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When I inquired with Jack, a single, gay 26-year-old, he confirmed that those exact competing interests are often points of contention in gay dating.“On Grindr, it doesn’t bother me, but on Bumble or whatever, it gets annoying.It was exactly the mix of stability and flexibility I craved in my mid-20s, and with Matt and the handful of paired-but-open men I dated in the years following, I got it.

“I would fuck them once or twice, but I wouldn’t date them.Dating is an issue of allocating resources, both temporal and emotional, and that just seems like a losing bet,” said Beth, 36.” It’s not that she’s particularly invested in monogamy as a concept, but the potential power dynamic — of being a single woman with a boyfriend who already has a partner — seems untenable.These frustrations aren’t new, of course; they’re just presenting themselves to a group of people who were largely able to avoid them in the past: women looking to date men.“You end up beholden to this weird cosmology in which everyone but you has a partner already.” It’s the sexual version of , and you’re the cheese that stands alone.

And if that’s what you’re looking for, then it’s perfect.

Jenn, 41, who came to non-monogamy as a single woman after she ended a miserable monogamous relationship and then met a man in an open marriage, found something similar.

“To be successful as a poly person, you have to be really open and honest with all of your partners, so it kind of forces you to discuss your feelings and thoughts more openly than monogamous relationships do.

But if part of you still wants to be the first person on someone else’s mind, things can go left quickly.

For single women, the trepidation isn’t just about sorting through men on dating apps: there’s the question of what happens in the long term, and whether navigating someone else’s existing relationship is even worth it if you don’t have one yourself to fall back on? “Like I’m gonna meet someone and they’re gonna be like, ‘Oh I don’t eat pussy because my wife won’t let me.’ What?

Also, she was horny enough to make a few compromises.