Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote

Angelo Pezzote
M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
7 Secrets To An Open Relationship
and Using Erotica

Dear Angelo,
Throughout life I've been taught that erotic behavioris wrong.I'm not so much interested in pornography as I am in erotica, such as still photography and sensual art films of beautiful men. I believe it empowers me individually and my partner too when we make love.Any thoughts on this, Angelo?
Signed, Erotica
Dear Erotica,
We absorb enough shame as gay men than to take on this dinosaur of a conservative Victorian sexual attitude. What gay man needs more oppressive religious based prohibitions of anything pleasurablein his so called "unnatural" sex life?While that isn't permission to go on a selfish hedonistic frenzy, let me ask you three simple questions: Is everyone involved an adult (including the models)? Is the behavior mutually consensual? Is anyone being hurt? If the answers are "yes," "yes" and "no,"then go for it.
Usingfantasy with your partner to enhance your sex life is healthy. Fantasy is unhealthy when you use it to escape intimacy, when it's out of your control and when it has negative consequences in your life.
All The Best, Angelo.
Dear Angelo,
My boyfriend and I are talking about opening our relationship. We have been together for 4 years. We have not had any sex together in 2 years. He thinks by opening the relationship, we will be drawn together. I think it could work. We both feel that the closer a partner is the farther we push that person away, sexually. We both feel that if we take the pressure off each other to be the only object for that sexual release, it will allow us to come closer. What do you think?
Signed, Sexual Experiment

Dear Sexual Experiment,

This can be a complex choice that can have profound and irreversible consequences on your relationship.So I'm glad you'rereaching out for advice and talking about it openly, honestly and clearly with your boyfriend. In my experience of working almost exclusively with gay men,successful openrelationships happen when:

1. Both partnersequally agree that non-monogamy is wanted

2. The open relationshipis built upon an already healthy, solid, intimate foundation where each partner is devoted to and emotionally committed to the other as a primary partner

3.The open relationshipcomplements an already healthy and happy sex life between the couple, rather than spicing up alack of sextogether

4.The couple ensuresthe right balance of independence while maintaining their closeness

5.Each partner continues tobe present with and toromance, loveand nurture the other

6.The coupledevelops clear rules - the dos and donts - around the behavior that includes limits on spending time and money on others

7. The couple remains honest with and respectful of each other

In light of the fact that you wrote, "we both feel that the closer a partner is, the farther we push that person away, sexually", I don't thinkopening your relationship is the answer. Instead, I suggest you do the opposite and work at building more intimacy within your relationship. I find that a lack of sex between two men who are in love with each other is often the result of internalized homophobia playing out between them - it's the intersection of feeling the shame around being gay, the taboo of emotional closeness with another man and the fear of intimacy. Couples therapy with a gay affirming therapist may be a better solution.
All The Best, Angelo.

Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.

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