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How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Send your questions for Stoya and Rich to . Nothing’s too small (or big).

If a straight man receives oral from a trans or gay man does that make the straight man gay? Asking for … a friend.

I don’t know, you tell me. Was the head so good that it made you (I mean your friend) gay?

I doubt it. In response to your query, I am inclined to wax philosophical about the spectrum of sexuality and the pros and cons of declaring an attendant identity. And while I think that everyone should be doing a little more thinking than they already are, especially about sex, given your rather (no offense) rudimentary question, I don’t want to bog you down with concepts that could freak you out or otherwise interfere with your enjoyment. I think that could be a disservice to the guys servicing you, as well as you. So just sit back and enjoy.

My therapist asked me my core beliefs, and I identified one as believing all men just want sex from me. She seems to think this is a view that can be changed, but my experience suggests this is true.

I work in the sex/wellness industry and am very open about my sex life, and I’m confident about my sexuality. But lately I realize some of the men I’ve been spending time with—on what I consider to be friendly terms—are actually pursuing me romantically/sexually. How do I have a platonic relationship with a man whom I have fun with, good banter, and shared interests? The line always gets blurry for them, i.e., they end up wanting to bone me.

In one particular case, which sparked this question, I am not sexually interested in the person, but really enjoy the time we spend together, and being intimate emotionally with him, and being affectionate sometimes. Plus, there’s beauty in the unknown … could we get drunk and end up in bed? Maybe. It might be worth mentioning we had sex once, but it was five years ago. I may have done other things more recently, like sharing nude photos of myself. But again, I’m comfortable with my body and don’t think showing nudes is a big deal.

How can I keep clear boundaries without hurting his feelings? Flat-out telling him I’m not attracted to him seems like it will kill the vibe. But I also don’t want him to try to come on to me, because rejecting him in that scenario would also be awkward.

I don’t mean to interrupt your merry, nearly nude traipse through life, but a good way to set boundaries is to actually set them. It doesn’t sound like you are trying at all. I’d be a hypocrite if I advised you not to express your sexuality. There’s nothing wrong with sharing nudes (provided the recipient’s consent), but you should understand that along with your muff shots, you’re sending a message of potential sexual interest and/or availability. That means the only way to make it clear that you aren’t interested, that you’re just having some digital fun or whatever it is you’re doing (what are you actually doing?), is to say so explicitly. You have to pick a lane: Send pics and show affection with clear caveats, or find peace with the complicated dynamics you’re helping foster.

It sounds to me that you enjoy attention without obligation. You’re not wrong for that; attention is nice, and you’re never under any obligation to sleep with anyone at any time. But your method of going about things isn’t entirely humane. You’re helping manifest what you told your therapist about all men just wanting to sleep with you. It’s like some intensely proactive riff on : You’re speaking it into the world and wielding your nudes as backup. You’re effectively stringing some guys along so that you may encounter “beauty in the unknown.” To do so is to prioritize an abstract notion over human emotions. I’m not really into that. To kill the vibe here could very well be an act of mercy. Consider it.

I’m a woman in a longtime, happy, open heterosexual marriage that has had its ups and downs but is solid. I recently went through a difficult few years physically and psychologically that had a severe impact on my libido, but things have started up again, to the degree that now during the days around when I’m ovulating, I find I become debilitatingly horny. (I’m not sure if this is new or if it’s that my libido has always been linked so strongly to my cycle, but I’m just noticing it now that I use a period tracking app.)

I have a longtime close male friend whom I guess I’ve always been attracted to, with perhaps occasional flickers of mutual sexual tension, but nothing’s ever happened between us—I met him back when my relationship was closed, then he was in a long-term relationship, yadda yadda. We don’t have a flirty rapport or anything like that, just a mostly staid and mutually respectful friendship. He’s currently in a happy relationship that’s most likely monogamous, and in any case, I wouldn’t want anything to happen between us for reasons of awkwardness, prioritizing our friendship (which I value above sex), etc. However, my body has other ideas. The last time I saw him during Hornygeddon, I basically had to excuse myself and flee for fear of doing or saying something that would make him uncomfortable, and then I fantasized about him for days afterward. It’s like the horniness was a fire hose I had to constantly keep trained elsewhere, and it was exhausting, if not impossible. At other times, I don’t seem to have a problem keeping any attraction under control.

