’t try and blind me with science.

          1. And non-gay men? Are they all gifted with what you so quantly refer to (in this context) as ‘moral fibre’?

          2. @Spanner

            I think fruit flies have more moral fibre than some of the displays you have made on this thread!

            As for blinding you with science – no providing you perfectly readable and understandable facts with references to their origin.

            Now, I don’t know about you – but I thought you worked in media? … so facts would be important to your work? in theory at least? … shame it doesnt extend to your personal prejudices.

          3. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 11:13pm

            @Rehan: Oh for sure. Spinelessness is not a uniquely homosexual trait. :)

          4. Well I’m glad you admit that Spanner, I thought you were coming pretty close to anti-gay stereotyping there …!

      2. They can also be not only over-simplified but dangerously selective.

        People who make the mistake of assuming what they see in gay bars is indicative of gay male society in general seem curiously reluctant to draw similar conclusions about non-gay society from looking at bars where young non-gay people go to try and cop off.

        1. Exactly what the St Andrews University studies that I discuss above found with the stereotypes that Spanner is indulging – dangerously selective.

    2. Totally agree, Ben. If I think back to my early 20s (I’m struggling a bit here) most of my friends were single or in very short term arrangements. With age and maturity, relationships tend to become more enduring. Singledom and coupledom and longevity of relationships in my circle of friends these days is pretty much the same amongst straight and gay friends. And I know perennial batchelors and spinsters in both camps.

      It all boils down to being 20. Bless!

  3. Alan Motley 8 Apr 2012, 12:56pm

    You are spot on! Though I do feel that Grindr, Adam4Adam and Manhunt are the problem. Before these apps, men actually had to communicate in bar settings. Now gay men just shop for guys like shoes. They even make friends that way. There is a complete disconnect to the actual human connection people can share. Ultimately everyone just ends up alone and sad. Bitter…

    1. The same can be said of the heterosexual community out partying every weekend in City Centres across the world.

      The same can be said of various heterosexual dating websites.

      Many heterosexual men (and women) find a sexual partner is a disposable commodity. As unfortunately do some LGBT people.

      It is not a peculiarly LGBT trait not to “do” relationships.

      The current strong campaign for equal marriage is clear evidence of the desire for meaningful relationships based on love, honour, support and commitment within the LGBT communities.

      That linked to 50,000 CPs in the UK since they began in 2005 (with a 16% rise in demand in N Ireland alone for CPs in 2010/11) shows LGBT people do want to “do relationships”.

      1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:34pm

        Oh please get off your Open University Sociology course!
        Men fck things. Women, (including lesbians), don’t.
        Throwing this straw man crap about straights and gays being similarly promiscuous is utter BULL!
        Gay men just happen to be fortunate they have the means and the motive without restrictions, so they do what comes naturally.

        1. Well, if non-gay men fck so much, who are they doing it with? Could it – duh – be with non-gay women? Takes to to tango (and, for that matter, copulate).

          Who’d’ve thought, eh?

          1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:49pm

            Non-gay men don’t. That’s my point.
            If women were as promiscuous as men, then it would be even-stevens, but women act as nature’s safety-valve and are more careful who they sleep around with, which in turn means that straight men are more likely to stick around as they don’t know where their next shag is coming from, (if ever), whereas a gay man can can just wash and go and be onto the next one before lunch.

          2. But plenty of non-gay men do. I’ve been accused of living a sheltered life, but I think it’s you who’s the more naive here.

            For example, do you not know the UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in Western Europe? Where do you think that comes from – romance or ignorance of the need for protected sex?

      2. LOL, stu… you seem NOT to get it, Heteros CAN marry, gays CANNOT, so why should heteros worry about these things?

        The post makes obvious observations that you and your ilk continue to dismiss. If the gay community was serious about gay marriage, they would jump at it, but as I view it, the overwhelming majority of gays in Britain and in the US DO NOT WANT marriage.

        1. Oh, Pepa is back – we have missed you NOT

          98% of Pink News readers want equal marriage.

          11 countries and 11 territories currently have it.

          26 more nations are putting proposals to bring it in, in one shape or another.

          That sounds to me like gay people going for it.

          There also has never been such a strong campaign for gay rights in the UK since the seeking to eradicate Section 28

          Heteros can marry – thats a point I am aware of.

          Gay people can not – I am also aware of that

          Heteros (some of them) worry about this because they do not just think about themselves.

    2. Ultimately everyone just ends up alone and sad. Bitter…

      Well, in fairness we have no idea how everyone will end up, since these apps and the reliance on them is a fairly recent phenomenon.

      In passing, my recollection of bar settings was that not much real communication was going on – impossible to hear one another, for one thing.

      1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 2:05pm

        Yes, but at least you actually got to see the person.
        Take the posts on here, everyone has an idea in their minds-eye what we are all like, and I can guarantee you we are almost all completely wrong. Without seeing and chatting to someone in the flesh you will never get any impression of what that person is really like.

        1. Fair point – although even if I meet someone online (in my former single days) then I would want to have a real meet with them, over coffee or a beer as soon as was convenient for both of us – in order to try and assess whether the interaction that seemed good online was continued when we met (sometimes it was, sometimes it was not).

          1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:15pm

            Yep, but I have heard of horrible experiences where the person that showed up wasn’t even the one on the photo, and then said “but as I’m here, fancy some fun?”

          2. @Spanner1960

            I had that experience once. The photographs and conversation on the profile were of a 24/5 year old guy, fairly fit, decent looking (in my view) and fairly articulate and good fun. The guy that turned up was late 50s, unattractive and smelly. He did not get the chance to demonstrate his personality and character to me when he introduced himself to me – he had lied to me. Not something good to base a friendship or anything else on.

            Thats precisely the point about me meeting someone, to prevent such a charlatan. AND as importantly, because I prefer really relationships too. Cyber cuddles arent the same.

          3. Spanner1960 9 Apr 2012, 10:09am

            @Stu: In this case the that showed up even had the gall to say “You don’t look much like your photo”. To which my pal said “Well at least it’s me, now fck off” and slammed the door in his face.

          4. @Spanner

            In the case where I was mislead he started by saying “Are you Stu?”, to which I said “Why who’s asking?” (You might have thought this might have suggested I did not believe I was waiting for him). He replied “You’re waiting for me, I’m Chris”, to which I replied “Was your picture taken in 1978?”. He replied “No, but you wouldn’t have met me otherwise”. I replied “Not with the intention I was here today, and you have blown it by lying to me”. His response “But I thought”. I interrupted with “No, really, you didnt think” and walked away.

