Gay Parent Dan Savage on Homosexual ‘Three-ways’ and Nonmonogamy

dan_savage.jpg PERVERTED PARENTING: Homosexual sex-columnist Dan Savage — one of the nation’s leading proponents of homosexual adoption — says he and his “husband” Terry have twice engaged in sexual “three-ways” with another man. (That was Savage writing in 2004: maybe there have been other shared perversions since.) But Savage — always the responsible parent — writes, “We’ve never done anything, nor would we ever do anything, that would put our child at risk.” What a comfort.

The excerpts below are from Dan Savage’s 2004 essay, “What Does Marriage Mean?” in Salon.com. Savage and his homosexual ‘husband,” Terry, have adopted a child, which he recounts in his book, “The Kid: What Happened after my Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant.” We’ll leave it to the psychoanalysts to study Savage’s apparent need to rationalize his perverted practices as a parent by pointing to Bill Clinton and heterosexual couples who are also nonmonogamous. — Peter LaBarbera

____________________Dan Savage writes in Salon (emphasis and headers added):

Rare Three-ways

“Have you ever cheated on Terry?” she [a friend] asked me.

I looked at [Savage’s homosexual partner (“husband”)] Terry and made my “am I allowed to answer this question truthfully?” face. He nodded his head to one side, making his “if you must” face.

“Sure, I’ve cheated on Terry,” I said, after checking to make sure the kids were all out of earshot. “But only in front of him.”

She laughed and looked at me, then Terry, then me again. Were we joking? I shrugged my shoulders. It wasn’t a joke. I had “cheated” on Terry — but only in front of him, only with his permission, only with someone we both liked and trusted, only when we were in one city and our son was in another. So, yes, we’ve had a three-way — actually we’ve had a couple, and while three-ways barely register on the kink-o-meter anymore, they’re considered the absolute height of kink for people like us — for parents, I mean, not for gay people. As parents we’re not really supposed to be having sex with each other, much less have sex with someone else.

She demanded the details, but I would only give her a basic outline. One was a nice French guy who looked like Tom Cruise. The other was with an ex-boyfriend of mine, a Microsoft millionaire who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars building a “playroom” in his basement — a kind of sex toy wonderland. Terry wanted to see this playroom for himself and so we went over for dinner… and one thing led to another…

We emphasized that we regarded three-ways the same way Bill Clinton regarded abortion: They’re best when they’re safe, legal and rare. Really rare. Two in 10 years? We get to vote for president more often than we have three-ways.

Nonmonogamy

But of course straight couples don’t have to be monogamous to be married or married to be monogamous. Monogamy isn’t compulsory and its absence doesn’t invalidate a marriage. There are hundreds of thousands of heterosexual married couples involved in the organized swinging movement and God only knows how many disorganized swingers there are out there. Married straight couples are presumed to be monogamous until proven otherwise, and that assumption serves as a powerful inducement to be (or appear to be) monogamous. Even most swinging couples prefer to be seen as monogamous by friends, family and associates. But as with children, monogamy is optional. It’s up to each individual couple to decide for themselves if monogamy is central to their commitment.

By promoting the idea that monogamy is central to marriage and that all gay couples who want to marry want to be monogamous, gay marriage supporters are puffing up a losing argument. Just as supporters of gay marriage can produce gay and lesbian couples with children, opponents of gay marriage won’t have to search too hard to find non-monogamous gay couples among the thousands of same-sex couples who wed in San Francisco (before the courts called a halt to same-sex marriages there), and are marrying now in Massachusetts.

Indeed, my own relationship presents a tough case for opponents and supporters of gay marriage alike. My boyfriend and I have a child; we’re thinking of adopting another. If children are the gold standard, we should be married. But if monogamy is the gold standard, then the couple of three-ways we admit to having disqualify us….

Protecting the child?

… All sorts of nightmare scenarios play out in people’s minds when a male couple — particularly one with kids — admits to being nonmonogamous. While married couples are presumed to be sober monogamists until proven otherwise, nonmonogamous gay male couples are presumed to be reckless sluts until proven otherwise. So, for the record: My boyfriend and I don’t hang out in sleazy bars at all hours, we don’t have three-ways with men we’ve met on the Internet, and neither of us is willing to take irrational risks for the sake of the next orgasm. Like a huge number of straight couples, we have an understanding. “Cheating” is permissible under a few tightly controlled and highly unlikely circumstances; finally, all outside sexual contact has to be very safe — indeed, it has to be hypersafe, almost comically safe. We’ve never done anything, nor would we ever do anything, that would put our child at risk. (There will be no Kramer vs. Kramer moments, i.e., no strange adults wandering nude through our house in the middle of the night.) For all intents and purposes, the limits we’ve placed on outside sexual contact have resulted in a sort of de facto monogamy. In the 10 years we’ve been together the planets have aligned on a couple of occasions. We’re more nonmonogamous in theory than in practice.

So why not keep our mouths shut and let people assume we’re monogamous? For the most part that’s what we do — gay or straight, it’s what most couples with understandings about outside sexual contact do. Like most long-term couples, my boyfriend and I don’t rub our friends’ noses in the details of our private life — unless we’re pressed, of course, by drunk straight friends. But sexual honesty is a hard habit to break. Once you’ve told people that you’re gay, telling them that you’re nonmonogamous seems like pretty small beans. And with so many supporters of gay marriage busily promoting a double standard about monogamy, I thought at least one gay couple who wanted to marry but didn’t want to be monogamous should speak up. We want equal marriage rights, after all, not the right to be held to a higher standard than straight people hold themselves — on being parents or being strictly monogamous.

This article was posted on Friday, December 5th, 2008 at 3:29 pm and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", Adoption & Foster Parenting, Authors & Journalists, Homosexual Parenting, Homosexual Quotes, News, Nonmonogamy. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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