By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy
By the time you are reading this, my first book, “The Gay Men’s Guide to Open and Monogamous Marriage,” will have been published on June 8 and available on Amazon.
It has taken me more than seven years to write it, but finally, it’s out in the world. Now it’s time for it to live on its own (outside my head). I’d like to give you a sneak preview. Here is a bit of the book’s introduction, which sets the tone for what’s to follow. I hope you enjoy it.
For centuries, heterosexual people have defined what marriage is. It started out as a type of possession: “I own you.” Hardly anchored in love, was it?
And yet, this is the model that most of the human race has embraced for hundreds of years. Only in the last century or so has marriage begun to be based on love, mutual respect and understanding.
Now, when two men consider getting married, we no longer have to do it “that” way. This is a cause for rejoicing! This is real freedom! So why aren’t we more excited about this? Because this kind of freedom isn’t easy.
It’s quite daunting to invent or re-invent a cultural institution that’s been around longer than anyone alive can remember. It’s so much easier to just follow what straight people have been doing and — maybe — modify it a little bit, tweak it just a tad.
This is certainly an option, but given the power of our community to create and invent our own norms and institutions, why would we settle for that?
This book is an invitation — a radical invitation — to you to not settle. Instead, I urge you to examine and investigate the idea and institution of marriage and come up with your own version of what works for you and your husband.
For many of us considering marriage — or already married — the question of monogamy or open relationship looms large: it’s both terribly important and terribly confusing. Deciding between the joys of infinite sexual possibilities or the security of one person for the rest of your life is a huge Catch-22. How do we “win” here?
In heterosexual couples, the male and female stereotypes often play out as “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” As married gay men, we are inventing our own genres of love, literally making up the rules as we go along. If you have two men from Mars married to each other, who cleans up? Who is the more nurturing one? Who is the more career-oriented?
There are currently no “rule books” for how a “double testosterone” marriage could or should work. While there are lots of books about how to plan your gay wedding, there are virtually none that address what to do after the honeymoon is over (literally and figuratively).
I hope that this book will fill that void.
It is my intention that this book be frank, engaging and full of practical advice. Toward that purpose, you will find “Questions to Consider” throughout the book that will give you (and your husband) easy ways to talk about the ideas presented in each chapter.
Same-sex marriage has been a long time coming — a few thousand years or so — and now that it’s finally here, many gay, bisexual and transgender men may think that it’s a bad idea to “rock the boat” by discussing the kinds of ideas that this book presents.
I believe that now is the perfect time to question what gay marriage can, should and will be, while it is still relatively new, fresh and malleable.
For the double testosterone marriage, “monogamy or open relationship?” is a question whose time has come.
If you are interested in checking the book out, go to the book’s page on Amazon. If you want to order it and get a 30 percent discount, visit my website. On the “My Book” page there is a code to enter when you order the book — through the publisher — to get the 30 percent discount.
In addition, on June 24, from 2-5 p.m., there will be a book reading/signing party in the lobby of Diversionary Theatre, located at 4545 Park Blvd., in University Heights. Come join us.
—Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.