        2. Agreed.

    3. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 2:02pm

      Spot on Alan.
      Typical votes down by those that hate facing up to the truth.

      1. Well, yes and no: in the days when people mainly met in gay bars there were plenty of complaints about the shallowness of the communication in such circumstances too.

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:03pm

          I agree, but they pale into complete insignificance when you start setting thresholds for age, eye colour or preferences.
          Sometimes a smile across a crowded bar was all that was needed…

          1. I don’t disagree, I do feel many people set themselves up for disappointment by being obsessively choosy; but ’twas ever thus.

            (And in any event, a smile is one thing, but then there was sometimes the shock of the voice :-) )

          2. The setting of profiles and eye colour choices etc etc are not peculiar to the LGBT communities. There are many shallow heterosexual or mixed dating sites too.

          3. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 7:57pm

            @Stu
            That’s not what Rehan was saying.
            Gay bars serve a social purpose above and beyond being a watering hole like straight bars. Internet dating has to a great degree killed the whole cruising concept. Straight dating sites would never have the same effect.

          4. Spanner1960, I think you’ve lost touch with what a number of non-gay bars and resorts (eg Ayia Napa) can be like these days. These broad-brush generalisations simply don’t work any more.

          5. Spanner

            I wasnt commenting on Rehans comment (which I agree with), I was commenting on yours.

          6. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 11:17pm

            @Rehan I should have said “served”.
            It’s true gay bars are really much like any other pub these days. I was never hugely into them, but now I don’t bother at all.

  4. I think using the scene as one of the base points for relationships is always destined to show a lack of numbers. Let’s be honest, most people are out for “one thing”. But I think that’s equally true regardless of sexuality. Relationships tend to come about, from my experience through social circles, friends, friends friends etc.

    Also, I don’t know many 20 year olds who are that interested in looking for long term. At that time I wasn’t

    1. “Relationships tend to come about, from my experience through social circles, friends, friends friends etc.”

      That has been my experience, and sobriety does help a bit – not that I’m against a social drink or two.

  5. Wetwiring.wordpress.com 8 Apr 2012, 12:58pm

    You’re 20. That would tend to be when people are having fun, and not attempting to ape whatever hetero-normative (I went there!) ideals they have imbibed over the years via family, friends, culture. You spend your 20s developing your own way of looking at the world, and considering what you want a relationship to be. I didn’t know many people who were in a relationship when I was 20, irrespective of who they were attracted to. Now I know more. It’s an age thing and a maturity thing, not a gay thing.

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 2:00pm

      Bollocks is it.
      You just can’t get the totty you used to get so it’s time to settle down before you get left on the shelf.
      Seen it way too many times before.

      1. Dave North 8 Apr 2012, 2:04pm

        Speak for yourself.

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 2:10pm

          I gave up even bothering with shallow dickheads long before that happened.

      2. An unnecessary comment, Spanner1960, and one that gives the impression you’re both spiteful and bitter. Many if not most gay men aren’t able to live through their impulsive (or, if you prefer, experimental) teenage years until they’re well into their 20s, or even later.

        1. Spanner1960 10 Apr 2012, 1:31pm

          I am neither, but I have seen it so many times where the shags start to dry up and it is only then they start looking for some regular nooky-on-tap, ie: a boyfriend. Even then they still can’t keep their dicks in their pants and will shag anything with a pulse as long as the other half doesn’t find out.

    2. That would tend to be when people are having fun, and not attempting to ape whatever hetero-normative (I went there!) ideals they have imbibed over the years via family, friends, culture.

      Oh what a bunch of bull. I had a relationship at 16 for 5 years. That is because I care about people’s emotions and mine, and not the urges of my penis. Relationships offer more than one-night stands can offer, but of course you want gay teens and youth to be promiscuous and have a vastly empty life… because the way I see it this destructive lifestyle of perspicuous sex is not just limited to the young of our community. It is everywhere.

  6. Iain Maxstead 8 Apr 2012, 1:06pm

    I have been living with my partner for 24 years and we have both enjoyed the up’s and down’s of a relationship in which we have both grown together.
    I think you have to understand all relationships take work and dedication, commitment and of course Love, are we alone in this ? I can say we only know of a few couples that have made it quite as long as we have and just 2 couples that have a greater number of years than us.
    I can’t imagine living without my partner, but so many younger guys we know are not interested in a relationship the do not see the benefits of the special person in life as they seam to focus on the “grass is greener” view …. the grass you walk on daily can be just as green if you water it care for it and appreciate it ….. out of interest we have now been together as a couple longer than either set of parents ….. make of that what you will I guess its some phase to be going through haha

  7. Good grief, I must live in a parallel world, despite living in SW1 and working in Soho, from the author of this article – by far the majority of my gay friends are in long-term relationships, many of them of much greater duration than 10 years.

    It must be an age/scene thing, but even in my clubbing years it was notable how many people who were out and about were in couples (sometimes rather frustratingly so).

    1. @Rehan

      Absolutely. Of my close gay friends all but 2 are in couples. 3 of the couples have been together over ten years.

      Of my close straight friends 2 are couples and neither have been together over ten years (although one of the couples are approaching 8 years!).

      I remember clubbing in both Manchester and London and being frustrated that a guy I had my eyes on was in a relationship, too.

      1. I suppose half my close friends are also single, but that’s possibly as much because of the way people’s availability mysteriously diminishes as soon as they become coupled (grr).

        One of my friends, now dead, was in a relationship for 40 years then, when widowered, in another for 10 (until the second partner also predeceased him), so I tend to be sceptical of people who drone on about the fragility of gay relationships.

        1. As for clubbing, I could virtually guarantee that if I fancied a guy the reason he looked so relaxed and confident and, all too often, overtly flirtatious was because he was out secure in the company of his boyfriend!

          1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:27pm

            I used to find that. I would go in places single and not get a sniff, but then I’d get a BF and everyone was after me. It was like “Where the hell were you last week when I needed you!?”

            Must be the pheromones or summat. ;)

          2. I think one is (naturally, but unfortunately) more guarded and less relaxed when on one’s own – more to lose, in terms of pride.

  8. Interesting thoughts. Though personally I think the ‘gay scene’ is too young and I don’t mean youth obsessed: It’s a culture which has yet to fully mature away from closed-door-groups fighting for survival and the right to exist. Those battles (for most in the West) have been won and the directional purpose of a political existance has been removed.

