One in 10 middle-aged gay men have had vaginal sex in the past three months, according to German study.
The research found that out of this sub-group of participants, all of whom self-identified as homosexual, three-quarters of them had never had sex with a man.
The study, conducted by professors at the Technical University of Munich and published in this month’s Sexual Medicine journal, is the flip side of a piece of research released earlier this year which found that men who identify as straight have a lot of gay sex.
In the study’s report, the authors concluded that a significant number of middle-aged German gay men have not come out, writing: “A considerable proportion of homosexual identified men live a heterosexual life.”
Professor Kathleen Herkommer, who led the study, explained that these men’s mental health can suffer as a result of hiding their sexuality, and that this groundbreaking research could help the drive to help them.
“We identified a group that recognises its homosexuality, but do not live it, and instead lead and have led a purely heterosexual life – often with a wife and children,” she said.
“There is evidence that such a discrepancy can lead to mental health problems. Our study provides important data to further explore this phenomenon.
“Other studies have already indicated that this group exists, but we have now demonstrated it scientifically for the first time.”
More than 12,000 men participated in the research, which also found that on average, men who had sexual contact with other men did so at the age of 20.
This was two years after the average man had their first sexual contact with a woman.
Professor Herkommer reasoned that “this is probably the result of a discovery phase in which different sexual orientations are tried out.”
When it came to favourite sex acts, homosexual men who had had sex in the past three months were most likely to have engaged in oral sex, with 91 percent having done so.
Anal sex was far less common, though it had still been experienced by the majority of gay men, at 64 percent.
Whereas 98 percent of straight men had engaged in sexual relations with 10 or fewer people before the age of 45, just under half of gay men had been with more than 30 sexual partners.
The majority of gay and bisexual men were also in stable, long-term relationships, providing more data to contradict the damaging stereotype that queer men are promiscuous.
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