If you’re looking for a dividing topic in some sectors of the gay community, just start a discussion on open relationships.

To quote Bearorama by fellow Bear blogger Simon:

“Often the debate boils down to single guys feeling used and abused by

partnered guys, with the perception that the partnered guys just want to get off without investing emotionally.

“On the other hand, it can also get to the point with some couples where they are so explicit in their pursuit of the next conquest it can be hard to see where their true emotional investment lies.”

I am in an open relationship. My partner and I are very open about our desires.

I am clear to my outside partners that I am in a relationship, which has led to some sudden rejection of me.

It seems to be all about context.

Say, for example, visiting a sex-on-premises venue. Given that information is often one of the last things exchanged in these clubs, there seems to be fairly good understanding that people are looking for an enjoyable experience that does not have to extend beyond the time spent in the rooms.

I have had some very intense connections in addition to making some great friends. However, sometimes I am left feeling that my body was used as a sex prop with the experience being rather empty. I imagine this is the lack of emotional investment Simon is talking about.

For me, great sex is about connection and enjoying the sensations and fun that two men can have.

Simon sums it up well:

“With a simple intention to give rather than receive there is a true sense of connection in that moment which defies the narcissism or insecurity of the ego. This can result in pleasure on purely a stimulus level, or a deep sense of emotional connection.”

These experiences can be very intense. For some guys, this intensity can lead to confusion.

If you are single and feeling ready for a relationship, having an experience like this can be disappointing if you want ongoing contact and it’s not offered.

For some partnered men, the experience can be akin to that same feeling of first love, leading to questioning of their current relationship.

I’ve been on both sides of the equation. The key I have found to helping understand these feelings is honesty, not only with your partners but most importantly yourself.

From this perspective, I can understand the rejection I have experienced from single guys when I’ve explained I’m partnered. If someone is keen to meet the man of his life, hooking up with coupled guys is probably not the best strategy.

I am also respectful of my partner and our primary relationship. Sure, we both have our crushes. Being open and honest with each other, we have been able to enjoy those moments just as much as our time together.

INFO: Read more at http://www.thehealthybear.com

By DR GEORGE FORGAN-SMITH

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