    Yet still the incongruence between ‘us and them’ perpetuates: when most teens were gossiping about love bites many of us were ‘enforced’ to hide behind secret crushes on the boy behind us in Maths: developmentally we miss out. Examplefied by the straight man who had 3 kids before he came out now in his 40’s excitedly trying new fashions and bleaching the tips of his hair… kinda like a teenager.

    Word count denies my thoughts expansion but perhaps the gay scene is a mish mash of people who collectively are not matured enough to get to that point of mutual loving respect based on solid ground because so many of us grew up on quick sand.

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:33pm

      I think there is certainly an element of truth there, but I don’t think it is quite as cut and dried as that. You are referring to a developmental process of maybe 50 years, whereas I see it more as an evolutionary one that has materialised over millennia.

      The way I see it is the instinctive need to fertilise remains, but the paternal drive to bring up a family is lacking, so there is no reason for a gay man to stay with a partner.

      1. But then look at how rapidly hands-on parenting for men has become the norm. So many fathers now are nurturing in a way that was unimaginable, actively considered downright unmanly, just a few decades ago.

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:45pm

          Oh for sure things are changing, but I just find that so many people are in constant denial of the fact that underneath these civilised exteriors we are still animals with primal drives and desires. One cannot eradicate millions of years of evolution just over a few decades, and it is usually only the threat of being left alone that keeps most men in one spot.

          1. True to an extent, but I think there are dangers in assuming one extreme has that much more power than the other – we’ve largely managed to control our instinct to kill those who disagree with us, after all.

      2. Rubbish! ‘The paternal drive to bring up a family is lacking’ BOLLOCKS! There are many, many gays and lesbians who want children, just as there are many, many STRAIGHT couples who NEVER want children. There are multiple reasons for bonding…and THAT covers only the first two years (raising a child from babyhood), since you are using the biological
        model!

        As to relationships…I’ve been a widower (my partner was murdered in a gay bashing where he was a randomly-chosen victim) and I have had other long-term relationships. But I find I prefer being single now (and not because of sex).

        What I find though is that almost every teen-25 year old is actively looking for a partner. So much so it is very off-putting. And then there is a HUGE gap until 45+

        It could be the case that the missing one or two generations is because of the high toll of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Australia (which killed tens of thousands and effectively wiped out a generation, and now the new is of age,

  9. I concur with most of what Stu says, TBH it’s mostly down to age and the type of people you encounter on the scene.
    Age 20 barely any guy I knew straight or gay wanted to settle down and find “the one”.
    It’s mostly when guys hit 25-30 and realise that they’re no spring chicken any more that they have pause to reevaluate their priorities.
    Bear in mind that parental expectation and the history of the gay scene play their part in that… it was really only within the last 25 years that gay equality has evolved to the stage that coming out and settling down with a same sex partner have become widely accepted.
    Even as late as the 80’s when in my teens, the era of clause 28, it was still a big deal to be out and proud, let alone consider a steady partner and adopted kids.
    In that furtive atmosphere one night stands became the norm, and to some extent I think some gay people and many reactionary straight people have difficulty dealing with the transition of LGBT life to the mainstream.

    1. Things are changing gradually, but I think those are the major root causes which prevent many gay people from crediting long term monogamous relationships as a realistic option.
      That’s my take on it anyhow, not sure if that’s the general concensus.

  10. Am in a very happy , honest , cemented relationship with the man of my dreams – we knew it was love from the very first date . Every kiss still sends shivers down my spine and gives me butterflies .
    Marriage is a long way off the horizon as we are both only 22
    But I am happy , in a strong stable relationship where we only actually see each other 3 days a week due to work commitments and family , and our friends outside of our relationship. We make it work , as we want to be together – we are in love. We do the scene , very occasionally , very very occasionally – and neither of us are exactly mr gay uk (Altho my eyes see him as the hottest guy ever) .
    We love each other – therefore it works . :-)

  11. Young people, of all types, are growing up without any sense of self control, so of course they are finding relationships difficult and often decide that it is ‘not for them’ and then go out and just look for casual sex, whether that is from one nighters or a regular hook-up. Few relationships among young people have the depth that commitment requires.

  12. Another Hannah 8 Apr 2012, 1:22pm

    I don’t know about guys as I’m TS, but speaking as a trans who doesn’t do relationships it is because they tend to involve disagreements and trouble, and I’m not wealthy or good looking enough to get the kind of partner I would want, so I prefer to just have a bit of company instead, which is really worth a great deal more to me than these exulted on high “relationships”.

    1. @Hannah

      No one should value you any differently because of your take on relationships. That is a decision you make, although I would say that sometimes relationships do creep up on people who least expect them.

      1. Another Hannah 8 Apr 2012, 6:28pm

        You sound young to me Stu. About 10 or 20 years should cure you of those kinds of thoughts. Life teaches you that ther is no cause for optomism -even the lucky don’t have it very good!

        1. Well I have had these kind of thoughts for as long as I can remember. I don’t know how young you think I am. I am 38 tomorrow.

          1. Another Hannah 8 Apr 2012, 7:54pm

            some people are probably more easily soured than others stu (ie me). I don’t know about optimism though, strikes me your probably lining yourself up for a big let down (life’s apiece shxt, when you look at it..) It’s probably not a good idea to spend too much time trying to understan the world, as it only dissappoints.

          2. Thanks, Hannah!

            I have had enough sh!t in life to deal with – believe me … but I usually find a way to come out smiling.

            Thats not about to change.

            No matter how much some people would like it – the fact they would also makes me more determined. I dont give in, period.

    2. I’m not wealthy or good looking enough to get the kind of partner I would want.

      This implies you would want the sort of partner that would only be interested in someone wealthy or good looking?

      Maybe that is where you are going wrong.

      1. Another Hannah 8 Apr 2012, 6:34pm

        no twitless it’s just something you come to realise about the world as you get older – even those who think they’re idealistic aren’t quite as idealistic as they think they are….

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:29pm

          Life is all about making compromises.
          If you stick rigidly to your ideals you will achieve nothing.

          1. … or at the very least you will need to be philosophical about your isolation if your ideals aren’t met.

          2. I have to say I agree with both of Spanner and Rehans approaches there – sometimes you have to compromise and find ways to move ahead. Sometimes you have to be philosophical. There are times I dig in the heels. There are times I just smile and carry on.
            Ideals are important in some areas – but life needs balance and understanding and sometimes you have to negotiate.

