Category: News

Gay Men in a Relationship

Gay Men in a Relationship

Us guys in relationships make up around 60% of the gay community. We also make up around 25% of new HIV infections which sends a clear message that HIV can affect us all, whether we’re coupled up or not. We all need to be proactive in ending HIV, no matter what type of relationship we are in – monogamous, open, poz/neg, neg/neg or poz/poz.  Find out more at The Guardian.

How can we do this? Well, we need to ensure neg guys and those of us who aren’t sure of our status test often, that poz guys treat early, and all of us continue to stay safe.

IT ALL STARTS WITH TESTING

If either you and/or your boo are negative, your part in ending HIV begins with testing.

A lot of cases of HIV transmission are from guys who think they are neg, but actually have HIV and don’t know it. That’s why regular and frequent testing is so important; even if you are in a relationship, and even more so if you are in an open relationship.

If you’re a neg guy, you should be testing at least twice a year, four times a year if you are in an open relationship with plenty of action and each time you think you may have been exposed to HIV.

With rapid HIV testing, results are back within 30 minutes, so it’s easier than ever. Find your nearest test site in NSW here, alternatively if you are in Sydney you can also visit a[TEST] which is free and requires no Medicare card.

KEEP ONE ANOTHER SAFE

HIV prevention strategies have evolved over the last few years. Condoms and lube still provide great protection against HIV and other STIs but now we also have PrEP and UVL added to the mix. This means that we now have a range of options available to us so we can have as hot a time as we like, all while keeping ourselves and our partner/s safe.

MONOGAMOUS?

If you’re both negative you may have agreed to fuck each other exclusively and therefore may want to stop using condoms. If so, you need to test and be sure of your status before you throw a farewell party for your rubbers. Talk, Test, Test, Trust is a useful strategy when deciding not to use condoms any more when you’re both negative.

OPEN?

Being in an open relationship where you’re both neg means that regular testing for both of you is the best way to always know your status and keep one another safe. Opening things up adds a level of complexity to your relationship. You should have an honest conversation about the rules and expectations and consider whether PrEP fits into the equation.

POZ AND NEG?

Gay couple is having fun in the woods with their dog. Carrying a dog in a backpack on his back. They are happy and joyful. Enjoying a beautiful autumn day in the mountain forest.

If one of you is poz and the other neg, then testing is still important for both of you. It keeps the neg partner’s HIV status in check, keeps track of the positive partner’s viral load, and if either of you contract an STI, you can get on to treatment sooner than later.

For the poz guy, getting on treatment to achieve a UVL is a sure way to prevent HIV transmission to the neg partner. In the case where a UVL cannot be achieved, using condoms and/or the neg partner taking PrEP are effective alternatives.

BOTH POZ?

If you’re both poz and plan to not use condoms, this is considered a safe sex practice against HIV transmission. However, the risk of STI transmission is significantly increased if you don’t use condoms, so as a couple, make sure you take that into consideration.

Everyone has a part to play in ending HIV by 2020. You, your boo and the guys you play with too.

Understanding the Difference Between Sexual Identity, Preference, and Fantasy

Understanding the Difference Between Sexual Identity, Preference, and Fantasy

Paul, a slim, attractive, 29-year-old white man who owns a landscaping company, was referred to me by his therapist (with whom he was making no progress) shortly after he attempted suicide. He told me that eight months previously, Julie, his fiancée, had discovered that he’d been having unprotected anal sex with men. When she confronted him, he denied it, but soon broke down and confessed. Devastated and angry, she broke off their engagement, accusing him of being duplicitous (she believed they were monogamous) and secretive. Worst of all, she felt frightened that he’d put her at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Paul loved Julie and said he knew she was the woman for him. They’d dated for three years and been engaged for one. But Julie had rebuffed all his desperate and obsessive attempts to win her back. Ultimately, she’d had a restraining order issued against him. Shortly after this, Paul engaged in a binge of sexual acting-out with both men and women, culminating in the suicide attempt that brought him to my office.

