5SEX AND THE MARRIED MAN:
When circumstances lead a married man to explore the dating world of gay men there is legitimate reason for the single gay men he encounters to wonder why. But why? Indeed why not? I’ve refreshed my double old fashioned glass with a handsome pour of bourbon to help me answer just that question. Should you do likewise I assure you it would be an observance of best practices… I should not assume straightway there is anything wrong with dating a married man as long as all parties involved are satisfied with the outcome. By all-parties I am referencing the married man, his male/female partner and the single gay man completing the cast.
Many people tend to categorize the intimate arrangement also known as an open relationship as problematic assuming it constitutes a fundamental evil. Typically this assumption has been made without actually vetting out the circumstances at hand. That would require a more intimate understanding of the human variables involved consisting of facts and emotions which are unavailable to the casual observer. For this reason it is best to ignore dogmatic biases when evaluating human lifestyles. It could take an ideological transformation for some people to objectively comprehend the interpersonal dynamics. But it could only make sense if it were accompanied by a basic familiarity with the specific circumstances that defined the relationship. For this reason I have always kept my distance from gossip…
There are two types of open relationships but only one of the two qualifies as actually open. When a married man cultivates a relationship with a single gay man without the knowledge or consent of his partner he has established a blind-open relationship. When a married man establishes a relationship with a single gay man with the knowledge and consent of his partner he cultivates an open relationship.
Transparency is the mature, civilized way to cultivate an open relationship. If you look closely it is clear that such an arrangement in spite of its tendency toward public admission is truly a personal phenomenon. Its inner sanctum typically exists as a covenant between two primary partners one or both of whom initiate sub-contracts with additional parties in a pyramidal matrix leaving the primary couple at the top of the food chain. As exotic as this may sound it is actually quite typical of the singles world regardless of sexual orientation. The model, simplified as a triangle relies on each person for structural and emotional stability and for this reason the entire ménage must be evaluated from a triple parallax. To some that is its fatal complication. To others it defines the threshold to simplicity. The pyramid necessarily excludes some parties from full access to the cache of associative benefits, whatever those may consist of but that is also an integral part of the buy-in.
Consider this poetic fable:
“A married man, his spouse and a single gay man are performing an impressive tabletop dance. The two table legs barely sustaining the vigorous show hazard a glimpse of the ensuing, precarious fate when the two legs break under the weight of the three dancers. The drunken crowd watches noisily waiting for gravity to end the show revising an old, outdated phrase, “it takes three to tango… but WHOA!”.”
As a mature gentleman in my early fifties I have noticed an increasing frequency in propositions from married/committed men the identites of whom shall of course remain a mystery. To this unexpected but much appreciated attention I now raise a toast! Flattery however shall get a handsome sigh of regret since I have never had the temperament to follow up on all the offers. Like my single, gay brothers who I am certain absorb the majority of these entreatments I find myself wondering where this trend comes from, where it will and could go; does anyone know?
Just for the record I have consistently rejected these offerings primarily because it contradicts my gentlemanly ethics and it unbalances the positive nature of the spiritual karma I have worked so handsomely to cultivate. Let me clarify that my personal choice has nothing to do anyone else’s, with either religion or any specific brand of blind-faith, it is not a penance suffered to absolve past sins of the flesh. I find it quite sexy to know I have past sins of the flesh… they validate me as a normal, sexual being. That being clarified allow me to affirm that if I ever slept with a married man, (and I have), I made it the most enjoyable fall from grace a brotha could ever survive…. Cheers to that revelation because while living my life I’m not adding up my sins I am simply enjoying them?
So what does a brotha do when propositioned to digress from his good common sense? Does he call his father for gentlemanly advice, does he consult his well-worn first-edition of Emily Post? He just has to look the married men in the eye and let him know where he stands! But before you do be certain you know where you stand!
Were it not for the singular fact every married man has already betrothed their plight, an unfortunate and tragically poetic Shakespearian folly, I should certainly invite them to make the most creative love our imaginations could conceive. If you agree please raise another toast! “To indulgences! may they all be orgasmically sexy!”
