Love & Sex

Gay Men Experience Love the Same as Straight Couples Says Slightly Offensive Study

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The sky is also blue.

In one of those bludgeon-you-over-the-head-with-the-obvious revelations, George Mason University has just released a "first of its kind" study which declares the love between gay men as exactly the same as the love experienced by straight couples. In other news, the sky is blue, Putin doesn't like to wear a shirt, and I am typing in English. 

Among the study's illuminating findings is that nearly all, 92.6 percent, of gay and bisexual men whose last sexual encounter was with their partners were in love with that partner. And men in these types of relationships were most likely to endorse their sexual experience as "quite a bit pleasurable." While this is the first study to ever engage with the love and sex lives of gay men – and that's great – these kind of groundbreaking findings are pretty regressive. No, quite a bit. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we're talking about the value of love in the gay community considering we have daily political conversations around the constitutionality of gay marriage. But the fact that this study is news at all, or that we're still trying to prove that same-sex love is empirically valid and possible in a lab, is a bit disheartening. Straight love has never been held up to that kind of test tube scrutiny. There's never been a dissertation declaring that, hey, Britney and Kevin really do have the capacity to feel for each other, so they probably have enjoyable sex. Though it's well meaning, the fact that 91.2 percent of gay men felt "matched" to their partners is reductive and boring. I'd rather we didn't have to fall back on research that boiled down to a Macklemore song title, as catchy as it is. 

Image via HBO