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Gay sex doesn’t equal anal sex most of the time, study finds

Gay sex does not always equate with anal sex, and only 35 percent of respondents to a comprehensive study of the sex habits of gay men reported having participated in anal sex during their last encounter. Nearly half of those that said they participated in anal sex said they used a condom.

The study documented the sexual behaviors of 24,787 gay and bisexual men between the ages of 18 and 87 in the U.S. and was conducted by George Mason University, Indiana University, and Online Buddies, Inc. The study tried to “document the sexual behaviors that gay and bisexually identified men report during their most recent male-partnered sexual event and to describe the situational characteristics and participants’ evaluation of these events.”

According to the study, gay sex does not always include anal sex and a much more common practice, around 75 percent of respondents, was giving and receiving oral sex.

“Of all sexual behaviors that men reported occurring during their last sexual event, those involving the anus were the least common. There is certainly a misguided belief that ‘gay sex equals anal sex,’ which is simply untrue much of the time,” said lead author Joshua Rosenberger.

The study also found that 18 percent of gay men had sex with a boyfriend or partner, 19 percent with a casual or dating partner and 17.3 percent with a friend. These findings are similar to another study which documented the sexual habits of heterosexual couples.

According to the study, men who have sex with men are most likely to engage sexually at their own home or their partners’ home, approximately 77 percent. Of those that reported having anal sex, 45 percent reported using a condom.

Most sexual events included between five and nine sexual activities and the most common combination included “holding their partner romantically, kissing partner on mouth, solo masturbation, masturbating partner, masturbation by partner and genital-genital contact.”

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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