  13. James Liv 8 Apr 2012, 1:24pm

    I hate the way people talk about gays like we are a collective. I am 22 but I have had 2 monogamous relationships that have lasted over a year. I have had my fun as well but yano Im 22 not 32.

    All of my gay friends are the same. They have their fun but they have relationships as well.

    1. I agree, I think there’s a great danger in generalising.

    2. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 1:57pm

      Don’t refer to gays as a collective, just men.
      the only difference is that straight men have to operate by a different set of rules in order to interreact with females, gay men do not.

      We all have two arms, two legs, a mouth, an arse and a dick.
      Or is that another sweeping generalisation?

    3. a year is not very long at all … is the yardstick different for gays?

      1. A year is, naturally, a pretty long time for someone in their teens or very early 20s – 25% of his adult life in this instance.

        1. James Liv 9 Apr 2012, 2:32pm

          Exactly. Those 2 relationships only ended due to changes in circumstances (like moving with a job) anyway otherwise Id defo still be with one of them.

  14. Another Hannah 8 Apr 2012, 1:24pm

    I think it is prejudice to say LGBT people are any different to anybody else. There are many straight peopel not in relationships!

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:27pm

      Yes, but straight men do not get anything like the sex that gay men do.
      Gay men often do not have relationships out of choice, straight ones are single for quite the opposite reason.

      1. Well some of the single straight lads and lasses (and some of the married ones), I worked with, seemed to get a lot of sex – with a wide varierty people.

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:21pm

          Well maybe some tarty girls might, but they are still a relative rarity. The average straight has 14 sexual partners in a lifetime. I know some gay men that have more than that in a month.

          1. I know some straights have more than that in a fortnight.

            The point is not scoreboards, its about realising that cultures shift and evolve.

            Perhaps traditionally men were more promiscuous.

            Its much more even these days … try any straight club on a Saturday night and you will see for sure.

      2. Eh? And there was Bill (“Cock”) Roache – actor on Corrie – recently remarking he’s ‘made love’ to 1000 women. Rather a lot more women than most of the gay men I know have had men.

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:23pm

          You don’t get out much do you?
          Most of the guys I hung out with in my day did at least that, including me.

          1. 1000 guys in – what? – 30 years, huh? No, I can’t compete with that I will admit. I went out a lot, but was thought rather choosy – and clearly I must have been.

            Not entirely surprising you’ve turned out the way you did. Solitary and angry, I mean.

          2. I thought I hadnt been that choosy and I would not be anywhere near that figure.

          3. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 11:25pm

            Aless than 20 actually. :/

          4. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 11:35pm

            Solitary by my own choosing, sure.
            Angry? Nah. The world doesn’t owe me anything, or vice versa. I’ve always been aggressive in my attitude, and I don’t suffer fools. That’s just me I guess.

          5. Oh well, it must be something to do with definitions. To me, people who aren’t angry, people who’re calm, chilled, balanced – however you want to describe it – don’t really feel the need to be aggressive in their attitude.

  15. I’m confused by what you are defining as “the scene”. Is this a comment on clubbing, drugs, casual sex, and all the other stereotypes thrown at gay men? I hope not. I’ve been in a monogamous relationship with the same man for the past 16 years. We have had friends over the years who “play the scene” but they are looking for fun, not love. There’s nothing wrong with fun. Not every person (regardless of their sexual orientation) wants or needs a committed monogamous relationship. It’s just the same social pressure that heteros have been facing for hundreds of years to couple off and conform. I love my relationship but it’s as much work as being single. The loyal honest relationship you talk about is not an ideal to strive for but one of many options. The wonderful thing about being queer is we don’t have to make the same choices as everyone else. If you are tired of “the gay scene” it means you’ve outgrown it. So find a new scene and be happy. Love yourself and the rest follows.

  16. I think a lot of stereotypical behaviour of some gay people stems from not feeling like they fit in…not identifying with most of society. The secretive nature of being gay and having gay sex may have a part to play in why some gay guys aren’t after relationships.

    There are ones that enjoy sex with different guys a lot – I think men are more promiscuous than woman. I think that, coupled with how much more naughty gay sex can feel with boy on boy being a social taboo, is partially a reason for this.

    I am engaged to my fella but we do both fantasise (together) about anonymous sex. It’s hot!

  17. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 1:28pm

    Maybe because all men are inherently promiscuous, and gay men have the opportunity to be that way.

    Straight relationships are ultimately built on the premise of bringing up a family, and in most gay men’s situations, this never happens, so there is really no reason to lock oneself in with a dedicated partner. Those that do are usually simply a mutual method of alleviating insecurity and loneliness.

    Personally, I find no need for either the relationships or the sex, and much prefer my own company.

    1. Dave North 8 Apr 2012, 2:08pm

      Pity you do not keep it that way….

      1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 2:30pm

        I do.
        I still like to bait pretentious little twats like you once in a while though.

        1. Really productive use of your time

          Is that what they call trolling?

          1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:13pm

            You can call it what you want.
            Just because I don’t happen to have the same opinion as you does not make me a troll.

            As it happens, it seems some people on here agree with me, and not all gay people are in the same little lefty clique as you.

          2. Spanner1960, what you say would be more convincing if you didn’t immediately accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being pretentious or a ‘lefty’, it frequently really undermines your points, which is a shame.

    2. theGentleWarrior 9 Apr 2012, 10:31am

      “No place, microbrain? What possesses you?” -Q, 2364

  18. Heard it all before. Yawn. Move along, nothing to see here.

  19. At 22 you are not as mature as you think you are! You have not the life experience or maturity for a life long relationship.

    1. @jOHN

      Some people are mature enough at 22 – although not all (I wasn’t) …

      1. Not this writer, evidently.

    2. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 1:54pm

      But also appreciate that some people never will want one, and that has nothing to do with either maturity or experience.

      1. @Spanner1960

        There are a wide range of reasons, experiences and motivations why some people (male/female, gay/straight etc) may choose not to want a relationship.

        Whether or not someone chooses to enter a relationship or not should not change how that person is valued or regarded by others.

        Of course, some people genuinely say they do not want a relationship and then unexpected someone comes along and surprises them …

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 2:15pm

          I have never stated, nor do I treat anybody any differently as to whether someone is in a relationship or not. I think that a very shallow and blinkered attitude.

          If you are head over heels with someone, or serially shag your way around the whole of Soho, I really don’t give a rat’s arse.

          I genuinely am not looking for anyone, and I can assure you I will not be surprised. There comes a time in one’s mindset when there is nobody that could ever turn your head ever again.

