Advice from Dr. Goldstone

Bill Weintraub

In this message thread, ano-rectal surgeon Stephen Goldstone, MD, FACS, of posts and answers a "question" -- which reads as though he wrote it -- about gay men who don't like anal.

I then write to and find myself in an email colloquy with someone calling herself Sarah Albert.

Ms. Albert says she's an editor, and claims that GayHealth lacks the resources to do a page on frottage.

But she ends the exchange by saying that such a page is at the top of their list.

She was lying.

They never did a page, and when I contacted her about it six months later, she just stonewalled.

Goldstone and his staff, such as it is, has a pro-anal bias -- to put it mildly.

Don't miss Mart Finn's great post at the end of this thread.

Bill Weintraub

Advice from Dr. Goldstone of


Friday, February 22nd 2002


Why don't I like anal sex?

Receptive anal sex is simply hellish! It hurts going in, no matter how slowly, or in what position I try. Sometimes it makes me feel like I have to take the dump of death, and having my prostate massaged only makes me feel like I have to urinate. All in all, the best part of anal sex is once my partner is out! The idea of causing the kind of discomfort I've experienced makes me go limp, even if my partner's sphincter is wide open and eagerly waiting. It would seem my only solution is to utilize spinal blocks, which of course, can only be administered by a physician. What is the incidence of Gay men who simply get no pleasure from anal sex? I'll bet the numbers are higher than most believe.

Dr Goldstone's answer:

Your letter points out a very important point -- not all gay men have or enjoy anal sex. Gay men who don't like anal sex or don't want it can feel there is something wrong. Nothing is wrong or abnormal about not liking anal sex. Sometimes people start liking it after practice and experience. It sounds like you have done everything to determine whether or not you will ever grow to like anal sex. From what you are saying, it sounds like you won't.

I hope you find understanding partners. I do not have any figures about anal sex frequency among gay men but perhaps we will do a survey about it on and see what our readers think. You might also post this question in the sexual health forum on the site to see what kind of responses you get.

Thanks for taking the time to point out a very important message for gay men.

by Stephen E. Goldstone, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Bill Weintraub of responds to Dr. Goldstone:

I read with interest your response to the man who doesn't enjoy anal sex.

You wished him luck in finding partners, without mentioning that there is an entire world of men who don't do anal and prefer frottage, gential to genital sex that is pain free and low risk.

I doubt that you're ignorant of that world, since men from my website have been writing about ourselves, and asking that you put up a page on frottage -- simply so that men know that they have a choice.

I don't know why so obdurately refuses to put up a page on frottage, but I promise you this:

1. We will continue to request that you do so.

2. I will, in every article I publish about the cultural tyranny of anal sex, make prominent mention of's obstinancy and pro-anal bias.

3. That when the dust has settled from AIDS, and a historical accounting is underway, I and my peers will make certain that your failure to discuss safe alternatives to anal is noted.

Doctor, you are not a pornographer. Your actions are governed by codes and ethics, and you have a moral if not legal responsibility to tell your readers what all their options are as they seek to survive HIV and other STDs.

In that light, your silence on frottage is, in my view, irresponsible and unforgivable, and I have no question that the community and history will judge you harshly.


Bill Weintraub

Guys -- please continue to write these boozos at

with a cc to me at

Act II

Bill Weintraub


Re: Advice from Dr. Goldstone of GayHealth

Sarah Albert of's response to my letter:

Hi Bill,

I will pass this letter on to Dr. Goldstone.

I must say, I did not think his answer had such a bias, nor do I think GayHealth is biased. While Dr. Goldstone didn't mention frottage in this particular answer, he did make it very clear that it is completely normal not to like or want anal sex and that nothing was wrong with the reader. The reader didn't ask for information about frottage or other alternative kinds of sex. Dr. Goldstone didn't address any other forms of sex -- oral, hands, toys or frottage.

I have received and read carefully all of the letters that GayHealth has received about frottage. It is on a long list of things we do plan to cover in greater depth. We have limited resources, no staff and no budget. As such, the amount of new content we add to the site is limited.

Furthermore, our content is generated by our users/readers. We've written about frottage when users have asked health questions about it.

However, the fact remains that the majority of our readers health questions are not about frottage. This would make a lot of sense, considering that other issues and sexual activities carry greater risks or are of more concern -- and yes anal sex is one such activity that is accompanied by a host of health concerns that are often not addressed on mainstream health sites. Frottage is on the lower end of the risk/concern spectrum and we receive very few questions about it.

