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Speak Out: A Relationship Without Anal Sex?

When it comes to sex in relationships, whether it’s a gay relationship or a straight one, there’s always a focus on who’s penetrating who. After all, there’s a reason why gay guys identify as tops or bottoms.

Recent years, however, have seen the term “side” get more prominence. Urban Dictionary defines a side as “a gay man who does not partake in anal-penetrative sex; a gay man who enjoys all aspects of intercourse with the exception of anal penetration.”

It’s something more and more people are doing, although they may not entirely be sure if it’s “normal.”

Take, for instance, this question from r/askgaybros. Reddit user SuperJus10 says he and his boyfriend are perfectly happy with just blowjobs and mutual masturbation, but he also wonders if it’s a common thing or if he and his boyfriend are just weird.

Responses to his post have been very supportive, ranging from people saying there’s no harm so long as they’re both happy and satisfied, to those saying sex should be comfortable and fun and they shouldn’t have to try something that turns them off.

One interesting thing in the responses is Reddit user ForgetMeThereafter, who is into penetrative sex but his partner isn’t. He says that the two of them are in an open relationship, and he only does anal when they do a threeway or he hooks up with someone else.

This Reddit question did make us curious about something. Adam4Adam blog readers, would you guys be open to a relationship that didn’t involve anal sex? Or do you feel that penetrative sex always has to be a part of the sexual repertoire? Are you in a relationship right now much like the one mentioned on Reddit? How do you manage? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!


There are 42 comments

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  1. Kasper

    For-the-life-of-me, what is the allurement of anal sex? Even, at 16, I said no. I always knew that anal sex was unnatural, unsafe and deadly…long before AIDS.

    I was 16 in 1980 when anything went…regardless of safety and sanity. I said ‘no; and I wasn’t ever taken seriously as a ‘boyfriend’. I was accused of being a ‘voyeur’ before I even knew the meaning of the word.

    Then as now, I do not do it and I am dismissed on ‘A4A’, as so many pass my profile by. Anal Sex, in my opinion is ‘unnatural’, ‘filthy’, ‘dangerous’, and finally,’ deadly’. How, in God’s name, can any normal, logical and responsible Homo Sapiens Sapiens submit to a ‘pole-in-the-hole’?

    Even watching porn and seeing anal sex makes me shake my head in amazement. I am, 54, today, and I am alive, healthful and still attractive; I do not miss anal sex and the first thing you will read on my A4A Profile is that “I do not do anal sex, of any kind, regardless of person or situation.

    I buried too many friends who put me down for not agreeing to anal sex and I have other friends who are ill from AIDS.

    In-the-end, at 16 and continuing at 54, I made the right choice and if I meet someone who qualifies my worth and desirableness by engaging in anal sex, I say no and they leave. I won’t even give or receive a ‘rim job’.

    Safe, then; safe, now!

  2. Keith

    I’ve never been into anal sex. Glad this issue is seeing some public attention, because it’s a conversation that needs to be had MUCH more frequently. The peer pressure on this issue is absurd, and so many people (gay and straight alike) focus on penetrative sex like it’s the ultimate universal action. Not only is it kinda boring to see so many people try to rush (or omit) what I think are the best parts of intimacy, it’s extremely disrespectful to keep bringing it up after the first “no.”

  3. Robert Patterson

    I personally enjoy being penetrated but I don’t require my lover to do it. If I need it that bad I have toys. I agree with the commenter in the blog post who said something like as long as both partners are sexually satisfied then it doesn’t matter whether there is penetration. The term “weird” is widely misused because it assumes there is a normal of sorts to compare against. In this day and age “normal” is an outdated concept. It’s now a “you do you boo” mentality and that’s what is and should be acceptable. Besides, I don’t have sexual relations to meet some perceived societal expectation. If I did I’d have to be straight. So do you boo and be happy in life.

