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We Should Be Committed

Room for Squares

On the issue of sleeping around, where do we stand (or lie, as the case may be) as a community? Do we think itís right or do we think itís wrong? Is sleeping with a lot of men symptomatic of youth? Or, do we, not being allowed to officially commit to one another, simply say to hell with commitment? I pose these questions not because I feel that they will ever be taking up space on any ballot but because their answers tell us something about ourselves that weíd rather not believe.

I have this one friend from out of town who, when he visits, really ďgoes to town,Ē if you know what I mean. He hooks up with guys left and right with no concern for the consequences. Clearly, he doesnít care if his boyfriend finds out about his indiscretions because, as he believes (and perhaps rightly so), there are always other fish in the sea. Fair enough. But my concern doesnít only lie with the cad who likes to get around. No. In fact, to be fair, Iíd have to consider the other guys with whom heís going around.

Obviously, there are two schools of thought on this subject. The first one sees men who arenít single as off limits, sorta like ďlook but donít touchĒ rarities. Iíll put into this category the men who are in open relationships because they too exhibit some variation of commitment. The opposite take is of course to consider all men, single or not, to be fair game.

Reasoning behind the latter approach is hazy at best. I guess you could argue that since no one in our community is legally married, weíre not really breaking any rules by sleeping around. After all, if youíre not welcome to the party, better to show that you donít care to be invited, right? But that to me is a little too convenient. It seems to disregard social responsibility altogether.

I canít tell you how many times Iíve heard this story. Man meets guy. Guy tells him heís taken. Man makes out with guy anyways, and next day decides to end the relationship. Talk about a crash course in gay dating. I canít say exactly what brings about quick change romances like these. Maybe the guy wanted to make a clean cut before things got messy. Maybe the man is just a bad kisser. Or maybe men sleep with other guys and then leave them nowadays ďjust because.Ē I donít know. The point isnít what drives people apart.

Rather, the point is what brings people together. I understand that attraction and sex are very driving factors. But at the end of the rainbow, I donít picture a bed that is only sporadically warmed. Instead, I picture one that is almost always too squished, with blankets that are always unfairly hogged by the same culprit; thatís my pot of gold. I know that in many gay relationships, where commitment rarely extends beyond a time-shared dog and friendship bracelets, the idea of being with the same person might appear restricting, or even frightening. But what might be even more frightening is that what brings people together isnít that they canít be kept apart so much as it is that thereís nothing keeping them apart.

Is that it then? Do we treat our love lives like revolving doors because thereís nothing stopping us? I guess you can argue that some wild oats just canít be sown, and that not everyone is a one man guy. Okay, Iíll concede to that. But that wouldnít explain why so many of us want to get married. So go ahead, call me a prude. But címon, letís do ourselves a favor and exercise a little restraint. And no, I donít mean of the leather variety.