The lack of comprehensive gay male health education in schools and universities is a significant detriment to our community. It leaves us without not just helpful information about our sex lives but about our bodies as both males and homosexuals. This leads to an outgrowth of misunderstandings and myths about both.

Lies and misconceptions about our sex lives do not just originate outside of the gay male community. Many of the most damaging and pervasive myths come from inside our house. These negative beliefs affect the way we see ourselves, our partners, and our sex lives in general. Debunking these myths helps to break down the barriers we create and free us to have the happy sex lives we all deserve.

No conversation about gay anal sex myths and misconceptions would be complete without discussing pornography. All porn is “fake” and has an agenda. Mostly, it is entertainment, even though far too many use it as an educational tool. The actors are paid for their time and activities and thus are appropriately prepared for their scenes in ways that are not always applicable in the real world. Even amateur porn follows many of the same fantasy tropes that professional studios created. Outside of fetish porn, the myths we will discuss can be seen in their films and social media streams.

We chose the five (5) most common negative beliefs about anal sex that gay males complain about and break down why they are false in ways only other gay males who genuinely enjoy having anal sex can.

All gays love anal sex

It may be hard for some to understand or believe, but not all gays love anal. We are not talking about those who consider themselves total tops, sometimes do it with the right man, or who would do it more if some factors were changed. We mean that some gay males do not like the idea of anal sex, and it is something they are not into.

Just as there are tops, bottoms, and versatile guys, some call themselves “sides.” They are generally as sexual as the rest of us but without anal sex. It is also essential to distinguish them from the men who call themselves g0ys. Who are very homophobic but “enjoy the physical company of other men, without anal sex because they consider it unhealthy, disgusting, shameful & emasculating.”

No one will ever know precisely how many of our brothers prefer not to engage in anal sex, but they are making their presence known on the internet and social media dating sites.

There is no right or wrong way to be a homosexual. Our sexual orientation is based on our sexual attraction to other males, not on which sexual activities we perform with them. There are many reasons why some guys might make this choice, whether for a short or long-term period. What is important to understand is that SIDES do not want to be convinced, coerced, or even guilted into anal sex. They want to be seen and respected as complete homosexual males without having to perform this particular sexual act.

Of course, some guys are conflicted about anal sex, inexperienced, had very negative experiences, or still believe many of the myths we work hard to dispel. But those guys are not SIDES.

Keeping an open mind and an understanding heart are the best ways to support those who have made this choice and never attempt to change them.

Penis size does not matter

Anal sex is as much about male biology as it is about intercourse. Penis size is significant to anal sex. Too small may be uncomfortable, and too large may be painful. Knowing your body and exactly where your prostate lays is the first step to ensuring more pleasure and less discomfort.

Prostate stimulation is a large part of anal sex enjoyment. Your prostate is about two inches inside your rectum, and it’s between your penis and rectum and feels soft or rubbery. When a penis, finger, buttplug, or dildo massages it, waves of pleasure are sent through your entire body. Some guys can even have an anal orgasm from this stimulation, and many can achieve a penile orgasm from this action alone.

Many guys who choose to bottom claim that anal orgasms are much more intense and gratifying than penile ones, mainly because they can last much longer and multiple ones are more than possible.

“Rutgers University completed a study mapping the male genital system, including the prostate, and are analyzing more complete data. They found that sensory input from the prostate projects to the same region of the genital sensory cortex as the rest of the genital structures. This is probably the basis for men claiming prostate stimulation feels erotic. Do you want to see the research findings? If so, you can find them here. (pdf)

Believe it or not, smaller-than-average penises can pose just as many issues as larger-than-average penises,” says Evan Goldstein, an anal surgeon and the founder of Bespoke Surgical, a gay men’s anal and sexual health clinic. Goldstein explains that all sizes of dicks have the potential to cause tearing or fissures “if things get too rough.”

In the case of big dicks, this can happen if “not enough lube is used, or the receiving partner hasn’t properly dilated ahead of time to help stretch the skin and muscle appropriately.” When it comes to small dicks, however, they can often “fall out while thrusting, so the receiving partner might feel like they’re constantly being poked at irregular angles.” This can also cause irritation or tearing.

