Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Striking Sexual Similarities of Gay and Straight Men

by Ogi Ogas, Ph.D.
in A Billion Wicked Thoughts

I'm a survivor first, a capitalist second, and a whole bunch of other shit after that.

—Lafayette, gay character on True Blood

There's a lot of fear, discomfort, and ignorance about gay sexuality. This leads to all manner of misconceptions about what actually turns gay men on, leading to misdirected notions about the gay brain and misguided phobias about gay influences.

One of the most important discoveries of our research is that both scientists and ordinary folks don't actually know which sexual interests are common and which are rare. So even though we're all limited by varying degrees of ignorance about gay sexuality, we're equally ignorant about straight sexuality. But seeing what a hundred million men around the world are doing behind the anonymity of their computer screens can shed some light on the matter.

Our analysis of web searches, search histories, adult site traffic and paid subscriptions, videos, stories, online dating data, and adult site comments demonstrated one indisputable fact: when it comes to the sexual interests of straight and gay men: boys will be boys. The differences in the sexual interests of gay and straight men is about the same as the differences in the sexual interests of Latino and British men.

Here's a list of the most frequent categories of sexual searches made by gay men and the frequency rank of the equivalent categories of searches made by straight men:

In fact, for just about every major genre of straight male porn, there is a gay equivalent. The most excellent cartoonists Chayne Avery and Russell Garcia of Boy Meets Hero have been helping us create a gallery of erotic characters illustrating the parallels between gay and straight erotica, including the following:



Teen ---- Twink

One 2007 study put gay and straight men in a brain scanner and showed them pornographic videos. Their brain activity was strikingly similar, with comparable activation in the frontal cortex, visual cortex, and subcortex. But equally strikingly, both gay and straight brains exhibited quite different patterns of activation than women's brains. (A 2008 study without women also found similar patterns of activation in response to porn in gay and straight brains, contrary to expectations.)

But gay men don't just like the same kind of porn as straight men. They use it the same way. In fact, you could even say that gay guys act more like men than straight guys do. Gay men watch more porn, have larger porn stashes, search for more porn online, subscribe to porn sites more often, maintain more subscriptions at the same time, and renew their subscriptions more often. But these greater numbers might simply be the result of a lack of interference by women: in general, gay men are more tolerant of their partners watching porn than women are.

Though it's true that (just as with straight men) there's a minority of gay men who disapprove of porn and don't watch it at all, a more common attitude is expressed by one thirty-two-year old gay man: "When you're in a gay relationship, you're both guys, so you understand exactly what's up with the porn. It's no big deal. In fact, it's really hot to find your partner watching something good."

You can also read about the Top 3 TV Shows (and Top 3 Porn Genres) Gay and Straight Guys Can Watch Together.

All illustrations are copyright © 2011 Billion Wicked Thoughts. All rights reserved.