One of the things that gay and bi men seem very divided about is gay promiscuity. As a culture we are far more open about sex than the norm. Yet, sometimes that openness gets out of balance. Sex like any pleasurable thing can become addictive.
Is Gay Promiscuity Wrong?
On one side of the argument we have men who believe that we have fought long and hard to move outside the expected norms of our society. That free sexuality is one of the gifts we bring to the world. They see men who don’t agree as over-burdened by negative programming about sex. They believe all queer men should challenge heterosexual norms.
On the other side are the men who believe that gay promiscuity is wrong. While many of these men are religious, some simply see overt sexuality within the gay community as a sign of immaturity, perhaps of deep wounds that are not being addressed effectively in a man’s life.
It's a Matter of Balance
I believe that both of these positions have some validity. The crux of the matter is not how much sex you’re having, nor what sexual activities you engage in, but why? Of course, for those who have a more sex-negative orientation it might be better to ask why not.
All humans use pleasurable things to soothe them in difficult times. That is perfectly natural and is actually healthy. For some people those pleasures become compulsive. When the culture accepts those pleasures openly determining what is healthy, or not, gets tricky.
When is it a Problem?
We can see that dynamic at play with alcohol in much of western society. Drinking is acceptable to us. When someone’s drinking starts to get out of control they may not realize they have an issue until they are deep in their addiction.
For gay, and bi, men gay promiscuity can be very much the same. Something that was once delightful turns into an obsessive chase after the next hookup. That could be a sign that you are linking your self-worth to your sexual conquests. It could also mean that you are using sex as a substitute for the love you’re really craving in your life. The issue is never sex, it’s the compulsion that can lead to an unhealthy relationship with your sexuality.
Issues with Sex-Negativity
It is important for men who are more repressed sexually to understand why. Some men don’t value sex. They are often monogamous by nature so do not have a powerful drive for sexual exploration. Some may be motivated by religious prohibitions which is perfectly fine. But, if your religion has strong taboos against sexuality it is also likely homophobic. Be on the lookout for internalized homophobia in that case.
Men who have strong, negative, emotional reactions to sex and sexuality have some exploration and work to do. Creating a new, healthier relationship to themselves as sexual beings is important. If you’re one of those guys, A therapist or coach who can guide you into a more balanced relationship with yourself will not only help you find peace with your sexuality, but with any other aspects of yourself that you may be uncomfortable with.
A Healthy Relationship to Your Sexuality
What really matters is creating a healthy relationship with your sexuality. We have a lot to teach the world about moving beyond the sex negativity that plagues our society. If we can come together without judgment men on either side of the fence have a great deal to offer each other. It’s not about engaging in gay promiscuity, it’s about the freedom to express yourself in the way you really want to.