LGBTQIA Relationships and Dating - Healthcare Guild

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Polyamory, Bisexuality, Living Single, Asexuality, and Alternative Relationship Constructs

Dr. Jeffrey T. Parsons, director of Hunter College's Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), worked with a team of researchers to investigate a relatively unexplored area of social research: monogamy and commitment among gay and bisexual men. After surveying over 800 gay and bisexual men in the New York City area, Dr. Parsons and his team found that "the diversity in types of non-monogamous relationships was interesting.... Typically gay men have been categorized as monogamous or not, and our data show that it is not so black and white." CHEST explains on its website:

CHEST's survey indicated that about 60% were single. Of those partnered, about 58% were in monogamous relationships. Of those that were non-monogamous, 53% were in open relationships, and 47% were in "monogamish" relationships (i.e., couples that have sex with others as a couple such as "threeways" or group sex).

These findings are not unique, and New York City's gay and bi men aren't the only ones engaging in these behaviors. In 2010 researchers at San Francisco State University carried out a similar study that revealed just how common open relationships are among partnered gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. As The New York Times reported, "The Gay Couples Study ... followed 556 male couples for three years -- about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners." That figure is remarkably similar to what CHEST found.

Now, I know what you are thinking: These can't possibly be happy, healthy relationships, right? Well, here's what CHEST's survey found:

Men in fully monogamous partnerships showed significantly less illicit drug use and significantly reduced sexual health risk when compared to all other groups of men (single, open, and "monogamish"), suggesting a benefit to monogamy. But CHEST's findings also indicated that non-monogamous partnerships provide other types of benefits to gay and bisexual men. Men in "monogamish" relationships indicated lower rates of depression and higher life satisfaction when compared to single gay men.

Dr. Parsons added, "Our findings suggest that certain types of non-monogamous relationships -- especially 'monogamish' ones -- are actually beneficial to gay men, contrary to assumptions that monogamous relationships are always somehow inherently better."...

  1. *The results of the CHEST study "Alternatives to Monogamy Among Gay Male Couples in a Community Survey: Implications for Mental Health and Sexual Risk," by Jeffrey T. Parsons, Tyrel J. Starks, Steve DuBois, Christian Grov and Sarit Golub, will be published in this February's issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Polyamory Forum at

Welcome to the discussion boards! These boards are intended to provide a forum for those folks who are polyamorous or
poly-curious. We welcome poly folk of every orientation--hetero, GLBT, pansexual, asexual, or anything else--and involved in every sort of poly tangle--vee, triad, quad, circle, network, whatever.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom On-Line Directory for Kink-Aware Health Professionals

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is committed to creating a political, legal and social environment in the US that advances equal rights for consenting adults who engage in alternative sexual and relationship expressions. (such as Kink, BDSM, Leather, Swing, etc.).

KAP is a resource for people who are seeking psychotherapeutic, medical, and legal professionals who are informed about the diversity of consensual, adult sexuality.  In the past decade, alternative sexual expression has become much more visible to the general public. As we continue to move into the streets of mainstream America, we face an increasing number of attacks against our right to freedom of sexual expression....

Alternative Families and Relationships

The best thing about The Ethical Slut is that it’s that rare, good self-help book, like that rare good friend, the one who gives you advice that actually works to get you what you want (not just what’s “best” for you, but what you want!), and doesn’t judge you. Janet and Dossie (longtime lovers, best friends, and collaborators who have never lived together, and have continued their partnership through many other relationships) think I’m completely wonderful and fantastic just the way I am, not in some dumb “be all that you can be” way, but because they think people in general are pretty great. They think my body is adorable and sexy. They think there are people out there who would love to connect with me and be in my life. They don’t think anything about me is defective, at all. They don’t even think all the weird, complicated, impossible things I want mean that something is wrong with me. They don’t want me to settle for anything, sexually or otherwise, although they would like me to toss any kind of checklist out the window and open my mind and heart to connecting with people who might not fit into a tired, misguided ideal of beauty or success. They want me to figure out what I want, and to go and get it. The old myths about what “everybody knows” don’t have to be true.

On “living single”: “The important thing is to be aware of your needs and wants, so you can go about getting them met with full consciousness… Do not commit yourself to a lifetime of hinting and hoping. When you figure out what you want and ask for it, you’ll be surprised how often the answer is ‘yes.’” Really? I hope this might be true. The hinting and hoping hasn’t been such a great strategy so far.

