Character Art Exchange

Gay men's emotional intimacy

The first gay relationship survey to be conducted in the United States is providing a rare, intimate view into gay relationships and shows that monogamy isn't a common factor among those involved. Some gay men and lesbian women argue that since sex is an integral part of their relationship, this is an indicator that gay relationships don't work. According to the survey, gay men were less likely to engage in sexual activity on a regular basis, but were just as likely to experience intimacy or "frequent sex." Some gay men also reported being more sexually interested in a man rather than having to perform a sexual act for the woman.

Though the surveys aren't conclusive, some relationship experts are hopeful about the direction of the conversation. "I think it's important for gay men to come to terms with their relationships, their sexuality and their desires," says Dr. Mark Wheelan, an expert in sexual therapy. "That doesn't mean that they will choose to stay in a monogamous relationship, but it does mean that they recognize that it's possible to find other types of relationships that don't involve monogamy." In addition, some gay men report that being in a stable, long-term relationship helps them deal with the pressure of coming out. Some also feel less pressure when it comes to monogamous gay relationships as it allows them more time to pursue other interests.

Most of the participants in the recent studies described above said that the one common factor in all of their relationships was an emotional intimacy. They felt close to their partners, cared for them, supported them and fed off of each other's support. This might seem like a small thing to be aware of during a relationship, but when it comes to gay relationships, emotional intimacy is king. The survey results suggest that gay relationships might take some time to figure out, but as history has shown, it's worth waiting for.

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