Of course, we all know we can and do fall in love, and with marriage and civil partnerships now a significant option for gay couples we do seem to be sticking
together much more. But where are our role models? Are us gay guys permanently on hormonal
heat? And is our love shunned by mainstream society, or is it rather just our lust
that is egged on by the shameless, shagging scene?
"I think it is hard to sustain a loving gay relationship," moans single Simon. "There
is a great deal of scepticism around about gay relationships from all corners, gay
and straight. But it's certainly not impossible. If I had to single out one thing
I need in a relationship I would say it was being loved. And I'd say an introduction
through friends is the best way for me to find this."
"Having tried most methods to meet Mr Right," swanks unattached 30 year Richard
from Manchester, "I'd have to say the best way must be one I have yet to try - such
as on a bus or through a personal ad. In general though, I reckon bars or parties
with friends are pretty good for meeting nice people properly."
He continues: "Having a partner with the same kind of outlook on life - happy to
go out clubbing one week, confined to bed the next - has probably been the most
necessary thing for me in a relationship. I think it also helps if you're both
earning similar money, to avoid financial tensions."
"I reckon," moots Richard, "there's definitely a tendency for two men together to
be more interested in sex per se than a man and a woman, or two women together.
There at least seem to be a larger number of open relationships in the male gay
community and these are subject to the same kind of jealousies and sexual pressures
as any liaison, which inevitably causes problems."
He continues: "The gay scene itself is dominated by sexual imagery and is filled
with temptations to have casual sex at every opportunity. It is surely this desire
for, and availability of, multiple sexual encounters that can undermine gay male
relationships. However, I do not necessarily think that monogamy is the core of
any relationship, even though a lot of people expect and demand it."
"I've been in love with several men over the years," cracks Richard, "but I've
always had more luck with the gay ones. Being in love is at the same time one of
the most fulfilling and frustrating experiences a person can have. And the sex I've
had has always been better with a loving partner - even if I've been thinking about
someone else at the time."
"Love just happens," springs solo 40 year old Alan from Aberdeen with hope eternal,
who's been around the block of love a fair few times. "In a bar or on the street -
it just happens. I even met one guy after sending a Valentine's Card with my name
and number. He came round that night and we lasted a year. So if Valentine's Day
is commercial, it certainly bought me some love - and cheap at twice the price!"
But like Richard, Alan suspects us queers have actually got it right: "Straights
collapse the two conversations of sex and love. We are far advanced. We can separate
them out and have developed the ability to have mutually agreed, non-monogamous,
long-term relationships. And they work."