Q: I am a male who plans to have sex with another male for experimental reasons and I was wondering what can I do to have safe and protected sex since this person that I plan to have sex with is new to me.
A: it's always a good idea to consider ways of protecting yourself before you have sex, so I'm glad you're already thinking about this! Using protection is pretty much the same whether you're having sex with a man or a woman: Use condoms. Condoms are the only way to prevent the spread of STIs during sex and should always be used with new partners. I would hope that you could also talk with this person about their past sexual history and whether or not they have an STI before having sex with them. Although, people aren't always honest about this, so it's always a good idea to use condoms regardless.
Beyond using condoms, another way to protect yourself against HIV/AIDS specifically is by taking the preventative medication, PrEP. This is a once-daily pill that can greatly reduce your chance of contracting HIV if you come in contact with the virus. It's often recommended to men who have sex with other men on a regular basis, especially if they're having sex with multiple partners. PrEP is a prescription medication and it does have some side-effects, so it's a good idea to talk about this with your doctor if you're interested.
Q: Why is there a stigma that most young gay men have daddy issues? Where did that stem from? Is there any data/research showing it is true or false?
A: I must not get out much, because I've never heard of this idea before. I've never seen any research pertaining to this issue, but I don't think that gay men are any more likely to have "daddy issues" than anyone else.
Perhaps this idea comes from an old Freudian theory that gay men are a result of having an overbearing mother and an absent father. Freud believed this caused young men to identify with their mothers and emulate them, rather than their fathers. This would then result in these men growing up to be feminine and/or gay. However, this theory has been completely debunked by modern research. Gay men aren't any more likely than average to have absent fathers or overly involved mothers. Homosexuality is largely a product of biological factors, such as a person's genes and hormones. But, perhaps Freud's old theory still lives on as the basis for this stereotype.
Q: Hi, Dr. Sex. I am a queer male who LOVES flirting with straight men; like I get off on it af. Is this a product of commitment issues, a genuine kink, or am I just flirting with the idolization of toxic hetero/cis-dominant masculinity? Also, I've noticed straight men who have girlfriends are wayyy more comfortable 'jokingly' flirting with gay men - is there anything there? #PlsSendHalp
A: To summarize, it seems that you enjoy flirting with people who don't have genuine sexual interest in you. There could be a lot of reasons for that. It might because there's no pressure or consequences when you flirt with someone "just for fun," where you know that it won't actually result in sex or a relationship. It could also be extra exciting because of the "forbidden" aspect of flirting with straight men, especially those who are already partnered. You might also just be attracted to masculine guys (although, there are plenty of gay, masculine men out there too). The only person who can say exactly why you enjoy doing this is you.
I would say that this behavior isn't bad or unhealthy unless you feel that it's keeping you from establishing meaningful and satisfying sexual relationships. If you find that you aren't attracted to anyone who would be attracted to you, then you might want to talk with someone about that (perhaps a close friend or therapist). But, if you just enjoy flirting with straight men and your straight, male friends enjoy it too, then I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
Q: I've always considered myself a straight male as I've only had sex with women. But last week I had a very vivid dream where I was making out and eventually had sex with one of my male housemates. Ever since that dream I've have felt kind of awkward being around my housemate. Do dreams tell us something about our sexuality? I feel kind of confused why I would have such a dream.
A: A dream really is just a dream. Dreams occur because we're mentally rehearsing information we've processed that day. So, it's common for us to dream about people, places and things that are familiar to us (such as a roommate). It's also very common to have sexual dreams. When we sleep, our blood vessels dilate to allow nutrients to travel throughout our body more easily, which helps to repair our tissues and organs. This increased blood flow often has the side effect of causing sexual arousal (i.e., an erection). This heightened arousal can easily transfer into our dreams and cause them to become sexual. It's not uncommon for people to dream about having sex with people of the same gender, family members, animals and even inanimate objects. This doesn't mean that a person internally wants to have sex with these things. It's just that they were dreaming about something they had encountered that day and then had a spike in sexual arousal which caused them to begin having sex in their dream.
Despite psychologists' early fascination with dreams, such as with Freud and Carl Jung, most modern psychologists don't put a lot of weight into dreams or their interpretations. Scientists have found that dream content, by and large, is fairly random and that actions in dreams have little to no relation with one's internal drives or personality.
Q: Is it gay if I can't watch porn if the male actor is an old fat guy? The male must be somewhat attractive in order for me to be arouse.
A: People are usually attracted to certain body types. Some are attracted to people who are young and athletic, while others are attracted to people who are older and overweight. It really just comes down to personal preference. Regardless, if a man is attracted to other men, then he is experiencing a homosexual attraction. This doesn't necessarily mean he will identify as "gay;" that has to do with a whole host of factors, such as whether he's primarily attracted to men and whether he wants to identify with the larger gay community. There are many straight people who will occasionally find someone of the same gender attractive, but still identify as straight because they are primarily attracted to those of the opposite gender and only wish to have sexual and romantic relationships with those of the opposite gender.
Q: Is it gay if a man wants a woman to put a strap on and penetrate his anus?
A: Whether something is "gay" or not comes down to the way the person engaging in the activity personally identifies themselves. Typically, someone identifies as gay if they are primarily attracted to people of the same gender as themselves. If a man wants to have sex with a woman, whether she's wearing a strap-on or not, then he probably isn't gay.
Many heterosexual men enjoy anal penetration. This is because anal penetration can stimulate the male prostate, which is a very sensitive erogenous zone for most men. In fact, many men can orgasm from anal stimulation alone. So, if a man wants a woman to stimulate his anus with her finger or a dildo/strap-on, then it's likely that he's attracted to women and also enjoys anal stimulation. There's nothing contradictory about that; and there's nothing about that to indicate that he's gay.
Q: I am a queer male who is only attracted to straight males; what is wrong with me?
A: It's likely that there's nothing "wrong" with you. Many gay men fantasize about "seducing" a straight man. If you look around on any gay porn site, you'll see thousands of videos on this exact topic. Why this is the case is hard to say, but there may be a "forbidden fruit" aspect to it, or some gay men may simply take it as a challenge. But, if you're "only" attracted to straight men, then perhaps you could work on widening your sexual interests. Perhaps it's simply that you're attracted to men who act stereotypically masculine and you haven't yet found other queer men who exhibit those traits. Of course, gay and bisexual men come in all shapes, sizes and levels of masculinity. So, you may have just not found the right queer guy for you, at least not yet.
It may also be that there is a part of you that doesn't want to have a romantic or sexual relationship at this point in your life. Being attracted to straight men is, in some sense, a very "safe" attraction to have, because there's nothing that will actually come from it. You're not going to have a romantic relationship with a straight man and it's unlikely you'll have sex with one either. So, perhaps you could talk to someone (a close friend or a counselor) about what may be keeping you from being attracted to the type of men that you could actually have a fulfilling sexual and romantic relationship with.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.