The problem is that we work in the same industry, and the big annual Christmas bash is scheduled for right smack in the middle of what my app says will be December’s High Horny Days. It’s an overnight event at a hotel. Usually my friend and I have a blast at these things together, but what do I do this time? It would be a blow to me professionally if I were to miss it, but I just don’t know how to navigate this. Do I give him the cold shoulder and risk damaging our friendship? Explain how badly I want to jump his bones? That can’t be right, can it?

Props to you for your consideration and desire to handle this ethically. To honor the priorities that you have mapped out, the most humane thing to do at this party that you simply must attend is to be cordial to your friend while maintaining a distance. Keep busy. Make other friends. Don’t stay for any longer than necessary. I don’t think you should avoid him entirely—that would be rude—but you should also spend as little time with him as possible.

If you feel bad about this or happen to notice him noticing, you could write him an email later, when your libido calms down from its Tasmanian devil spin. Explaining to him your primal attraction that you could nonetheless never ethically act on is the kindest, most potentially flattering way to let him know why you need space. I don’t advise doing this before or at the party, because if he in reply signals that he’s amenable to the idea of sleeping together, it could further erode your rather admirable but clearly brittle boundaries. Doing it after will allow you both to have some time to strategize the best steps for moving forward with your platonic friendship. You seem to want to hang on to this guy, and if your reasons for doing so are as numerous and nonsexual as you present, a plan will be helpful. Part of me, though, wonders if the sexual attraction is crucial to your feeling so close to him. Take your time, figure it out, and don’t cave. It’s not worth it.

My husband and I have been together about eight years and have just had our third child. I had a couple small issues during the pregnancy that had me on pelvic rest for much of it, and by the time restrictions were removed, he said I was “too pregnant” to have sex. Then I had our daughter via emergency C-section. Recovery was hard, but I’m healed now and have been given the green light by the doctor to resume normal sexual activity. My husband still won’t. It’s going on a year since we’ve had “normal activity” for any length of time, and I’m ready to take my body back and feel some intimacy (and reassurance after the whole ordeal), and my husband practically cringes at the thought. I’ve already lost almost all the baby weight, but it’s not helping my tender self-image right now that he’s so standoffish. My feelings are hurt, and I’m scared that he no longer sees me the same way as he did before the kids. Is this a phase? Why?

What you describe is a documented phenomenon. I do not recommend Googling around for the reasons given by men who become less attracted to their wives after they give birth, because these accounts are depressing and otherwise not very well articulated. I want to shake these guys and tell them to grow up, and then I shudder at the thought because they’re fathers and they should already be grown up.

It has been documented as a phase, though that phase generally occurs in the months after birth, when both parents are exhausted from taking care of a newborn and barely have the time or wherewithal to think about sex. A 2013 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found new-parent fatigue and stress to be primary contributors of sexual disinterest in new fathers.

At any rate, you’ve been through a lot, and the least your husband can do is make a concerted attempt to help return things to the way they were before his dick exploded baby fertilizer. I think you should talk to him about this and have him specify his feelings; tell him this is affecting your self-image and slowing your own healing process. It may be time for counseling, too. Let him know that this is of utmost concern to you. His feelings are his feelings, and you may have to tend to his in order for him to tend to yours (unfair, I know), but the only way you can figure out where to start is by communicating. Let him know that standoffish isn’t an option and that he’s going to have to start spilling his guts if you are to make any progress here.

The internet champions man hospitalized after encounter with large penis

Over the past few weeks, the LGBTQ community has inducted a couple of new icons and facesevery vogueing Hermione, there comes someone who really pushes their queerness to its absolute limits.

Take Fredy Alanis, a 19-year-old gay man from Chicago doing what many in the LGBTQ community consider to be a great service for his people. Alanis went viral this week after posting a photo he took of himself in the hospital back in January. 

Why was he there? He ruptured his airway while giving a blowjob to a guy with a „hulk sized dick.“

SEE ALSO: Pride may be over, but here’s how to celebrate LGBTQ Wrath month

Excuse the bad angle but remember when I sucked a hulk sized dick and ended up in the ER afterwards LMFAO never forget

In an interview with Them, Alanis explained that the owner of this very large dick was an old neighbor he met up via the app Grindr. Although he felt soreness in his chest after the session, he didn’t go to the hospital until the next morning when the pain was unbearable. 