  4. Raymond

    It wouldn’t work for me, but as long as the couple involved are on the same page & satisfied, then why not? What anyone else thinks is totally unimportant.

  5. Raymond

    It wouldn’t work for me. But as long as the couple involved are on the same page & satisfied, then why not? What other people think is totally irrelevant.

  6. Hunter0500

    Only a stereotypical view of what it means to be “gay” would require penetrative oral or anal sex be part of every relationship.

    It’s small-minded and short-sighted to believe “there’s always a focus on who’s penetrating who.” Look at the profiles on A4A where the guys don’t declare “top” or “bottom”. For those who believe that they have some social “hold” (for some unknown reason) on what it means to be gay, “versatile” is as looked down on as “bi”. “True gays” must be as much “top” or “bottom” as they are Diva-music-loving, according to this crowd.

    At the end of the day, there is much more two guys can do when having sex than penetrate where they limit themselves to doing oral or anal or being solely a top or a bottom.

  7. Michael

    I think it depends on you and your partner..if it’s something that the 2 of you agree is not paramount to your sex life..great..I’ve had some exciting romps without having to do anal..BUTT..(pun intended)…penetrative sex is in our DNA..whether it’s something that makes you feel more intimate with your partner or just a good old random shag …somebody is going to want to tap that ass at some point..hopefully your man isn’t doing it on the side..nothing like a surprise STD

  8. Goodolfuckbuddy

    Yes. I’ve had several relationships ships without anal sex. I’m a top who’s dated alot of other tops. Neither one of us wanted to bottom but we still had very good sex doing every other thing two men can do. If you’re uninhibited and passionate at two men can have great sex without penetration.

  9. Randy

    I was in a relationship for 13 years where there was no anal sex. Like the couple in the article, we had mutual oral and masturbation. We were very happy. Even now, although I am taking part in anal sex, it is not my favorite part of the experience. I am much happier with foreplay and oral…and, trust me, all parties concerned are very satisfied.

  10. Steven Kerry

    Yes,I could be in a relationship if the other guy was majorly into oral sex, kissing, nip-play, JO, etc. Anal sex was fun but always seemed fraught with physical risks and STDs, etc (even before AIDS, frankly)… It’ s natural to stick your penis in a warm hole, but my generation paid a horrendous price for the joys of anal sex. To each his own. I enjoy what I do and the people I do it with; if you require anal sex then go for it but all the information I’ve read suggests there is considerably less risk with oral sex. If I was 24 I would probably ignore that information, but I’m older now so health is more of a priority to me.

  11. Atl Nudist

    Never knew there was a name for it, side sex, but I will certainly add it to my profiles. Good to know that I’m not the only one.

  12. Joe

    I was in a 21 year relationship and anal sex was never an option ,, my first gay relationship , and I really didn’t know about it, so I never really missed it .my partner was never into topping or bottoming ,, so I learned how to give good slow edging head , and like 3 x a day lol ,, needless to say ,I became very good at it and to this day oral is still my favs . When we broke up , i discovered anal sex,, lol a 40 yr old virgin ..and through various partners realized how pleasurable it is,, both topping and bottoming,, a true vers here but still prefer oral over fucking

  13. hairybear2039

    For me there has to be anal sex! It’s that special bond between a man and his partner, besides it feels so good too! Kissing and cuddling are foremost the most important, but hopefully that will lead to a nice anal penetration! If I had to choose between getting a blow job or penetrated by a man, definitely the penetration would be the winner!

  14. CountryGenTxstyl

    I can rationalize, participate and have a fulfilling without anal intercourse. I feel there are so many things that the sexual experience involves that, individuals can find some aspect satisfying.

  15. Justin Baxter

    As a friend of mine once said, “it’s a lot of work”. Most of my 40 years of gay sex has not been anal, although there were two relationships where there was a lot of anal. Anal compatibility is something not discussed here. Yes, I am talking about size and technique. My experience is the top size and technique may not be what the bottom wants. I was hardly anal at all in the 1980’s, which I believe is one reason I am still here. Tom me, and most of us here, intimacy starts with tonsil cleaning kissing. Anal is not a must.

