Metro Weekly

A surprising number of gay men say they’ve cheated on their partner

52% of British gay and bisexual men say they've cheated -- and almost half believe their partner didn't find out

Photo: See-ming Lee / Flickr

Over 50% of gay and bisexual men have cheated on their partner, a new survey has found.

What’s more, almost half of that group believe their partner had no idea they were unfaithful. That’s according to a survey by the Health Equality and Rights Organization (HERO) for Britain’s FS Magazine.

After speaking to 961 gay and bisexual men, 52% reported cheating on their partner, with 45% believing the partner didn’t find out.

However, it’s likely that second figure is higher, as 58% of those surveyed reported that a partner had been unfaithful to them.

Of those who were unfaithful, 17% said they had contracted a sexually transmitted infection. And, if you need a reason never to trust anyone ever again, of the group that contracted an STI, 39% didn’t inform their partner.

The survey, conducted in Britain, offered a few interesting insights into the sexual habits and tolerances of the British gay and bisexual male population. For instance, 61% of men would break up with their partner/husband if they were unfaithful, but 29% weren’t sure.

What’s more, infidelity itself was open to debate, particularly when it came to cybersex versus sexual acts with a real person.

Anal sex (79%), blow jobs (76%), and hand jobs (74%) were considered infidelity by most people. However, cybersex was less clear. While 55% considered using a hook-up app to be an act of infidelity, only 43% considered sharing sexual images to be so, while sending “private messages” was considered infidelity by just 34%.

Oh, and for all of you serial flirts out there, only 18% of British men think that’s being unfaithful.

FS spoke to a number of men about their experiences with cheating. Cian, 32, said he cheated while his partner was in an addiction spiral that would leave him “rolling around the floor on G for hours everyday.”

“I needed an escape from it all. Trying to work full time to live, and having to go home to an unloving environment was taking its toll,” he said. “I went on a night out with friends and was shocked to realise a guy was flirting with me! It had been ages since I was hit on by someone. I went back to his and we fucked for hours. It made me feel alive again.”

Conversely, 57% of those who were cheated on said that the infidelity impacted their future relationships.

“It made me question my ability to please my partner,”: Josh, 25, said. “It made me question my self-confidence and drained me emotionally.”

“I continually question my new partner’s real motives,” Daniel 38, said, “and I am beside myself with anxiety most of the time that he is cheating or will cheat on me.”

However, for Vincent, 29, cheating wasn’t a result of addiction or a breakdown in the relationship. He was simply bored and sexually frustrated.

“It was out of boredom,” he said. “Getting no attention from a partner for more than two months. It didn’t end up well.”

“What’s clear to us from the results of the survey and what gay men told us about their experiences is that some gay men are making the same mistakes regarding communication, trust and boundaries,” HERO Chief Executive Ian Howley said, adding, “I’ve met lots of gay couples who are perfect for each, emotionally, but sexually they didn’t work, or it just fizzled out but rather than work together on this, one or both of them cheats on their partner leading to the eventual breakdown of their relationships.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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