From a hospital bed, Alanis commemorated what some would argue was a near-death experience with a selfie. After posting it on his Twitter several months later, he was heralded as a „legend“ and „hero“ by many members of the LGBTQ community.

— Lindsay Lohan’s Crackpipe (@WestHoeast) July 11, 2018

— ⭐Rebellious TeeJayý⭐ (@teejayyalmighty) July 12, 2018

— The Buildabear Group (@DetroitQSpider) July 12, 2018

If I had a son I would want for him to be like you.

@ELECTRIC_PAPI hello. You’re actually a legend. A true inspiration to boys and girls

The internet champions man hospitalized after encounter with large penis

The best gay sex positions: How do gay men have sex?

As anyone who’s ever had gay sex, thought about gay sex or watched gay sex will know there are endless combinations possible gay sex positions. But where to start? What feels best? How do you gay men have sex?

This guide to the four most accessible – and we reckon most pleasurable – gay sex positions will help get you started.

Before we get stuck into how to stick it in, we’d always condone safer sex and recommend you read our guide to PrEP, and always use condoms when having sex.

The best gay sex positions: How do gay men have sex?

Hot Legs (Short Gay Film)

Short Film produced by Underdog Productions (Pty) Ltd in 1995.

Note: This film contains some male nudity, contains material of a gay nature, and may be disturbing to younger viewers. It also contains some fast flash shots.

Written & Directed by Luiz DeBarossProduced by: Marc Schwinges

Starring:Tim: David DucasDave: Gerrie BarnardTim Jnr: Glen FineDave Jnr: Leon WeedKid One: Miguel BarrosKid Tow: Marcus MuddPoliceman One: Carlo GoertzPoliceman Two: Criag KellyMother: Mariana CarrilloSon: Sipho Khuzwago Moyo

Director of Photography: Peter PohorskyProduction Manager: Brendan RiceProduction Assistant: David HeckerFocus Puller: Greg PoissonGrip: Tony Slater

Sound: Jeremy HattinghSound: Ian MillerBoom Operator: Sean Kelly

Senior Make-up Artist: Adrienne CohenMake-Up Artist: Ionka Nel

Runners: Wayne Fick, Paul Hanrahan, Hal Couzens, Bronwyn Vermeulen, Oliver Galloway.

Post Production Advisor: Hal CouzensNon-Liner Editor: Llewelyn Roderick

Executive Producers: Marc Schwinges, Catherine Bester & Charlotte Bauer

Hot Legs (Short Gay Film)

Gay, closeted and buried in history: my uncle’s life was erased. Mine won’t be

Gay Oklahomans like my uncle, son of Oral Roberts, bear the weight of stories the straights refuse to tell. Now I am chasing down – and sharing – his own tale

I chase after this private history because I am gay as well and, if I am silent, my family could erase me the way they have tried to erase my uncle.

In the world of my childhood – spent on a Pentecostal compound in Oklahoma – my uncle Ronnie was a hothouse flower: the way he laughed; the way he smiled through his beard; his professorial cardigan; his glasses; his pipe.

I remember him the way you might remember the way the sky was lit on a great day 20 years ago: brightly yet faintly. In my sole memory of him, he was sitting in my grandmother’s den, but to my chagrin he wasn’t smoking. I asked him, “Uncle Ronnie, why aren’t you smoking?” I was only five years old, maybe six. He laughed: “It’s bad enough I walk into your Munna’s house with this beard, kid. I’m not going to smoke in Munna’s house, too.”

That’s all I have: one memory of a man who was dead by the time I was seven.

Last month, I flew to Los Angeles to find what other people who knew him better can still remember. I arrived in Orange County in May with the sky overcast and jacarandas spilling purple flowers onto neighborhood streets. I was visiting Don Pierstorff, a retiree who worked as a teaching assistant with Uncle Ronnie at USC.

My shoulders leaning on the glass patio table in Don’s foyer, my ears were taking in every hard-to-hear word. Don, 82, had his salivary glands, thyroid glands, and part of his cheeks removed due to an illness.

