By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com June 29 2012 3:18 PM ET
Just like their straight counterparts, gay men find that having kids can sure put a damper on their sex lives, a new study finds.
The report was published in the journal Couple and Family Psychology. Researchers from San Francisco State University interviewed 48 gay couples about how their sex lives changed after starting families.
"When gay couples become parents, they become very focused on the kids, they are tired, there is less time for communication and less desire for sex," said Colleen Hoff, a professor of sexuality studies. "They go through a lot of the same changes as heterosexual couples who have kids."
Huff found that although watching their partner act as a father deepened their admiration for each other, the whole experience results in less time and energy for the relationship plus decreased sexual satisfaction. Still, that didn't increase the need for sex outside the relationship. Open couples remained open, and monogamous couples remained monogamous.
Researchers pointed out, though, that couples who were in open relationships before having children then became more reluctant to talk about it with doctors or friends — perhaps increasing their chances of risky behavior that contracts an STD.
"Some men felt that there is this assumption that if you are a gay parent you are monogamous," Hoff said. "This kind of stigma around gay parents' sexuality could be a concern if gay fathers are reluctant to talk to their physician about their sexual agreement and get tested for HIV."
The study recommends to doctors that they ask questions and never assume a gay couple are monogamous just because they have children.