Gay sex can be safe and enjoyable.

The opportunity to enjoy sex is one of the great things about being gay. Some people say that being gay means they feel less restricted and more free sexually in terms of what they can do with their bodies, with who and when.  But many people struggle with feelings of guilt, shame and fear associated with being told gay sex is not 'normal' or 'natural' or 'right' in some way.


Enjoying Sex.

These ideas that there are 'not normal', 'unnatural' or 'wrong' ways to have sex are a result of fear and prejudice themselves. Individuals and institutions will often quote either some branch of science or religion in defending their opinions, but at the heart of these objections there are generally personal fears and personal stories.

Another reason why some people find it difficult to enjoy gay sex might be a lack of experience or because of unpleasant or disturbing experiences. Some people have their first gay sexual experiences while they are teenagers, others not until their 20's, 30's or later. Some people are at ease with their sexuality when they have their first experiences, or are not afraid of others knowing about them, some people go to great lengths to keep sex a secret from others in their lives. Some people have consensual first time sex, some people remember their first sexual experience as one of abuse.

We are all different and our bodies are changing over time throughout our lives so we can change as well in terms of what we like and enjoy and what we don't.

You can read some true stories by young gay men here.

You can hear some true stories by San Francisco gay men about their sex lives here.

Here are some young men talking about what it was like to be diagnosed with HIV.

Talking about sex can sometimes help. Perhaps if you have difficulties there is a trustworthy friend who you can speak with? There are also counsellors who specialise in working with gay people and they may be able to help. Gay Internet Forums are another source of information and support to help you enjoy sex.

Protecting yourself and others.

Most of the information, advertising and entertainment concerning sex that appears in magazines, newspapers, tv, cinema and on the net, is directed towards straight individuals and couples. When we see images or hear something about gay sex, it's often about sexually transmitted infections or STIs (also known as sexually transmitted diseases or STDs).

Sex doesn't have to be risky for STIs and just because someone is gay it does not put them at more risk of diseases. But sometimes it is harder for gay people to talk about their health and the sort of sex they have been having. And it is possible to have an STI without showing symptoms and pass it on without knowing. So it is important we all look after our own health. Gay friendly doctors and sexual health clinics are used to people who are feeling guilty, afraid or ashamed about sex. You should be able to speak about sexual health freely without fear that you will be judged or criticised about what you have been doing sexually.

You can find out more about STI's (sexually transmitted infections) for gay men here.

You can find out about sexual health for women here.

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