Sometimes men (or their partners) shy away from prostate stimulation because it involves anal penetration, and they are concerned that for a man to enjoy anal play would mean something about his masculinity or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, this holds a lot of guys back from experiencing the amazing pleasure that prostate stimulation can bring.
Where Does This Idea Come From?
There are three main reasons why people often think that receiving penetration is not something that men (especially straight men) should enjoy.
- Many people think that receiving penetration is the “woman’s role” in sex.
- Penetration is sometimes thought of as an act of dominance, so “submitting” to it can be seen as a sign of weakness.
- It’s a common myth that the only men who enjoy receiving penetration are gay men, so any man who wants to be penetrated must be gay.
When it comes to defining masculinity, a lot of men have absorbed the idea that appearing feminine, weak, or gay threatens their status as men. So it’s easy to see why the perceived association between being penetrated and being feminine/weak/gay can hold men back from experiencing prostate stimulation.
The Woman’s Role?
In many societies, men are strongly discouraged from doing anything that is considered “feminine.” When they go against this expectation, they often get harassed, treated disrespectfully, called names like “sissy” and “pussy,” or worse. Given that, it’s not surprising that a lot of men have absorbed the idea that they shouldn’t be interested in receiving anal penetration, since receiving penetration is often thought of as the “woman’s role.”
That said, the idea that for a heterosexual couple men have one role in sex and women have another gets in the way of experiencing pleasure and fun. Shouldn’t you and your partner be free to do whatever feels good for you both? Your body is yours and as long as everyone is happy and nobody gets hurt, we think you can enjoy it however you want. Why should any parts of your body be off-limits to pleasure? After all, just because you receive penetration today doesn’t mean you can’t give it tomorrow.
When you let go of the idea that your gender defines what kinds of sexual stimulation you can and can’t experience, incredible possibilities can open up for you. You can, in fact, “take it like a man” and have an amazing time. There’s something incredibly powerful about a man who can be fully present in his masculinity while also being open and receptive. Something life-changing happens when you realize that you can let go of the shame, relax, and receive without worrying about losing masculine status. If you’re willing to explore that, you just might find new ways to look at sex, pleasure, and relationships.
Penetration = Domination?
Another common notion that can hold guys back is the idea that penetration is an act of domination. The fear is that by being penetrated, he is being submissive and weak — not a very “manly” thing to do — and that if people knew, they would look at him differently.
Firstly, a distinction needs to be made between real-life domination and role-play domination. In real-life domination, one person forces their will on another, who submits to that person’s will even though it’s not what they really want. That’s no fun.
In role-play domination, two people can pretend that one is dominating the other because that fantasy turns them both on. However, both people are clear that it is not real, that either one can pause the role play at any time for any reason, and it doesn’t say anything about their real-life relationship.
Real-life domination is defined by submitting to something that you don’t really want. But if being penetrated is exactly what you want, how can that be an act of dominance? Of course it isn’t!
In our view, dominance and submission have more to do with how you feel about a sexual act than the act itself. There’s nothing inherently dominant in any sex act – it all depends on how you and your partner feel about it.
Does It Mean I’m Gay?
We don’t think there’s anything good or bad about anyone’s sexual orientation, as long as they feel good about it. That being said, just because you like to be penetrated doesn’t mean you’re gay, and just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you like to be penetrated.
During our many years as sex educators, we’ve spoken to countless straight men who enjoy receiving penetration and prostate massage, whether that’s by themselves, with a female partner, or both. Ever since the movie Bend Over Boyfriend came out in 1998, more male-female couples have explored prostate play, strap-on dildos, and male anal play. It’s just not true that only gay men enjoy this.
On the other hand, being gay doesn’t mean anything about whether someone will enjoy anal play. Despite the stereotype that gay men always engage in anal sex, it turns out that they do that less than 40% of the time. It’s probably true that gay & bisexual men and other guys who have sex with men are more likely to try anal play than straight men, simply because there’s more discussion of it in those circles, but it’s also clear that being gay doesn’t mean that you like to be penetrated.
What it comes down to is this: your nerves and pleasure zones are about what feels good to you and what you want to do. Your sexual orientation is about who you want to do it with.
Go Where The Pleasure Is!
If you enjoy anal play and/or prostate stimulation, all it means is that you enjoy it. It doesn’t mean anything about who you are or who you want to play with. If you find that trying it or even thinking about trying it is bringing up a lot of stuff for you or your partner, we have a whole chapter in our book that looks at the concerns that often arise around masculinity and offers suggestions for how to move through them. We want you to enjoy your experiences with prostate play, whether you’re giving or receiving. Pick up your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure and get your questions answered.