Two underlying ideas connect the stories that my interviewees told me and the larger stories that I have told in the foregoing chapters. They are first, a propensity for gay men to conform to existing, mostly heterosexual patterns of relationships, and second, to create relationships that more closely suit their circumstances and needs. These impulses to conform to heterosexual norms or to create new patterns of relations and behaviour mean that the relational lives of gay men are both similar to and different from those of the heterosexual majority. Gay relationships that are similar makes them easy for outsiders to identify and understand; those that are different require outsiders to take more time to understand them. I hope this book goes some way to help gay men understand the variety of relationship types available to them and where those came from that are different from the relationships their straight friends enjoy and why they were fashioned the way they are. I hope also it goes some way to help straight readers understand the reasons for gay relationships being as they are and why they were created both in the shape of heterosexual relationships and differently in order to suit gay men’s social and sexual needs.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.