|Groundbreaking New Zealand research which confirmed what Kiwi gay and bi men have known for ages, that monogamy's not for every couple, is now being echoed in the USA.
The Gay Auckland Periodic Sex Survey, conducted every two years with input from over 2,000 gay and bi men, has consistently shown that sex with more than one main partner at a time is relatively common. Half (53%) of Auckland, and presumably New Zealand, men with a regular boyfriend-type partner of at least six months duration at the time of the survey also reported concurrent casual or regular partnering in the past six months.
"It would be interesting to learn more about the issues concerning sex with non-primary partners, such as how the individuals involved view the practice, and the discourses surrounding it in New Zealand gay culture," notes NZ AIDS Foundation Senior Researcher Dr Peter Saxton.
While it's tempting to suspect that kiwi guys must be more sluttish than our overseas counterparts, it appears to not be the case. Recent American research shows that around 50% of 556 male couples followed for three years in the San Francisco Bay Area had sex outside their relationships - with the knowledge and approval of their main partners.
But extra-curricular sex certainly isn't a topic we're comfortable talking about. As the New York Times notes in its coverage of the San Francisco study: "Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage."
CHANGING THE RULES
Respected gay Wellington-based counsellor Bill Logan says he knows many male couples who have had completely monogamous relationships... at least to begin with.
Queer as Folk's Brian Matt Akersten - 6th February 2010