The notion that relationships vary solely based on sexuality is obviously simplistic. Every relationship is unique and that’s not at all contingent on sexuality. However, I have noticed a few minor differences between straight and gay relationship that are worth noting. Needless to say, this article is going to be guilty of sweeping generalizations. That being said, let’s get into the ten differences between straight and gay relationships. Since I’m a gay man, some of these only apply to gay men.
1. First Dates
Regardless of whether you’re out, gays, you’ve probably had to hide your sexuality at some point. Because both of us have been closeted, we’re both guilty of deception towards the people we’re closest to. No matter how short that period was, that shared experience facilitates conversation. I realize that shameful secrets are linked to the human experience in general and that straight people have deep, dark secrets as well. However, it wouldn’t be socially appropriate to ask a person to reveal some of their darkest secrets on a first date. That is of course unless you’re asking your date about their closeted homosexuality. For whatever reason, that’s socially acceptable on a first date.
2. Fixed Versus Flexible Roles
Yes, straight men and women can just as easily invert gender roles, but the choice is seen as more of a subversion. In gay relationships, we can be submissive and demure or dominant and overpowering. The roles don’t need to be communicated, because they’re understood. Some heterosexual men and women boldly transgress those norms, while others stick to the safe side of the playground. Either way, the roles are perceived as more fixed in heterosexual relationships. The woman is submissive and the man is dominant. Perhaps that’s an intrinsic characteristic, or perhaps it’s purely a result of social norms. Regardless, each partner should communicate their sexual frustration if they feel restrained by those norms. There are many exceptions to the rule.
Gay people annoy the hell out of me. Despite widespread acceptance, self-victimization still plagues the gay community. Many of my past boyfriends have sometimes fallen casualty to this perplexing trend. Up until now, I’m sure I’ve come across as a gay supremacist, but I can assure you that I’m not. If I could cleanse the world of all the self-pitying boyfriends, I would do it without hesitation. To those people, you’re not the only one who’s struggling to overcome adversity. You should be thankful that you don’t live in one of the seven countries where homosexuality is punishable by death. It is those people we should be fighting for.
As a gay man, before you fully accept your sexuality, there is an initial disgust towards it. And this isn’t due to any deliberate oppression. Rather, gay kissing and sex scenes just aren’t as ubiquitous as straight ones. When gay fantasies begin to consume your mind, there is both a disgust and a carnal craving for them. These conflicting desires are strongest in your first relationship. After sex and in the moments before, you start to question why you have such a strong desire toward an act that you find repulsive. These feelings dissipate as you grow older, but they never completely go away. I’ve heard of straight people abhorring their sexuality, but as far as I know, that’s fairly uncommon. If you’re straight and you disagree, feel free to school me in the comments section.
As a gay man specifically, sex requires preparation. We can’t have a glorious quicky like you guys can. A quick, steamy encounter can’t extend beyond fantasy. However, a gentle, caring touch and a concern for the bottom creates a much more memorable experience. For tops, sex will arouse a newfound admiration for the bottom willing to endure such pain. For bottoms, fully submitting to a person is a new and thrilling experience.
6. No Learning Curve
Having a penis helps in knowing how to pleasure one. Though every penis is different, there are still pleasure centers that presumably most gay men have discovered, giving us a slight edge in the sex department. Additionally, knowing what your partner is feeling generates a different experience. I’m sure at this point the article sounds like some gay elitism, but I’m not using the word different interchangeably with better. The experiences are just different. One is foreign and one is familiar. I’ve experienced both, but of course I’m a bit biased.
7. A Sense Of Community
In addition to the struggle of coming out, being gay means you’re a part of an entire subculture. Yes, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, and not all gay men are obsessed with drag queens. Still, many gay people are heavily devoted to their community. Personally, I avoid defining myself based on my sexuality. This article explores the superficial differences between straight and gay relationships, but it never pontificates that any of these differences go beyond the surface. I can speak from personal experience when I say a boyfriend that defines himself based on his sexuality grows tiresome and dull.
8. Body Positivity
This is something I’ve noticed anecdotally, and I attribute it to the biological enigma of homosexuality. While women are mainly attracted to fit, muscular men, gay men seem to defy that evolutionary trend. In the gay community, there are so many popular subgroups. Bears, twinks and jocks are just a few of them. It isn’t uncommon to see less conventionally attractive bodies getting hoards of attention at the local gay bar. Likewise, plenty of gay relationships consist of two men with completely different body types.
9. Physical Competition
Because men have a physical advantage over women, a pushup competition isn’t as likely to occur in a straight relationship. On the other hand, in a gay relationship a pushup competition between two men is fairly common. Yes, our testosterone filled bodies render us just as competitive as any American male. A desire to showcase our physical prowess to our friends isn’t enough. We also need winning records against our partners as well.
This last addition to the list is directed toward all the men and women who were out before homosexuality was fashionable. They were the true OGs who were brazen and insane enough to encourage others to come out. And look how far we’ve come. Now, a kid can come out in college and generally not have to worry about bullies. Invocations of the Bible are still frequent, but they’re at least civil. Because of those bold people, we can proudly wear our sexuality as an elitist fashion statement. But they of course didn’t have that luxury. Their PDA was undiluted; they weren’t seeking attention. They were just immersed in each other, completely unaware of the disgust from the outside. Those were the days when homosexual martyrs were nonexistent, when gay men and women didn’t have time for self-pity. Those were the days when homosexuality was beautiful.