About half of all male homosexual couples have sex outside of the relationship with the approval of the partner, according to a new study. The research from San Francisco State University has not been released yet but was previewed in a New York Times story. The research followed 556 male couples over three years and found that half had arrangements agreeing that the other partner could have sex with other men. Sometimes that included rules: "advance approval of partners" and "no sex with strangers."

"None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it," author Scott James wrote in The Times.

Glenn T. Stanton, director of Focus on the Family, states, "The study demonstrates clearly what we've been arguing: That gays bring a different definition to marriage. And it's not just a different definition that male and female become optional, but that monogamy becomes optional as well. They are coming into marriage with a wholly different view of marriage than anybody has - left, right, conservative, liberal - They come in with that understanding of openness. These are people who come into marriage with a wholly different and really radical definition of what marriage is about."



  1. And how many marriages in the Bible were monogamous?

    Didn’t Jacob have two wives and at least two “friends with benefits” arrangements with his wives’ consent??

    For Pete’s sake…

    Tracie the Red

  2. I like the bumper sticker that said “clergy do more than just lay people.”

    Considering both Roman and Evangelical hierarchs have reputations for skirt-and-jock-strap-chasing, and for keeping harems of mistresses and houseboys, attacks on the openess of some relationships, gay and straight, doesn’t mean much.

    For the record, Michael and I do not have that kind of relationship.

  3. When you look at the parameters of this study, you know from the start the stats are skewed. All the couples are in San Francisco and it isn’t clarified at the start what level of commitment each has made. This gives fuel to the FotF types to bash us more. It’s an irresponsible study and poor method.

  4. Yes, why can’t they be more like the hetero’s you know, like John Edwards, er…a…I mean…Sanford…oh wait a minute…er a Larry Craig…er…a…Charlie Sheen…oh shit that’s even worse…WAIT A MINUTE…I have an epiphany…”Boys Will Be Boys”

  5. A study confined to gay men (excluding gay women of course — that would skew the desired results) in San Francisco (that hotbed of conservative values!)?

    Considering the record of consistent straying by married straight men, perhaps the only valid conclusion to be drawn from the study is that there is more honesty in the gay community.

  6. Lets see here, followed 556 couples over 3 years…
    Marriage was legal for,,, what,,4 or 5 months in California, Was the study carried on during that time? How many of the couples followed chose to get married?
    Should we judge the seriousness of heterosexual unions based on dating behaviors of heterosexuals?
    Should we judge the seriousness of heterosexual unions based on the behaviors of those who live together but are not married?
    Should we deny basic rights to any heterosexual group or couple that defies the definition of traditional marriage set by,,,? some watchdog group?
    Should any corporation or government be able to deny benefits to a surviving member of a self defined couple if they can prove there was infidelity at some time in their relationship?
    Just asking

  7. And where does FoF stand on husbands who choose to leave the word “faithful” out of their heterosexual marriage vows? As long as they go around telling everyone they are Christians and hating gays and stuff, is it okay for them to have sexual partners outside of marriage?

  8. I have friends who have such arrangements. I am personally way too insecure for that to ever work for me.

    I don’t see this as an arguement in favor of fewer social structures to support monogomous LTRs.

    w/v: banso

  9. It does seem that study proves that married gay men are a lot less promiscuous than your average straight Newcastle Upon Tyne young, single person, who will have it off with a different person once a week or more. So, obviously marriage is a good thing for gay people. It makes them, if not perfect, at least more moral. So those who previously voted against same sex marriage should look at this research and then vote in favour at the next possible opportunity.

  10. I think there must be something terribly wrong with me. The thought of having to cope with more than one sexual relationship and all that goes with it, at the same time has always scared the living daylights out of me. To be honest, I make enough mistakes with just the one to worry about. Why complicate an already complicated life?

  11. I believe there are studies of straight marriages that indicate that 50% to 60% admit to sex outside of the marriage – and that’s with NO knowledge or permission. I’m unsure that our partnerships/marriages should look like that of straight folk. Nonetheless, if I am correct, we’re looking rather typical here.