When you’d go over there in the olden days we’d always stop by the 901, a fantastic bar. From there to my house you could walk directly home. Ron wanted to come over one night, of course a lot of guys would then, my place was such a beautiful place, I had a balcony, I had everything. We were shooting the breeze I don’t know how long for. He had a few [beers], started crying about some sailor in Long Beach. When he told me he was gay, I told him “I’m a Democrat: as long as you vote Democrat, I don’t give a shit what you are.”

Those of us left behind by my uncle agree on a few concrete things.

One: the view below – the same street where Matt Dillon was shot in the movie Tex – was one of his last.

Two: he was found dead in a car along the side of a road in Osage County with a .25 caliber gunshot wound to his heart.

We agree he was a brilliant man, fluent in eight languages including Russian, Polish, and Mandarin Chinese. We agree he was prescribed Tussionex for pain and later arraigned in court in February of 1982 for filling multiple prescriptions from too many doctors. He played the flute, beautifully. He served in the military; translated cold war-era Polish code for the NSA. He was the eldest son of one of the world’s first televangelists.

But my family still insists publicly: Ronald David Roberts was not gay.

To muddy the story even more, I have to acknowledge that, for the last five years of his life – between ages 32 and 37 – he presented himself as straight. He married a woman and adopted two children. He moved back to his hometown, living only a few miles away from his televangelist father.

Don turned out to be the first man, in 10 years of looking, who’d agreed to talk to me on the record. I’ve been chasing phantoms, trying to pin down real people who would tell me, in the flesh, stories from my uncle’s first life as a gay man – but no one would.

I’ve often taken out ads on Craigslist in Tulsa and, often, my ads were flagged and removed.

But John Crespin, who spoke with me on the phone in response to a Craigslist ad, told me he went to Circus Disco with my uncle in 1976, said my uncle favored aviator sunglasses. It was all he could remember. John was underage and Uncle Ronnie and his friends snuck him into the club. After yesterday’s attack in Orlando, I hold on to this fact, too: Pulse is a Latin club, like Circus Disco, and my uncle’s presence there feels important because when you are gay, there are so many ways to die.

As for the police report of my uncle’s death, it is missing. Told by the sheriff that it couldn’t be found, I sent a FOIA request and have yet to receive a response. Some of the men who have emailed me over the years say they’re too scared to talk on the record, but they won’t say why.

In 2011, I received another response to my Craigslist inquiry. A message from the void, no name or identifying details: the writer said he knew Uncle Ronnie during the last year of his life:

When we were together it didn’t seem like it was just for sexual pleasure with him. It seemed like what he needed most was someone to hold him and make him feel everything was all right. I know at times he got involved in some pretty risky sexual encounters and other risky behavior but I think it was from lack of getting what he really needed. Not much different from what a lot of other scared closeted guys go through. I clearly remember the last time I saw him. He called then came by my house. He seemed very strange acting and quiet. We never did anything sexual that day. We talked briefly and embraced for several minutes. He held me very tightly as if he was holding on for dear life then left just looking me in the eye and saying good by.

I don’t know why but I had the feeling I would never see him again. He did call a couple of times but they were brief conversations. Just a little chit chat. I had the feeling he was trying to go straight again.

It’s easy to imagine this is nothing but rural precinct incompetence and southern reticence to speak openly about controversial topics: when we talk about sex and death here in Tulsa, we use nouns such as “fornication” and “procreation”, phrases such as “to pass on”, “to go home.”

But it’s also easy to imagine that Oklahoma’s most infamous evangelist didn’t want the homosexual history of his oldest son in the news.

In the late 1980s, my teenage cousin Rachel was lying in a hospital, convinced she was going to die. That was five years after her dad’s death. This is how I remember her description of that time:

I was lying in a hospital bed and all I could think of were all the lies that had brought me there. I was anorexic and weighed next to nothing and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to live anymore – especially without the truth. I called my mother over to me and I told her I had to know: “If I’m going to die, I have to know the truth. Was my father gay?” She argued with me. I can’t remember much of what she said but finally she nodded, saying: “Yes, yes, yes, honey, he was.”

