Social Question

ariah's avatar

I need to know what a gay relationship is like.

Asked by ariah (360 points ) January 19th, 2012

I am writing a book on a gay couple and I need to know if I am getting the details right. Pretty much, I ned to know how or if it differs from a straight one. Could I get some help from some of the homosexual jellyfish in the collective please? Thank you!

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12 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

If you have to ask, maybe a gay couple is not the best subject for your book.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

It’s like a “normal” relationship.
But with two dudes/two women.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Considering this is your second question on this subject, and it appears you are unfamiliar with this subject, my advice: Stick to what you know.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m gay, but I’m not in a relationship. My ideas about one, however, are no different than being in a heterosexual relationship. I expect love, companionship, shared experiences, differing ideas, etc.

Congratulations on your decision to write a book. It’s a tough job.

Aethelflaed's avatar

(Female bisexual) It’s a little bit different from straight ones. Especially in certain environments, I have to constantly re-access if it’s worth it to make my relationship known. Out at brunch in a fairly liberal neighborhood, it’s probably going to be ok to refer to that person as my girlfriend (or wife), to be kinda cuddly and holding hands and greet each other with a kiss, just like straight couples. But at work, especially if the boss already doesn’t care for me that much (and thus could use things like “is incompetent at job” to find a legal way to fire me), maybe it isn’t, or maybe I need to ease my boss and coworkers into that, and I have to consider if the political stance is more important or my ability to pay my rent. I also don’t have as many role models for what healthy relationships look like, and for who does what, and I can’t just assume things. For example, women are normally taught to flirt but not technically make the first move, so there are lots of times where both of us will be playing with our hair and bra strap, gently touching the other’s arm, all that stuff, but then neither will actually say the phrase, “Would you care to get dinner with me some time?” Or for if someone’s going to stay home as a parent, you just know that’s going to be a conversation, not something you can assume at all (whereas some hetero couples do follow traditional gender roles).

You also are with a partner who has certain shared experiences with you that you don’t have in a straight couple. I never have to explain to a female partner why she shouldn’t assume that if there’s a problem, I must be PMSing. Or, how often I worry about rape, and how that effects my behavior; even if she looks at rape differently than I do, it’s not this largely foreign concept to her the way it is for almost all of my male partners. And sometimes, you can share stuff, like clothes, hair products, jewelry… I have yet to ask a male partner if he’d like to wear my green chandelier earrings and then have that turn into sexy times.

Blueroses's avatar

Any relationship is as variable as the individuals involved. I would concentrate on the personalities of the people you are writing and let them guide where the relationship goes rather than starting with the objective of “writing a gay relationship”.

Best of luck with your process.

jerv's avatar

Based on what I’ve seen, @blueroses is correct that they are as variable as the people involved. Some same-sex couples have the added complications that @Aethelflaed brings up, others don’t care who knows what they are doing in the bedroom or what others think of it. But homosexuals are people too, and thus have the same problems as us straight folks. I’m sure many in the LGBT comunity argue about finances, what to have for dinner, and that sort of stuff.

@Aethelflaed I know many straight people who don’t have any role models for a healthy relationship either, so don’t think that you are in the dark there just because you are bi.

jonsblond's avatar

I really don’t have much new to add to the discussion, only experience I can share with family members who are gay. My sister is 47 and a lesbian. She has been in a few long term relationships with her current relationship lasting for 7 years now. My BIL is 38 and has been with the same man for 18 years. My aunt is 70 and has been with her partner for at least 35 years now. The only thing that stands out from these relationships and any relationship a heterosexual has is acceptance from those who are homophobic. And unfortunately some of those people who are homophobic are family members.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@jerv And I didn’t mean to suggest that all straight people have tons of resources, but that there are more resources for straight people than there are for LGBT folks. It’s fairly easy to find a young adult novel about a straight couple, finding a young adult novel about a homosexual couple is much harder, and even harder still to find a young adult novel about a homosexual couple where the couple doesn’t break up in the end. People are shaped by their experiences, and the LGBT experience is not the same as the straight experience; to keep saying that LGBT relationships are in every way the exact same as straight people’s save for how sexy times happens is homogenizing and stifles insight into the various differences and lived experiences people have.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not gay, but the gay people I do know seem basically the same as couples as straight couples. A gay man once said to me that lesbian couples are more committed and faithful than gay men; and he added because there is a man in the relationship; same with straight couples. But, honestly that very same man has very long term relationships since I have known him, lasting years at a time. Most gay men I know are in long term relationships, and very committed, and normal everyday average home lives and relationships.

jerv's avatar

@Aethelflaed I don’t recall either of us actually saying that they are exactly the same, if for no reason other than heterosexual relationships are highly variable as well. And look how many straight couples actually break up too. (Anyone, straight or otherwise, who bases their notion of a healthy relationship on novels has problems anyways but that is a separate discussion.)

You do face a few issues that I never will, but you also face issues that some of my gay friends don’t either. Every relationship is different enough to where the genders (or quantities!) of the parties involved are no guide to how the relationship actually is. In other words, there is no “stereotypical” relationship, and thus no real practical differences based solely on orientation.

judochop's avatar

I think what everyone seems to be asking in a round about way is that we or at least I would need more specifics and details to properly answer your question. Do you mean perhaps, are there pressures received by gay couples that straight couples do not see? What type of book are you writing? Who is your audience?

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