On gender roles: “What we can all learn from transgender people is that gender is malleable… If you think this doesn’t apply to you, that you are certain of your gender and that it’s immutable, please consider that a great many people are born with characteristics of both genders: depending on whose definition you use, anywhere from two to seventeen babies out of a thousand are born with chromosomes and/or genitalia that place them somewhere between the extremes of the gender continuum. We’re not generally aware of these people in our midst because their appearance is usually surgically altered early in life… And a great many people whose genitals and chromosomes are all lined up with biological norms nonetheless feel strongly that they would live more happily and appropriately when presenting as a different gender than the one the doctor assigned them at birth… Gender-queer people -- those who choose to live their lives somewhere between the usual gender roles -- are softening the boundaries of gender and demonstrating what life without binary gender might look like.” Yes! And, thank god.

On marriage: “If we ran the world, we would abolish marriage as a legal concept, allowing people to enter into contract relationships as allowed by the perfectly adequate laws that already govern other forms of legal partnerships.” Me too!

On monogamy: “We believe that monogamy will continue to thrive as it always has, a perfectly valid choice for those who truly choose it. (We don’t think it’s much of a choice when you are forbidden to choose anything else.)”

On sex: “Are you having sex right now? Yes, you are, and so are we… We think that the question of when you’re having sex is actually sort of meaningless. Sexual energy pervades everything all the time; we inhale it into our lungs and exude it from our pores… We think erotic energy is everywhere… We have had long, intense, intimate conversations that felt deeply sexual to us. And we have had intercourse that didn’t feel terrible sexual. Our best definition here is that sex is whatever the people engaging in it think it is.”

On sex books: “When you sit down to write a book about sex, as we hope you one day will, you will discover that centuries of censorship have left us with very little adequate language with which to discuss the joys and occasional worries of sex.” Janet and Dossie want me to write my own book about sex, and I can tell they really mean it! How deliciously (book)slutty of them!

In conclusion: “We want to create a world where everyone has plenty of what they need: of community, of connection, of touch and sex and love… We dream of a world where no one has desires they have no hope of fulfilling, where no one suffers from shame because of their desires, or embarrassment about their dreams, where no one is starving from lack of sex.”

* From: The Bookslut:

Loving More - Supporting Polyamory and Relationship Choice

Polyamory is often misunderstood, as a result people can have challenges with emloyers, family and even custody. Loving More is here with support and help for polyamory people facing discrimination and other issues.  Loving More Mission statement is to: To educate people about
and support polyamory as a valid choice in loving relationships and family lifestyle.  Polyamory is a growing movement and community. Loving More is dedicated to providing information, resources and education relating to polyamory support and awareness. Here you will find basic information on what polyamory is, frequently asked questions, polyamory terminology, poly professionals, polyamory in the news and much more.

Benefits of Polyamory

  1. Multiple people to do things with. Odds are that I'm not going to share all of my interests with a single person. With having multiple partners, however, the odds go up that I'll share more of my interests with someone close to me and be able to further explore them. Also, I get exposed to more new interests with each of my sweeties, increasing my palette.  

  2. Extended support network. When someone in my intimate circle is having a bad day, or experiences a crisis - they have several people to lean on. And, conversely, no one person is taxed out on giving support, because that support is spread out. 

  3. Increased self-awareness. Intimate relationships act like mirrors we hold up to ourselves. And the reflection we see back in each relationship is slightly different, offering a new opportunity to discover something about ourselves. Having multiple intimate relationships gives us multiple perspectives to compare and contrast. 

  4. Learning new things about a loved one. The flip side to the above is that when your loved one is experiencing multiple partners, they are learning new things about themselves. In that process, you get a very unique opportunity to see your loved one through someone else's eyes and perhaps realize new things about them. 

  5. Sexual Variety. Yes, I do admit it.. the opportunity to explore a variety of sexual interests is a really cool part of polyamory, even if that isn't my drive for having multiple relationships.

  6. Increased Individuality. In a coupled relationship, it's really easy to slip into a couplecentric identity - of always doing things together, having the same friends, and having a unit identification. When you're involved in multiple relationships, you base more of your identity on who you are, not by your relationship(s).  It's really hard for someone to identify me as part of 'FritzandCherie' when they know that I have other sweeties important in my life.  

  7. Personal Development. There's nothing like having multiple partners to call you on your bullshit. In polyamory there's a lot less room for personal insecurities and co-dependent communication patterns. When you have multiple people who you're close with, who also communicate with each other in some form, you just simply can't hide from your negative aspects and have to deal with them. 

From: Serolynne - Benefits of Polyamory:

Why Trinogamy works in tough Economic Times

By now, you've probably known someone that's been laid off, had their pay cut, or is dealing with a serious loss in value on their home, if not foreclosure. Living in the US has become more expensive, while wages just have not kept up. There are so many struggling couples out there. Imagine if you could change all that by adding another partner to your relationship and to your household. With some love, planning and communication, you could successfully have money for all of your wants and needs as well as divide up responsibilities to find time for each other, personal interests, and children (if desired). As times change, we need to explore new options for the American family, and not limit ourselves based on what worked in the past. Today is vastly different than those times.

