The New Monogamists


By Tim Murphy

A new generation of gay couples is building a white picket fence around their sex lives. Are they depriving themselves of a perk of being gay?

Kirven (left) and Antonio Douthit-Boyd | Photography by Allison Michael Orenstein

There were few dry eyes in the sleek Alvin Ailey Center in Manhattan on June 7, 2013, when Antonio Douthit, 32, and Kirven Boyd, 28, two star dancers in the legendary company, held their wedding reception there after a City Hall marriage. In matching white shorts, black blazers, and gray ties, they entered a room full of family, friends, and colleagues, including Ailey director Robert Battle, to the strains of the song they’d chosen for their first dance: Oleta Adams’s poignant love song “Get Here.” It had been a favorite of Douthit’s mother, who’d died several years earlier. Douthit buried his head in Boyd’s shoulder and sobbed, and several guests did the same.

As the first gay couple in the Ailey company to get married, the Douthit-Boyds, as they call themselves, are shaking up tradition. But in one sense, they are highly traditional: The couple, who began dating a year after Antonio joined Ailey in 2004, say they are 100% monogamous. They have no desire to dabble sexually outside their relationship, together or alone, even though they meet tons of hot men while touring worldwide. And that, they contend, is unlikely to change.
“I don’t think we’ll ever have what some would consider an open relationship,” says Kirven. “I don’t think it’s smart to give someone you’re married to the freedom to figure someone else out, because you never know what that will entail. If there came a time when we needed to spice things up, we could definitely have a conversation about that.”

“There’s nothing wrong with spicing things up,” adds Antonio.

Meaning they might pull a third or a fourth in on a trip together?

Uh, no. “I think we have a pretty healthy sexual life with just each other,” Kirven clarifies. “If I see a cute guy, I’ll say to Antonio, ‘Did you see him?’ That helps spice things up the bedroom. But we never have an urge,” he says, to ask that cute guy to join them there.

“In an open relationship, you’re always trying to get to know other people and make sure that sex is something you want to do with them,” Kirven adds. “And I don’t want to do that. I’m a little bit lazy.”

“Yes,” says Antonio, laughing. “He’s a little lazy.”

The Douthit-Boyds are not the only gay couple their age, married or not, who feel this way. In Phoenix, Alec Thomson, 25, a political policy advisor, and his boyfriend of five years, Gerald Bohulano, 27, an ad man, say they plan to always be completely monogamous. They won’t even pick up a third together. “That would definitely create jealousy,” says Thomson. “There’s no need to be with other people as long as our physical and emotional needs are being met. In time that could change, but we would probably end the relationship before getting to that point.”

In Chicago, Anthony Navarro, 32, a wedding planner, and his boyfriend of 18 months, Patrick Niles, 31, who works for a luxury clothing consignment shop, say that an open relationship was never on the table. “We were both raised by good families with the belief that as you get older, you find your partner—the love of your life, the person that makes you happy—and you build a foundation with that person,” Navarro explains. “We both believe that monogamy strengthens that bond, making a stronger couple ready to build a life together and overcome some obstacles that nonmonogamous couples wouldn’t otherwise have.”

And in Philadelphia, Cesar Anthony Fernandez, 24, a waiter, and Nick Joseph Selvaggi, 33, a project manager for an engineering firm, have been together two years—and are so monogamous that, unlike the Douthit-Boyds, they won’t even comment on other guys’ looks to each other. “Not because we don’t notice,” says Fernandez, “but we’re human, with insecurities, so it’s out of respect for that.”

“Plus,” he says, “it’s usually pretty obvious when someone’s good-looking, so it doesn’t need stating.”

“I concur,” adds Selvaggi.