I’ve waited 10 years to tell this story: my cousin, later, asked me not to, saying it’s wrong to write publicly about her father’s orientation.

She told me this story when I was coming out and trying to make my way as a newly divorced single father in Oklahoma. She told me this for a reason: that truth had kept her alive. I think she wanted to share the force of it – the concrete weight of it – at a time when I needed solid ground most. But her mother, my aunt Carol, kept that secret from her daughter for a reason.

Aunt Carol embraced me when I came out, inviting me over for Christmas and Thanksgiving. She used to gaze at me from across the room (I know now, because so many people have told me, that I look like my uncle, that I carry myself the way he did).

Brokeback Mountain came out the same Christmas I did, in 2005, and I sat between my cousin and my aunt watching what was my uncle’s story, what was my story, what was our story, play out onscreen. Leaving the theater that night, we drove home in silence.

Now that I’ve publicly announced my uncle was gay, Aunt Carol is completely silent: no more invitations to Thanksgiving or Christmas. That embrace had conditions; I broke them. Telling the world that her husband was gay meant betraying her; telling the story above – my teenage cousin in the hospital, demanding the truth – is betraying my cousin Rachel, too.

I am not happy, dragging their unwilling names into the light. But stories are ammunition. She spent hers and now I’m spending mine.

When I came out, I didn’t want to know gay history: I wanted to live it for myself. I had lived inside books my whole life – 31 years! – and I wanted to live, at last, in my own flesh. I was a new convert to a new faith: faith in my erection, faith in my sweat glands, faith in my fingers, faith in my feet and where they could take me.

I was a Protestant – a Pentecostal – in my new faith: fuck dogma. Fuck history. I wanted the Spirit: I wanted the seed of him, the shouting gospel of him, and I got it.

Years later, ready to know from whence I came, I started with Troy Perry, a former Pentecostal. I’d heard that a gay preacher had received a letter from Uncle Ronnie and so, when I first felt ready for my people’s history, I read Troy’s autobiography: The Lord Is My Shepherd, and He Knows I’m Gay.

Troy Perry started the first gay-affirming church in 1969 in Los Angeles: he was a former Assemblies of God minister and, when he came out, he was told he’d never preach again.

This spring, I met Troy and his husband Phillip at a restaurant in Silver Lake and we talked about my grandfather, Oral. Troy heard him preaching back when Troy was in the closet, sometime in early 1960s LA:

Your grandfather is the first person I ever heard use the word homosexual from the pulpit and it wasn’t a put-down. I was heterosexually married and he got up and said: “A young man came last night and fell into my arms and said, ‘Brother Roberts, can the Lord help me? I’m a homosexual.’” Now he said it here in California, he would’ve never said it in Oklahoma, but he knew his audience. Well, he says – and all the blood rushed out of my face, I didn’t know what he was fixin’ to say – all your grandfather said at the time was: ‘I told him, yes, son, God can help you.’ And he moved on, didn’t quote scripture or anything. OK?

Your uncle was bright as a peck – he was an expert on Chinese antiquities! Well, he heard me speak at USC and he wrote me a letter, he said “Dear Reverend Perry, I wanted to write you and send you a check.” I was in a TV show – God, Gays, & the Gospel – and he’d read about it, and he said: “I don’t consider myself religious anymore, but I wanted to help you.”

I, like my uncle before me, am not religious, but I haven’t lost my faith. I believe in things – concrete things, things with weight attached to them – and I believe in things like the weight of my uncle’s story.

Before I came out, I slept with many men. The second man, a college tennis player for Southern Nazarene University, used to call me, often, to tell me how much better it was on the other side. I would roll my eyes: I was married with children. I wasn’t gay. I liked fucking him but it was just a thing. “Gay” was a commitment. “Gay” was a conversion. “Gay” was music I was supposed to like and didn’t, people I was supposed to act like, and didn’t.

Once, walking to the gym downtown, a gay man called me out: “Honey, could you spare me a dollar, I need some food” – I cut him off quickly, mortified, shaking my head no. “Oh, sorry, honey, I thought you was family – I was sure you were a sister!”

Coming out in Oklahoma is a conversion: its attendant testimony, catechisms, and shibboleths have weight, gravitas. They sink in. We Oklahoma queers can’t speak English without the influence of the King James Version; we can’t talk about sex or coming out without using the words we heard in church.

