Create a Marriage or Relationship Contract
Even within the institution of legal marriage, gay men often choose non-traditional relationship models. Some men do choose sexual exclusivity, but others feel they can have open relationships. I’m often asked if I “believe” in open relationships. I don’t have any belief about relationships except that what two people choose for themselves is their business. I will say that open relationships are not likely to work if there are no discussed parameters to guide the relationship or if the openness involves lying and cheating. I have worked with many gay male couples to establish an open (or closed) relationship contract that details the guidelines for the couple’s sex lifestyle. Well contracted open relationships can work if both partners want and agree to the same terms because sexual fidelity is not the same as emotional fidelity. The contract is used to protect the emotional fidelity while allowing for sexual openness. I also do premarital counseling to help couples with their decision about legal marriage and how to customize both the ceremony and the marriage itself to fit their own unique relationship requirements.