Homosexuality & Sexual Behavior

Although each person, as well as each couple, is unique, men and women display many of the same characteristics within homosexual relationships as they do within heterosexual relationships. Traditionally, heterosexual men and gay men tend to place a greater emphasis on frequent sexual activity and sexual behavior that involves genital contact and less emphasis on emotional intimacy and committed relationships. Heterosexual women and lesbian couples typically place less emphasis on sexual activity and genital contact and more emphasis on emotional intimacy and exclusive, nurturing, long-term relationships.

Sexual activity within homosexual relationships is similar to sexual behavior within heterosexual relationships. Although pregnancy is not a consequence of homosexual activity, practicing safer sex (e.g., using condoms and other protective devices) is important to help reduce the risk for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, in homosexuals.

Homosexual activity may include kissing, sexual stimulation of the genitals (masturbation) using the fingers, oral-genital stimulation of the genitals (e.g., fellatio, cunnilingus), stimulation of the anus using the fingers, oral-anal stimulation, anal intercourse, and stimulation of the genitals or anus using sex toys (e.g., vibrators, dildos).

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 25 Dec 2008

Last Modified: 24 Sep 2015