The truth is that many men who have sex with men aren’t gay or bisexual. Although their confused mental and emotional state resembles that of the initial stages of coming out, gay men go on to develop a gay identity, whereas these men don’t.

Therapists who treat such men need to realize that just because a client is sexual with the same gender doesn’t necessarily reflect his sexual or romantic orientation. While we may believe we’ve accurately assessed whether a client is gay, it isn’t up to us as therapists to make this judgment.

Understanding Straight Men Who Have Sex with Men

There’s growing evidence that many men who have sex with men aren’t all gay or bisexual. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 3 million men who self-identify as straight secretly have sex with other men—putting their wives or girlfriends at risk for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections.

To best treat these men, therapists and clients need to be able to differentiate four terms that are often confused: sexual identity and orientation; sexual preferences; sexual fantasies; and sexual behavior. Contrary to common usage, they aren’t always in alignment.

Sexual identity and orientation encompasses one’s sexual and romantic identity, in which thoughts, fantasies, and behaviors work together in concert. It’s the alignment of affectional, romantic, psychological, spiritual, and sexual feelings and desires for those of the same or opposite gender. Sexual orientation doesn’t change over time. One’s sexual behaviors and preferences might change, but like one’s temperament, one’s orientation remains mostly stable. The term also refers to how someone self-identifies, not how others may categorize him or her. Some people self-identify as straight, while others self-identify as gay or lesbian, bisexual, or questioning. It’s important as therapists to ask your clients how they self-identify, regardless of with whom they have sex.

Sexual preferences refer to sexual acts, positions, and erotic scenarios that someone prefers to have while engaging in sexual activity. The term takes into account what individuals like to do and get into sexually, not necessarily with whom they like to do it. Preferences and erotic interests can change over time, as one becomes more open or closed to certain thoughts and behaviors.

Sexual fantasies are any thoughts that one finds arousing. They can encompass anything—sexual positions, romantic encounters, body parts, clothing and shoe fetishes, even rape. Sexual fantasies aren’t necessarily acted out. In fact, in many cases, they aren’t.

Sexual behavior is any behavior intended to pleasure oneself and/or one’s sexual partner. It doesn’t necessarily reflect one’s orientation. For example, men who are imprisoned engage in sexual behaviors with other men, but do so out of sexual necessity, not because of erotic interest in another man. They desire the behavior and the sexual release it achieves, and the gender of the partner is secondary.

Why Men Have Sex with Men

For straight men who have sex with men, same-sex encounters aren’t about romance or sexual attraction and desire, but about sexual and physiological arousal—”getting off” with another who’s male and accessible. They don’t sexually desire or get aroused by looking at other men, only by the sexual act. But if they don’t actively desire other men, how do they get to the point of having sex with them? These men typically want to bond with and get affection from other men. Their behavior may reflect a desire to experiment, to engage in something that’s taboo, or to express inner psychological conflicts involving their sexual feelings and desires that have nothing to do with having a gay or bisexual identity.

Straight men who have sex with men do so for a variety of reasons. Some have been sexually abused and are compulsively reenacting childhood sexual trauma by male perpetrators; some find sexual release with another man more accessible; some have sex with men because it’s easier and requires fewer social skills than those required to have sex with women; some are “gay for pay” and get financial rewards; some like the attention they receive from other men; some like anal sex, which they’re otherwise too ashamed to talk about or engage in with their female partners.

When I learn that a straight client is having sex with men, I ask a series of questions: What is your interest in men? Do you prefer one type over another? Do you feel drawn and compelled to satisfy your sexual urges with men? Do you care about the physical appearance of the man? Do women play any role in the fantasy? Is it different for you if they aren’t? I also try to listen for the themes running through their sexual interests and fantasies, which often decode aspects of their personal identity and histories.

