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Published on November 16th, 2012 | by Healthy Gay Lifestyles

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Like, Love, Lust, Gay Relationship Types

by Jim Duke, GuideforGayMen.com

Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger – on the other side of the grocery aisle, at the far end of the bar or even across a crowded room. You feel the magnetic pull towards him. Your breath catches, your pulse races, your heart beats, your palms sweat and you may even feel a very pleasant stirring in your happy places. You may draw up fantasies of romantic evenings, sharing time at a football game or sweaty sessions between the sheets. What draws two men together, and is it the same for other gay men? When the magnet turns on, what is it that pulls us towards another man?

Let’s begin with the simple premise that we are all different. From eye color to height, from personal tastes to sexual interests, the key common element that defines gay men is their attraction to the same sex. Beyond that, how that attraction is manifested and acted upon and what draws us together is as varied as we are. We all have our physical ideals – some based on our own past experiences, some formed by our social notions of what is “supposed” to be appealing, and some by the magical chemistry that forms the turn-on centers in our brains. The same thing applies to the types of relationships we seek. Not all gay men are seeking the same thing. Do you generally look for a lot of sexual experiences with other men, or are you more drawn to the idea of a romantic connection with just one person? Does a committed relationship appeal to you or would you be just as happy with affectionate friends? In relationships, what draws you most – like, love or lust?

Relationships can be Homo-Affectional…

If you are more drawn to affectionate relationships, you want a close bond with another guy and it doesn’t necessarily have to be based on sex, or even include it. Yes, there actually are strong gay relationships where sex is not the primary factor. You may be more likely drawn to relationships where friendship and affection are the key foundations. The term “bromance” has been coined for affectionate bonds between men that are not primarily sexual in nature. That’s not to imply that sex doesn’t occur, but rather that physical acts like hand holding, cuddling, and kissing are what most appeal to you. If those things don’t occur, you’re less likely to feel satisfied by the relationship and feel like something is missing from the connection.

Relationships can be Homo-Emotional…

If you are more emotionally based, your feelings rule and your heart leads. When you meet someone with whom you feel that spark, you may develop feelings for him quickly. You may fantasize about the loving life you might create together and the joy you will share together… even before dessert is served. Sex and other forms of physical intimacy become an expression of how you feel towards the other person – rather than a hump-a-rama, you are far more interested in “making love.” It may even be difficult for you to be sexually intimate with another person unless there is some feeling involved, and engaging in sex automatically raises feelings for you..

Relationships can be Homo-Sexual…

The head between your legs rules if sexual relationships are your primary drive. You would just as soon avoid kissing, you couldn’t care less about buddying up and you don’t have any desire to walk hand in hand off into the sunset. Get it on, get it in and get it off. The physical act is your goal and sometimes it can mean nothing more than engaging with body parts. The actual person – what he thinks and feels – may not matter all that much to you. There may be a desire to connect more deeply, but sex is seen as the path to achieve that goal. You may believe that if the sex isn’t good, then anything more in a relationship is not worth the effort.

Please note that these are extremes and presented as such. They are also not mutually exclusive – many gay men truly want a combination of friendship, love and hot sex in their relationships . Where this becomes a stumbling block is if you are unclear about the types of relationship you truly want, or if you are looking for it in the wrong place. There is an old adage that you cannot purchase bread in a hardware store. For example, if your goal is a deep meaningful relationship, you are probably not likely to find it on a site that caters to the hook up crowd, just as placing listings on sites that promote romantic matches is less likely to get you a bunch of sexual playmates.

Finding the relationships you want takes time, patience and sometimes a bit of endurance. The greatest factor in successfully finding those relationships is being clear about what you really want. Too often I have seen men promote themselves in such a general or vague way, hoping that if they spread a wide net then something will get caught along the way. Be clear about who you are and what you want. And if it isn’t clear to you, then a gay life coach may be of help to you in sorting it out, so that you have a better chance of getting what you really want out of life and finding the kind of relationships that most match what you want and need.

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Jim Duke is the Founder and President of “Guide For Gay Men,” a service which provides personal life coaching and consultation primarily to older gay and bisexual men. Navigating the issues involved in coming out, dealing with relationships, love and sex and the transitions of careers, life decisions and aging can be daunting… unless you have someone experienced to help guide you. Contact Jim and read what he has to say on these and other topics at G4GM.com.

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