          1. @Spanner

            I did not suggest you did treat anyone differntly nor did I imply it.

            I was trying to agree with you that some people choose not to have relationships and support that. Why you feel the need to manipulate what I said into something I did not, is puzzling.

          2. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:18pm

            Stu: Read that again:
            “Whether or not someone chooses to enter a relationship or not should not change how that person is valued or regarded by others.”

            That says to me that some people are considered differently because they are in, or not in, a relationship.
            I can only read it that way, I’m not trying to manipulate anything.

          3. @Spanner

            What I am trying to say, is that some people are treated differently by some people and by society (at times) precisely because they are not in a relationship – and there are then societal pressures to try and persuade them to “find the right person”. Hence things such as “who do you think will be next?” at weddings.

            I am saying these expectations should not happen. That people should be treated with the same value regardless of the relationship decisions that they make.

          4. Some people would choose not to be in a relationship than be in the wrong relationship just to say they they have someone.

            I would rather wait for the right person and have 10 years with them than spend 20 years because I thought I would never find someone.

            I had a roommate who had a BF and I went on a holiday and when I came back he had a new BF. That is just a waste of every ones time just because they wanted to be in a relationship!

    3. Met my fella at 22, still together 25. Living together. Engaged. Very much in love!

  20. I don’t do one night stand and I would like to have a relationship. I should really get out more to look but hey.

    As for not knowing any gay men in a happy relationship well Ethan I know at three couples who have been together for 5 plus years, are not in open relationships and are very happy! And I admit I’m a little envious of that.

  21. from my experience having your boyfriend sitting next to you in a gay bar doesn’t stop others from chatting you up while at the same time shamelessly ignoring your other half.

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 2:16pm

      That’s men for you. ;)

    2. How can they chat you up unless you’re ignoring your other half just as shamelessly?!

  22. We will be coming up to our 33 year anniversary in May. Life gets better.

    We even fostered 15 young men (one straight & one turned out to be bisexual) through AKT. Please support AKT.

  23. Because he’s 20 years old.

  24. You’re 20, for goodness sake! You’ll re-read that article in 10 years or so and laugh your head off!

  25. This is a depressing and 1-dimensional piece. Not all gay men are scene-oriented, gym-bunnies flitting from bed to bed. And if you spend time away from the scene, you will realise this. The straight club scene is just the same. Neither reflect well-rounded life.

    I have been with my partner for almost 10 years and civilly partnered for almost 4 and find this article’s internalised homophobia and blanket judgements frankly weak and written by a very young man with little experience.

    1. I have no doubt Ethan does not intend to be homophobic in his writing.

      However, it is a one dimensional view of the reality of LGBT men and can be interpreted as homophobic.

      Many of us have exactly the opposite experiences that he elicits in his discussion. The number of CPs, the strength of the campaign for equal marriage – are statistics that point to Ethan’s observations not being universally true. This can be reinforced from the experiences of many of us (both in terms of our own relationships and those of our friends etc).

      I hope that Ethan was asking rhetorical questions and aware that there are MANY gay men out there who seek their soulmate and lifelong partner.

      1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:23pm

        I think if you took a straw poll, you would be totally wrong there, and that long-term relationships are most definitely in the minority.

        I would also say at a guess that the people that come on here are generally somewhat more intellectual than your average punter, and so more likely to be people that rise above the usual throng, so one might expect to see a higher proportion of gay men in long term relationships than you might find as your average Gaydar or Manhunt subscriber.

        1. long-term relationships are most definitely in the minority

          Absolutely not in my experience.

        2. Far from my experience either.

        3. I would also disagree that intellectual capacity has anything to do with either your capacity to be in a relationship or your likelihood of being on Gaydar etc (which latter is frequently used by a 50something friend who has the best-paid of job of anyone I know).

  26. if anyone had told me aged 20 that they wanted to settle down i would have run for the hills! As you get older there is a greater desire to be in a relationship- for some people- but ive gone through phases of wanting to be in a relationship/not in a relationship several times.

  27. long term relationships and age are irrelevant. Either you’re mature enough for one or you aren’t.

    I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years, I am 22 and he is 28.

    I find it childish for either side (those single or in a relationship) to comment negatively on the other out of spite.

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 4:05pm

      Nobody is being spiteful, but by your approach you are stating that anybody not in a relationship is, by definition, immature, which I find highly offensive.

      1. I agree, the ability to be in a relationship is not necessarily linked to maturity (as evidenced by some pretty appalling non-gay relationships one can observe from time to time too).

      2. I agree that maturity is not defined by the ability of a person to (or willingness to) enter a relationship.

        Plenty of immature people enter relationships and plenty of mature people do not.

        I will concede that I perceive my maturity from when I was 22 to now at 38 (tomorrow!) is somewhat different, some of that is gained through experience. That maturity makes me more comfortable to enter into a relationship where I am committed to my boyfriend. My doing that, though, is not a sign of my maturity.

  28. Aryugaetu 8 Apr 2012, 5:52pm

    Perhaps an adult should rethink the idea about doing grocery shopping at the candy store before complaining.

    If you’re not into S&M bars (in this case it is Stand & Model), there are millions of romantic Gay men near you… no, we’re not all over 40. Romance is in the heart, not in birthday candles.

    Forget the hype, and simply live your life, do the things you enjoy (beaches, hiking, farming, cycling, nude beaches, nude hiking, nude farming, nude cycling, but I digress) and because we’re everywhere, you will find someone much more similar to yourself. Live YOUR life, not someone else’s.

    Personally, there is nothing hotter than someone trying to change the world, or at least their corner in it, and I have had some of the best and longest relationships doing charity work. It’s nearly impossible not to find a warm, caring, soul volunteering for a good cause.

    Don’t try to find your world, it’s much easier to make your world.

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:10pm

      I totally agree. Live your life on your terms.
      However, who says you have to share it?
      I am not a romantic, I loathe all that lovey-dovey crap and the majority of people really get on my wick; and equally, I’m sure most people wouldn’t want to be around me for any length of time either.

      One should not have to cave in or feel pressured by social demands to have partners unless that person really wants to. It’s bad enough for gays, but I think straights get it even worse from their parents about girlfriend? – engaged? – married? – children? – grandchildren?
      and this constant race to keep up with your peers or the Jonses can be insufferable.

