Today there is a blurring of the lines between platonic friendship, sexual attraction, and even romantic love amongst gay male friends. Can having intimate relations with your friends cause unnecessary drama and heartache, or is having sex with friends a purely positive experience, one that will enhance an already loving bond between two people?
“Friendcest” is an increasingly common occurrence in the gay community, and one that has not really been explored or addressed. It is with great curiosity that I dare to delve into “the incestuous nature of the modern day gay friendship circle.”
Understanding “incestuous” friendships
I use the term “incestual” based on the idea that many of us call our friends family, particularly in the gay community where this “family” often feels more literal for those who may not have had the support of their real family while coming out. It’s increasingly common that gay friends have or would hook up with each other – whether that be a pash or groping in a nightclub, a hand job, blow job, or actual penetration – all can be considered sexual and therefore somewhat incestuous in nature.
The concept of an incestuous friendship circle is likely almost unheard of amongst straight people, particularly those who stick to friends of the same sex. For obvious reasons, a straight man would never consider hooking up with one of his male friends, and matters of the heart are usually always reserved for girls who are outside of his initial circle. When a girl places a guy in the “friendship zone” it’s like the point of no return. No matter how that guy might feel, once he’s in that zone he ain’t gonna get no kissy kissy.
A gay friendship group, however, is different. Many friends have either already hooked up with each other in the past, or they are willing to in the future. A game of “truth or dare” at a gay party will likely turn sexual very quickly, with many friends keen to make out with their peers.
Men are generally hornier than women
So why is it that gay men are so sexually liberal with their friends? An obvious reason could come from the fact that men are generally hornier than women. Across many studies, men have been shown to have more frequent and intense sexual desires compared to women, which is reflected in spontaneous thoughts about sex, desired numbers of partners, frequent masturbation, etc. It’s much easier, then, for a gay male to connect with another willing partner, compared to a female partner who may be less open to the idea of casual sex. Several bisexual male friends of mine have said that it’s easier for them to find sex with a man, because men are more willing recipients, while women are usually “harder to get.” While this might not be true for all, it certainly is true in my experience.
So with the male sex drive stronger than the female one, it makes sense for gay men to want to hook up with each other… even if that willing partner is a close friend.
Gay friendships are often formed on the basis of attraction
Many gay friendships are first formed on the basis of attraction to one another. This is due to the way we meet other gay people, usually in highly sexual environments such as dating apps, nightclubs or even at the gym.
Two gay men may start chatting on Grindr based off a mutual attraction for one another. They might only become good friends later on after the chance of a sexual or romantic relationship has subsided. In some cases that initial attraction or “curiosity” may never fade away completely, and there’s a high chance those two friends will either find themselves in bed with each other at a later date, or those initial feelings of attraction will resurface later on to complicate matters.
Over-sexualisation of the gay identity
Another reason for “friendcest” amongst gay men could span from the way we view ourselves in society. For years we have been encouraged to show off our bodies with sexy tight clothing, mesh singlets, and short shorts. The annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney features hundreds of body-proud men and women marching the streets in revealing costumes. It could be argued that this over-sexualisation of the gay identity is hindering our ability to maintain deep friendships with one another. Are we too focused on the physical attractiveness of our friends to really get to know them?
While I’m sure many of you reading this will be horrified at this statement, perhaps take a moment to step back and really look at the friendships you have. Just how many of your friends have you slept with, and how many would you sleep with? Do you have a lot of attractive friends? Do you all worry a lot about your appearances and how others are perceiving you?
Having attractive friends helps feed our ego
Our egoic minds feed off the idea that we are separate from everyone else, and whether or not that separateness comes in the form of superiority (“I’m so much hotter than him”) or inferiority (“I’m so fat compared to her!”), it is still ego. The ego particularly likes to feel attractive to other people, and it especially wants our peers to see us as attractive as their opinions matter the most to us.
When we make out with an attractive friend we are unconsciously feeding the part of our ego that needs their approval. “If my friends think I’m hot then I am hot!” This feeding of the ego could not only come in the form of being physically involved with a friend, but also by a need to match them with a gym-fit body, the adoption of certain fashion trends and makeup, or even the need to act or talk in a certain way. Friendships that are built upon an egoic need to feel attractive to each other, regardless if you want to sleep with them or not, are still sexual in nature.
A truth that I want to highlight here is the fact that we are all connected, and the ego is just an earthly illusion. There really is no need for us to feel physically superior or inferior to another person because, at the end of the day, our body is only a temporary vessel. We are much more than our mind, and we are much more than our body, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. When you acknowledge the bigger picture things that you thought were most important, such as ego, soon fall away with the rest of the illusion.