I used this approach with Paul. When I asked him to describe his situation, he told me he was sexually aroused only by women, and that his fantasies mostly were about women and brought him to orgasm. I asked him what the men who were occasionally included in his fantasies looked like, and he told me that they were faceless; even their physiques didn’t matter to him. Paul also told me that he always had sexual fantasies about men “controlling him” by telling him to please them. His most common and peak erotic fantasies included being “hypnotized or drugged” by the man whose spell he was under.

Links with the Past

In subsequent sessions, I asked Paul about sexual abuse because it can lead to homosexual behavior (not homosexual orientation), but he denied it. His father, he told me, was an alcoholic who frequently physically abused and humiliated him. Because Paul wasn’t good at sports, his father taunted him, calling him a “girly” man. To test his mettle as a fighter, his father once initiated a fist fight that left Paul bruised and bleeding from his mouth. He longed to have his father’s love and acceptance, but didn’t know how to get it. His mother never intervened; instead, she’d comfort her son after these abusive episodes.

Paul was sympathetic to his mother. He saw how his father humiliated and intimidated her. Although she was never beaten, she lived under the threat of violence. He recalled that, as a child, he hated his father and wished him dead, so that he and his mother could have a nice life together.

I consider sexual fantasies and erotic interests—whether expressed in healthy or unhealthy ways—as inseparable extensions of our core identity. They’re clues to the past. Often they’re unsuccessful attempts to resolve problems from childhood that are somehow eased in the erotic realm.

I began to see Paul’s sexual contacts with men as an attempt to resolve the conflictual relationship with his father. As he attempted, unconsciously, to master the abuse and humiliation he received from his father as a child, he placed himself in sexual situations where he was at risk and felt humiliated all over again. With the other man in control, Paul was “helpless.” He was under the spell of the other man, who was intoxicated, just as his father had been.

Paul soon began to understand that he was “returning to the scene of the crime” for several reasons. First, he realized that he was not only angry at his father, but also “hungry” for the father he’d never had. He’d sought sex with men as a way of finding the nurturance and male acceptance he never received from his father. He tried to talk to his father about all the anger he’d accumulated since his childhood, but his father—still an active drinker—just laughed and called him weak.

Fortunately, he was able to feel my empathy for him and my sorrow for what he’d been through. He allowed me to “father” him in appropriate therapeutic ways. For example, he didn’t have a lot of money, so he couldn’t come more than once weekly, but I thought he needed more frequent sessions. So I allowed him to call me outside the therapy hour on my cell phone if he felt like going out and having sex with a man, so I could help him withstand the urge. He needed to feel that I was there for him when he experienced anxiety and traumatic feelings, and was overwhelmed with what he felt was my sincere interest in being available to him. His calls never lasted more than 15 minutes and were never more frequent than twice weekly for several months. He brought in his journal and left it with me to read, and I didn’t charge him for my time.

Ultimately, Paul was able to hold his mother and father accountable for their negative behavior toward him in childhood. Having had an abusive father and neglectful mother, he came into treatment letting them off the hook and reenacting the trauma by displacing the anger and shame on himself and his fiancée. He needed a safe place to explore his sexual behavior without being labeled gay, bisexual, or even questioning. This wasn’t a case that revolved around whether he was gay, but rather what his original trauma was and how it could be resolved. Had Paul not been heterosexual, his gay identity would have surfaced during treatment.

Coming Out Straight

Therapists who work with this population have to follow their clients’ leads. The work is as much about education as psychotherapy. It’s crucial to give each man who has sex with men information about homosexuality and the coming-out process, sexual abuse, sexual addiction, family-of-origin issues, and mood disorders that could contribute to the desire to have sex with males. However, as the work evolves, it’s up to the client himself to decide if this is the beginning of the coming-out process, a sign of early sexual abuse, a sexual addiction, or some other form of acting out. It could also just be that once-in-a-while sex with men is something that a man might want, and means nothing more than that. As Freud is often said to have remarked, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!”

Fleshlight: The optimum tool for your pleasure!

Fleshlight: The optimum tool for your pleasure!

