LGBT 24 Male Intimacy and Relationships Syllabus

Fall 2019

LGBT 24- Male Intimacy and Relationships- Fall 2019

Instructor Eddie Kaufman L.C.S.W.


Thank you for signing up for the online "Male Intimacy and Relationships" class (CRN 33565, 3 units), which starts on September 3rd- December 20th, 2019. This is a fully online class with no required on-campus meetings. We'll be using the learning management system called Canvas, to learn and build a class community.

Course Learning Outcomes:

  1. Analyze and evaluate the impact of male socialization and homophobia on gay male relationships.
  2. Analyze issues related to dating, intimacy and sex, as well as attributing their impact on same- sex male relationships.
  3. Critique common stages in male same-sex relationships.
  4. Analyze the impact of differences (such as age, ethnicity, and class) on male same sex relationships, and generate potential challenges and strengths that can result.
  5. Distinguish and manifest the ability to listen effectively, communicate clearly, and resolve conflicts with men in dating and intimate relationships.
  6. Compare and contrast theories and theoretical frameworks regarding sexual identity formation, partner attraction, and communication patterns and be able to synthesize understanding of these theories and frameworks into students' writing and discussions.

What to Expect from this Course:

I am excited that you are taking this journey this semester through this course. We will study gay and queer male relationships from a variety of perspectives. Although we will rely heavily upon the personal experiences of class members, we will also examine biological, psychological, social, cultural, and legal influences upon our ability to relate. Students will gain a better understanding of how to seek and participate in more satisfying relationships as well as how understand and cope with the many forces that impact them.

This class is an opportunity for you to learn the foundational skills necessary to meet, get into, and sustain an intimate relationship. Knowing that each of us is different, and has different experiences and backgrounds, this course is designed to support you on furthering your personal path to developing and maintaining intimate relationships. Previous relationship experience is not required! This class is also open to all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. Many of the skills and tools we will be learning will be applicable to all types of relationships, but the focus of the course will be one building relationships and intimacy between men.

Course Expectations

This course will be conducted completely online. Make sure to set aside time throughout the week to complete readings, assignments, and post on the discussion board. This course will take an average of 9 hours per week for seventeen weeks. Please set aside time for reading the textbook (1-2 hours per week), completing assignments (1-3 hours per week), watching videos (1-2 hours per week) and responding to forums (1-2 hours per week) and other miscellaneous activities like reading the website, communicating with other students and the instructor, working on your culminating project. I suggest logging in every day for an hour or so, but if that is impossible, please consider logging in as much as possible, the fewer times you log in, the longer your sessions will need to be. The obvious advantage of an online course is that you do not need to be on campus to attend class every week, but you do need to set aside enough time to complete the reading and assignments. If you are new to online classes, or could use additional support, see the resource section at the end of the letter.

Building Community

This class is a community. We all have the same objective: to learn. Online students often feel isolated but it's important to know you are not in this alone! I need each of you to approach our online class with a great attitude and a willingness to help each other. Many problems and questions can be resolved by asking a fellow student. I am always here to help you but I truly believe your experience will be better if you communicate with your fellow students throughout the semester. Let's work together to make this semester great for everyone!

Welcome to class!

Be sure to thoroughly review all this information. If you still have any course-related questions or concerns, please email or call me. My preferred method of contact is email at, the Canvas Inbox once you get logged in to the course, or by phone 415-939-3356. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact me along the way. I am excited and honored to be your instructor, and I am here to support your success in this course.

Weekly Outline

The course is divided into sixteen weekly modules. Each weekly module will appear in the Modules section of the course. To get started each week, closely review the Overview page at the start of each module, which list the learning objectives and required assignments for the week. A Week-by-Week Schedule of scored activities and assessments is available below.


There are 2 textbooks required for the class:

  • Isensee, Rik, (2005). Love Between Men, ISBN-10: 0-595-34146-2
  • Downs, Alan PhD. (2012). The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the pain of growing up gay in a straight man’s world. Da Capo Press, ISBN: 9 780738215679

These books were chosen because they are good resource materials for queer men, something you can returns well after the class is over. They are available at the CCSF bookstore, but you can find much cheaper copies of them on Amazon and Kindle!

Throughout the semester, you will be required to read chapters in the book and then take quizzes on their content.

Important Semester Deadlines

  • September 23rd- Last Day to Drop Classes
  • November 26th- Last Day to request Pass/No Pass grading option.

Below is a detailed description of the learning modules for the class.

In Community,

Eddie Kaufman L.C.S.W.

Course Schedule

Unit 1- Overview of the Course- Class Introductions

Tuesday September 3rd- Sunday September 8th

In this unit, you will develop an understanding of the topics to be covered in the course, get to know your instructor and fellow students, and explore some of the common myths about male relationships.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Why are you taking the class? 10
      2. LGBT 24 Slideshow 10

Unit 2- Chronically Single Gay Men- Myth or Reality?

