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Sexplain It: I Love Being Gay, but I Hate Doing Anal

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I’m Zachary Zane, a sex writer and ethical manwhore (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I’m very, very open about it). Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I’ve learned a thing or two about navigating issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I’m here to answer your most pressing sex questions with thorough, actionable advice that isn’t just “communicate with your partner,” because you know that already. Ask me anything—literally, anything—and I will gladly Sexplain It.

To submit a question for a future column, fill out this form.


Dear Sexplain It,

I’m gay but have zero desire to have anal sex with more men. I’ve topped and bottomed a few times with a few different guys and have never enjoyed it. Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about shit when doing anal. I’m terrified I’m going to accidentally poop on a guy, and when I top, I’m worried I’m going to get shat on. It takes me out of the moment. But I really like giving and receiving blowjobs. That really turns me on, but anal has never done it for me.

I’ve gone on two dates with this guy now. We blew each other last time, and I know this time, it’s expected that we’re going to do anal. I’m really nervous because I like him, but also don’t want to have sex. I’m afraid that if I tell him that, he’ll think it’s weird, or it’ll be a dealbreaker. I don’t know what to do.

— Anal-less Gay

sexplain it graphic

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Dear Anal-less Gay,

If you don’t want to have anal sex, you don’t have to have anal sex. Period. Never feel pressured to do anything sexually. However, since the reasoning of not liking anal sex is poop-related, I do wonder if that’s something you can get over with therapy and exploring anal with someone you trust.

I will say, I’ve accidentally shat on countless men during anal sex, and they’ve also shat on me. FYI, it’s not like a huge piece of poop comes out. Remember, feces is stored in your intestines, not your rectum. So it just gets a little messy, and it’s not a big deal, at all. We both clean ourselves off, and then proceed to do some hand and mouth stuff until we orgasm. Shit happens, literally, and as I like to say, “When you’re rolling around in the mud, you should expect to get a little dirty.”

I’ve written extensively about how to prep for anal sex to greatly decrease the likelihood of having a poopy encounter. Read this, and maybe it will embolden and empower you to enjoy anal sex without worrying about feces.

I’m also aware it may not, and you may not like anal sex for reasons that extend beyond poop. You are not alone. There is a large group of gay/bi/queer men who are neither tops nor bottoms. They’re called “sides,” and I actually reached out to the man who coined the term: Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW, certified sex therapist and director of The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health.

“[Sides] may enjoy practically every sexual practice except anal penetration,” he says. They may have tried it, and even performed it several times, before acknowledging that it simply wasn’t erotic or a turn on for them, Kort adds. Some may enjoy receiving or giving anal stimulation with a finger, but nothing beyond that.

Sex is so much more than about P-in-B penetration, and the beauty is, as a side, you can really start thinking outside the box for ways to maximize pleasure. (You can as a top or bottom too, but a lot of guys are so focused on anal penetration, that they forget to do so.) So, you can incorporate sex toys, kink, oral, hands, wax play, BDSM, food, and oh so much more.

Now, onto disclosing that you’re a side with the man you’re dating. I don’t think I’m going to say anything surprising here. Just be honest. At dinner, or whatnot, before you two head to the boudoir, say, “I just want to say that I really like you, but want to give you a heads up that I’m not a guy that’s into anal sex. I’m what’s called a ‘side,’ as opposed to a ‘top’ or ‘bottom.’ FYI, There are ton of fun things we can without anal penetration, and as you know, it’s gotten me really good and giving bomb-ass head! I really hope this isn’t a deal breaker for you, but I understand if it is.”

Then, you accept whatever his response is. “If you find he wants anal sex and it is a deal breaker, aren’t you glad you learned this early on in the relationship, so you can move on and find someone who is compatible with your sexual desires?” Kort asks.

And as you keep dating, I would actually list on your Grindr, Tinder, Chappy, Scruff, or whatever profile, that you are a side. Be transparent from the get-go; that way, you only match with other sides or guys who are down to date sides. I bet you’ll be surprised to find out that there are a LOT of gay men out there who are just like you.

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