Pink Lady Fleshlight is the perfect tool for your pleasure! The original: It is made of pink soft-touch material for the widest sense of authenticity. Heat the Pink Lady to body temperature, lubricate it with an aqueous lubricant and then it is ready for use. Pink Lady is easy to keep clean and with proper nursing, she becomes a faithful sex friend for many years to come. Pink Lady Fleshlight is one of the world’s most popular welding rods, not least because it’s easy to carry, and with its discreet flashlight look it passes unnoticed in most situations. Depth 23 cm. Live with lubricants.

Count Cockula is a compact release page in true Fleshlight spirit. Count Cockula is as easy to clean as a normal sized Fleshlight, but takes less space and has a completely different type of exterior. In contrast, the inside is full of big “knots” in the Fang texture, in a slightly smaller format that is unique to this Fleshlight.

This fleshlight lace page is made of patented material that gives an incredible sense of authenticity. No other manufacturer has succeeded in imitating the authenticity of this material, making it unique in the market. So caring for your fleshlight is also equally important.

Tips for the best feeling

Put the soft vagina in warm water so that it gets body temperature. Then apply a fair amount of lubricant. Feel free to try different temperatures. Even the amount of lubricant can be varied so you’ll find a slip and a wetness that suits you.

Care instructions

Pick apart your sex toy and rinse it with warm water. Never clean your Fleshlight with soap. You risk then wiping the material so that it loses its sense of authenticity. For best results when cleaning, use Fleshlight – Fleshwash.

When rinsing your Fleshlight it is important that you allow it to dry properly. Allow it to dry in an airy space and do not screw on the lid while it is still moist.

Stylish and portable Fleshlight with the eye in the eye

Six in a can O’Doyle’s is just what it sounds like, a fleshlight that looks like a classic O’Doyle’s jar on the outside, but inside it hides something else that also has age limit. On the label of the cane it is “Backdoor Stout Irish Style”, which is a word-writer playing Irish’s love for anal games. Inside the can is a sleeve in the shape of an anus and made in a super soft and natural material called Real Feel Super Skin. The sleeve is skin-colored and has an inner structure called “Mini-Forbidden”, this is an extra tight and beautiful variant of the original “forbidden”. “Mini-Forbidden” is about 5 cm shorter and much harder, the opening has only a diameter of 1 cm and then opens up and becomes 1.2-1.4 cm in diameter.

Perfect gift for the beer lover with the eye in the eye

Fleshlight can also be heated to make it feel more natural. You only place it in warm water until the desired temperature has been obtained. Because it is water resistant, the fleshlight is also easy to clean after finishing up, which gives a long life and many nice moments. Fits men with normal size to short penis, your penis is longer than 17 cm, there are other options. Because it is water resistant, the fleshlight is also easy to clean after finishing up, which gives a long life and many nice moments. Fits men with normal size to short penis, your penis is longer than 17 cm, there are other options. Because it is water resistant, the fleshlight is also easy to clean after finishing up, which gives a long life and many nice moments. Fits men with normal size to short penis, your penis is longer than 17 cm, there are other options.

Fleshlight is one of the world’s largest sex toys manufacturers and it’s easy to understand why Toys have long been something for vaginal and anal stimulation, but with a fleshlight, men can also enjoy. It’s perfect for use by yourself or with your partner. It’s an erotic spice in the foreplay or a good finish. The possibilities are endless, a fleshlight is easy to bring and does not take up much space in the bag and therefore it’s perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy even when the partner is not present. The fleshlight comes in a discreet package and is simple and easy to clean and bring along.

Whether your partner loves beer or not, Fleshlight is six in a can O’Doyle’s donate both this and is very enjoyable. The fleshlight can be used as a mood razor together or on its own. It’s easy to store is very discreet because the surface looks like an ordinary beer can, but inside hiding something at least as exciting. The super soft material along with the possibility of warming the fleshlight gives a natural and exciting experience that goes beyond the usual. Used with a water-based lubricant for extra enjoyment and when done, wash the flesh light easily in warm water.

