Article

Maintenance of open gay relationships: Strategies for protection against HIV infection

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

ABSTRACT 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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    • "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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