  16. let_me_suckit

    As I’ve gotten older, as a bottom I’m enjoying oral sex more and anal sex less. I really love to make my top moan as I pleasure him with my mouth and throat. The other thing about anal sex is all that work I gotta do to be spotless inside!! omg, it’s a whole process and sometimes it can take quite a while to get it done right.

  17. Grguy51

    I love being penetrated, as a bottom who loves his role, it completes me. That being said I have had relationships where it did not occur, the latest one with a dominant man. when I asked him why, he told me it was because I gave the best ead he has ever had. I do love worshiping him, lol

  18. parker_miller2003

    The responses posted illuminate what a diverse group gay men are. We are no longer put into a “type” or “category” or “standard” where everyone has to love anal penetration and anal sex. The fact is that some do, others are indifferent and others definitely do not. If it is a “relationship” and not a hook up or fuck-buddy situation, then it’s an issue to be considered so both men remain happy.

  19. manholecover

    If you identify as a gay man and have not had your manhole taken by another man, then you lose a point on your gay card. Similarly when you take another man’s hole. Gawwwwwd, the carnal intensity.

    An acquaintance once said if there’s no penetration its not sex. So that’s my story and I’m stickin to it.

  20. Erect1

    without anal is it really sex? or just playing around? anal is the epitome of bonding – emotionally as well as physically. i cannot imagine two guys loving each other and not consummating their bond by becoming one. as far as the dangers of STD’s etc., it’s called monogamy, gentlemen, monogamy.

  21. Black brutal MASTER

    As a black master I have always wanted my boys to enjoy me entering their beautiful black holes

    As somebody who has a serious ass fetish I require that my boys have a great need for me to penetrate them

    but as I’ve gotten older I find myself wanting to have more control of them verbally,physically, as opposed to wearing their sexy black asses out.

    I find that I could have a relationship with someone who is not into anal but they may enjoy The way I dominate him physically or verbally.

    I rather have a boy who doesn’t do anal but is my boy in the street and my bitch at home.
    That is much more of a turn on to me.

    Still being smart and good as a person and understanding the relationship and committed to it is more important I don’t have to put my 10 inch black dick in his ass to be happy.

    There is so much more to discover then just anal sex

  22. Mr. T.

    a4a has so many corny and silly questions to engage in conversation. What’s with all of these “new” labels just to make up labels just so someone can feel good about being placed into a “box” and if they can’t find one to fit in…then someone has to make up one. No wonder folks are sooooo damn confused and frustrated.

    Labels are needed so that others can search and find others….no more….no less.

    It boils down to “preferences”…simple. Labels remove “conversation” and “conversation” is a lost art.

    But I do get a big chuckle out of labels. Oh, how I would love to find a “bonus hole” boi…hehehe
    see if you can figure that one out.

    My label is “Top”….

  23. DelaPleaser

    For me anal sex, whether topping or bottom, has always been like this. I love fantasizing about it or watching porn of it while masturbating but when it comes to the actual practice, I’m not really interested in either role.

  24. Marc

    To each his own. Before I was in love with one man, I was vehemently adverse to anal sex. A man had once forced himself on me, which left me feeling used and abused… NOT loved. However, I later met a man with whom the relationship was, for a long time, limited to me giving him head (with me masturbating concurrently or immediately after he ejaculated while I continued nursing on him). Eventually, I asked if he’d like for me to straddle him and impale myself on him. He left it up to me. From then on, we often made love — albeit only if I had thoroughly cleaned and prepared myself (with a modified Clean Stream nozzle). I preferred being beneath him, in the missionary position. Having intercourse, in that manner, was a very emotional, incomparable experience. It could bring me to tears.
    For a long time, we used condoms. In as much as we were tested and also exclusive, I proposed being more spontaneous. So, our coupling became even more emotional — even spiritual — for me. To receive a man’s essence, into my body, causing him to become part of me, was so profound. In my opinion, oral sex and masturbation are a much lower level of intimacy — incapable of providing complete satisfaction and bonding.
    Sadly, my lover moved far away :^(

