Same-Sex Activities


Staff member
Jun 3, 2003
Same-Sex Activities
Straight society is often somewhat mystified by the specific sexual activities that gays engage in. Current thinking in psychology is that perhaps as much as one-third of the adult male population has, at one time or another, engaged in some form of same-sex activity leading to orgasm. It's not uncommon, according to psychologists, for boys only recently past puberty to engage in mutual masturbation, or "jerk-off" sessions, with their male friends. Psychologists attach little significance to this sort of same-sex activity in terms of its implications for sexual preference. Psychologists referto such activity as "incidental homosexuality, and do not necessarily believe that simply because young person, or even an adult man, irregularly engages in such activity that the man is gay.

However, many gay men are also very interested in mutual masturbation sessions where both partners manipulate their own or each other's sex organs. Such activity may involve more than two men. The sex-oriented newsgroups are filled with personal ads from men who are looking for jerk- off partners, and internet newsgroups have largely replace public restrooms for advertizing.

The true sexual orientation (preference) of many of these men can be ambiguous. Some men appear to attach no more significance to the activity than, say, going out for beer and a pizza, and simply treat it as an enjoyable way to spend an evening. I've visited with married men who occasionally "go out with the boys" to engage in mutual masturbation. These men claim to very much enjoy sex with their wives as well, have no intentions of leaving their wives, and simply regard the jerk-off sessions as a different and interesting sexual activity. In the instances I am aware of, the wives are unaware of what goes on when the husband has a night out with the boys. Another common activity is watching erotic videotapes while engaging in mutual masturbation by male friends.

Oral sex among gay couples is the next step, although even here some psychologists regard the oral sex as simply another manifestation of incidental homosexuality that does not provide sufficient evidence that the men involved are gay.

Anal intercourse is the type of sexual activity many psychologists regard as only taking place between men who are gay. This view, however, is by no means universally held, and some gay men I have discussed this with strongly disagree. I have talked with many men who regard themselves as gay never engage in anal sex. Some recent research suggests that anal intercourse ranks only third (behind mutual masturbation and oral sex) as the favored activity among gays.

Of course, the AIDS epidemic and the subsequent emphasis on safe(r) sex has substantially changed not only the views of gays about activities such as anal sex but also the comparative frequency of the various activities, so data collected in recent research may have (undoubtedly has) changed substantially from that collected 5 or 10 years ago.

Straights were initially confused by the spread of AIDS within the gay community. Most straights assumed that gays primarily engaged in activities such as mutual masturbation which posed virtually no risk of disease transmission. The speed by which AIDS moved through the gay community strongly suggested to straights that anal sex was a favored sexual activity for many gays.

Many gay men who engage in anal sex have a preference for being either a "giver"(top) or a "receiver" (bottom). Others have no particular preference, and are willing to reverse roles. The appeal of anal sex among gays is linked directly to the location of the male prostate gland which can be felt through the rectum a couple inches in. The prostate of the receiver is stimulated during anal sex.

Sadly, the risk of AIDS transmission in anal sex is much higher than in other forms of sexual activity among gays and anal sex is undoubtedly responsible for the vast majority of cases of sexual transmission among gays. While the AIDS virus can be transmitted via oral sex, the probability of transmission is very low, and would usually require open sores in the mouth. The rectum is very fragile and is easily torn in anal intercourse. Thus, anal intercourse can provide an excellent path for the transmission of the AIDS virus from semen to blood and from blood to penis. That relationships tend to be fragile and short-lived, that anal intercourse was a favored sexual activity for many gays, and the easy transmission of the AIDS virus through the rectum has in large measure been responsible for the AIDS epidemic among the gay community. There are many sexual activities that gays could (and increasingly do) enjoy which would pose essentially zero risk of disease transmission--mutual masturbation, sex play involving clothing, sex toys and the like.