  12. Leaving aside the gender-trend “higamus hogamus” thing (yes the results might be “skewed” if lesbian couples are more likely to keep to themselves sexually, as I expect is the case), by no means are all *heterosexual* partnerships monogamous (ask Betty Dodson). It’s long been my view that what should matter is that partners agree on their “contract” — monogamous or otherwise — and keep their promises. Example: A non-monogamous male partner has unprotected sex with an outsider; if it’s agreed he should always wear a condom when doing non-partner sex this would in my book constitute cheating. iow, the real issue as I see it is that of integrity. Cheers.

    Francis sirfrATearthlinkETC

  13. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but the Church of England weddings don’t come with a guarantee. We do the wedding, we tell you how you should behave, we give everybody a brand new, fully functional marriage which, if you look after it should last a lifetime, we even give you a log book. After that, if you go out and crash the car it’s your own fault and there ain’t no warranty.

    In other words, the opportunity to live a moral life should never be dependent on what happens after the opportunity is given. If every married couple in the world ended up in the divorce courts, if we think marriage is the right moral choice, it should not stop us from offering wedding services.

  14. There is an excellent article at BoxTurtle that you might also want to read, about how the Times article misinterpreted the study… Something that happens frequently, apparently.

  15. I find it surprising that the NY Times made the fundamental error of comparing unmarried couples of as little as 3 months’ duration to married couples. The recent court case in California established over and over again that such comparisons are not valid.

    I does bring up interesting points to ponder, however. How much is simply due to the fact that males tend to be more promiscuous than females?

    What about situations in which there won’t be accidental children? Surely that’s an element as well.

    It seems to me that studies of this nature are vulnerable to the willingness of the participants to be honest.

    Finally, if they’re going to compare gays to straights, they should compare unmarried couples to unmarried couples and not leave out lesbian couples.

    And they need to get over themselves. After all, as a society, they’ve done everything they can do to prevent gays and lesbians from forming successful relationships. They shouldn’t be surprised to learn that gay and lesbians aren’t going to be imitating them.

  16. Hetero husbands are just jealous that their wives won’t give them such an agreement (and indeed, it might be hazardous to their health to ask! ;-/).

    Note that the stats don’t say these “male couples” are MARRIED (indeed, FotF doesn’t believe such thing is possible!).

    Nor do they admit that these m/m couples are being honest (where often at least one in a m/f couple is lying, if they claim they ARE “faithful”).

    Nor, do they take similar poll of f/f couples, to see if the results “balance out”! [i.e., that if m/m have more extramarital sex—w/ or w/o a partner’s approval—than do m/f couples, then f/f couples have less infidelity than m/f couples do!]

    Nor, does this take into account—if these m/m couples WERE married—that that sample size is still TOO SMALL to be relevant.

    In short: this is utter shite.

  17. Human sexuality is a bit more complex than this little study. The best thought I ever came across was the idea that if you couldn’t tell your partner about it, it was “cheating.” That’s a much more interesting thought than whether or not penises were freed from attire, penetration did or did not occur, did anyone have an orgasm…And perhaps this broader definition might even bring the women into the discussion. The issue shifts to one of honesty and integrity rather than sexual intimacy with or without the honesty.

    Steve Dahl (a rather infamous DJ in the Midwest) once made the on air statement, “If the average male thinks about sex like 70% of the time…how do two gay men ever get anything done?” I think he had a point there…There’s a reason males allegedly reach their sexual peak by 18 – civilization wouldn’t survive if we peaked much later than that!

  18. Of course it is, Ocborn. But if your personal ethic is to avoid hurting people then promiscuity is too dangerous. You and your partner may never be hurt but the chances of one of your casual sexual partners being hurt is very high and will have no relationship to what they might say beforehand. It’s the love thing. You never know when it’s going to hit you and it can hit anybody of any sexual identity.

    Sorry I’m being so boring, but I’m old and seen a lot of life.

  19. Studies using subject self-reporting on stigmatized behavior are very difficult to do well – people lie like crazy, and questions and type of interrogation (computer, phone, face-to-face) have to be designed to detect probable lying and minimize subject-felt motive to lie. Subject selection is also made difficult, since there is no master list of all gay people. Participants by necessity are a skewed population, and if you recruit via the snowball method (starting with a few subjects who recruit their friends) or recruit by leaving flyers out at bars, you get an even more skewed population.

    These sorts of studies tend not to get funded.

    word: debbl – as in “the debbl made me do it”