Actually, this is one of those common myths and stereotypes about gay sexuality that unfortunately reduces us solely to our penises and gives gay men a bum rap (pun not intended). The gay man as a sex-craved maniac who only thinks about getting laid and getting into as many pants as possible is a view held by our society due to ignorance and homophobia. For much of our culture, the word “gay” or “homosexual” evokes images of what men do sexually with each other and cuts us off from other aspects of our identity. Rather than viewing us as a whole person, tunnel vision is placed on the sexual aspects of our lives as gay men; this marginalizes and defines us solely by our sexual behaviours and perpetuates negative mindsets about our sexual orientation, worth, and value. Sadly, many gay men, and even portions of the gay community, have bought into these messages. It is for this very reason that some gay men may turn to sex as an outlet in response to this discrimination as a way of defiant rebellion and control over their lives or as an expression of projective identification with this image.
A more realistic explanation, however, rests on the simple fact that sex is an important aspect of life in general–and especially for the male species…straight or gay. For those men in hot pursuit of sexual expression and release, it tends to speak more to the fact that they are menrather than being gay. Studies have shown that the male sex drive tends to be higher, mostly accounting for the fact that there are higher levels of testosterone raging through our bodies. This hormone kick-starts the libido; put two men together with erotic attraction for each other and look out!
I would encourage gay men to assess the function and role that sex plays in their lives. Does it enrich and enhance your life, or is it being used to act-out emotional conflicts and pain? A healthy sexuality incorporates a pleasure rather than a performance orientation and enhances self-esteem, physical and emotional wellness, and can strengthen relationship connection. It can even be healing in the right contexts. In a given intimate encounter, ask yourself such things as…What are your motives for having sex with this man right now? Are you playing safe? Will you feel good about yourself afterwards? What are your sexual values and vision for a healthy sexuality for your life? Answering these questions and developing a solid sense of self and integrity, combined with a pride of one’s gay identity, are essential components of high sexual self-esteem that can keep this aspect of your life in healthy balance.
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