Gay sexual practices

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This article is about sexual practices between males. For sexual practices between females, see Lesbian sexual practices.
19th-century erotic interpretation of Hadrian and Antinous (detail), by Paul Avril

Gay sexual practices are sexual activities involving men who have sex with men (MSM), regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual identity. The Kinsey Reports state that 37% of the male subjects had at least one homosexual experience.[1]

Behaviors[edit]

Frot: two men rubbing their penises together to create sexual sensations

Historically, anal sex has been popularly associated with male homosexuality and MSM. However, many MSM do not engage in anal sex, and may engage in oral sex, frot (a form of frottage) or mutual masturbation instead.[2][3][4][5] They may also engage in intercrural sex. Wellings et al. reported that "[t]he equation of 'homosexual' with 'anal' sex among men is common among lay and health professionals alike" and that "[y]et an Internet survey of 18,000 MSM across Europe (EMIS, 2011) showed that oral sex was most commonly practised, followed by mutual masturbation, with anal intercourse in third place".[2] A 2011 survey by The Journal of Sexual Medicine found similar results for U.S. gay and bisexual men.[6] However, reports with regard to the prevalence of anal sex among MSM have varied over time, with some percentages higher than others.[7][8][9][10]

Among men who have anal sex with other men, the insertive partner may be referred to as the top, the one being penetrated may be referred to as the bottom, and those who enjoy either role may be referred to as versatile.[9] MSM may also have greater risks in that they can switch sex roles.[11] An orgasm may be achieved through receptive anal penetration by indirect stimulation of the prostate.[12][13][14] Some men who have sex with men, however, believe that being a receptive partner during anal sex questions their masculinity.[15][16]

Frot is a non-penetrative form of male-male sexual activity that usually involves direct penis-to-penis contact.[17][18] Frot can be enjoyable because it mutually and simultaneously stimulates the genitals of both partners as it tends to produce pleasurable friction against the frenulum nerve bundle on the underside of each man's penile shaft, just below the urinary opening (meatus) of the penis head (glans penis). MSM may engage in forms of oral sex by engaging in fellatio, anilingus, and tea bagging.

Health risks[edit]

A 2007 study reported that two large population surveys found "the majority of gay men had similar numbers of unprotected sexual partners annually as straight men and women."[19][20] Since frot is a non-penetrative sex act, the risk of passing a sexually transmitted infection (STI/STD) that requires direct contact between the mucous membranes and pre-ejaculate or semen is reduced. HIV is among the infections that require such direct contact, and research indicates that there is no risk of HIV transmission via frot.[21][22] However, frot can still transmit other sexually transmitted infections, such as HPV, pubic lice (crabs) and genital warts.[23][24] Other sexual acts such as oral sex pose health risks as well.

HIV/AIDS[edit]

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).[25][26][27] HIV can infect anybody, regardless of sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.[28] Worldwide, an estimated 5–10% of HIV infections are the result of men having sex with men.[29] However in many developed countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most of Western Europe, more HIV infections are transmitted by men having sex with men than by any other transmission route.[28] In the United States, "men who have had sex with men since 1977 have an HIV prevalence (the total number of cases of a disease that are present in a population at a specific point in time) 60 times higher than the general population".[30]

In 2007, the largest estimated proportion of HIV/AIDS diagnoses among adults and adolescents in the U.S. were men who have sex with men (MSM). While this category is only 2% of the U.S. population[31] they accounted for 53% of the overall diagnoses and 71% among men.[32] According to a 2010 federal study, one in five men who have sex with men are HIV positive and nearly half don't realize it.[33]

According to a CDC study, HIV prevalence in the MSM population of the U.S. varies widely by ethnicity. "As many as 46% of black MSM have HIV" while "the HIV rate is estimated at 21% for white MSM and 17% for Hispanic MSM."[34][35][36] In the United States from 2001–2005, the highest transmission risk behaviors were sex between men (40–49% of new cases) and high risk heterosexual sex (32–35% of new cases).[37] HIV infection is increasing at a rate of 12% annually among 13–24-year-old American men who have sex with men.[38][39][40] Experts attribute this to "AIDS fatigue" among younger people who have no memory of the worst phase of the epidemic in the 1980s and early 1990s, as well as "condom fatigue" among those who have grown tired of and disillusioned with the unrelenting safer sex message. The increase may also be because of new treatments.[38] In developing countries, HIV infection rates have been characterized as skyrocketing among MSM.[41] Studies have found that less than 5% of MSM in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have access to HIV-related health care.[41]

Hepatitis B[edit]

Main article: Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) which infects the liver of hominoidea, including humans, and causes an inflammation called hepatitis. The disease has caused epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is endemic in China.[42] About a third of the world's population, more than 2 billion people, have been infected with HBV.[43] Transmission of HBV results from exposure to infectious blood or body fluids containing blood. Possible forms of transmission include (but are not limited to) unprotected sexual contact, blood transfusions, re-use of contaminated needles and syringes, and vertical transmission from mother to child during childbirth. HBV can also be transmitted between family members within households, possibly by contact of non-intact skin or mucous membrane with secretions or saliva containing the virus.[44][45] However, at least 30% of reported hepatitis B cases among adults cannot be associated with an identifiable risk factor.[46]

Hepatitis C is a disease which is recognized as a co-infection risk factor for hepatitis B, making it prudent for persons with hepatitis C to be immunized against hepatitis B.[47][48] However the level of sexual transmission risk for hepatitis C remains uncertain except for association between infection rate and high-risk sexual practices such as multiple sexual partners and anal penetrative sex.[49]

Other sexually transmitted infections[edit]

Syphilis (caused by infection with Treponema pallidum) is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore; these occur mainly on the external genitals, or in the vagina, anus, or rectum.[50] Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth.[50] Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.[50] In 2006, 64% of the reported cases in the United States were among men who have sex with men.[50] This is consistent with a rise in the incidence of syphilis among MSM in other developed nations, attributed by Australian and UK authors to increased rates of sex without a condom among MSM.[51][52]

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that most sexually active people in the U.S. will have at some time in their lives.[53] It is passed on through genital contact and is also found on areas that condoms do not cover.[53] Most men who get HPV of any type never develop any symptoms or health problems.[53] Some types of HPV can cause genital warts, penile cancer, or anal cancer.[53] MSM and men with compromised immune systems are more likely than other men to develop anal cancer.[53] Men with HIV are also more likely to get severe cases of genital warts that are hard to treat.[53][54][55]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  6. ^ Sexual Behaviors and Situational Characteristics of Most Recent Male-Partnered Sexual Event among Gay and Bisexually Identified Men in the United States onlinelibrary.wiley.com Retrieved 2-13-2014
  7. ^ Laumann, E., Gagnon, J.H., Michael, R.T., and Michaels, S. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. 1994. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (Also reported in the companion volume, Michael et al., Sex in America: A Definitive Survey, 1994).
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  11. ^ http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/82330.php
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  23. ^ http://aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/prevention/reduce-your-risk/sexual-risk-factors/
  24. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=oP91HVIMPRIC&pg=PA269&dq=en&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false
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  36. ^ Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report Summarizes Opinion Pieces on U.S. AIDS Epidemic – The Body
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  55. ^ Chin-Hong PV, Vittinghoff E, Cranston RD et al. (2005). "Age-related prevalence of anal cancer precursors in homosexual men: the EXPLORE study". J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 97 (12): 896–905. doi:10.1093/jnci/dji163. PMID 15956651.