Fleshlight – Stamina Training Unit – Multi-Set

Fleshlight – The Stamina Training Unit is a soft, realistic and even tighter, unanimous product with unique features. It is made of Fleshlights patented Real Super Skin® material with a truly textured inside that helps you improve your sexual endurance and technology. It not only increases the stamina but also recreates the feeling experienced at six. Using the Fleshlight STU (Stamina Training Unit) increases your stamina twice in a true sexual intercourse. This means that if you manage to use Fleshlight – STU for 10 minutes, your sexual endurance increases to 20 minutes. Use – Before and after we recommend water-based lubricants when using your Fleshlight. Preserve your durability and true feel by treating your Fleshlight with body pads after cleansing.

This set includes:

  • A Fleshlight Stamina Sex Toy
  • Fleshlight renewing powder 100ml
  • Fleshwash Toy Cleaner 100ml
  • Fleshlube Water 100ml
  • Shower holder
  • Flight Adapter for shower mount

Gay Men in Open Relationships: What Works?

Gay Men in Open Relationships: What Works?

Hint:  It will take a lot of work.

As a couples counselor working with gay men I am often asked my opinion on monogamy and open gay relationships. What works for men in long-term relationships? First, the research.

Several research studies show that about 50% of gay male couples are monogamous and about 50% allow for sex outside of the relationship.  The research finds no difference in the level of happiness or stability among these groups.

Next, my opinions and advice, based on my therapy practice.

Talk About It Openly With Your Partner

If you and your partner want to have a close relationship and have additional sex partners, be prepared for a lot of talking. And I’m not just referring to discussions about when, where and with whom. I mean talking about feelings, what we therapists call “processing.”

If that kind of conversation makes you squirm, I understand. Most men are not socialized to embrace the sharing of intimate and vulnerable emotions. However, if you aren’t willing to experiment with processing then I suspect the closeness of your relationship may be limited, and you guys could be headed for trouble. See Mindbodygreen.

Remember Why You Want a Long Term Partner

Here’s why learning to talk about feelings is extra important in the context of an open relationship. Most of us enter into long-term relationships because we want to feel special to another person. We want that experience of being number one in the eyes of our partner. We want the comfort, satisfaction, support and meaning that can come from spending our lives committed to another individual.

Additional sex partners can be perceived as a threat to the safety we long for in our long-term relationships. Some of us may not feel threatened on a conscious level, but I believe most of us do feel it unconsciously. And in some manly circles, it is not cool to admit that.

So if you want the experience of an open relationship that works, you will need to continually tell each other how much you love each other, how deeply committed you are to the partnership, and how glad you are to see him. Lots of hugs and kisses will need to be exchanged.

Listen (For Real)

You will need to listen without getting defensive while your partner tells you about their moments of insecurity when you have sex with others. You will need to encourage this kind of sharing from him and to push yourself to express any of your own feelings of insecurity, vulnerability or jealousy when he plays with others.

You are not responsible for changing your partner’s emotions but you are responsible for listening to them and for making sure that your partner feels heard by you. Repeat back to him what you heard him say about his feelings so you both know if you really listened.

Define Your Terms and Stick to Them

Beyond feelings, couples must also agree on the guidelines of sex outside of the relationship. They need to talk about what kind of sex is acceptable and what is not okay. These rules will require negotiation. Again, lots more talking. A good book on this subject is called The Ethical Slut, written by Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt.

The core actions of a successful open relationship are identical to those of a successful monogamous relationship: shower your partner with attention and positive regard, offer lots of physical touch, share your more vulnerable feelings, and listen well when he does the same.

These principles are easier to say than to do. They take practice and risk, with lots of missteps along the way. Monogamous couples can sometimes get away with avoiding this work and do okay. Not great, but okay. But couples in open relationships won’t do well in an autopilot relationship. To be successful in working through the inevitable hurt feelings, these couples need to lead the way on relationships based on intentional communication.