For us especially, coming out is a conversion to a new faith – one that, for most Christians in Oklahoma, requires you leave Jesus behind.

Coming out, we’re family: growing up in the church, I’d watched men refer to other Christian men as their brothers.

Coming out, I am now greeted by gay men as their sister, often with a holy kiss.

It has been the privilege of my family to tell my Uncle Ronnie’s life in a short, easy paragraph:

Ronald David Roberts married, adopted two children, and taught high school English. He was too brilliant for this world. It tormented him, that brilliance, and he turned to drugs, and a gun.

It is the privilege of those with power to tell us who we are. It has been the privilege of heterosexuals to tell transgender men and women what constitutes gender, to corral the tools of scientific inquiry and subject subjective flesh and bone to its will: “You are a man. You are a woman. You two, and only you two, were meant to marry, were meant to fuck.”

Armed with facts – artifacts, photographs, testimony – it is now my privilege to tell that power to fuck off.

Denied the cross, we Oklahoma queers bear the weight of all the stories the straights refuse to tell. We tell these stories because: it’s the only ground we have. After his sailor died, Uncle Ronnie married a woman, moved back to Tulsa, and adopted two children.

As far as I can tell, the pain of that first loss: with him until the end.

We tell our stories because, for us queer folk, telling is a matter of life and death. When we didn’t tell them, we died. Life demands it: represent.

Gay, closeted and buried in history: my uncle's life was erased. Mine won't be

Anal sex positions

Most of these gay sex positions are anal sex positions, but there are some non-penetrative sexual positions at the end too.

If you’re after more anal sex reading, here’s another general guide on how to have anal sex that covers douching, communication, lube and some other stuff.

Top, bottom or versatile?

We’re going to look at gay sex positions from the point of view of a top and a bottom.

If you’re versatile (and we encourage you all to be), lucky you, you can do both. In some gay sex positions the top leads the action, and in some the bottom takes the lead.

Interested in finding out why some guys are top and some are bottom? Here’s a scientific study from 2017 that talks about it.

Try the gay missionary position first

This gay sex position may sound boring, but it’s not, we promise. It’s one of the easiest positions for a top, and not especially difficult for a bottom.

During gay sex, if you’re engaging in foreplay and sucking his cock while he’s laying down, keep licking, kissing and sucking as you move your mouth down towards his balls.

Then go further, toward his perineum (the bit between his balls and his ass) and then his butthole.

Bottom: if you’re enjoying this, give him a few moans and wriggle your asshole a bit closer to where his tongue is.

If he’s keen, keep eating his ass. Open his ass cheeks and get in there deep with your tongue. If you can, and body shapes and sizes depend on this, lift his ass up a bit.

Seeing eye to eye

The gay missionary position is good for maintaining eye contact and clear communication during anal sex.

You can penetrate your partner slowly and carefully, keeping an eye on the target. You can build up a momentum that you’re both comfortable with. And it’s easy to get back in if you slip out, because you can see everything clearly.

Now try riding a guy’s cock

If you’re new to getting f**ked, or nervous about taking a big dick, this gay sex position could be good for you, because as a bottom, you’ll have the control.

It’s a good one for gaining confidence when it comes to taking cock – if it starts to hurt, you can slow down, and lower yourself onto him at your own pace.

You need a certain amount of athleticism to be able to ride your man. You want to be going up and down, and slightly back and forth, at the same time. A bit like riding a horse.

If you’re bigger built than your top, or if you’re a bigger guy in general this one can be tricky as gravity is against you. Be careful not to crush the chap under you or he’ll be at risk of losing his erection.

How do you give oral-anal sex (rimming)?

Performing oral sex on your partner’s anus (also known as rimming) can be part of any sexual relationship, whether gay, bisexual or straight.

If you are concerned about hygiene, ask your partner to wash first. You could also bathe together as part of foreplay.

Before you begin, your partner may like it if you gently kiss and touch the area around the anus including the perineum (the area of skin between the genitals and the anus). You can then focus on the anus, circling your tongue around the outer area and finally inserting your tongue. Remember to listen to your partner and do what they enjoy, whether that’s licking, sucking or gently probing.

