Monday, April 6, 2009

Boyfriend Parties Too Heartily?

My boyfriend (of one year) and I just spent the weekend together. On Saturday nite we went to a bear party. This was my very first one. I have been out for the past three years. I come from an extremely religious family (pentecostal) where being gay is just as bad as being a murderer. I love my boyfriend, he means the world to me. About three hours into this party I felt overwhelmed with things that were going on, for example all the sex in the bathroom etc. etc. etc. I wanted to go back to our room so he took me then asked if I was alright with him going back. I said yes go have fun. I felt stupid and angry at myself for not staying. I have in this past year left one other event where I felt this same way. Two questions: how do I get used to the varied atmospheres of events? Is it possible to get around my background and just enjoy? Ok three questions: early Sunday morning I find out my boyfriend got a bj after he went back to the party . . .it is or I thought it was/is a committed relationship between us. I'm feeling hurt by what he let happen but I also feel like I caused it. Now he says I need to be able to handle such events and just relax or it is quite possible our relationship might end. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. T.

Sometimes a gay party turns into an orgy [ditto for straight parties naturally]. Regardless of their backgrounds some people feel comfortable with this and some people don't. I have seen two lovers happily pursue guys at parties, even have sex with them, and nobody gets upset because they realize it's just sex, it has nothing to do with the way both men feel about each other. Still, not every guy is comfortable in this situation. I think your boyfriend is telling you the blow job was no big deal, that it has nothing to do with his feelings for you, but you are not the only man who feels uneasy with this. It may not necessarily have anything to do with your religious background, either. Some people, regardless of sex or sexual orientation, are only comfortable with a strictly monogamous relationship --and that includes no blow jobs at parties -- and others are a little more flexible. There's no right or wrong; it depends on the individual.

Your boyfriend might be suggesting that he wants an open relationship, and he's implying that he'll end things if you don't agree to go along with that. I have no problem with open relationships if a.) both parties agree to it beforehand and b.) both parties scrupulously stick to safe sex and get tested for STDs on a regular basis. It sounds to me as if you and your boyfriend never had this discussion, or at least that he perhaps takes your relationship a bit more casually than you do. This is something you need to sit down and talk with him about. You both need to define your relationship and set boundaries, if any.

Frankly, if your boyfriend is going to limit his extra-curricular activities to getting the occasional blow job at a party [as opposed to going out regularly hunting for one-night-stands] then maybe you should cut him some slack. I use the term "orgy," but that, of course, is an overstatement if we're just talking about a couple of party guests, ahem, going into the bathroom in twos for a little fooling around. Still, your partner has to be more sensitive to the fact that your relationship is still very new, and you'd rather not have him spreading himself around.

Can you get past any religious hang ups you may have at being gay? Definitely. If religion is important to you find a group or Church that isn't homophobic and is welcoming to gays. Remember, the negative attitudes that you've been fed are based on ignorance.

Whether you'll ever feel comfortable with the wilder gay parties is another story, however. As I say, it may not have much to do with your background. Right now you want badly to feel that you're part of a loving couple, and you want your boyfriend to feel the same way, and parties or events where casual sex with third parties is part of the program is clearly not something that appeals to you, and possibly never will.

Discuss all this with your boyfriend in a non-judgmental way. There is no right or wrong, but you both need to at least reach some sort of compromise. Neither of you should throw away a relationship over what is probably an inconsequential blow job at a party, but you have every right to discuss your feelings about it with the man in your life.

We all have the right to set limits in our own lives, and to feel uncomfortable in certain situations. I know men who leave parties when things get a little too sexy, not because they're prudes, but because they're just not comfortable with the whole situation. They prefer making love in a bed with someone they care about; not grasping at drunken strangers and vice versa.

[While I have no problem with grasping at drunken strangers, I personally would rather not have an audience if I'm engaging in sexual activity, while other guys feel just the opposite. I don't necessarily mind if someone pulls out a joint -- I mean, a reefer, marijuana -- but heavy drug use is a complete turn-off to me and I would probably not stick around in such a scenario.]

Different strokes for different folks.

Talk to your boyfriend. You may find that you can work this out more easily than you imagine. Best of Luck! Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

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