      1. Except now that sort of haven’t-you-got-a-boyfriend-yet stuff has moved over into the way gay men are treated too.

        Sometimes I think I actually prefer the days when people would be too embarrassed to probe into my relationships (or lack thereof). :-)

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:52pm

          Yeah, you might be right there.
          I still come from the school of ‘don’t ask-don’t-tell’ so nobody dares ask me just in case they get an answer back they may regret hearing.

          1. I think there is an element of creeping “So have you got a boyfriend yet?” type comments coming into society as society adjusts to LGBT people being out, and accepted.

            Whilst I do not think society should seek to impose exectations that people will enter into a relationship, I do see that the fact this question is being bounded about could be seen as evidence that gay people are becoming more accepted by some – although they should not pressurize people about relationships.

            People should be able to self determine.

  29. Dear Pinknews – could you please be more selective about who you choose to write for your site. This novice, no doubt unintentionally, constantly undermines gay people. He´s too green – put him out to pasture, let him acquire some experience and then perhaps he can contribute worthwhile commentary. As it is, his articles only reference how different gay people are, drawing divisions where none exist.

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Apr 2012, 6:11pm

      I agree.

      Perhaps PN are attempting a stab at the YOOF market.

      YOOFS are too busy on facebook to be bothered with this paper.

      1. That did cross my mind. As a teacher, I see enough of the YOOF culture daily, innit! (sic)

    2. Well said. Tony. I’m sure his thoughts are genuinely, but they’re mostly unstructured too, making for Vicki Pollard-like babble, not journalism. There are good 20-year old gay journalists out there available to be hired.

    3. I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps this is why they’re advertising for a new editor.

  30. Dr Robin Guthrie 8 Apr 2012, 6:09pm

    What did I do at 20.

    It was 1985 with no jobs to be found.

    Microsoft Windows version 1.0 was just released and Aids was rife. ( according to the popular press ) and Live Aid happened.

    My mother who worked in a scottish supermarket and my father who joinered for the best of them supported me via my education grant.

    Rather than spending my time clubbing I got an education.

    I can sympathise with young people, given that they have no hope of getting a mortgage let alone insurance for a car.

    However this “young” idiot seems to think that being gay is nothing more than
    sex.

    Get over yourself child.

    Seen it. Heard it. Done it.

    Books, T-Shirts and other such cliched dribblings.

    If you are going to write a piece in a nationaly orientated paper, look into history and not just that which is in front of your nose.

    Back to school for you.

    1. Thank you

    2. I said something along these lines to a previous piece and had my comment removed. That your comment hasn’t is progress!

  31. Every gay guy I know over the age of 21 is either in a long term relationship or looking for one.

    I remember when I was young(er) and I had quite a bit of fun *cough*. Lots of people do that, gay or straight.

    And of course there are plenty of older gay guys still living the way our forefathers had for decades (easy, free, single and up for it) but I think that’s becoming rarer as gay and bisexual guys start to settle into a more heteronormative situation.

    Personally just don’t see this as an issue for the long term, some will always enjoy things like Grindr, just like straight guys trawl sex sites online looking (less successfully) for similarly minded women. But most will eventually settle down into some sort of LTR, even it’s an open one.

    Each to their own, I’m quite happy with my other half… can’t believe it’s been 8 years already!! Marriage soon, Government willing…

    1. I so agree, Jae. This poor lad is hanging with the wrong crowd.

    2. Thank you!

  32. i think its a man thing to be honest not a gay thing.

    1. Not in my experience …

    2. I don’t think the hypothesis is even true

  33. Tom Rogers 8 Apr 2012, 6:58pm

    This is stereotypical nonsense and it’s just giving ammunition to anyone opposed to gay marriage. Just because you’re friend is a slut doesn’t mean we all are.

  34. chris lowcase 8 Apr 2012, 7:13pm

    i usually translate ‘im not ready for a relation ship’ as a nice way of saying ‘i dont want a relationship with you’ (but im sure this isnt always the case ;) ). and i hear it (quoted) from friends all the time.

    to actually attempt to answere the question, maybe they just came out of a relationship, maybe they focus on their work, moving too fast, just wanting a one night stand. pretty much the same reasons hetrosexuals say it.

    i cant say if its more or less, i’ve only had three relationships with a women, and they were a loooonng time ago, as are my relationships with men *tiny violin solo*

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:13pm

      Stop being so egocentric and thinking it is you who is the problem.
      Many people just don’t want a relationship with anyone, not just you.
      Live with it and move on.

      1. chris lowcase 8 Apr 2012, 11:21pm

        i think your drawing your own conclusions out of my post, either that or you only read the first paragraph. thats just a light hearted approach at answering the question. the second is my more serious reply. maybe i didnt make that clear enough.

        is it not a bit deffensive, to call me egocentric. the only situation that would warrent that reply is if you was breaking up with me, and i was giving you a hard time over it. id actually be really understanding spanner and i already agree that this is moving way too fast for my liking. (joke face)

        1. chris lowcase 8 Apr 2012, 11:23pm

          PS you had a negative vote so i bumped you up. if we cant be lovers i still want to be friends (again, hoping you see the funny side now)

          1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 11:28pm

            I always see the funny side.
            Why can’t we be lovers anyway?
            What’s wrong with me?
            Bloody typical gay timewaster.

            ;)

          2. chris lowcase 9 Apr 2012, 10:42pm

            if i knew you was going to be so cool about it spanner, i wouldnt have been so egocentric in my rebuttal :)

          3. Spanner1960 10 Apr 2012, 1:37pm

            Does that mean we have a date then?

  35. Oh bless the little twink!

    Almost by definition, the scene is where one goes to meet new people. If you spend all your social time there, those are the people you meet: you are bound to end up believing everyone is single.

    But there’s another world out there where gay people get on with their lives like everybody else, relationships form, relationships sometimes end. Their friends are all sorts of other people, staight, gay, couples, singles, families. And I bet there are more people like this than there are on the scene.

    Of course, some people, like one on this comments page do not move on from this early stage of maturity, which is probably a pity for them, missing out so much on other aspects of life. But most seem to.

    Don’t worry Ethan, give it time and you’ll find love.

  36. Sam Maloney 8 Apr 2012, 7:54pm

    I’m glad to say my life experience has run contrary to this. The gay men I know are much more inclined to be looking for The One and more likely to sacrifice for him once he’s found than their straight counterparts.

    Yeah, we can be narcissistic and shallow– but we are also nesters by nature.

    1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:17pm

      Women are. Men are not.