Issues related to incestual gay friendships
The issues associated with an incestuous friendship circle are related to matters of the heart. There could be an increased level of jealousy amongst peers, particularly those who are harbouring feelings or have had feelings in the past. Rejection is never nice for anyone to stomach, but when you take rejection by a friend into account – particularly one where there is already a strong emotional bond – it becomes increasingly painful.
As human beings, we are conditioned to believe that love and attraction are the two ingredients most required for a successful romantic relationship. Because of this, it can be confusing when feelings of attraction arise between two gay men who have shared a rather deep emotional connection in the past. There are already feelings of love (all true friendship is a form of love), but now there is a new dynamic in the mix: attraction. Feelings of love and attraction – what we believe is the traditional recipe for a romantic relationship. Despite being perfectly happy with the platonic nature of your friendship in the past, you might suddenly find yourself feeling that there could be more, and what could be more perfect than falling in love with your best friend?
Indeed, there are countless stories of friends falling for each other and going on to have wonderful and fulfilling relationships, but it’s also important to know that it is possible to love your friends deeply, and not be together romantically. Love is not only reserved for romantic partnerships, and that is the main point I want to get across here.
Your success is not defined by being in a relationship
For those who may be feeling some pain or confusion related to unrequited love for a friend brought about by romance or a sexual attraction, have some comfort in the knowledge that being in a relationship is not the be-all-and-end-all. Our society is built around the idea that to be successful you must make a lot of money and be in a relationship. If you are not, then you are not doing life correctly. This is false, and being in a romantic relationship does not define your success as a human being. Some of the most enlightened and successful people are single, as they know deep inside that they are all they need to feel complete. After all, we are already complete – we do not need another person to complete us.
Friendship is a wonderful expression of love, and often friendships are more powerful than romantic relationships anyway as there is a level of comfort that comes free from the materialistic and egoic concerns associated with being in a relationship. In other words, you get the thrills and fun without having to worry about things such as money, bills, and what’s for dinner each night. If you truly love your friend, then truly cherish your friendship with them. Being in a romantic relationship is only a label and does not define or change the intensity of your love for them.
Sex with friends is a good thing
Could having sex with your friends actually be a good thing? After all, the perversion associated with sex is actually an illusion of our mind and is formed from cultural/religious influences telling us to be ashamed of our bodies and to cover them up. There’s the idea in our society that sex is something to be ashamed of, and those who enjoy it or have multiple sexual partners are called “sluts.”
As the world moves away from traditional values, it is becoming increasingly more open-minded and accepting towards sex, and alternative lifestyles. This is particularly true in the gay community where more and more couples are consciously moving away from traditional monogamous relationships to explore open, polyamorous and even “throuple” relationships. Could an incestual friendship circle be an extension of this new level of consciousness? We share our most intimate thoughts and desires with our friends. If there is a mutual attraction would it not be fitting to also have a physical connection with those friends? Could that not strengthen your relationship even further? After all, once you’ve seen your friend naked there really are no more boundaries to cross, only an increased sense of openness and acceptance between the two of you.
Sex is love in physical form
From a spiritual perspective, sexual energy is one of the most powerful methods of bonding we can experience as human beings. We come to earth to experience physically what we already know conceptually in the spirit world, and love is one of those things. Sex is actually love in physical form. It is the most wonderful thing we can experience physically with another human being, as there is a level of closeness during sex which is incomparable to other experiences on earth.
When we have sex with someone, there is an exchange of energy which is more intense than any other energy exchange between two souls on earth. Our energies are blending with the other person’s, and at the same time we are actually absorbing some of their energy into our being, as well as giving some of our energy to them. Because of this exchange in energy, it can be argued that sex with friends is a wonderfully positive experience. You know and love your friends well, so blending your energy with them makes the most sense compared to someone you don’t know very well. In other words, sex with a friend can be seen as a fantastic opportunity to intensify a bond you already share.
I hope that by publishing this article I have stimulated some interest in the topic, and made you think more closely about the nature of some of your friendships. While by no means am I suggesting gay men can’t have platonic friends, I am suggesting that they are less common. Think for a moment, just how many of your friends would you sleep with if the opportunity came about? And for the platonic friends you do have, what makes them platonic – is it because of a lack of sexual attraction towards them, or another reason? What if that same friend suddenly put on a lot of muscle and changed their appearance, would your opinion of them change?
Next time you find yourself in a drunken haze making out with a friend, take a moment to think about the true nature of your friendship, what it means to you, and what those actions could possibly mean to them. Sleeping with friends can be a completely wonderful bonding experience and exchange of energy, but it can also unleash some pretty complicated emotions if both people are not on the same page. Let’s learn to better understand and protect our friendships – after all, they’re the most precious thing we have.
I would love to hear any comments people have about this topic, so please share this article on social media and let’s discuss!
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