If I’m Gay, Why Am I Afraid of Anal Sex?

One of my subscribers sent me a message today that said this:

My thing is that I’m really afraid of gay sex.  I don’t know what it is, but I have all these ideas about how it is “supposed” to be. It’s so frustrating to not have any clear images about what it’s supposed to be like to be gay.

Now, if you’ve been out of the closet for a while, your first reaction might be, “WTF, sex is awesome!”

But for those of you recently out, the idea of having sex as a gay person can be downright terrifying and – dare I say – disgusting?

Most of our reference guides for gay sex are limited to 3 options:

  • Hardcore porn
  • Tragedies a la Brokeback Mountain, The Hours, Philadelphia
  • Campy comedies with names like The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror (yes, that’s a real movie)

So there’s a preconceived notion that “being gay” ultimately means we’re going to be gang banged and peed on, have our hearts crushed by a forbidden love, get AIDS, and forever be a cheesy B-movie stereotype.

No wonder people are afraid of coming out!

Not only do we have to deal with the potential backlash from family and friends but now we have to actually leave our closet and BE gay!

But I have good news: YOU are in control of your sexuality. Your sexuality – and the media stereotypes that come with it – do NOT control you.

Below are some of the most common fears and questions people face as they come out of the closet:

1. I’m afraid of anal sex. Does it hurt?

Let’s get one thing straight: Anal sex is not synonymous with being gay.

In fact, only 36 percent of gay men reported receiving anal sex in a 2011 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Many partners find ways to please each other without doing what what in the butt.

Anal sex can hurt if done improperly. If it hurts, stop. If there’s bleeding, stop. If you’re constipated, don’t even start.

And sometimes there’s blood and fecal matter. Life is not always as clean and hygienic as a Titan porn set.

Just use lots of lube and take it slow. If you don’t like it, there’s no need to keep doing it. Communication with your partner is just as important between the sheets as it is in the streets.

2. Should I hook up with different people before finding a long-term relationship? I want to have fun without being considered a slut.

Sex is a normal human desire. You should not feel guilty for wanting to experiment (with consenting adults). You just have to be safe and smart about it.

Your sexual and emotional health are two peas in a pod, and if one suffers, they both do. I don’t care what people say: Sex comes with emotional baggage, so why not make it a Louis Vuitton clutch instead of a dirty sack of guilt and tears?

It all goes back to YOU being in charge of your sexuality.

People who go around slut-shaming everyone need to get a grip and realize not all humans are programmed the same.

3. I don’t want to get AIDS or some other STD.

Then don’t have sex.

Just kidding.

Sex – like everything else in life – comes with its share of risks. The smartest thing anyone can do is know what those risks are and prepare for them.

If you want to reduce your risk for STDs, wear a condom, get tested, and know your partner’s status.

If you want to reduce your risk for dying in a car accident, wear your seatbelt.

If you want to reduce your risk for cancer, don’t smoke.

Does this mean bad stuff will never happen to you? No, but you’re doing your part, and that’s all you can do.

About 17,000 people in the US with AIDS died in 2009, and while that sounds like a high number, it doesn’t compare to the 300,000 people who died from an obesity-related illness.

In other words, be cautious, but don’t live in fear.

Were you afraid during your first gay sex encounter?

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