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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    • "With these distinctions in mind, we will not include the literature on sociosexuality and high-risk sexuality in this review. Similarly, this review will not include books or articles that use the term open to describe aspects of relationships other than nonmonogamy, or nonmonogamy that occurs without the consent of all partners (e.g.,Bell & Weinberg, 1978;Hickson et al., 1992;Wachowiak & Bragg, 1980). 2At the time that the majority of the studies described in this review were conducted, participants were recruited from locations where same-sex marriage was illegal. "
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    ABSTRACT: Consensually nonmonogamous relationships are those in which all partners explicitly agree that each partner may have romantic or sexual relationships with others (Conley, Ziegler, Moors, Matsick, & Valentine, 201315. Conley , T. D. , Ziegler , A. , Moors , A. C. , Matsick , J. L. , & Valentine , B. ( 2013 ). A critical examination of popular assumptions about the benefits and outcomes of monogamous relationships . Personality and Social Psychology Review , 17 , 124 – 141 . doi: 10.1177/1088868312467087 [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®]View all references). In this article, research examining the associations between consensual nonmonogamy, psychological well-being, and relationship quality is reviewed. Specifically, three types of consensual nonmonogamy are examined: swinging, open relationships (including sexually open marriage and gay open relationships), and polyamory. Swinging refers to when a couple practices extradyadic sex with members of another couple; open relationships are relationships in which partners agree that they can have extradyadic sex; and polyamory is the practice of, belief in, or willingness to engage in consensual nonmonogamy, typically in long-term and/or loving relationships. General trends in the research reviewed suggest that consensual nonmonogamists have similar psychological well-being and relationship quality as monogamists. Methodological challenges in research on consensual nonmonogamy and directions for future research are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Journal of Sex Research
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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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Homosexuality
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Archives of Sexual Behavior
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