I feel like I may need to start a series of posts on “this does not equal that,” the first one being my post on how sex and gender are two different things.
This week is about how activity and orientation are completely different.
One of the post common questions I get asked (and gets asked of most sexuality educators, having seen many of them present) is asked by cisgender men and/or their partners. It is either asked as “if I like to receive anal sex/enjoy prostate play, does that make me gay?” or “is my boyfriend/partner/husband gay because he enjoys anal play on his own ass?” Sometimes it is asked with different wording, but it boils down to “does enjoying anal play make a guy gay?”
Answer is simple: NO. Period.
However, we can certainly explain it more. It doesn’t make you gay, just like cisgender men enjoying vaginas doesn’t make them straight. Whatever sexual activity you like, all the means is that you like that activity. Who you like is your orientation. Now, if you only like men sexually, that may or may not mean that you’re gay, but it has nothing to do with who is putting what in which orifice, or even with sexual activity at all.
As a side note, gay males (studies show) participate more in giving/receiving fellatio (oral sex on the penis) more than anal sex (oral/anal or penetrative). The idea that all gay men love butt sex is a misnomer and a stereotype…and you almost never hear people say “I like getting head…does that mean I’m gay?” (Oh Megan suggests asking that as a response to “does enjoy prostate stimulation make me/you gay?”).
Just like performing cunnilingus or vaginal visiting doesn’t make anyone a lesbian, no activities make anyone a new orientation. Take a moment and think about who you are sexually oriented to; is it based on sex? On gender? On height? On hair color? On shape? On wit? On commitment to social justice (that’s me!)? THAT can help you figure out your orientation…but what you enjoy as far as sexual activity has nothing to do with it.