“If someone is new to anal sex, anal dilation and stretching exercises will be important to be able to enjoy bottoming,” he explains. “This should ideally start four to six weeks ahead of time because it takes a while for both the skin and the muscles to build strength and flexibility,” Goldstein says that you should also invest in a dilation kit — which typically comprises a set of three butt plugs — and work your way up in the sizes. “Start with the smallest for just a few minutes a day, a couple of times a week,” he suggests. “You’ll want to work your way up to the medium or large plug — depending on the size of your partner — by the end of the six weeks.”

“I often say that the best bottoms bottom often,” he continues. “That’s because the sphincters are muscles that need frequent engagement; otherwise, they’ll go back to their starting point.” But, he warns, “it’s important to make sure these muscles don’t get worked too much, especially with larger partners, toys, or fists. The best way to prevent this from happening is to do contraction exercises using butt plugs (simply clenching down on them) on ‘off’ days [when you’re not having anal sex].”

As for how dick or toy size factors into pleasure and anal orgasm, it’s really about personal preference and the sensation you’re going for. Some people love the deep impact of a huge dick; others find it massively uncomfortable and prefer something smaller. As with any type of sex, there’s no “superior” size, nor is there any universal preference — it’s all about what feels good to the receiving partner and how the person with the dick accommodates their needs.  

Douching is mandatory

We have discussed the health issues associated with regular douching for anal sex in a few of our articles. Done with frequency, this activity is known to increase your risk of contracting STDs and can cause many short- and long-term healthcare problems with your digestive system. We have also provided many alternatives to douching that are known to work.

But, it is time we talk about why some guys who choose to bottom are starting to shy away from douching in the first place and how the unreasonable expectation that they are always “clean” has caused it.

First, we would like to clarify that not wanting to douche before anal sex does not always equal a desire for scat play (not that there is anything wrong with it).

Douching takes a lot of time!

Depending on the guy, what type of sex he believes he will have, and how many partners, douching can take between 1 to 3 hours. Yes, really. This pre-game activity is done until “the water runs clear,”

It is not fun!

Even though the douching item enters the anus and rectum, this is not enjoyable. There is no sexual arousal or pleasure gained from it, and it is purely for function.

It can be messy!

Self-explanatory (duh)

No guarantees!

Even after hours of work put into douching, there is no guarantee that he will actually have anal sex. From guys online who flake to not finding guys he is interested in at a party, all of this effort may go down the preverbal drain.

A move toward more natural sex

An evergrowing number of gay males are moving towards more natural and organic forms of sexual intercourse. They desire more physical contact, only natural smells and tastes from their partner’s bodies, no use of deodorants, colognes, or scented soaps, and no douching. All these things are considered to take away the natural essence of a man and deprive his partner of his authentic self.

We doubt you will encounter many guys in bars, clubs, saunas, and sex parties who shy away from douching, but if you are online, your chances are higher. If you choose to bottom and don’t want to douche, don’t let yourself be pressured into doing something you do not want to do. There are lots of guys who top who will accept and enjoy you as you are.

If you are a guy who chooses to top, do not be surprised when you meet guys who have thrown away their douching products. But the best thing you can do for all of your sexual partners is to learn and understand how the male digestive system works and stop placing unrealistic expectations on your sexual partners. Shit happens sometimes, but there are ways to handle it properly.

No one uses condoms

Contrary to what you may read or see online, guys still use condoms during anal sex. Of course, no one can ever tell you exactly how many, as most research is based on self-reporting. Yes, the rise in PrEP usage has caused some to stop using latex, but that does not mean that they have stopped having safer sex, as condoms are only one way to prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs.

With this being said, the choice of whether you use condoms or not is a personal decision that only you can make for yourself. It should not matter what any other gay males are doing or not. When it comes to your health, you must make the best decisions based on the information you have.

Due to HIV, our community was forced to use a product that was untested as to its ability to stop the spread of this virus. Only one condom has ever been approved to prevent HIV through anal sex. With new developments in science and technology, changes in behavior should be expected.

We now know that not only do our current crop of HIV anti-viral medications effectively treat this illness they are also known to prevent it directly and indirectly. Those who are living with HIV and have achieved an undetectable viral load are unable to pass on the virus to their sexual partners. And PrEP and PEP are able to keep users from contracting HIV. This information and what is called “condom fatigue” are the reasons we see less latex usage in our community.

Recently a new form of PrEP (doxycycline) has been announced that helps prevent the infection and spread of gonorrhea and syphilis.

If you prefer to use latex during anal sex, you must know how to properly place one on to increase your level of STD protection. You should also understand the limits of this product regarding the spread of bacterial infections.

