STRAIGHT WOMEN/GAY MEN: A Special Relationship by John Malone

STRAIGHT WOMEN/GAY MEN: A Special Relationship

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A hodgepodge of issues surrounding the ""special relationship"" of the title--though for the most part, the specialness is ignored. Instead, we have a variety of tangents about homosexual rights and a woman's right to know that she is entering into a relationship with a homosexual man. We also have a nearly blanket assumption that gay men entering into a sexual relationship with women are kidding themselves or deceiving the woman: the homosexuality will almost certainly resurface. Such incautious assumptions render much of what Malone has to say suspect, as he explores first platonic friendships and then sexual relationships (revealingly, labeled ""complications"") between straight women and gay men. Malone is also much more adept at quoting those he has interviewed than at interpreting or categorizing his findings, so that he winds up telling us more often that such friendships often outlast childhood and the woman's eventual marriage, than why this should be so (dark hints about how women can talk frankly to homosexuals about sex and the arts). Malone doesn't seem to have hit on the same kind of relationship that Rebecca Nahas and Myra Turley documented in The New Couple (1979, p. 1469), a primary relationship cast in the conventional mode of heterosexual coupling but not requiring the conventional trappings; and he gives the idea of enduring marriage scant attention in comparison to that of a homosexual's ""experimentation"" with heterosexuality. Neither as complete nor as focused as the Nahas and Turley study.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1980
Publisher: Dial