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When Does The Cheating Start?

Whilst stuck in traffic on the N1 to Pretoria the other day, my friends and I got into a not so philosophical, but juicy topic of debate…

When does the cheating start in a gay relationship?

I think to some extent, or at least in my mind, tickling someone else’s prostate with your middle leg whilst in a relationship is wrong… or at least I choose to carry that characteristic over from the largely straight oriented media, and conversations with straight friends that I’m exposed to. It goes without saying that if my boyfriend were to come home one day and tell me he’d been waist deep in someone else I’d be mortified. It would be literally a matter of minutes before he finds his French films and books, poorly fitting suits, and those hideous African statues he insists bring good karma thrown haphazardly over the balcony, shortly followed by his toothbrush and a suitcase.

Of course, some gay relationships are ‘open’. I don’t fully understand ‘open’ gay relationships. I get the concept; go out, shag a bit, wipe it clean and come home. Perhaps it’s my own insecurities, my fear of contracting a hideous STD or that my other half would decide he’d be happier elsewhere on a more permanent basis that worries me. I wouldn’t forever close the door on an open relationship, but for me right now, it’s the last thing I would consider… Maybe I am as prudish as my friends tell me.

But here is where the line blurs. Is fooling around without penetration okay? Is a cheeky wank with some fit lads in the gym sauna taking advantage of some loophole in the terms and conditions of a gay relationship? How about using the urinal in a nightclub toilet, fit lad on the left, fit lad on the right, both putting on a show… Is it okay to join in? Is it any different to a lonely night at home on the computer when you stumble across a video clip that you happen to have downloaded back when you were single and going through a sailor fetish period…tissues on hand?

What I would like is some guidebook, some clearly spelt out terms and conditions (possibly with diagrams) that will once and for all clear up the situation.

Straight men in a gym sauna are not likely to wank together, similarly straight men at the same urinal are unlikely to wank together… So our straight counterparts are generally not exposed to these sorts of situations that same sex attracted folk are. They don’t need clear guidelines. We can’t turn to the breeders for help here.

Perhaps in our terms and conditions we would need lots of loopholes and break clauses. Maybe mutual wanking outside of the relationship would not be permitted…unless you didn’t go looking for it, and you just happen to find yourself in such a situation. I mean it would be rude not to participate, right?

As gay men regularly comment, people who are straight have this expectation that gay men are generally seedy, and can not commit to a wholesome monogamous relationship. Gay TV shows like Queer as Folk (US version) painted Brian, the more handsome, popular and generally well admired character to be a man whore. Over the top TV personalities, i.e. BBC’s Graham Norton behaves and carries on like he would pounce on any good looking boy with a pulse.

Has this behaviour become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Do we cheat and fool around because we should? Because that’s the way were expected to? Or, are gay men generally more insecure than others? We need to know that ‘we’ve still got it’, that people still consider us to be attractive and if we really wanted to could pull a shag with the click of our fingers?