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Is He Gay?

Q. I have been with my boyfriend for three years now, and we have been living together for about 5 months. I believe I have become more liberal and accepting of people’s sexual orientations. My boyfriend is quite interested in anal sex, which I thought was a gay activity. We tried it about a month ago; we used a condom, and lots of lube. He was very gentle and encouraging, and I hated it. I also felt used afterwards, and that had to be the worst sexual thing I’ve ever participated in. Later I wanted him to do something for me, so I bribed him with anal sex, and it was still uncomfortable for me. I don’t understand why it is so uncomfortable, since I enjoy that area being stimulated, but entering it is not fun. I also don’t understand his interest in that area since he is so homophobic. Is he gay? Or am I a prude?

A. I’m having trouble understanding why you’d bribe your boyfriend with sex of any kind that you didn’t want to engage in. It seems like it would have been much easier on you to just do whatever it was by yourself, or get another friend to help you if necessary. Sex is fun, and it’s supposed to be. Why make things uncomfortable for yourself by doing things you don’t like. I suggest you stick with the kinds of sex you DO like.

Sometimes there are activities that one person in a couple really likes, but the other likes less. For example, one person might really like oral sex in a ‘69’ position, while the other person likes to concentrate on giving or receiving separately. They can negotiate that in a way that feels good to them. Maybe they sometimes do it one way, and sometimes the other. The difference is that both of them DO like the activities, just to different degrees. But no one in a relationship needs to compromise about something that they really dislike. To do so creates far more problems than any “favor” is worth.

I don’t know if your boyfriend is gay or not, and neither of us can tell by what kinds of activities he likes. If the two of you are in love, it doesn’t really matter, anyway. Some people like anal stimulation with penetration, some like anal stimulation but not penetration, and some people don’t like either. Sexual preference is like that. So is orientation, but the two aren’t related. Orientation is about who you love, not just whom you have sex with nor the type of sex you like. Not liking an activity doesn’t make you a prude, and liking it doesn’t make him, or anyone else gay.

Besides, it’s a stereotype anyway. The most common activity between gay men is oral sex, not anal sex. Straight couples experience anal sex, as do lesbians. It’s that “flavor of ice cream analogy” I use all the time. You can choose whatever flavors you like, and liking chocolate syrup on your mango sorbet can develop from your genes, your experiences, or a combination of both. You wouldn’t worry if your sweetie suggested one flavor and it didn’t sound good to you. You’d probably just suggest he not share it with you. You can watch him eat it if you want to, or you can taste it and decide whether or not you like it, or you can suggest a compromise flavor, but you wouldn’t eat it if you hated it, now would you?

And since we’re on a roll, you probably wouldn’t support a constitutional amendment requiring the government to censure anyone else that ate it, either.