Most likely, there will always be guys who choose to use condoms for anal sex, no matter the advances in science and technology. If you want to use them, with or without PrEP, you must make this clear in your communications on and offline.

No one uses lubrication

Those from a heteronoramative background and understanding of gay male anal sex do not understand the importance of proper lubrication. Even non-profits and government organizations that provide safer-sex healthcare information to our community speak only of condoms and never mention lube.

Even pornography is guilty of not showing the usage of lubrication. And to be clear, spit is not lube!

The anus is not a vagina and does not perform like one on any level. Most importantly, it is not self-lubricating. Using the proper type and amount of lubrication benefits all parties involved and makes for easier entry and deeper penetration while providing a smooth and slick rectal cavity.

If you choose to use condoms during anal sex, lubrication is even more necessary as latex is quick to dry out, causing damage to it and irritating the anus of the bottoming guy.

Since lube can be very inexpensive, with lots of varieties, and is found just about everywhere, there is no excuse for not using it and using a lot of it during anal sex.

Everyone likes the same type of anal sex

Of course, not everyone enjoys the same things as everyone else. And this includes sexual intercourse. So the concept of a homogenous gay male appetite is obviously false. We are as varied in our sexual likes and dislikes as straight guys.

Myths, usually stemming from a lack of knowledge about our actual sex lives, have created a climate where some guys believe that the way they enjoy sex is the way every guy enjoys sex and that any deviation from their perspective is wrong, dirty, or immoral.

There is no wrong way to have homosexual male sex, and each of us has developed individual likes and dislikes that cater to our needs and the needs of our various partners. Over time, some or even all of these mainstays may change.

The concern with guys believing that every guy they have sex with will enjoy the same type is that it opens the possibilities for physical and emotional harm. Suppose you only learned about anal sex from pornography or social media. In that case, the natural takeaway will be that all guys who bottom love rough and sometimes even violent penetration and thrusting. Yes, some guys seek this form of anal sex, but to those that do not, this action will be painful and cause damage to their bodies.

Like with most things, communication is key to understanding the sexual wants and needs of your partner. This means listening, talking, and believing him when he states his desires. When one of the parties is convinced that his way is the right and thus only way, there is no room for communication or deviation. This causes mental and emotional distress for those on the receiving end of his penis.

Missionary and doggy style are not the only ways to have anal sex, even though they are the most popular. The gay sex Kamasutra is a great resource to help expand your horizons and enhance your sex life.

Guys who bottom must have an erection

We are taught, both directly and indirectly, that the way a male shows his sexual arousal is always through an erection. This is not true. Younger guys and those prone to easy stimulation will most likely have and maintain an erection during penetrative sex, but this becomes less possible for some as we age.

Also, bottoming during anal sex can require a lot of concentration. The rectal muscles need to relax and accept a penis with as minimal pain and discomfort as possible, so maintaining a constant erection is not always feasible.

For many guys who choose to bottom for anal sex, an erection will come and go, usually associated with the amount of direct stimulation upon their prostate and the stroking of their penis. Of course, some guys can ejaculate “hands-free” from anal sex, but this should not be expected of everyone.

Anal pleasure can often lead to an anal orgasm, which many describe as more significant and intense than penile ones. If you choose to bottom, it is unfair to pressure yourself to constantly have an erection during anal sex if it does not come naturally. This does not mean that you are impotent or have issues with erectile dysfunction. It simply means that your body is placing more emphasis on your anal actions than your penis.

If you are the guy who chooses to top during anal sex, the lack of a constant erection in your partner does not mean he is not sexually aroused or enjoying himself. If you would like for him to have an erection, paying attention to his penis, if he wants you to, is the best method. But not all guys will wish for this type of attention. So, please pay attention to other physical and verbal cues to gauge his enjoyment. When in doubt, ask him!

Before you go…

Education and facts are the best way to combat myths and misconceptions about gay male anal sex. Communication between parties and a willingness to keep an open mind is also helpful. We all have different sexual likes and dislikes, but we can not explore them if we are not honest with ourselves and our partners.

Finally, pornography is not real and should not be used as your only method to educate yourself about gay male sex. It creates an unrealistic belief system about sex that forces many to abandon actions in their best interest. Watch porn if you like, and enjoy it, but understand that your real-life sexual partners will not perform as the actors do on your screen. And that is perfectly fine.

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