Well we recommend safer sex to our readers, it is not our goal to judge or promote specific sexual acts, rather to provide information about diseases and conditions, mental health issues and more. If we do write a frottage page it will be devoted to definition, health and safety, STD risk, etc. If you have specific health related issues, questions or concerns about frottage, please forward them to me and I will do my best to address them.


Sarah Albert


my response to Dr. Albert

Dear Dr. Albert,

Thank you for writing to me.

However, I would suggest to you that when you have a page on oral and one on anal and none on frottage, you imply to visitors to your site that oral and anal are their only options.

And though you may believe that you are not promoting or judging sex acts, I would argue that your site's silence on frottage is doing just that -- via a simple sin of omission.

Further, when Dr. Goldstone wishes the reader "luck in finding partners," he implies that most men are into anal and that the life of a man who can't adapt to anal sex will be one of loneliness and longing -- much the way that heterosexual physicians of my youth in the 1960s addressed the problem of the homosexual who couldn't adjust to penile-vaginal sex -- that is, with a sad shake of the head.

I appreciate that you have budgetary and time constraints. But that's what every editor and website moderator says to us -- and in the meantime, there are a great many men who simply don't know that they have a non-anal option -- and some of them Doctor, will inevitably become infected with STDs, including HIV.

So it's time and I would argue that it's pressing that you put up a page on frottage.

As you've said, the health risks associated with frottage aren't great -- so I would think it needn't be a great chore.

And you could then say to men who are concerned about anal, that there are activities that are less risky and less painful -- without making any judgment or promotion.

Regarding health questions about frottage, my website members would like to know the following:

1. Can one get gential herpes from frottage?

2. How about genital warts?

3. What about docking -- safe or unsafe?

Dr. Albert, I appreciate your willingness to engage with me and the frottage community. But please do not look upon answering these three questions as a substitute for putting up a page on frottage. Silence too can be a form of cultural tyranny, and if you read the autobiographical accounts on my website, you can see ample testimony to the suffering that tyranny has brought about.

Best regards,

Bill Weintraub

WARRIORS -- you words are having an effect -- these people are reading your letters -- keep writing!!!

I told you we could win this one -- and we will



Bill Weintraub

Re: Advice from Dr. Goldstone of GayHealth


Sarah Albert's next letter to me.

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your letter. In the meantime, I would encourage you to engage in this discussion in our sexual health forums.



Hi Sarah,

I tried to post in your sexual health forms yesterday, but my message doesn't appear at or near the top of the thread.

When I do a search for it, the message is there, but I don't know that anyone else can find it.

I posted specifically to try to help the one man whose question Dr. Goldstone had answered, so I was hoping he might see it.

In any case, I'd be glad to post in the forums, provided my messages are visible to others, but once again I want to be clear with you that I don't consider the forums an acceptable substitute for a page on frottage.

In my view, though I know we won't agree, your site devotes so much space to anal, including lessons on how to adapt to anal, that the site has a de facto pro-anal bias, and it's only fair therefore to ask that frottage, which carries little risk and requires no coaching, be represented also.

Along those lines, I have another question for yourself or Dr. Goldstone:

On your anal page, states that "an anus is not a vagina." But you then add that there are pleasure and pain receptors in the anus.

And in an answer to a question posted on 11/19/01, Dr. Goldstone adds "Most of the nerve endings that sense pleasure are at the outside of your anus or within the first two inches. The rest of your rectum and colon do not have nerves that sense pleasure. While many guys will disagree with me, there is no physiological basis for most of the pleasure you derive higher up in your colon. There is definitely a psychological pleasure. Your partner's penis can stretch your sphincter and pelvic muscles, but again these are in the lower four to six inches of your rectum. When you have an orgasm, these muscles will contract against his penis and this might heighten the pleasure of your orgasm."

My question is this: How then does the putative pleasure in anal sex compare with that of vaginal/clitoral sex? And are there other non-genital organs -- such as the tongue or the skin -- whose pleasure/pain receptors could be said to be analogous to those of the anus?

Once again, I appreciate your willingness to engage with me. I would genuinely welcome any answers you can give me to these questions.



Keep writing to warrior dudes

with a cc to me at -- or post it here on the board -- that's fine too.


