Half of the British gay men have or had a partner who cheated on them or cheated on them themselves.

The Health Equality and Rights Organization (HERO) asked 961 British gay and bisexual men about sex outside the relationship. The results can be found in FS Magazine.

58% said they had a partner who cheated on them. 52% cheated on themselves. These are relationships that are labelled as monogamous by those involved. 45% of these men say that the partner did not find out. 40% of the men in an agreed open relationship say that they do not respect the agreements on (safe) sex with someone else.

Gay youngsters

Young homosexuals in particular often have mistaken or unrealistic ideas about relationships and about the protection that permanent relationships offer against STIs and HIV. Young people want a long-term, stable relationship through the bond. They often have illusions about monogamy.

Based on this expectation, they soon abandon condoms in new relationships. As a result of their expectations, these young people show risky behaviour, while they often think that they are avoiding risks, since they have a ‘regular’ relationship.

Young people, however, have already considered a ‘fixed’ relationship for three months. In reality, the average duration of their relationships is less than six months and they have several ‘fixed’ relationships per year.

When gay men opt for unprotected anal sex with their regular partner, it is essential to make clear agreements about both the sexual behaviour one can have with third parties and the eventuality that the agreements are sometimes exceeded. However, making such agreements presupposes a high degree of maturity on the part of both partners, and is far from obvious.