As a gay guy who also doesn't like anal, I appreciated the letter from WAMEA and your response. I thought I should offer some encouragement.

A little while ago I started dating a fellow non-anal guy, and since then, we've fallen in love with each other—and since I gave up fucking, my sex life has never been better. In the past, I only let guys I was dating or hooking up with fuck me because they insisted; I don't mean that in the sense that I was pressured into doing something I didn't want, but that I tolerated for their pleasure rather than enjoying it myself. In many cases, however, I found that anal ruined the moment for me or even turned me off. I even skip over the fucking parts when I watch porn.

While I can't assume that my experience is representative of everyone, I can't help wondering if a lot of guys out there have anal sex not because they like to, but because they feel as though they have to. Most of what gay and bi men learn about sex comes from porn, and "normal" porn usually portrays fucking as the high point of any sexual encounter. Porn in which the guys suck or jerk each other to orgasm is often marketed as a niche product. On top of that, there's a pervasive idea that you're a virgin until you've topped or bottomed, and I've often gotten strange looks when I've admitted I don't like anal.

Anyway, I think there's a lot more of us out there than meets the eye, and I think WAMEA only really needs to be honest and upfront about it.

A Fellow Non-Fucker

My response after the jump...


Thanks for writing and representing all of the non-buttfucking gay men out there, AFNF, but I think you're being a little hard on porn.

While a lot of people do learn about sex watching porn—and while far too many people are getting their "sex educations" watching porn *—I don't think it was porn alone, or even porn primarily, that elevated anal sex in gay sexual encounters to the status of vaginal sex in straight sexual encounters, i.e. the defining and default sexual activity.

It was primarily AIDS education.

People were buttfucking prior to AIDS and prior to AIDS ed campaigns—duh—but for three decades AIDS education campaigns have urged gay and bi men to use condoms every time they have sex. Now as the most efficient method of HIV transmission, anal sex is rightly the focus of AIDS ed campaigns. But in addition to pushing condoms at and on gay and bi men, HIV education campaigns also pushed the idea that all gay sexual encounters include anal. You can't put up posters in every gay bar on earth that say "use a condom every time" without putting it into gay and bi men's heads that they're going to be having anal sex—or will be expected to have anal sex—"every time."

Which is one of the reasons I was so delighted to read the results of the study I mentioned in my response to WAMEA: most gay and bi men aren't having anal sex "every time." Knowing that might empower more gay and bi men to decline to have anal sex, if anal sex isn't something they enjoy, or to not feel like they must have anal sex "every time," even if anal sex is something they do enjoy.

* Confidential to the sex/porn-o-phobes: porn isn't going anywhere. If we don't want kids and young adults to get their sex educations watching porn, well, then we'll have to get comprehensive sex education into the schools, i.e. sex ed that can compete with and offer a reality check the "educations" and unrealistic expectations that some people are getting from porn.