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Oral Sex More Popular Than Anal Sex Among Gay and Bisexual Men, Online Survey Finds

By Kellee Terrell

October 19, 2011

Researchers from Indiana University, George Mason University and Online Buddies, Inc., polled more than 24,700 gay and bisexual men ages 18 to 87 to ask them about their most recent sexual experience -- and what they found was somewhat surprising.


Anal sex among MSM is not as popular as one might think -- only 35.5 percent and 33.8 percent of participants engaged in receptive or insertive anal intercourse, respectively, as their last sexual act. The most common sexual activity was oral sex -- 75 percent performed it while 73.4 percent received it.

In terms of public health messages, researchers recommend that "a broader, less disease-focused perspective might be warranted by public health and medical practitioners in addressing the sexual health of gay and bisexual men."

"Due to the disproportionate impact of HIV among MSM, the majority of research on gay and bisexual men's sexual behavior is situated within the context of disease. This emphasis has resulted in a body of literature about gay and bisexual men that is risk-focused, with limited understanding of the diversity and complexity of these men's sexual lives," said co-author Michael Reece, director of IU's Center for Sexual Health Promotion.

According to a University of Indiana press release, researchers also found the following:

It's important to note that 84.6 percent of the participants were white; 85.9 percent identified as gay; and 57.4 percent had received a bachelor's degree or higher.

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for and

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