Monday, April 25, 2011

Email from a 20yo gay guy

About a week ago I received the following email:

Dear GB,

I stumbled upon your blog earlier today and I think it's fantastic that someone has sound, wholesome advice to offer to young gay men. That said, I have a few questions of my own! I'm 20 years old and a junior in college. I came out five years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school, but didn't have many gay friends or any sexual/romantic experience at all with men until I came to university. In my time here, I've done a good deal of fooling around and I spent a decent portion of my freshman year in a sexual relationship with someone that I hoped would turn into something more substantial but never did. Despite all of this, I still haven't had anal sex because I want my first time, whether it's as a top or a bottom, to be within a relationship. The extent of my sexual experience at this point only includes oral sex.

Now, for the first time, I am actually dating someone worthwhile, and not just going on one date and then acting like we're in a serious relationship or going on one date and then hooking up (things that I've done in the past), but really, legitimately just moving slowly, getting to know the other person, and not taking it to the sexual level yet. In a lot of ways, my situation is ideal. I'm young, I'm having a healthy experience, and I've been careful in my life thus far, so I haven't really been jaded by a bad relationship yet. However, the grass is always greener on the other side and sometimes, it's hard to remember that 20 is young. There are days when I feel as though that's very old for someone to be relatively inexperienced in the area of sex and relationships, especially for a gay man who's been out for five years. I don't want to push things with my new flame, as we've only been dating for a few weeks and when the semester ends in another two or three weeks, he'll be headed home for the summer, about 12 hours away from where I live, so things will sort of be on hold until school starts up again in September (if we're still interested in each other by the time he comes back). Meanwhile, I often feel that peer pressure to just have sex already, whether it's with him or with someone else. My friends are understanding of my situation and have a lot of respect for me wanting to wait until it's with someone who cares about me, but sometimes I feel like the odd man out because it's an experience I haven't had yet. It's something that I'm eager to explore, but I'm intimidated. Sexual relations are an emotional thing for me and anal sex can be especially scary for first-timers, or so it seems from my perspective! :o

In any event, I'm just wondering what your advice might to be to someone in my situation, and if I'm doing the right things?


Having read this new reader's email, I couldn't help thinking how level headed he is for a 20 year old guy :-). He doesn't seem to have any problems being gay, he's realises that he's still quite young, and his queries about sex and relationships are very rational.

When it comes to sex, some gay guys seem to think that if there's no arse fucking then it's not sex. However, I've never held that view. My definition of gay sex would be any activity between two or more guys where one or more of the guys cums. With that definition, I'm sure that this guy must have had lots of sex already! After all, I feel sure that as well as oral sex, his experience is likely to include mutual masturbation :-).

I've always felt that the fact that I enjoy sexual activities with other guys isn't the thing that makes me gay. Straight guys in all-male environments such as prisons may indulge in various forms of gay sex simply because they want sex, not because they're gay. For me, the thing that means that I'm gay is the fact that I fall in love with other guys. When that happens, and if my feelings are reciprocated, then I want to spend lots of time with them as well as get into intimate situations with them! In a loving gay relationship, there are so many ways of expressing that love that a narrow definition of sex that focuses on anal sex seems quite inappropriate to me.

It's also true that some gay guys don't enjoy anal sex. For the guy who takes the role of bottom, it's the stimulation of his prostate that should give him pleasure. However, I've known a lot of gay guys who don't enjoy being fucked, so not everyone finds it pleasurable.

Having said all that, anal sex is a standard sexual activity for gay guys, so it makes sense for this reader to give it a go at some point because he may enjoy it :-). But I don't see that there's any rush, and I certainly don't think that he should feel compelled in any way to have anal sex if he doesn't want to. If he does try anal sex, then the most important thing to remember is that the top should wear a condom, because it's the riskiest kind of gay sex in terms of catching nasty diseases. Apart from that, it's vital that the bottom relaxes his arse muscles, otherwise he'll probably find it very painful!

In terms of this reader's potential boyfriend, I think that it's probably worth trying to engage him in some kind of sexual activity before the summer break. Sex (my definition!) is an important part of any gay relationship, and the longer that it doesn't happen, the more likely is that the two guys will end up as friends rather than boyfriends. Perhaps the reader has been avoiding sexual activity because the thinks that his potential boyfriend will automatically want anal sex, and as he said in his email, he's not sure that he wants to do anal sex yet? Whatever the situation, two boyfriends should be able to be honest with each other, and have mature conversations about these kind of issues. They should also be able to respect each other in terms of what kind of sex they both want to have. If not, then they're probably not compatible as boyfriends.

Do any other readers have any other thoughts that might help this guy?