Understand important health issues for gay men and men who have sex with men — from sexually transmitted infections to depression — and get tips for taking charge of your health. All men face certain health risks. However, gay men and men who have sex with men have some specific health concerns. Although your individual risks are shaped by many factors beyond your sexual orientation and practices — including family history and age — it's important to understand common health issues for gay men and steps you can take to stay healthy.
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Back to Sexual health. Penetrative anal sex has a higher risk of spreading STIs than many other types of sexual activity. This is because the lining of the anus is thin and can be easily damaged, which makes it more vulnerable to infection. Use a water-based lubricant, which is available from pharmacies. Oil-based lubricants such as lotion and moisturiser can cause latex condoms to break or fail. Male and female couples should use a new condom if they have vaginal sex straight after anal sex.
Q&A: Is Anal Sex Safe? Or Will I End Up in Adult Diapers?
More recently, the term has been co-opted by some straight folks to describe unprotected vaginal penetration , too. There are serious risks to having anal or vaginal sex without a condom—STIs being the main one. Vaginal sex comes with the risk of unplanned pregnancy, but that can be mitigated with other forms of contraception. Still, there are plenty of people out there who knowingly take the risk to have bareback sex with their partners. Some folks say they hate the feeling of condoms though we'd argue they haven't found the right one yet ; others say it makes them feel closer to their partner, or that they like the fact that it's "taboo.
Barebacking is the term used to describe men who have unprotected anal intercourse. It is a practice that is on the increase. There are dangers, especially if you get involved in casual sex with someone you do not know.