If you are giving oral sex to a woman, don’t move from the anus to the vagina as this can transfer bacteria and cause infection.

The risk of HIV transmission from oral sex is very low unless the person receiving oral sex has an STI or sores on their genital area, or the person giving oral sex has sores in their mouth or bleeding gums. If the person living with HIV is on medication and has undetectable levels of HIV then there is no risk of passing the virus on.

However, other STIs can easily be passed on during oral sex, in particular herpesgonorrhoea and syphilis. Certain infections and viruses that are found in faeces (poo) can be passed on through oral–anal sex, this includes hepatitis A and

Knowing you have taken precautions to keep you and your partner safe can help make you more relaxed during oral sex. There are simple ways to protect you both:

Avoid oral sex altogether when the risk of passing on any virus or infection is highest, for example, if you have:

Be aware that you may not know if you or your partner has an infection as infections can be passed on even if there are no obvious signs or symptoms. If you do have sores around your mouth, genitals or anus, you should get them checked out by a healthcare professional as they may be a sign of an infection.

What does gay chastity mean, and what’s the difference between a chastity belt and chastity cage?

Zhang Guowei, a 76-year-old bisexual veteran, is relishing his twilight years. “I couldn’t be happier with my life post-retirement,” says Zhang, who was a doctor in the army until 1994.

As a former military officer, Zhang’s monthly pension is 10,000 yuan ($1,440) — five times the average pension in Changde, the small city in central China’s Hunan province where he lives with his boyfriend. Zhang divorced his wife in 2003 and met the love of his life — Wu, who is 40 years younger — a year later on the internet. “I expect him to accompany me through the remainder of my life,” Zhang tells Sixth Tone after finishing his daily exercise routine.

Zhang says he is bisexual but prefers men. He gained support and understanding from his ex-wife and two daughters when he came out to them in 2003. When he passes on, his assets will be divided equally among his daughters and his boyfriend. “My kids have no problem sharing with Wu because they know he is the one taking care of me in my final years,” he says.

The May-December couple have been living together since 2005 in an apartment provided by the government for retired army cadres and their families. The 10-story building houses a dozen veterans in their 60s through 90s, some living alone and others with their spouses. 

When Wu first moved in, Zhang told his neighbors that Wu was his gan erzi, or adopted son, whom he met online. (The Chinese concept of gan erzi allows for a sort of informal adoption of adults, with no legal or religious implications.) “I had this vague idea that they might be gay,” says 74-year-old Lu Shize, who lives downstairs. “But it’s none of my business to ask about his private life,” Lu adds.

Last year, following in other veterans’ footsteps, Zhang wrote a 218-page autobiography — including his experiences of recognizing his sexuality — and shared it with his fellow cadres. His neighbors were very understanding. “Everyone knows about us, and no one gossips or gives us a hard time,” Zhang says.

Lu, who had never before met any out gay or bisexual men, says he admires Zhang’s courage. “Being gay or not, it doesn’t change the way I see him,” Lu says. “We are in our 70s; what’s more important than being happy and healthy?”

China’s population is rapidly aging. The proportion of the population aged 60 or older was more than 16 percent at the end of 2015, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and that number is only set to increase. The nation’s changing demography brings with it challenges for managing welfare and health care, especially as fewer seniors are able to count on their families for support.

Two older men hold a symbolic wedding ceremony in Beijing, Jan. 30, 2013. ChinaFotoPress/VCG

Decades of family-planning restrictions mean that even seniors who have children often must become self-reliant, as children born during the one-child policy can’t afford to support two parents and four grandparents. As a result, for many elders, being childless is no longer a major concern or an unusual occurrence.

Wen Xiaojun, 56, is single and childless. Immediately after he retired in November from working as a civil servant, he rented an apartment in Sanya, on the southern island of Hainan, where he is spending six months avoiding the cold of his hometown in the eastern province of Zhejiang. “I still feel young and restless,” Wen tells Sixth Tone. “Being childless makes it easy for me to travel after retirement.”

Like other older people, LGBT seniors want to have rich, fulfilling, and independent lives. They hope that retirement will give them the opportunity to focus on what they truly love. 