    • Commandobttm

      Yep, there is nothing like two men in a committed, monogamous relationship making love au natural. Now if I could only find another man who I feel that strongly about…

  25. Allan

    For me,I’ve always been the bottom in a committed relationship and have always been;it’s how I bond and it also suits my more Sub nature in the bedroom….of course,everybody works differently,but,for me,it absolutely has to be part of the dynamic…

  26. Mikal

    I love getting and giving blowjobs erotic message toy, and masturbation I also love being anally penetrated. Just the thought of it makes me hot. If I am going to fuck a guy I want a man that will fuck my ass that’s why I demand safe sex even if they claim DDF

  27. DeLuca Wannabe

    Anal sex isn’t required for a couple to enjoy each other, or to bond physically & emotionally. It’s actually fairly common for gay men to have little-to-no interest in anal penetration… some of the studies have said between 20 & 25% of gay men have no interest in anal, and are perfectly happy with oral sex & mutual masturbation.

  28. DM

    I enjoy both giving and receiving and would want my relationship to include anal sex. But safe only. I enjoy rimming and being rimming (and know the health risks). To me it’s the ultimate intimacy, especially if I’m facing my partner.

  29. royale

    To me, if I am in a relationship I have to be his EVERYTHING and he has to be mine. Otherwise, we are wasting each other’s time. For me to truly feel desired, he has to yearn to enter me as much and deep as possible. Toys are material and superficial. Toys and oral only for a fling, “yes”. A relationship, “no”.

  30. Motov

    I personally think anal is disgusting, dirty, and definitely not for me! I made a pact with myself when I was in my 30’s. I would allow myself to be gay provided that I would never engage with anal activity. I knew that would severely cut my choices. That was my decision, I made it, I live by it. To this day I still wonder what is the big fascination with ass? The front side of a man is far more interesting, than his “hole”,… I’m a firm believer that hole is for exit only, and that is all what mine gets used for.

  31. versguydc

    Perhaps this topic would benefit by some agreed upon definition. “Sex” is too vague because it has appended to it anal -, oral – etc. But does that make it sex? If I suck someones dick are we having sex? Many would say no. If we masturbate together are we having sex? Many would say no. If I masturbate alone and I having sex? Many would say no. If we are having sexual intercourse are we having sex? Yes, I think so, this is also called fucking or anal. If we are doing oral and I am sucking your dick and you are not sucking mine are we having sex? Seems to me that if we are having sex, certain parts of the body need to me involved. I have two sex parts. My dick and my hole. Both of them bring me great pleasure and provide great pleasure to a partner. If we are having sexual intercourse, we both have one of those two sex parts actively engaged. If only one is then is seems that we are doing something partly sexual. One of us is one of us isn’t. At the end of the day, if I sucked your dick all day I may be having fun, but my dick isn’t being stimulated by you, then damn I can’t really say I’m having sex.

    No matter what if two people are happy doing whatever it is they do and satisfied its all good. But sexual intercourse aka fucking provides both partners with sexual stimulation of their sex parts simultaneously. Nothing else does that. But I am not having sex by sucking someones dick even if I masturbate at the same time because I don’t get any stimulation of my sex parts by the other person. Its not a two way street. We are detached in a fundamental way.

  32. Memomelaque

    I am 76 years old and haven’t taken it up the ass, nor given it up the ass, in around 50 years. I always explain only oral and I have to say that I have gotten some strange reactions to this. Some have tried to argue with me, trying to convince me to top or bottom, whichever they wanted. Some guys will just say “no” and go on their way. A couple of guys (supposedly a three way) decided to change the agreement and decided that rape was the answer.


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