Maintenance of open gay relationship: Some strategies for protection against HIV

South Bank University, London, UK.
AIDS Care (Impact Factor: 1.6). 02/1992; 4(4):409-19. DOI: 10.1080/09540129208253112
Source: PubMed


The role of sexual exclusivity (monogamy) in relation to HIV, and the use of rule making in non-exclusive (open) relationships, are discussed. Data from interviews with 387 homosexually active men are presented. The most common sexual/relational configuration amongst these men is that of open relationships. Sexual non-exclusivity was found to be associated with longer relationships, and a greater age difference between partners. The strategies some of these men are using to maintain sexually non-exclusive relationships are outlined. These rules pertain both to interpersonal dynamics and HIV prevention. Differing epidemiological significance of the rules and some implications for health education are discussed.

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    • "Because men in such relationships are already free, to an extent, to engage in passionate sexual encounters with casual partners, it seems unlikely that a lack of passion in the primary relationship would be the cause or outcome of crossing boundaries regarding the exact nature of what is allowed with casual partners. The most frequently occurring rules in the open relationships in this study related somehow to preventing an ongoing or emotional involvement with casual partners, consistent with previous research (Hickson et al., 1992; Hoff & Beougher, 2010; LaSala, 2004b). Thus, breaking such rules is more likely due to a relative lack of intimacy or commitment in the primary relationship, rather than of passion, and this is what these results seem to indicate. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research comparing the quality of monogamous and non-monogamous ("open") relationships among gay men has produced mixed findings. In addition, little is known about the consequences of breaking the rules of relationship agreements about extra-dyadic sex. Results from a survey of 229 gay men in romantic relationships showed that open relationships were less passionate, but no less intimate or committed, than monogamous or "threesome-only" relationships. However, men who broke rules reported lower relationship quality overall, regardless of the relationship agreement. Thus, it is less the nature of the agreement itself than adhering to the conditions of it that influences relationship quality.
    Journal of Homosexuality 05/2013; 60(5):711-33. DOI:10.1080/00918369.2013.773819 · 0.78 Impact Factor
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    • "Discrepancies in benefit may not be problematic for all gay couples with open agreements. For example, there may be cases where the decision to have an open agreement is driven primarily by one partner who has extra-dyadic sex while the other feels no desire to do this (Ramirez & Brown, 2010), or is even prohibited from it (Hickson et al., 1992). Alternatively, one partner may be allowed to have extradyadic sex because the other partner is too physically ill to be sexually active (LaSala, 2004b). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated whether satisfaction with open sexual agreements in gay men’s relationships was associated with perceptions of discrepancies in the benefit experienced from those agreements. Three types of perceived discrepancy between the self and the relationship partner were examined: frequency of casual sex, attractiveness of casual partners, and “overall” benefit. Results from a survey conducted in 2010 of 685 Australian gay men in relationships with open agreements showed that men perceiving discrepancies in benefit, particularly those representing “under-benefit”, were less satisfied with their agreement than were men perceiving equal benefit. These results supported hypotheses derived from equity theory and provide insight into factors associated with gay men’s satisfaction with open agreements. These findings also have important practical implications. Professionals counselling gay men or couples experiencing low satisfaction with open agreements may consider raising issues of unequal benefit and work with their clients towards achieving equality.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 09/2012; 42(7). DOI:10.1007/s10508-012-0005-9 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    • "Furthermore, whereas monogamy is highly valued among lesbian and heterosexual couples, nonmonogamy is often an accepted part of gay men's culture (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Peplau et al., 2004). Researchers in the United Kingdom found that the majority of gay male couples had a specific agreement about sex outside their relationship (Hickson et al., 1992). One of the problems with same-sex couples research is that in the absence of legal marriage, few studies clearly distinguished between the casual dating/noncommitted cohabiting couples and those with long-term involvement in a relationship. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we examined the division of finances, the division of household tasks, relationship maintenance behaviors, sexual activity, monogamy, and conflict among same-sex couples who had had civil unions in Vermont, same-sex couples who had not had civil unions recruited from their friendship circles, and married heterosexual couples recruited from among their siblings. Married heterosexuals had a more traditional, gendered division of finances, household tasks, and relationship maintenance behaviors, even though the heterosexuals were all siblings or in-laws of lesbians or gay men. Sexual orientation was a stronger predictor of the division of household tasks than was income difference within couples. Lesbians reported less frequent sexual activity than married heterosexual women, and gay men were less monogamous than married heterosexual men. Gay men in civil unions differed on a few variables from gay men not in civil unions, but there were no differences among lesbians.
    Sex Roles 04/2005; 52(9):561-575. DOI:10.1007/s11199-005-3725-7 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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