Non-monogamy and sexual relationship quality among same-sex male couples

J Fam Psychol. 2012 Oct;26(5):669-77. doi: 10.1037/a0029561. Epub 2012 Aug 20.


Relationship arrangements about sex with outside partners are common among gay couples, and meaningful distinctions in psychological and behavioral health correlates have been found among nonmonogamous agreement types. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between sexual agreements and partners' sexual relationship quality. Data were collected from both members of 161 gay male couples (n = 322 individuals). Couples were categorized as monogamous (52.8%), open (13.0%), monogamish (14.9%), and discrepant (19.3%). We used the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) to assess associations of relationship arrangement with four aspects of sexual relationship quality: sexual satisfaction, sexual communication, sexual jealousy, and the occurrence of at-least weekly sex between main partners. We found that sexual arrangements were not associated with sexual satisfaction, communication, or frequency. However, monogamous men reported significantly higher levels of sexual jealousy. Our findings indicate that gay men engage in a range of relationship agreements, and nonmonogamous agreements are associated with levels of sexual relationship quality equivalent to monogamous agreements.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Jealousy
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners / classification
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Time Factors