Gay men have a wide range of sexual practices. Some live in a committed relationship and never have sex with anyone else, while others practice open sex in which they have regular sexual liaisons with other men. In addition, many gay men have a strong paternal instinct and want to be parents. This has been reflected in popular culture and theater with such plays as Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Gay male couples may also choose to have kids via adoption or surrogacy.
Many gay couples reported that their agreement on sexual practices was based on the needs of their individual relationships and a desire to reduce HIV transmission risk. Often, this meant that they prioritized their physical intimacy with each other over emotional intimacy with their own sexual partners and forbade the use of sex toys in their intimate intercourse. In some cases, couples were aware of the potential for HIV transmission through anal sex and used a cock ring or vibrator to minimize this risk.
Like all couples, gay male couples struggle with work/life balance issues. For example, if one partner earns more money than the other, it can feel like the man with the lower income is the "primary breadwinner" and is therefore under the social pressure to "put in the hours." Similarly, if a man's career requires him to travel frequently for business, his sexual relationship with his partner can suffer as a result.