Wen enjoys his slow-paced life in Sanya. He goes to exhibitions, takes walks along the beach, plays volleyball with locals, and sometimes meets up with men he contacts through Blued — a popular gay social app, on which he hopes to find a long-term boyfriend. 

But dating isn’t easy for older gay men. “Younger generations can build a relationship quickly by kissing or having sex soon after they meet offline,” Wen explains. “But we want something more spiritual and stable.” 

Similarly, 62-year-old Ah Shan, as he’s called within the gay community, says that finding a partner is his biggest problem these days. His finances are secure, as he owns his apartment in Guangzhou — capital of southern China’s Guangdong province — and receives a monthly pension of about 5,000 yuan, but he has been single for four years and is ready for that to change. In the meantime, he is renting out one of his bedrooms to gay friends so he has some company at home.

Ah Shan poses for a picture in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, 2013. Courtesy of Ah Shan

Most gays, lesbians, and bisexuals of Ah Shan’s generation knew little about their sexual orientation until internet access became available at the turn of the millennium. Even when Ah Shan was working in the U.S. in the late 1980s, he refused to consider himself gay because the only information he’d heard about gay topics in China was AIDS-related or implied that homosexuality was shameful or immoral. “I think I was brainwashed,” Ah Shan laughs. 

Over the last two years, Ah Shan has been working on a gay oral history project, recording the stories of older gay men in Guangzhou. He has talked to more than 60 gay men aged from 60 to 90, who have experienced some of China’s most critical historic moments, from the Cultural Revolution to the nation’s opening-up era. “If we don’t record them now, part of the important history of LGBT in China will be gone,” he says.

Many of the men are married and choose not to come out to their families. “They go to this particular park to chat with other gay men in the daytime to release their emotions, but when the sun goes down, they have to return home to bear their family responsibilities,” Ah Shan says with a sigh. 

Ah Shan’s own parents passed away before he was brave enough to tell them the truth. His mother died in 2000, a year before homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in China. 

Compared with gay and bisexual men, older women find it even more difficult to disclose or discuss their sexual orientation. Since 2010, 45-year-old Yu Shi from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, has been working on an oral history project for older same-sex-attracted women across China, but she says the process of locating participants and persuading them to share their stories is tough.

“Chinese women are in a weak position in the family, which doesn’t allow them to speak out for themselves,” Yu says, adding that of the 30 or so lesbians who have taken part in the project over the last six years, only one has come out to her family. Many won’t divorce their husbands even if they have female partners. “Chinese people are very concerned with saving face, and they think it’s a loss of face to get a divorce if you’re already a grandparent,” she says.

Yu and her 40-year-old girlfriend have lived together for over a decade, but despite their enduring, loving relationship, they can’t enjoy the security of a formal union, as same-sex marriage is not yet legal in China. Some issues can be resolved by making a will, but others — like legal or medical power of attorney — remain a problem. 

According to Yu, some LGBT seniors who are single and childless have considered building their own retirement estate where they can live together and take care of one another. Although they aren’t opposed to regular nursing homes, Yu says “they prefer to live in a place where they can open their hearts and share their experiences with others in the same circumstances.”

A lesbian couple kiss each other during an event in Shanghai, Dec. 22, 2013. Sun Zhan/Sixth Tone

As more and more seniors live separately from their children, retirement facilities in China have struggled to meet growing demand. The government encourages investment in privately owned nursing homes, but so far none have been established exclusively for members of sexual minority groups.

Little public attention is given to the needs of older LGBT people, but to Wang Anke, a 50-year-old bisexual woman from Beijing, these individuals don’t do enough to stand up for themselves, either. “We are almost invisible,” she says. 

Wang married her husband in 1990 and plans to spend the rest of her life with him. Though Wang considers herself happy and fortunate, she says that most older lesbian and bisexual women she knows are pessimistic about their senior years. “They’re lonely and lack emotional care,” Wang says, adding that many would rather live alone than move into a nursing home where they fear they can’t be themselves. “Loneliness will go to the grave with them.”

But while some LGBT seniors advocate dedicated nursing homes, Ah Shan opposes the idea of separate services. “In the long run, LGBT people shouldn’t lock ourselves in a so-called safe place,” he says. “What we really need is for the overall environment to allow us to live comfortably in the community.”

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