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How do gay men have sex?

Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash



Ever wondered how gay men have sex? Ever wondered if other guys are having a similar experience to you?

We decided to run a quick survey to see what insights we could gather about the sex lives of gay men.

117 guys responded to our survey.

  • 92% of respondents identified their sexuality as Gay.
  • 8% of respondents identified their sexuality as Bisexual.

Here’s what they told us:

In general, how often do you have sex?

  • More than once a week: 26%
  • About once a week: 21%
  • A couple of times each month: 16%
  • At least once a month: 10%
  • Less than once a month: 16%
  • I don’t have sex: 11%

When you have sex with someone, what do you enjoy the most?

  • Oral sex — giving: 18%
  • Oral sex — receiving: 11%
  • Anal sex — giving: 14%
  • Anal sex — receiving: 31%
  • Mutual masturbation: 26%

“I like all of the above, plus watching and being watched by interested parties.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“Rimming is what I enjoy the most.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“What I like is being played with by two or more men.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“Kissing. Seriously. I could do it for hours.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“I’m a CBT Dom into ball busting.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“Kissing is next to godliness, and rimming comes a close second.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“I enjoy sex a lot better after a few cocktails…” — Paul, Twitter

“I used to be 100% top when I was younger. Now I lean more towards a total bottom. As I got older it is like something has been awakened in my ass and it craves cock.” — Coyote, Twitter

When you have sex with someone, what do you feel most confident doing?

  • Oral sex — giving: 35%
  • Oral sex — receiving: 11%
  • Anal sex — giving: 11%
  • Anal sex — receiving: 19%
  • Mutual masturbation: 24%

“I’m happy doing all of that but I prefer to bottom. However I have been praised on my topping ability.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“I’ve rarely have I met anyone who is good at giving oral.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“I love giving anal sex, but sometime I get all caught up in my head — especially if we’re with a new playmate. That leads to a cock that doesn’t get fully hard. That can be embarrassing sometimes. When receiving anal, you can get lost in the sexual ecstasy and it’s amazing. Also, if there are more than two of you, that just adds to the thrill.” — Coyote, Twitter

“I’m deaf, and when it comes to social meets I tend to prefer sex to chat! My preferred scene is a group massage with like-minded friends, ending up with a fuck-session. A joy to watch, to give, and to receive — all naked and horny together!” — Owen, Twitter

When you’re having sex with someone, do you explore any of the following:

  • Role plays: 41%
  • BDSM: 31%
  • Fetish wear: 48%
  • Sex toys or dildos: 58%
  • Chems: 9%
  • Threesomes: 58%
  • Group sex: 39%
  • Watersports: 27%
  • Spanking: 34%
  • Fisting: 10%
  • Poppers: 42%

“Threesomes is something that my husband and I have been exploring more. It takes a while to find the right dynamic, but it’s well worth the wait. It’s definitely worth exploring with someone with a big age difference. It isn’t just about having sex, it’s about having a sexual experience. If you have an age difference, different sexual talents are brought to the bedroom.” — Coyote, Twitter

“I would add foot fetish to the list.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“I also like suspension and wrestling.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“Rimming. Armpits. Socks. Underwear.” — anonymous survey respondent.


“Sex toys is another level of exploring that is well worth it. Put a prostrate massage toy in your partner and that leaves you freed up to do other things. The sensation of sexual pleasure from multiple erogenous zones makes for a great orgasm.” — Coyote, Twitter

Do you use any dating or hook-up apps?

  • Yes: 62%
  • No: 38%

“I’ve discovered that you don’t need to have an hour to have an intense time. Nothing wrong with a quickie — especially if you’re out and about and not home.” — Simon, Twitter

Which dating or hook-up apps do you use?

  • Grindr: 74%
  • Scruff: 33%
  • Hornet: 4%
  • Fab Guys: 7%
  • Recon: 11%
  • Gaydar: 4%
  • Daddyhunt: 7%
  • Planet Romeo: 4%

“We use Scruff, Grindr, and Daddy hunt. It’s a great way to screen guys to see if they just want a quick hook-up or something a little more than a one-time shot. We tend to lean toward guys who are looking for more of a casual friend-with-benefits. We also have a rule where we meet the guy first before we invite him over. The sexual energy has to be right or else it throws off the whole sexual experience.” — Coyote, Twitter

Are you in a relationship?

