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Open Relationships and Gay Men’s Health: A Psychologist’s Perspective

, by San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Psychologist Ramon Martinez opens up about open relationships—both his own and those of clients he has worked with—in a guest opinion in today’s Bay Area Reporter. Martinez will join the panel for next Wednesday’s Real Talk public forum, “Play Well with Others? Open Relationships and Our Health.”

Are you in an open relationship? Do you hook up with guys who are? Are you thinking about opening things up with your partner? Or do you prefer monogamy? Check out Martinez’s thoughtful guest opinion, excerpted below and available in full at eBAR.com, then join us on Wednesday, January 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the San Francisco LGBT Center for a frank discussion about navigating open relationships as a gay man. (Not in San Francisco or unable to attend the event? Check back for BETA’s recap of the forum discussion.)

At the forum, panel and audience members will talk candidly about why some couples decide to be open (or not), tools for good communication with your partner(s) and ways to protect your physical and mental health, and how the marriage equality movement has changed perceptions of same-sex relationships. Anonymous text-polling and invited audience discussion will make the forum a truly interactive (and lively!) community dialog. Hope to see you there!

Guest Opinion: Open Relationships

By Ramon Martinez

Some of the most meaningful and satisfying clinical work I’ve done has been helping gay couples build and maintain intimacy, increase authenticity, co-define their relational values, and celebrate their relationship with pride and intention. Some of the couples I worked with just happened to be in open relationships. My own current relationship has transformed from being monogamous after our first six and a half years together to being open for the past two years. This is my first open relationship, and it happens to be the most satisfying, intimate relationship I’ve ever had.

“Open relationship” is a general term that encompasses many relationship structures that aren’t monogamous, where boundaries are agreed upon and honesty about sexual behavior is preferred, and most always practiced, don’t typically involve issues of infidelity or sexual deceit because partners have already agreed on their sexual boundaries. Many myths persist about open relationships (which have been practiced for centuries), including that open relationships aren’t satisfying, lack true intimacy, and are simply promiscuity, and that although love may exist, partners must not be “in love” with each other. None of these myths are true based solely on the designation and practice of open relationships; certainly no more so than they are for monogamous relationships….

Click here to read the full guest opinion at eBAR.com.

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Play Well with Others? Open Relationships and Our Health

January 30, 2013
6:00–8:00 p.m.
San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street

Click here for more details and to register or add the event to your calendar.

This free event is part of the Real Talk public forum series hosted by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and STOP AIDS Project. The goal of this series is to create a safe space for timely, interactive dialogs and the exchange of knowledge and resources around topics at the forefront of discussions in our community.

Continued Conversations

February 5 & 13
7:00–9:00 p.m.
Stop AIDS Project, 2128 15th Street

Keep the conversation going at these discussions hosted by Stop AIDS Project’s Bridgemen group.


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