Monday September 9th - Sunday September 15th

In this unit, you will unpack the myth and underlying themes of the chronically single gay man. You will recognize common challenges that chronically single gay men face and how to address those challenges. You will understand the term – the velvet rage- and how it applies to queer men.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Challenges in Developing a Relationship 10
      2. Quiz- Chronically Single Gay Men 10

Unit 3- Growing Up and Coming Out

Monday September 16th- Sunday September 22nd

In this unit, you will develop an understanding of the LGBT coming out process and how it impacts self- esteem and relationship formation. You will also identify the impact of gender roles and gender role socialization and shame on identity development.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Growing up 10
      2. Discussion Forum- Coming Out 10

Unit 4- Apps- The World of Online Dating

Monday September 23rd- Sunday September 29th

Recognizing that the majority of men are using online dating sites, in this unit you will examine the array of online dating sites and apps. You will identify common challenges and benefits in utilizing these sites, while determining a method of communication that embodies your personality and personal values.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- What’s Up with Apps? 10
      2. Developing your Dating Profile 25

Unit 5- The Art of Flirting- Developing Human Connection

Monday September 30th- Sunday October 6th

In this unit, you will be able to understand the difference between cruising and flirting. You will also acquire some tips and suggestions to feel comfortable practicing flirting, regardless of your age, looks, or experience.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Meeting Someone New 10
      2. Flirting Scavenger Hunt 25

Unit 6- Negotiating the Dating Scene

Monday October 7th- Sunday October 13th

In this unit, we will explore the world of same sex dating. You will have the opportunity to discuss the written and unwritten expectations that you have regarding dating, and well as compile a list of tips to make your dates more fun and productive.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- What Qualities do you Look for? 10
      2. Class Collaboration- Successful Dating Handbook 25

Unit 7- Developing Intimacy- Becoming a We

Monday October 14th- Sunday October 20th

In this unit, student will begin to understand the process that causes “He” and “He” to become a “We”- exploring issues of developing intimacy and maintaining autonomy.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Balancing Intimacy and Autonomy 10
      2. Rescuer’s Triangle Quiz 10

Unit 8- Stages and Dynamics within couples

Monday October 21st- Sunday October 27th

In this unit, students will understand why they develop the same issues in relationships, regardless of their partner. Additionally, student will learn about the relationship stages gay male couples go through.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- What’s your Imago? 10
      2. Male Couple Relationship Stages Quiz 10

Unit 9-Listening Skills

Monday October 28th- Sunday November 3rd

In this unit, students will learn the fundamentals of Empathic and Active Listening Skills.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Listening Skills Reflection 10
      2. Empathetic Listening Quiz 10

Unit 10-Communication Styles

Monday November 4th- Sunday November 10th

In this unit, students will learn about the range of communication styles- from passive to assertive to aggressive. Student will also learn about Chapman’s 5 love Languages and identify which love languages they speak.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Being Assertive Reflection 10
      2. Communication Styles Examples 10

Unit 11- Conflict Negotiation- Using problems to strengthen your relationship Monday November 11th- Sunday November 17th

In this unit, students will learn about some of the most common sources of conflict in relationships, and how negotiating conflicts can build a relationship’s foundation.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Dealing with Conflict 10
      2. Solving Problems Quiz 10

Unit 12-The Intersection of Class, Culture, and Religion- Cross-Cultural Relationships Monday November 18th- Sunday November 24th

In this unit, students will learn about how various dimensions of difference- including ethnicity, culture, class, and religion- impact intimate relationships.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Dating Across Culture 10
      2. Class Collaboration- Successful Cross Cultural Relationships 25

Unit 13-Love and HIV in the Age of PREP

Monday November 25th- Sunday December 1st

Over the last 30 years, HIV has gone from frightening epidemic to a manageable condition. In this unit, student will explore how HIV, Treatments, and PREP have changed the landscape for male relationships.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Love and HIV 10
      2. HIV and PREP Quiz 10

Unit 14- Monogamy, Non-monogamy, and Polyamory- the spectrum of male relationships Monday December 2nd- Sunday December 8th

In this unit, students will be exposed to the continuum of male relationships- ranging from monogamy to polyamory. Students will also understand strategies and agreements to make their relationships supportive and intentional.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Monogamy or Non-monogany? 10
      2. Monogamy, Non-Monogamy, and Polyamory Quiz 10

Unit 15-How Alcohol, Drugs, and Partner Violence Affect Relationships

Monday December 9th- Sunday December 15th

In this unit, students will learn about how alcohol and drug use impacts intimate relationships between men. Students will also an opportunity to assess their own alcohol and drug use. Students will understand the dynamics of dating and partner violence, and receive resources on where to go for help.

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Partner Violence Reflection 10
      2. How much is too much? When is it a problem? 10

Unit 16- Ending a Relationship- Moving Yourself Forward

Monday December 16th- Friday December 20th

In this unit, students will learn how to deal with the end of a relationship, including how to cope with the associated grief and loss. Students will gain insights into ways to make the ending of a relationship a constructive experience

Assignments Points Available

      1. Discussion Forum- Dealing with Loss 10
      2. Ending a Relationship Quiz 10


There is a total of 430 points for all the required assignments in the course. Throughout the course there will be extra credit assignments integrated into the Learning Units.

Letter Grades in the course will be as follows:

Letter Grade Points

A 380-342

B 341-304

C 303-266

D 265-228

F 227-0