      1. It might be more accurate to say: some are, some aren’t.

        It’s too simplistic to ascribe everything to evolutionary biology, useful as it can be in understanding human behaviour. After all, it’s just as true to say males are by nature violently competitive, yet we live in a society where most of us don’t go around killing each other or trying to physically overthrow our fathers.

        1. Spanner1960 8 Apr 2012, 8:38pm

          Yes, but equally, most murders that *are* committed are by men. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule in any given scenario, but generally the principles are sound.

          I rest my case, m’lud. ;)

          1. Fair enough, but then I’d come back to the way perceptions of fatherhood have changed so much in recent decades – the equations aren’t that simple any more. Sam Maloney’s contention that he and those he knows are nesters suggests today’s reality – in our developed, largely post-religious society at least – is more complex.

      2. Sam Maloney 10 Apr 2012, 6:07pm

        I respectfully disagree– the gay men I know love creating comfortable home environments and sharing them with their friends– anyone for brunch?– more than most women do, and far, FAR more than most straight guys. That’s nesting behavior. All the twenty-something gay men I know are looking for an LTR, unlike the vast majority of the straight guys of the same age group.

        Obviously, this is only my life experience, yours may vary.

        1. That is very similar to my experience of both my friends in committed relationships and me in my current and previous long term realtionships.

          When I have friends staying, I love cooking dinner or brunches. I love hosting and caring for people.

  37. Simple answer Ethan. Because you and your ‘so many gay guy’ friends are young. And I see you’ve written another article in which you demonise the gay community. Your articles on pink news seem very depressed about being gay.

  38. I know a fair amount of young gay guys looking for a ‘relationship’ although I do think they have a somewhat differing/distorted view of what that is in comparison to a hetrosexual relationship. It might just be an age thing, Im just out a two year relationship and have no plans to be in a long term one until im at least 30, which is a whole decade away. I prefer the single life it fits in better with me, perhaps young gay guys are slightly more self orientated but not significantly more than hetrosexuals. I think 20’s is a time for fun and the kind that you only have when your single, not always in a sexual way but just that freedom that the single life offers. But my straight friends are similar.

    1. I would suggest to fall out of love a little bit with yourself.
      In the grown up gay world couples fall out of the social scene into
      A whole new social group.
      Ps there is no such thing as a 100% happy couple.. Get real and who lets these kids publish this kind off self centered crap on this reputable site?
      Back to Easter brunch with my hubby and family

  39. I’ve never heard of this before

    I think a reason gay men might say that is because they’re not ready for the social stigmas of being in a gay relationship, or the men either don’t want one and/or are picky and it has nothing to do with orientation

    I know, as a lesbian, that I very much like being in relationships, I imagine lots of gay men feel the same way

    1. Lumi Bast 9 Apr 2012, 1:06am

      To the people saying that young people don’t like being in relationships, I’m young and I do. While I enjoy being single at times, I also enjoy being with a woman and would like to find a serious relationship someday (not a long time from now) and maybe get married if it’s ever legal where I live.

  40. It’s not gay men who don’t do relationships, it’s 20 year olds who don’t. I didn’t when I was 20 and now I’m 40 I’ve been in a relationship for 13 years.

  41. On the assumption that this is a serious article and not a plant by the Christian Institue ….

    Yes, Ethan, your feelings seem to be very similar to my own 34 years ago (when I was 20). I came from a very large, happy family in deepest Somerset with stable, loving parents and grandparents & I aspired to a loving, stable, romatic, monogamous union myself. The only way to meet people was throught “the scene”, which by definition didn’t produce what I was looking for, for exactly the same reasons then as now. I was looking too hard. I had successively three lovely boyfriends but to a large extent these did not last because of my own naivity and wanting it to do so too much. In due course gave up looking and gave up sex which, devoid of emotional commitment, I found unsatisfying. Nevertheless I had made several non-sexual friendships that have lasted to this day

    Then after 5 barren years fate took a hand and a chance meeting changed my life.

    1. Ethan, I have to challenge your presumption that straight people are any different to gay. I have an older brother and a sister. My straight brother married when he was 20, divorced in dissolusionment 10 years later and has been happily single ever since, with a couple of loose, long term relationships. My staright sister married when she was 21, had a couple of kids but before the birth of the second one she was having an outside affair that has continued. She’s remained married but it is a poisonous relationship & for the last 25 years she has effectively made a life on her own while her “husband” has retreated into his own misery.

      Between them my sister & brother have three boys, now aged 26,25&24, all seem to be staright but none has shown any sign of having a lasting relationship. There may or may notbe any connection with the fact that none is in a posiution to settle down or stop depending on parental money. Perhaps it’s just natural for them, in the absence of pressure.

      1. When I was 20 I remember being introduced to an old boy whose partner had recently died after they had been together for over 50 years. My own “marriage” has just passed the 26 year mark and it looks like it will last. We’ve been faithful throughout because that was how we wanted to be. I love him more than ever and he seems to put up with me. I think we’re just made that way. And we were blessed that fate brought us together.

        Many of my friends are plainly not suited to “married life” and are none the worst for that. They have the spare energy to contribute much more to others through outside friendships.

        Other people would love to have a long term partner but are not lucky to find the right person. Life & love are a lottery.

        Don’t give up hope, but don’t try to hard. It’s not something that can be forced and if it doesn’t happen for you then just enjoy life anyway.

  42. radical53 9 Apr 2012, 3:11am

    This is something that gay men can relate to.

    We are not all conditioned to having relationships. Most of us like our casual one nighters or flings.

    We were not created to be monogamous, which is why men and women are different.

    Men are tribal people.

  43. stefpierre2012 9 Apr 2012, 5:32am

    Straight men have the same issues as gay men, we too often mixed up our brain and our dick, however, our culture, at the first place is not meant to copy/past heterosexual relationship.
    We, a lot of us, maybe, actually want a long term love relationship, we just see it differently. We also wanna the same right the equality, but to use it our way, it is like any couple, we wanna life, as well as our relationship to be according to our feelings… A lot of guys just don’t even talk about it.
    I’m in a relationship, we took it easy, we were dating and having fun for quiet some months at first, then, slowly, we just couldn’t get away from each other, but that was our freedom, our choice to be, today we are together, in a deep love and relationship, however, for now we have decided to not live together, what ever relationship you are in, we are free people n a free world, and that is our strength.

