Sprinting; I hadn’t sprinted since Little Athletics. Even then I wasn’t very good. Yet there I was, a 24-year-old with two grocery bags full of belongings, tripping over my skinny jeans like a drunken giraffe trying to escape a starved lion.
There I was – sprinting away from my man.
After being together for two years, it was the new password on his phone that roused my suspicion. And with a single lapse in his concentration I cracked it and was scrolling through his texts. There, listed only with the suburb the other cock lived in, was this: “I hope we can do it again, I want to see your face next time.”
My first thought was surprisingly logical, like a child asking when their dog will be home after hearing it was hit by a car: “Well that’s silly. Why didn’t he delete this?” Then it fell upon me. Perhaps not shattered but squished. It was as if our relationship was a sponge that had soaked up expensive wine and now was being wrung dry. My arms shook and snot exploded out of my face like a Play-Dough toy being sat on by a fat baby. Even I was struck by how melodramatically I reacted because, to be frank, I’ve already written this article in reverse.
It had only been a year since I’d cheated on him. Since then we’d worked on things, started laughing again, having good nights and great sex. Perhaps comfort is the killer? Anyway, here we are tit for tat, an eye for an eye, a cheat for the cheated despite his promise it would never be that way.
We seem to have trouble with keeping our dicks in our pants, us gays. Perhaps it’s one of the few traits we share with our heterosexual brothers. Although, with double the testosterone at play, the speed of our transaction is near immediate. This, I believe, is the basis of how my boyfriend came to cheat on me. My physical or emotional absence that week was justification enough for him to click, sign-up or swipe on to any of the many cruising applications, those desperately simple fuck-finding devices that remove any lingering questions of intent while you peruse the meat-market. And it’s that understanding which is unique to The Gay. Yes, the straights have their cute matchmaking sites, chat lines and Blendr, but we have mastered it. We have embraced it with such tenacity that even couples now simply keep Grindr on their phones after they’ve gotten into a relationship.
Constant cruising and eternal flirting has become an in-built element of homosexuality and, in my self-righteous, recently-cheated-upon opinion, stands as another kick in the balls to the idea of monogamy.
Sorry, I should have put a language warning on this. Yes, I believe in monogamy.
My friends did what any good friends do in this situation: tolerated my crying, wheezing and oinking, got me drunk, served up pity and empathy by the barrel full. But then came this gem:
“Well monogamy isn’t ‘natural’, is it Brendan?”
More surprising than what was where this sentence came from. Sure I had fantasised about open relationships before, read about them in BUTT Magazine and in interviews with famous jet-setting gays, but only then had it materialised as a direct option for my life from the mouths of my dearest and most respected friends. If they think it’s right then maybe I was the one who had been doing it all wrong all this time?
For the most part I agree. I am astutely aware that two people – let alone two fags – can hardly wish for the lifelong relationships of swans. The concept of monogamy has become a joke, a distant relic. We use it with disdain in sentences along with words such as compliant, text-book and hetero-normative.
As open relationships begin to gain popularity, hoping for monogamy has become something I’m ashamed of, something I hide. A trip away, a busy schedule or simply not being in the same room means the other person has a chance to cheat but to hell with you if you have the gall to raise concerns about it.
What right do you have being merely the subject of someone’s love? What right do you have to stop them from releasing their jizz cannon upon the world? The open relationship rulebook is still a fairly new release that currently looks a little like this:
Only once / twice / thrice with any gay. Never / always tell me everything. Only / not with friends. Only in a different country / state / town / clubs / rooms.
Needless to say, getting advice on how to start an open relationship is about as safe as writing a PhD using Wikipedia. It does genuinely work for some people. Dan Savage sold it best with a retort to Stephen Colbert’s accusation that open relationships constituted as cheating.
“Is it really cheating if the man I love is on the other side of the guy I’m sleeping with?” he asked.
But it’s with a heavy heart that I discuss these ideas at all, terrified that my boyfriend will be excited and relieved that I’ve finally “modernised” my heart. So here I am, a closeted lover, my dirty little secret being that I just want to love and make love to one person at a time and that maybe, just maybe, they only want to love me.
I have one decent defence for monogamy, being that keeping yourself for your fella could lead to the most incredible sex of your life. That as time passes you will explore different, deeper, desirable things. That in the place of immediate, drunken, intensity is long-lasting romance coupled with mind-blowing, loving fucking.
Yes, we need sex and flirting in our everyday life. We need it to be good but sometimes we just need a cuddle. And we both know no one on ManHunt has a profile which reads: “Emotional rock, shoulder to lean on and I know exactly where you want me to put my tongue.”
Alternatively, fuck all this shit and stay single.
Brendan’s latest music video Only Only has just been released. Check it out:
Brendan is a regular presenter at Triple J, a singer and an actor. He is also an obsessive compulsive Tweeter – you should follow him here. You might also enjoy Brendan’s other posts on Mamamia: