By Anna Merlan
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Considering how "liberated" gay men are supposed to be, I'm amazed by how many of my brothers refuse to recognize that some straight men like to get fucked.
Yes, you heard correctly. Not bisexual. Not "situational homosexuals" (i.e., jail, private school, the Navy), but straight. I wouldn't have believed it, either, if I hadn't experienced it myself. For the past few years, my ex and I have shared a rampantly straight man who loves to get it in the end. A serious bodybuilder, Ricardo (not his real name) met my ex at the gym. Now separated from his wife, who tired of his serial affairs with women, Ricardo loves the stimulation of a good ass-pounding in between bedding women.
On Fire Island, a good-looking middle-aged man told me about a young buck who had been doing contracting work in his and his lover's apartment. After a few broad hints, they did a three-way in which he was penetrated. My friend said that he immediately ran downtown to have sex with his girlfriend—because he was so turned on, he said, although it could have been old-fashioned homopanic.
If it feels good for us, why shouldn't it feel good for them? It all comes down to the prostate. DatingSense.com, a website for swingers, explains it this way: "The lining of the anal cavity is rich with nerve endings, and deep penetration may allow for stimulation of the prostate gland, which many heterosexual men also find highly arousing."
Anecdotal evidence abounds about straight men who enjoy this position. Other gay men have had experiences similar to mine: Gary in Los Angeles tells of a young, cute repairman who worked under him in more ways than one: "We were together every single day," Gary recalls. "I talked openly about my adventures. He was peaking sexually, and circumstances came together." One night, the two did the deed. After that, Gary says, "He got weird." Last he heard, his former employee was married, a father, and studying to become a pastor.
That some men are "gay for pay" is well known, even though most people—straight and gay—remain skeptical. Chris Rockway is a popular gay-porn star who claims he likes only women, although, as he told Australian magazine DNA: "Sex with men can be fun. Guys get so hung up on labels and what people will think of them that they miss out on a lot."
Dave Pounder agrees. As his name implies, Pounder prefers it on top. A former porn actor who now produces adult films in Boca Raton, Florida, he says he wouldn't be able to do anything sexual with a guy and won't even do anal with women. But he refuses to judge anyone's sexuality based on performance: "There are two temperatures," he says, "freezing and boiling. But the most measurement is in between. What we need to do is expand our definition of sexuality."
Ron Suresha, who has written extensively on bisexuality, believes that most adults of both sexes have experienced some form of anal sex: "We know how things have progressed," he says. "There's been an increase not only in reporting anal sex, but in the practice."
Sexologist William Fitzgerald reports approvingly on his website SexDoc.com of a colleague who "rendered the opinion that anal sex for 20 years starting [after] 1990 is like oral sex during the 20 years after 1950," when returning GIs convinced their partners that giving head wasn't something only sleazy prostitutes did.
Much of this involves a woman in a strap-on, popularly known as "pegging," a term coined by Voice columnist Dan Savage. The popular porn tape Bend Over Boyfriend spawned a whole subgenre of titles like Babes Balling Boys, Strap Attack, and Boss Bitches.
According to Suresha and others, what keeps more men from experimenting is a fear that they'll enjoy it too much: "It doesn't necessarily lead to homosexual contact," Suresha says. "People have come to understand that when it's done right, it's pleasurable to get fucked anally regardless of the gender of their fucker."
In fact, Fitzgerald notes: "Heterosexual men who acknowledge the pleasure they derive from anal or rectal or prostate stimulation are more centered and grounded about their sexuality."
Of course, this isn't man-on-man sex, but some men have realized that the real thing feels even better than latex. Bob Sanders, who helps run a popular website devoted to muscle worship, has established friendships with several bodybuilders, many of whom like it, he says, because of that prostate massage. Richard Wassersug, an anatomy professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, believes that men who have had prostate cancer and can't sustain an erection—an increasingly common occurrence as the population gets older—could benefit from this position. He even suggests that this could be the ultimate gay karma for those who practice "reparative therapy," which claims to "cure" homosexuality: "Assuming that sex ultimately stimulates endorphins and triggers a physiological reward, anything that causes pleasure will be desirable." Besides, adds Wassersug (who is happily married to a woman), it's yet more proof that gay men have a bigger sexual repertoire. Or, to paraphrase Woody Allen, having it both ways doubles your chances of getting a date for Saturday night.