Act IV

Bill Weintraub

Re: Advice from Dr. Goldstone of GayHealth


Dear Bill,

To your comments on our, "omission as bias," I must remark that we have not ignored frottage. We address frottage throughout the site, from our discussion of how people can catch STDs and HIV, to questions about pre cum and orgasm. While we don't have a page devoted to frottage at this time, we also don't have one on touching, stroking, kissing, hand work, etc...I do agree, that frottage should remain at the top of the list, and I will consider a posting on the top of the "Things You Can Do," page that says, "These are not the only things you can do."

I will pass your questions on to Dr. Goldstone.



Dear Sarah,

Can you not see that what you've just done is to lump frottage in with acts that are normally considered part of foreplay -- "touching, stroking, kissing, hand work,"?

That is the heart of the matter -- for us, frottage is not foreplay -- it is at our erotic center, and it is the way we achieve orgasm and union with another man.

What happens to us -- which Dr. Goldstone admitted in a sense when he said to his questioner "good luck finding understanding partners" -- is that we are constantly pressured and coerced to have a type of sex -- anal -- which is meaningless to us and is dangerous to boot.

Why does that happen? Because there is a cultural emphasis on -- I call it a cultural tyranny of -- anal sex, that tells gay and bi men, that no sexual act is full or complete unless that act culminates in anal.

That dominant culture of anal sex, which is a recent phenomenon, is kept in place by a myriad of cultural messages that come from places like -- messages which treat one or two of types of sex as significant, and the rest as foreplay.

That is why we care so very much about what is on your site and the way the information is structured. When you have a page on anal, and none on frottage, you reinforce the idea that anal is what matters, and that frottage is just foreplay.

But frottage, like penile-vaginal sex, is genital-genital sex, it is deeply fulfilling, and highly erotic.

And it does not carry the sorts of severe health risks that anal does.

I've written many articles about this, and I don't want to reinvent the wheel in this email, but if you go to and click on opinion in the left hand menu bar, you'll find two pieces by me, both short and to the point:

"Is Gay Sex Trying Too Hard to be Straight?"


"Is Promiscuity a Prerequisite?"

Both pieces discuss the role of culture in shaping sexual choice and sexual behavior.

What needs to understand is that you are part of that process -- you're one of the places that people go to get what they hope will be authoritative information on sex -- that is, cultural messages on how to live their sexual lives.

And everything you do matters -- from the facts you convey to the font size you use to the advertising you carry.

It all adds up.

Best to you,


Mart Finn

Re: Advice from Dr. Goldstone of GayHealth


... cultural messages on how to live their sexual lives.'

This is the heart of the matter. Many people involved in the media and new media have no incling of what a 'cultural message' is. When guys into frot and cocktocock talk about peer group pressure and cultural norms ... often people just don't get what we are talking about.

Bill's sound advice to cockrubwarriors 'email organisations and websites', ... can make a difference. Humans learn by repetition and familiarity ... keep saying it.

Eventually they will get the message that there is a cultural discussion going on in our talk of cocktocock.

As you can see ... otherwise it is dismissed as ad hoc 'tinkering'

Keep it up Bill



Bill Weintraub

Re: Advice from Dr. Goldstone of GayHealth


Thank you Cockster dude.

I hope to post a very significant essay and a wonderful story by the Cockster on our Heroic site soon.

But for now I want to report that we won this one: has committed to doing a page on Frottage.

And they say it's at the top of their list.

Once again I thank all those who wrote letters to -- I'm afraid to list you guys cause I always miss someone, but I know among others it was Mart Finn aka the Cockster, Don Frazer, Garth, Brandon aka Scott, of course David McQ and Stockpeck have in the past, and John Renard who got the ball rolling this time.

In a sense it's too bad that we win these fights so easily, cause it's letting too many of you get off with doing nothing. And that's not good for you.

The people who participated in this one are stronger for it. The rest of you aren't.

But fortunately there will be many more fights to come.

For now though, I hope all those who took part will savor the victory and remember that




Of course, this declaration of victory turned out to be premature.

GayHealth never put up a page on frottage.

Why not?

Truth is, it would have cost them nothing and would have represented no more than an hour's work.

Goldstone's and Albert's behavior is typical of that of representatives of a dominant culture, in this case, the dominant culture of anal penetration.

Of course, they adamantly refuse to see it that way.

But then they refuse to put up a page on frottage as well.

The struggle continues.


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