To be erotically honest I do look forward to breaking my own rules on occasion, to moral deconstructions and ethical erosions as they make for an interesting memoir. Also they serve to keep our egos in perspective reminding us that we are imperfect. A well planned sin here and there works to balance the equation wherein man measures himself against notions of perfection. Erotic keepsakes housed in the mind become handy when sex is but a memory... if we are fortunate enough to live that long we will see…
Whether by mature conviction or pure folly my decision to limit myself to platonic relationships with married men speaks directly from my philosophy as a man. And I find a double shot of Kentucky bourbon-whiskey helps… I have stepped back from critique refusing to judge any man’s personal journey and redirecting that energy to assert the power of my gentlemanly values in this life’s journey. Standing back from oneself, watching yourself live is a potent draught. Yet so few of us appear to be strong enough to stomach it…
A man who fails to understand and live his own philosophy is not a complete man he is a pupal-man, a vacant-body, a voyeur, or an automaton… he is as close to being soulless as anyone could be…
The pool of available, single men between 40 and 60 has become such a rarefied draught simply by attrition leaving the subset of single, mature men even smaller. Add the personal filters that determine attraction and then step back to assess what remains… be careful choosing your poison! Love is such a private road. Clearly the absence of attractive options has created a demand on both sides of the curve. I believe it’s safe to assume many married men realize they are considered to be a desirable commodity for the consumption of single men and vice versa. What’s often lost in translation is the human side. Sex often drives the attraction but there are other human variables that surface as primary players when the matter is placed under a microscope. Specifically the third wheel in an open relationship is typically left floating in limbo without advocacy. Typically the third wheel is either oblivious and/or locked-out form the details through the craftiness of the first wheel, AKA the husband. Of course as the model becomes more pathological all parties save the married man are blind-pawns feeding a megalomaniacal ego. That’s clearly the down side of sexual deception but human to its core...
That is where I step in. As a gentleman I assume responsibility for protecting the integrity of the Third party be they a wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever the case… If a married man approaches me to participate in the violation of his vows, his associative contractual responsibilities, as a gentleman I am foresworn to decline. Until I can confirm that third parties are not being hurt everything is placed on hold! Such sterling chivalry leaves a man to wonder how he ever got the idea to turn such potentially good sex down. Were it not for the fact I have enjoyed a rich and plentiful sex and philosophical life I should probably never have realised this epiphany. Managing that potential is really what maturity is all about. This includes being real about human weakness imperfect as I am…. I know I may succumb to desire and if that is my karma I will explore it to its fullest, guiltless and lustily so! Human frailty my friend is forgivable but predatory thirstiness is patently ungentlemanly!
The needle spins in both directions, a single gay man who targets married men and a married man who targets single gay men are both predatory driven by ungentlemanly motives. A gentleman must assume it is not allright to become an accessory in the violation of a married man’s vows and verbal/nonverbal covenant with his partner. There is a difference between a premeditated outcome and happenstance. When the latter occurs a gentleman has time to reason his way out of trouble. However the former scenario rather finds him in its pursuit. The lesson is that we will not always mind our superego and we will potentially fail to act as a gentleman at some point. It is the heavier weight of those times when we have lived up to our ideals that should always supercede any guilt. Guilt can either be a crutch allowing us to perpetuate something bad or an inspiration to do better!
Exploring my own philosophical ideals has taught me how difficult it is to live the gentlemanly life. I accept what successes I achieve building upon them as I grow in wisdom. My sacrifices have only implications for me… my spiritual buy-in is not in any way connected to that of any other man. The overlay connecting my personal ethics with other men is how I choose to interact with them. I only judge my actions. My interpretation of the proper application of the gentlemanly arts affects those men to whom my life might serve as an example. Therefore I live as an example to others poised along a similar journey.
I conclude this essay on gentlemanly etiquette advising that it is ungentlemanly to cultivate anything save the most platonic friendship with a married man. A gentleman must honor and respect another mans vows even if that man fails to respect them. A gentleman’s duty is to respect family! A gentleman will never undermine a family in fact it is his responsibility to help to strengthen it should he find weaknesses. Raise this simple virtue as a toast celebrating sex and the single man!
Written by BIGDADDY BLUES