  • Yes: 61%
  • No: 39%

“The best of love is built on a foundation of friendship and the best sex is built on the foundation of love.” — P-Man, Twitter

“A personal connection with a human being makes sex way better!” — Alejandro, Twitter

How long have you been in a relationship?

  • I’m not in a relationship: 39%
  • Less than six months: 3%
  • Between six months to one year: 3%
  • Between one year to three years: 6%
  • Between three years to five years: 4%
  • Longer than five years: 45%

“I cherish the un-obvious things. The reaction of the married guy’s erection when I touch his hand. The spontaneity of a man ejaculating when I kiss his lips. My desire to surrender to his most intimate areas in an act of breathless submission and recognition that he is man, that we are man, and our desire is need, want, lust, love, renewal, and redemption. A map that guides the way back to being a respected husband and father and bread winner. At least until the next time.” — Stanley, Twitter

Is your relationship monogamous?

  • I’m not in a relationship: 39%
  • Yes — we’re monogamous: 29%
  • No — we’re not monogamous: 32%

“We are monogamous, but together we sometimes play with others.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“We play with other people but only as a couple.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“If I had a relationship it would be monogamous.” — anonymous survey respondent.

“We’ve been in our current relationship for 6 years, married for 4 years, and ethically non-monogamous for 2 years.” — Coyote, Twitter


  • The survey was conducted across a two-week period in June 2018.
  • Respondents were recruited via Twitter and Facebook. No incentives were offered for respondents to complete the survey.
  • We used Survey Monkey to collect the survey responses, and then analysed the results manually.
  • Comments from respondents were captured during the survey process, or via social media during the survey recruitment process.

Read more from Gareth Johnson

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Sunday Surgery



Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash
Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

Are we living in a post-HIV world?
In recent years we’ve seen a seismic shift in the effectiveness of treatment for HIV, as well as the emergence of PrEP — medication that prevents you from acquiring HIV.

This combination of factors has contributed towards a dramatic change in the attitude of gay men towards HIV, health, and sex.

It’s been difficult for public health policy to keep up, but it’s also difficult for older gay men like me to get our heads around the changing landscape of sex.

Official reports indicate that AIDS has killed over 35 million people worldwide. It’s estimated that around the world there are currently over 37 million people living with HIV.

In June of 1981, when the beginnings of the HIV pandemic were first being identified, I was approaching my ninth birthday. Lucky I guess, too young to be impacted by the first devastating waves of the virus that killed so many young gay men.

As I was beginning to discover sex, the public health messages very strongly articulated that sex without a condom equalled death.

It’s a bit hard to describe how that constant fear of infection and death shapes your view and experience of sex. I guess I’ve got no way of knowing what things would have been like without that — I like to think that it might have been something like San Francisco in the 70s, or a long, lust-filled summer on Fire Island.

I survived. I was careful. I was lucky.

It wasn’t until I saw the 2003 documentary The Gift that I became aware of the fetishisation of HIV, and a growing movement of men who embraced the risk and health consequences of fucking without condoms, of letting guys cum in you, the thrill of raw, or ‘bareback’ sex between men. It was an uninhibited hedonism best captured by the porn of Paul Morris and Treasure Island Media.

It’s easy to judge and disapprove of risk-taking behaviour, but there was something incredibly compelling about this type of no-holds-barred sex — no fear, no care for consequences.

The improvements in medication and the emergence of PrEP have now made bareback sex the norm. Not only in porn — where it’s now highly unusual to see anyone using a condom — but also in everyday life.

Health professionals sensibly remind us that condoms are still worth wearing as they protect us from a whole range of sexually transmitted infections, not just HIV, but the reality is that for many men sex is better when you don’t have to wear a condom.

For me, it’s a bit of a mind-trip that testing positive for HIV is no longer a death-sentence, that you can have sex without a condom and not worry if one of you might have the virus. That you can have no-holds-barred sex, with no fear, and no care for consequences.

It’s fantastic that today’s young gay guys, who are just beginning to discover and explore sex, don’t have to worry about HIV. Obviously they need to learn about it, they need to have access to PrEP, and they need to understand the full gamut of sexual health, but it’s just part of life.

Let’s not forget our history, let’s not forget the people we’ve lost, but let’s be thankful that young guys today are growing up in a world that’s something a bit like San Francisco in the 70s, or a long, lust-filled summer on Fire Island.

We may now be living in a post-HIV world.

Read more from Gareth Johnson

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