NYC Polyamorous Resources

Polyamory is a fairly new word. The definition is currently very fluid. What the word means to one person may not mean the same thing to another. The following list references several sources and their concept of the term: Long-term, romantically committed, multiple partner relationship.

Means many loves, and refers to relationship styles of responsible non-monogamy. We count many different configurations of relationships in polyamory, but they have in common honesty and consensuality. While some polyfolk are straight couples who agree they can have other lovers, we also welcome singles, triads, quads, networks, tribes, bi, gay, and transgendered folk -- whatever works for you, as long as it's not based on lying and cheating.

Means "many loves." Briefly, a polyamorous person is one who feels it is natural to romantically love more than just one person at a time. A polyamorous person may have more than one person that s/he considers to be a "spouse," for example. Polyamory is about love, without constraint by the dictates of society, defined only by the parameters that we, as individuals, impose upon it.

Alternative Families and Relationships

PolyAmory 101 - Terminology for Poly Relationships

Love That - Alternative Relationship Structures - Poly-Resources / Bibliography

Non-Monogamy / Asexual Intimate Lifestyles

Polyamory and Relationship Choices - Love More

The Polyamory Society

Poly-Relationship Agreement - Polyamory Society

Alternatives to Marriage Project -

Poly Weekly - Poly Related News Feeds

Loving More Poly Parenting Discussion Group

How to Screw Up a Poly Relationship - A Facetious Guide To Dysfunction

NCSF - National Coalition for Sexual Freedom

CARAS - Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities

NFNC - Network for a New Culture - Evolution of Human Community

Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund

WSFA - Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance

Human Awareness Institute - Love and Intimacy Workshops

The Body Electric Workshops - Men’s Erotic Healing of Body Image and Sexuality

Gay Love - Sex, Spirit and Tantra

Bisexual Identities

According to BiNet USA, “Because of ignorance, outdated cultural norms and a lot of harmful misinformation, coming to an understanding of your sexuality can be highly confusing. People often feel a lot of pressure to choose - to define themselves as being gay or straight or lesbian. But you might feel that you do not fit any of these categories, you may notice that you have sexual and romantic feelings about people of your own and
the other genders. These feelings may indicate you are fluid, pansexual, bisexual or in some ways queer-identified. Keep in mind, however, that you do not have to 'prove' your sexual-identity to anyone, ther will be no End-Of-Semester Final Exam, no Job Performance Evaluation, it is strictly about you and getting to know your own heart. Being bisexual/pansexual is part of who you are, of what makes you "uniquely you", but it does not dictate that you must then follow the crowd or what some people say about how "people like you" should live your life”... Goto BiNet USA website.


BiNet USA, a 501C3 nonprofit organization, is the oldest national bisexual entity in the United States. It is a network of groups, projects and individuals, encouraging dialogue and participation as a way of creating and maintaining a cohesive bisexual community and empowering individuals to feel proud of their bisexuality.

Download PDF of Task Force - Bisexual Health and Practices for HIV:STI Prevention.pdf

Bisexuality 101 - Q&A on Bisexual Identities (PFLAG)

Bi Magazine - The American Institute of Bisexuality

Bisexual Resource Center (BRC)

All Things Bi

Bi-The-Way - Movie about Teens Sexual Revolution

American Institute of Bisexuality

HRC - Coming out as Being Bisexual

Fenway Institute - Bisexual Resources

Bisexual - Bisexual Q&A on Bi-Identities

Robyn Ochs - Bisexuality Public Speaker and Resources

Bisexual Organizing Project - MN

Bi-Cafe Social Group

Alternative Asexual Identities, Relationships, and Communities

Fellowship for Intentional Community - Alternative Communities

OUR Ecovillage - Sustainable Communities

CoHousing - Sustainable Communities

The Foundation for Community - For those Desiring Community in their Lives - Facilitating Personal and Global Social Evolution

Asexuality General Q&A Regarding Self-Identifying as Asexual

AVEN - The Asexual Visibility and Education Network

APositive.Org - Asexual Discussion Forum

Asexual - Resources on Asexuality

Asexual Explorations - Promoting the Academic Study of Asexuality

Asexual Sexologist

LiveJournal - Asexual Discussion Forum

LiveJournal - Asexual We are - Discussion Forum

Experience Project - Stories from Asexual Identities

Asexuality Unabashed - Blog

Asexual Lesbians - Blog

Celibate Passions - On-Line Dating Site for Those Seeking Non-Sexual Intimate Relationships

Asexual - Platonic Dating Site - Platonic Dating Site

Asexual Pals - Platonic Dating Site

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