The gay community has developed quite the reputation for promiscuity over the years. It wasn’t long ago that homosexuality was a shameful, unspeakable evil, best left to anonymous trysts in public restrooms. The idea that gays were even capable of having relationships was completely foreign. Through the mid 1970’s homosexual behaviour was thought to be the result of a psychological disorder, and that those who engaged in them were incapable of love the same way heterosexuals are.
Because of this, the ideas of same sex behaviour and homosexual orientation were separated, a notion that conservative Christians still champion as “love the sinner, hate the sin.” And the gay community has done little in the way of a cohesive voice to alter these perceptions. The debate continues as people ask if gays are even capable of monogamy, and liberal outlets are championing promiscuity as a defining feature of what it means to be gay.
Despite this fact, strides have been made toward equal rights as countless numbers of our brothers and sisters have fought relentlessly and even died for our cause. We no longer have to settle for anonymous sex in a rest stop bathroom, and in a growing number of states and countries around the world, gays and lesbians are even winning the right to marry. This is enormous progress. In this context, casual, indiscriminate sexual behavior could be seen as an affront to the very foundations of the gay rights movement, or at the very least disrespectful of the fight we’ve been through to get to where we are today. This promiscuous reputation is even giving fodder to the religious right and harming the push for marriage equality.
So why do we do it? Well, there are at least five possible reasons… I think.
Intellectualized Detachment Of Sexual Behaviour From Romantic Intimacy:
There is a solid camp of liberal intellectuals who believe sexual exclusivity is not a necessary component for a complete romantic relationship. They tend to believe that territorial emotions such as jealousy and belonging are toxic and should be eschewed for the more favorable Huxleyan idea that everyone belongs to everyone else.
The Belief That Humans Are Naturally Promiscuous Animals:
Some have come to the conclusion that humans are by their nature promiscuous animals, and society’s attempt to tame their desires is either unwarranted or unnatural. Since gays and lesbians are already excommunicated from greater society, they are no longer burdened by the social and religious pressures that are the only things keeping heterosexuals monogamous. It should be noted, however, that scientific research is inconclusive whether humans are promiscuous or monogamous by nature, but there is general consensus that the depth of connection and relationship humans share is unrivaled in the animal kingdom, thanks to our enormous… brains.
Using Sex To Get What We Want:
I’m sure I don’t have to elaborate on the phenomenon of the rich old millionaire with the hot young bimbo at his side. This archetype is not exclusive to our heterosexual friends, but another common form of indirect prostitution in the gay community is to climb the social ladder in pursuit of the elusive “A List” status.
Psychological Trauma Affecting Sexual Behavior:
We are all well aware of the proverbial high school popular girl with daddy issues, using sex to fill an emotional void. Well she’s not alone. Many of us resort to promiscuous behavior for a variety of psychological and emotional reasons, from abandonment issues, to loneliness, need of acceptance, fear of inadequacy, and many more.
This is related to the previous point, but worth breaking out on its own, as Homosexuals are particularly at risk for this. Many of us spend a large portion of our formative years in the closet and/or desperately trying to change a natural part of who we are. We constantly hear our friends, families, and many religious conservatives denouncing a fundamental facet of who we are. Even after we’ve come to terms with our sexuality, latent self-loathing can still exist. When this happens, our sexual behavior follows a degrading or defiling pattern rather than a mutual, healthy expression of intimacy.
These seem to be the five most common causes of promiscuity in the gay community. Some have even suggested that those who fall into the more logical explanations are attempting to intellectually justify behavior that’s actually caused by one of the more emotional motivations.
In light of this information, it is important to step back and examine the current chorus from sources that would attempt to normalize promiscuity as the quintessential gay trait. Just because a certain behavior is statistically common doesn’t mean it’s the best option for all. At the end, it is up to the individual and couple to determine whether monogamy, promiscuity, or something in between is right for them. It’s about being honest and upfront with your partner and finding what works for you. But there needs to be room for everyone. Rather than attempting to establish propaganda about what it “means” to be gay, the message from the community really should be one of open inclusion and respect, regardless of personal beliefs, choices, and relationship styles.
Written by Vhar