Gay sex study: Forget what you heard

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imageEven gay men are taking a second look at a far-reaching sex study that’s shedding light and busting some myths about exactly what we do in bed. Anonymous anal sex in public places? We’d much rather kiss, among other things.

George Mason University, Indiana University and Online Buddies, Inc., which owns ManHunt, polled 24,787 gay and bisexual men between the ages of 18 and 87 about their most recent “sexual event,” and the results have tongues wagging. Yes literally, but more on that in a moment.

Acknowledging that self-reported studies have statistical drawbacks and that having ManHunt as researchers is like putting the mouse in charge of the cheese, can 25,000 gay men be wrong? You can buy the whole, un-sexily titled study “Sexual Behaviors and Situational Characteristics of Most Recent Male-Partnered Sexual Event among Gay and Bisexually Identified Men in the United States,” but we pulled some of our favorite stats that are surprising some and vindicating others.

Anal sex? Meh.

Perhaps stirring the most conversation, the study responses fly in the face of some people’s version of conventional wisdom, not to mention those mean-spirited signs (top photo). Only about a third report engaging in receptive or insertive anal sex (35.5 percent and 33.8 percent of participants, respectively). Who’s doing what to who? Receptive anal sex was most common among 18-24 year olds, and insertive was most popular among 30-39 year olds.

Scary: Less than half (45.5 percent) who said they went anal the last time they had sex also reported using a condom.

Mouthing off

imageSo what do more of us – by a long shot – prefer more regularly? The most common behavior reported during the most recent “sexual event” was giving oral sex (75 percent). Almost exactly as many cited kissing on the mouth (74.8 percent, second photo) and receiving oral sex (73.4 percent).

Love and the Big ‘O’

Sorry to disappoint you, Phelps Clan and other haters: Anonymous sex ain’t nearly all the rage you like to say it is. The study showed that 18 percent of respondents said their last encounter was with a boyfriend or partner, 19 percent with a date, and 17 percent with a buddy.

What’s more, respondents were “significantly more likely to report orgasm if their sexual partner was a relationship partner.” But we all like to “get there.” 83.5 percent of those surveyed said they experienced an orgasm during their last encounter.

Variety is the spice

Most encounters involved between five and nine different sexual behaviors, and the combos varied widely. The most frequent combination (16.2 percent) included “holding their partner romantically, kissing partner on mouth, solo masturbation, masturbating partner, masturbation by partner, and genital-genital contact.”

Home boys

Public sex is the least frequently reported location in the study (3.7 percent), while sex in a vehicle was even lower (1.6 percent). The most common? Your place or mine: 49 percent said my place, and another 28.6 said his place. The combination means that 77.6 percent of the “most recent sexual events” were at one of the participants’ home. Just 7.2 percent did it in a no-tell hotel or motel.

What conclusions do you draw, and how do the stats stack up to your experience? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.


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