One of the most functional gay relationships I know is an open one. Both of them are well-educated professionals in their late twenties. They’ve been together for years. I hear one speak of the other and I can’t help but feel jealous. It’s obvious to anyone that they are so in love with each other. But I struggle to understand how they can be so in love whilst in an open relationship.

My theory is that it all comes down to porn. We discover porn during adolescence. Be we gay or straight, every teenage boy seeks it out and finds it in some capacity. It soon becomes a daily routine. As it is a depiction of sex, it has become one of the cornerstones of the gay community. As such, it has become the enemy within.

The problem with porn is that it is (as we all know) a fantasy. It’s not real. Clever make-up tricks, good lighting and flattering camera angles all conspire to create that which is impossible to mimic every moment of the day and night. But what we see on our laptop screens are people having sex – which is a reality.

The struggle that so many of us seem to have with monogamy is that we expect the sexual aspect of a relationship to live up to the fantasy of porn.

Once the novelty of our new boyfriends wear off, our minds drift to the fulfilment we could potentially receive from someone else. That someone else – he could be that little bit more aggressive. He might do that one thing your boyfriend casually mentioned in passing that he would never do. He might even have a six-pack. To me, the allure of “what could be” is why I actively chose not to pursue relationships at university – where binge drinking, casual sex and drugs were not only accepted, but also encouraged.

Porn is so easily accessed now that it’s effects have become diluted. We seek images and videos that are more explicit. So the choice has expanded. Most porn sites now categorise their videos into subgenres. This has caused us to develop sexual profiles.

We all have to be ‘into something’ nowadays.

I recall back at university (a time when I actively decided I wanted to be promiscuous to the frequency of about one guy a fortnight) I met a guy in a club and he asked me back to his. He was attractive and just as drunk as I was so I agreed. We started talking flirtatiously about our preferences for a solid twenty-five minutes.

Alas, when I said I wasn’t prepared to indulge his foot fetish, he just said: “ah, cheers anyway, mate. See ya.” I saw him a few hours later as I was leaving the club. He was sat on his own, typing voraciously on Grindr.

Like Jordan Lohan, I couldn’t handle an open relationship. He says he doesn’t like to share, as he is an only child. I myself am the fourth of five children. Growing up, everything that was mine would eventually have to be split five ways. I feel as though I have shared enough. A boyfriend/husband would have to be for me and me alone. But in terms of taking our model of monogamy from straight people, this is something I struggle with.

Yes, I am one of five. But my parents married when they were very young back in the 1970s and had five children between 1978 to 1990. In my twenty five years of life, I’ve only heard them argue four times and they are still happily married to this day. How could I ever possibly live up to that perfect example of monogamy?

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As a gay twenty-something man in 2014, it makes me think that the definition of monogamy does not vary by sexuality, but more our generation.

The pure simplicity and convenience with which we can watch porn is a testament to our growing technology. But have technological advances coincided with the cultural acceptance of homosexuality at the worst possible time?

We still face a lot of discrimination.

But in the Western world, we are more accepted than ever before. Had this acceptance come about in the ’70s and ’80s, we may not struggle with monogamy now. In decades past, it was so much easier for gay men to have casual sex in secrecy than it was to have a relationship with the same discretion. Had we been accepted way back when, it might have given us a chance to master monogamy before the advent of porn showed us what we were supposedly missing.

Porn is everywhere and all sexualities access it. The ease with which it can be accessed, and the frequency feed us a lie about a ‘world of options’. Why buy the cow when we can just have the milk?

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Porn has lied to us. It just created the illusion that we’re just too spoilt for choice.

 

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.