  44. From the sampling of an AA meeting, the world seems full of alcoholics. From a sampling at the gym, the world is comprised of six packs and biceps. From a sampling of the ‘gay scene’, the gay culture may seem single and youth oriented. Broaden your horizons and you may find gay couples celebrating decades together, friendships with bonds greater than marriage, and some wonderfully happy single people ready to embark on the next relationship.

  45. I think this article is fine as far as it goes. The title does say “so many gay guys” not “all gay guys”, so clearly its ponderings apply only to however many gay men they actually do apply to. I think it would be silly to deny that there are cultural pressures on some gay men who frequent urban gay haunts which work to discourage them from seeking the kinds of relationships they might otherwise want. That’s really all the article is saying.

  46. For myself, though, I have always wanted a long-term relationship. I fell in love with my best friend at 18 and in the eleven years since my love for him has only grown. One day we will be together, when circumstances allow. All I have ever wanted is to be with him, like all my other friends are with their partners, and the wait can get pretty painful at times. I’m just a big romantic at heart I guess.

    Not that I haven’t tried to address my need for sexual contact with others occasionally, Admittedly with virtually no success. But that’s not about relationships, that’s a kind of elaborate masturbation aid. Which is not to denigrate it – masturbation is perfectly fine too. But it’s not the same thing.

    Mind you, I don’t know any other gay people apart from my beloved, and I hardly ever go to gay venues, so I have no idea how common or rare my approach is among gay men in general. It doesn’t pay to generalise.

    1. That’s very interesting, but you leave out as much as you say – does your best friend/beloved identify as gay or not? How does he feel about the issue? One person’s ‘romantic’ can easily be another person’s ‘deluded’ or ‘needy’, I’m afraid. And fabulous friendships can be seriously jeopardised by sex or sexual jealousy.

      On the other hand, I know loads of gay men whose best friends are men whom they first met through sex – a lot of male ex-lovers seem to have the capacity to remain as friends in a way that’s less common in opposite-sex relationships, in my experience.

      1. Oh, he’s gay all right. I just didn’t know that until three years after I fell in love with him. By which time he was already in a relationship, worst luck. But when that little aberration is over then things will proceed as they should. We’re best friends, after all, and have been since we were children, so we essentially love each other already. It’s just a case of making things official and starting the physical intimacy and living together bit.

        Sex with someone you’re friends with sounds pretty good though. Much less awkward than normal I would imagine. I don’t even know the names of the two people I’ve had sex with!

        1. Does it not strike you that he – clearly – sees your friendship in a completely different light from the way you do? Your use of the work ‘aberration’ (even if used jocularly) suggests you have little respect for his approach to your relationship. And that’s not a good sign.

  47. Am I the only one who notices just how poorly written this article is? It reads like he just wrote down each consecutive thought that popped into his head straight onto paper. The only attempt at a connective or formation of a cohesive argument is the repetition of ‘I think’ which in and of itself is cringe-worthy.

    Not only that, but it seems like he hasn’t even properly researched the topic, short of personal experience and what a few (equally young and inexperienced) friends have told him.

    Fragmented and sloppy, I’m tempted to say even I could do better.

    1. You are not alone. And the style, if one could call it that, is consistent throughout all this writer’s pieces. Somewhere between Carrie (from these pages) and Vikki Pollard.

  48. Bisexual woman in Edinburgh 9 Apr 2012, 2:43pm

    Do you mean gay men, or LGBT people in general? You say “gay guys” at first, and then seem to make the entire thing about being gay, regardless of gender. Please tell me this isn’t yet another article where “LGBT” turns out to mean “gay men only”. Some of us are sick of being treated as if we don’t exist.

    If you mean that this is something specific to gay men, and you don’t really address this properly, then I have some interesting news. For all the stereotypes that gay men are having carefree multiple sexual partners, and that lesbians move in together on the second date, the civil partnership stats actually go against that. In the first few years at least, far more male couples tied the knot that female couples. Dissolution of a civil partnership is about twice as common in female couples than in male couples, at least so far.

    Now, admittedly more older couples go for civil partnerships as there’s a backlog, but it does disprove the myth that men are less keen on commitment.

  49. I would say we gays are socially conditioned to not expect that a traditional relationship is part of being gay. All happy traditional gay couples aside, society is all about the hetero pair bond. Every aspect of society is dripping in heteronormative messages that supercede anything else. Our own relationships are still part of the “subversive” other category when it comes to just acknowledging let alone celebrating same-sex coupledom. Every song, story, movie, tv show, beer ad, play, and math word problem is directed towards an exclusively hetero point of view. It is little surprise to find that with all the legal mumbo-jumbo we have achieved or fighting for that we only have hetero couples to model our relationships after and in light of that most gays just don’t see themselves in that paradigm–ever. I see it as a form of internalized homophobia one that we still have to address and deal with. As a community I think that the LGBT community needs to figure out to change this.

  50. Bella Brahms 9 Apr 2012, 9:54pm

    What a ridiculous and pointless article.

  51. Your ability and desire for relationships is about you the person not your sexuality. Lgbt people are no more promiscuous than straight people and are equally capable of loving commited relationships.

  52. Think you might have got ‘gay guys’ mixed up with ‘a minority of gay guys on the London scene’. Think maybe you need to get out of the ghetto for a bit… Those shallow hedonists, desperately tripping over each other to gain validation by conforming to society’s expectations of them, will rot your brain. Most of us are normal.

  53. Surely, like everything else, it’s something personal? Not every man or woman, gay straight or otherwise, is the same. There will always be people who only want sex. There will always be people who only want a long-term relationship. There will be people between those ends of the scale, irrespective of gender or sexuality. Stereotypes may get in the way a little. Couldn’t we just say everyone’s needs are different and leave it at that? xD

  54. I guess a ‘relationship’ depends on the couple…nobody can effectively define the structure of a relationship. This is simply because relationships are subjective by their very nature. Whatever works for everyone…I don’t think it’s right for people within the LGBT community to get so judgemental.

  55. Dear Ethan,

    I don’t agree with your article at all. I do remember being so naive as you write. However, gays are indeed known more for their promiscuous behaviour than straight people, but in fact straight people display the same promiscuity as gay people. Except they’re still in the closet about it:) love will find you as you will find love too.

  56. wouldnt this be more a case of emotional maturity rather than sexuality. Given, guys are more sexual than emotional and when two males are involved, maybe that extra emotional maturity needs to kick in. I would like a committed relationship but I think knowadays most people see relationships as an economical interest rather than an emotional one and that is found in all sexualities. Call me old fashioned but hey, love is a raw emotion, the relationship side takes intelligence

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