Intimacy and sexuality in gay male couples
The strongest predictor of relationship satisfaction among gay men is not relationship duration or partner's age, but emotional intimacy. When two people create a space in which they become very intimate and passionate, then the opportunity for a long-term gratifying relationship arrives.
Emotional intimacy is what brings gay men together.
In a study of 320 men (20 to 77 years) in gay relationships, data were gathered on verbal, physical, and emotional intimacy and on sexual aspects of relationship functioning. Independent of relationship duration and partners' age, emotional intimacy predicts relationship satisfaction the best. Sexual satisfaction is best predicted by low sexual distance. Sexual frequency is best predicted by sexual satisfaction. Data analysis indicates that young gay men value emotional aspects of their relationship more than older gay men do. The attitude towards sexual encounters one partner has is related to his actual number of sexual partners and to his partner's attitude.