James W. Hicks, M.D.


In Ask the Doctor* on February 11, 2011 at 6:54 am

Q: Thanks Doc, I was wondering do you have any advice on a how to cement a commitment between two bisexual married men who wish to enter into an exclusive closed loop relationship? Should we have some kind of private commitment ceremony? I suppose we should have blood tests as with getting married? What other things can you think of that might help ensure the exclusivity and success of the relationship? We have been friends for a couple of years and have had enough private time to know we are sexually compatible. Neither of us is out. Also, we both love our wives and want to protect those relationships. Thank you for any advice.

A: The medical part of your question is the easiest to answer: anyone who has unprotected sex should get tested for sexually transmitted infections. A good time to do so is at the start of a committed relationship, but also periodically thereafter if the relationship is not strictly monogamous, in which case it would also be prudent to use protection, for yourselves and your partners. Obviously there is no need to test for blood type compatibility, since two men can’t impregnate each other.

The part of this question I have difficulty addressing involves the ethics and practicality of committing when you are both already married (I am assuming that your wives do not know about this affair, since you are not “out”). I am suspicious of moral pronouncements that don’t consider individual circumstances; but it seems paradoxical to cheat on one partner in order to commit to another. Generally, spouses should have the opportunity to decide whether they want to stay in a relationship in which they have to share. But presumably you have considered this, and the risks and alternatives, and I think it is a very personal matter between you and your wives.

  1. I’m not sure I’d agree with the doc, at least about the ethics and practicality aspect of making a CLR commitment.

    Assuming to married men want to make an emotional and sexual commitment to monogamy, what’s the problem with making it formal? I would say the two guys involved would have to discuss and agree what their commitment to each other involves.

    For instance, they agree their wives come first and that they’ll only have sex with their wives and each other. Once they come to agreement, they could cement it in a number of ways.

    The easiest would probably just to look each other in the eye and vow that each will only accept each other as their only man.

    Another way, which I’ve fantasized about myself, would be to find one of those folks that advertise as performing commitment ceremonies and have them basically perform a “marriage” for the two, of sorts. You could make it as simple or elaborate as the guys involved want.

    I don’t know that I’d find anything wrong with doing that within a Closed Loop Relationship since the commitment to the wife is still being maintained.. well…kinda.

  2. I think one could still say they aren’t “out” but their spouse could know about their bisexuality. I wasn’t clear if the wives know about it or not. Maybe they do, in which case, a commitment ceremony would be lovely, private or otherwise.But if they don’t, and the wives are expecting monogamy, that’s extremely unfair, just as it would be if the wives were having an affair and the husbands were unaware.

  3. ECLR= exclusive closed loop relationship? IMHO wouldn’t you find it friendlier, easier, safer, more loving, to join all 4= MF plus MF, into a polyamory relationship? I have a T-shirt that says: “It’s Not Cheating If My Husband Watches!” That way you *could* eliminate the guilt, enhance your lifestyles, protect against disease from strangers, conquer jealousy. You could have the best of all possible worlds, taking turns about which 2 partners or 3 or 4, all sleep in combinations. Isn’t that the tenor of your original question? […. ] Best wishes,
    Dr. Fred in NJ

  4. If society was more accepting of Bisexual MEN we probably wouldn’t need to “hide” our M/M relationships from anyone – including our spouses.
    Truly, there IS a double standard when it comes to same-sex activities: Two women engaged in sexual conduct together is not only more acceptable, it is viewed by many [men] to be highly erotic; two men involved is viewed as sick.
    These two guys have found a way to express this part of themselves in an exclusive M/M partnership while retaining the family units they both enjoy and love. It is possible to love more than one person and these guys should not be disrespected for their feelings of attraction and committment to their respective spouses, nor for each other.

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