Open relationships It’s no secret -“ a lot of gay men want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the husband, and the dinner parties, quiet nights at home, overseas holidays, shared mortgage, constant conversation and all the rest of it, but many also want to root around. And, unlike straight and lesbian couples, a great number of men manage to do this without causing huge dramas in their lives. The rules can be complex: Do you do it at home? Do you do it more than once with the same person? Do you see them again? Do you do it together? Or they can be simple: One partner doesn’t want to know what the other gets up to. There are many theories about how gay men manage to negotiate open relationships successfully, and why they have them. Some say it’s about men’s high sex drives. Others say it’s about self-esteem. And others say it’s becoming less popular, as the world (and the gay community within it) grows more conservative. But in the meantime, there are plenty of guys out there like the Star‘s Stephen Easy, who negotiates his way around his long-term boyfriend, and Sydney’s dirty sauna scene, with equal good grace.

Oscar parties From Potts Point studios to Woollahra mansions, the night of the Academy Awards is a very popular one for Sydney gays to stay home. There they host Oscar parties, where fellow celebrity-watchers, fame-whores and cynics can judge the very rich and very famous, while getting seriously drunk. Apart from the laboured speeches, terrible incidental dialogue, frequent ad breaks and woeful historical montages, what’s not to love? The biggest problem is, of course, that Sydney is not LA, and the winners are announced in the middle of our working day. This can create serious angst for those who want to share the surprise and see the broadcast as if live. Alas, there will always be one person at a party who delights in knowing the full details and, even if they don’t blurt it out, will infuriate in their smug knowingness. One Star staffer used to take the whole thing so seriously he would be in an internet blackout throughout the day and not answer his phone throughout the night, but wherever he went -“ and it was a different party, every year -“ he always found out before the final announcement.

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