dynamics in gay relationships

Okay, I’m Finally Admitting the Truth!!


This past week was difficult for a lot of people who write same sex fiction, so I wanted to end the week with a different kind of post, something more personal. On top of everything else going on, another author posted about me and not only attacked me personally in a defamatory way but also questioned my identity again. No names, no links. I don’t like to give people like that any attention. And, I have absolutely nothing to hide.

But I did decide to come clean on something I haven’t mentioned before on this blog. First, everything I have written on the blog is true. My brother, who is also gay, does own this design firm in Manhattan. My mom and dad are retired therapists. The photo of me (and others like it on the web) is really me. I do live here.And I really do have a very good friend who has been a literary agent in New York for over forty years.

But there is one thing I haven’t discussed on the blog and this is mainly because I’m a very private person. When I’m finished working and I go out into the world, I don’t even tell other people what I do. I just say I work in publishing and leave it at that. I’ve been getting published for twenty years and I’ve learned how to separate my work from my private life. (Which is also why my publisher, whom I love dearly, often gets frustrated with me about making appearances at events and book signings in New York.)

The main reason I’m admitting the truth today and talking about this is because I post about same sex marriage and same sex relationships and it often sounds like hearsay. The truth is that I’ve been in a twenty year monogamous relationship with the same man since we were both in our early twenties.

We met in 1992, his name is Tony, and we’ve shared every single aspect of our lives since the day we met. There was no big wedding with gifts and checks. Every single thing we own we bought on our own through hard work, and working together as a couple.

For the first fifteen years of our relationship, Tony worked in corporate America and travelled the world. While he was in Germany, France, and Anywhere, USA, I was running my own art gallery in New Hope, and working part time in publishing as a writer and editor. They were rough years because I hated being alone, but work always got me through it. The down time in my gallery afforded me the ability to continue in publishing and pursue a career as a writer. Tony and I started, built, and eventually sold a very successful business between 1998 and 2004. We’ve bought and sold property together since our first two bedroom town house in 1992. And we’ve been living in the same private home just outside New Hope for the past ten years.

So when I write about the more technical aspects of same sex relationships, it’s not just hearsay. I know what it’s like to hire an attorney and have legal papers drawn up that cover everything from legal power of attorney to wills. I also know what it’s like to not only fear the loss and devastation of losing my partner on an emotional level (I can’t even think about it for too long…after 911, a day Tony was in the air on his way to Boston, I never stopped worrying), I also fear the inheritance taxes either Tony or I will be forced to pay when something does happen to either one of us. There are many things gay couples can do to protect themselves; we’re constantly learning and trying to find out what’s new.

Tony and I both come from large families. And we’ve been lucky enough to have been embraced by both our families. I love Tony’s family as much as I love my own, and I know he feels the same way about mine. Ironically, Tony and I have been together longer than any of our siblings. Unfortunately, we been forced to witness the pain when a few of our siblings had to experience bad divorces. We buried Tony’s mother in 2002 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, we supported my mom through an arduous ordeal with bladder cancer in 1998, and we buried our eighteen year old cat, Nittany, two years ago. On Thanksgiving, which we usually host here at the house, we have anywhere from forty to sixty guests at one time. If we ever decide to scale back, I have no idea how we’ll deal with this.

I’d like to make it clear that the point of this post isn’t to brag or boast about being openly gay and in a long term relationship. I think by now all the straight women authors who know me know that I support them completely and that I truly believe anyone should be able to write anything they want to write. In fact, one of the reasons why I love Michelle Montgomery’s work so much is because of the “Tony and Ryan” book she first wrote. It really did remind me of Tony and me.

The main point of this post is to come clean so I can continue to write about all the legal and emotional aspects of gay life the same way I’ve been doing it since I began this blog. And this time it won’t sound like hearsay. It’s coming from my experience and from my heart.

New Release: THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET BABY Book 3

The third book in my Virgin Billionaire series was just released today, THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET BABY. It’s a full length novel, it can be found on the publisher’s web site (ravenousromance.com) and all other web sites where e-books are sold, and here’s a link to the allromanceebooks.com web site. I usually link there because I think they give the best product description all the way around.

The interesting thing about this book is that I brought back two characters from a novel I wrote about three years ago, PRETTY MAN. The two main characters, Roland and Josh, in that book were deeply in love but had a more open sexual relationship than characters in my other books. But that didn’t mean they were any less in love. A lot of people didn’t think they loved each other enough, though, so I wanted to bring them back for a few short scenes in this latest virgin billionaire book and show readers they did, in fact, continue with their relationship and they are still thriving as a happily married couple.

To make it even more interesting, the one main character in this third book, Luis Fortune, actually isn’t too fond of Roland and Josh’s open relationship and he’s sometimes very vocal about it. My goal was to show that gay relationships, just like hetero relationships, are not all the same. Not by any means. And not all gay men are going to get along with each other just like not all hetero people are going to get along. Not all gay men hang out with straight women and shop. I find it amazing how this fact is often overlooked in most gay romance…and gay fiction…so often. It’s like all gay men are lumped into a category everyone wants to believe is real, and that’s not the case. Believe it or not, there are gay men who are conservative republicans and often remain silent about this because they fear they will be ridiculed. So I try to show an objective difference whenever I can. And, once again, I draw from my own experience as a gay man and from watching and listening to other gay men I know.

The Characters in Pretty Man

Though PRETTY MAN is by no means the first piece of fiction I’ve ever written, it was one of the first books I wrote for ravenousromance.com. As with almost all of my books, I take little pieces of real people that I’ve known personally, put them altogether, and create fictional characters. It’s almost like sewing a quilt, or putting a puzzle together.

I’m sure all writers have a difference process. But this is how I do it. Let’s face it, even the most interesting person I know wouldn’t be interesting in fiction. Fictional characters have to be, and are supposed to be, larger than life…even when those characters are simple and unassuming and don’t seem all that exciting.

But I saw a few reviews and comments about the characters in PRETTY MAN that surprised me. And frankly, they still surprise me two years later. Some readers didn’t like the way the two main characters had an open relationship and thought nothing of inviting other men into their relationship. They didn’t think it was realistic enough, which left me shaking my head.

In the real world, and I know this for a fact, there are many gay couples in long term relationships that engage in three-way sex or with multiple partners, without thinking twice about it. I have many good friends who have been together for many years and having an open relationship, for them, is what actually keeps their relationship exciting. I also have many gay friends who don’t do this. They just aren’t into it. But we only seem to hear about the gay men who don’t do this, not the gay men who do this. And that’s just not real.

The characters in PRETTY MAN do have an open relationship. And I wrote this as a conglomerate of knowledge I’ve gained in my forty years of living on this earth as a gay man. I didn’t just dream it up; it exists whether we like it or not. And I tried to portray the two characters in PRETTY MAN as having a solid, dependable relationship in spite of their penchant for inviting multiple partners into their relationship. And I gave them a happy ending I thought was appropriate to their situation.

In order to keep these characters alive, and to show readers they did actually live happily-ever-after, I’ve included them in the new sequel I’m writing, THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET BABY. And the contrast is interesting, because the two main characters in THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET BABY are completely monogamous and they don’t invite anyone into their relationship.

Once again, gay men are as complicated as they are simple. And in gay relationships it’s not uncommon to find couples who have been together for many years engaging in sex with multiple partners. I don’t just make this stuff up. I wish I did, but I didn’t. And I think it’s important for readers to know that the gay couples they see on TV and in movies, are pretty much nothing like gay couples in real life. And before anyone comments, I’m sure there are couples like the two gay guys on Modern Family. Only I don’t know any, and I know more gay couples than straight couples.