Our expert says:
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Hi Jason, welcome to the forum and thanks for posting. And please accept my apologies for my late response.
There's nothing wrong or immoral in what you're feeling - your conflict between wanting to explore your sexuality while also remaining monogamous is something many people experience. Irrespective of the age difference in their relationship and indeed irrespective of whether they’re gay or straight. If you cook the gravy down to the basic essence, there's little difference between us (gay and lesbian) and straights in this context. Our relationships are more complex - what role-models do we use? how are roles determined? how is power resolved? where are our support systems? - but at the end of the day there is no one concept of a collective gay identity. In Cape Town, for example, being a gay man living in the city bowl is very different from being a gay man living in Guguletu, or in the Cape Flats. This isn't purely based on race - white, black or coloured - but constructed by ways in which we experience and express our gay identities.
The concept of "identity" or "gay culture" is significant - what, exactly, does this term mean to you and what exactly does it include? Does it include the gay bar and club subculture? Most gay men don't frequent gay clubs. Does it include anonymous sex? Many gay men who engage in anonymous sex wish they were in monogamous relationships. Being gay is not about choosing to live a particular lifestyle.
By the same token you should not be losing any friends on the basis of their age. Your partner doesn't have the right to determine who you socialise with. You shouldn't be choosing between your friends and your partner, and if this is happening you may need to be sitting your partner down and exploring what this is about.
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