Not All Gay Men Are Sodomites

Bill Weintraub

Bill Weintraub

Not All Gay Men Are Sodomites


GayToday is running a letter from me under that header for the next day or so, and then archiving it on their site.

or just go to and look for "Penpoints"

my letter is long -- too long actually

but as both the radical right and the analist left beat the drum of gay = anal, all of you need to write similar, though much shorter letters, to your local gay and nongay press saying:

"not all gay men do anal sex" -- or -- "not all gay men are sodomites"

here's a sample letter:

I'm glad the Supreme Court threw out the sodomy laws.

But I'm a gay man and I'm not a sodomite.

The reality is that most men who have sex with men never do anal [or that sort of] sex.

Americans [or Britons or Canadians etc] need to understand that not all gay men are sodomites.


your name

and give the URL

if 2000 of you wrote a letter like that to your local paper today

the world would be a very different place tomorrow


here's the text of my letter to GayToday:

Not All Gay Men Are Sodomites

Bill Weintraub

While we in the frot / cock2cock / dick2dick movement are relieved that the state is finally out of our bedrooms, and delighted that gay people will now be accorded equal treatment under the law, we are very concerned that reaction to the overturn of the sodomy laws in both the gay and nongay community is resulting in a heightened identification of gay men with anal sex, an identification which is false.

The fact of the matter is that not all gay men do anal sex -- or even oral sex -- and that when you take into account the total population of men who have sex with men, rather than those who self-identify as gay, anal sex is a minority practice.

Yet in every press report I've seen, from the Washington Post to the Fox News network, "sodomy," "anal sex," and "gay sex" are treated as synonymous.

What concerns me most about what's going on -- and which has been going on since the identification of anal sex as the primary mode of transmission of HIV among gay men in the 80s, but which has been given a tremendous if unwitting boost by the Supreme Court's decision -- is the effect upon gay kids who are seeking a sexual identity.

When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, there were no role models for being gay.

I suspect now that was both a bad and good thing.

On the one hand, the absence of models was terribly isolating.

Like many gay men of that era, I thought I was the only homosexual on earth, and the ensuing loneliness drove me to thoughts of suicide -- often.

That was not fun, nor was it healthy, and it would be foolish to pretend otherwise.

On the other hand, the absence of role models and cultural supports meant that I had to quite literally invent myself.

No one would or could do it for me.

And that included sexually.

As a consequence, my ideas about sex were well-formed before I ever met another gay man.

Those ideas, which had no anal component, it now turns out were shared with hundreds of thousands of other "gay," "bi," and even "straight-identified" men.

But many of us found each other too late.

Instead, we came up against the cultural expectation that gay men are sodomites, an expectation which in no small regard was a heterosexual expectation; and to the extent we conformed to that expectation, we died.

In the celebrations of the overturn, I haven't heard much mention of the health impact of that expectation of anal sex upon the lives of gay men, and I wonder if the epidemic is about to be consigned to the dust bin of history.

It's as though Gabriel Rotello never wrote Sexual Ecology.

Yet the fact is that the epidemic was created by the anal sex frenzy of the late 70s and early 80s, that it decimated the gay male community in America and Europe, and then spread to the rest of the world.

And while it's true that we now appear to have HIV more or less under control in the American gay and bi communities, that's not true for other anally-transmitted pathogens like HPV.

The reality is that prior to the 1970s, there was no difference in the health of gay and nongay men.

Now there is.

Gay men are far less healthy than straight men -- and the reason is the prevalence of anal sex.

So -- when I think about the effect of the current celebrations of sodomy, I think about a gay kid -- perhaps 12 years old -- who like myself at that age is desperately seeking an identity.

What he's hearing -- from all the media -- is that gay equals anal.

And as he increasingly identifies as gay, he will come under more and more cultural and peer pressure to have anal sex.

And chances are he'll end up doing anal even if anal is not what he wants, deep inside, to do.

As a human being and Gay Liberationist, I think and I know that's wrong. Such an outcome was never the intent of Gay Liberation.

Our intent was to free people to be their true sexual selves -- not to impose a new model of sexuality upon them.

Yet that is what has happened.

If in our celebrations of the overturn of the sodomy laws we allow ourselves to forget why we fought those laws --we will have won the battle, but lost the war.

Bill Weintraub

The Man2Man Alliance


Re: Not All Gay Men Are Sodomites


Three (and many more) cheers for Bill Weintraub's letter "Not All Gay Men are Sodomites". The Supreme's action was long overdue, and should have been settled in the 5-4 decision years ago in the Georgia case that involved both gay and straight plaintiffs. The underlying Constitutional issue is privacy, and really has little to do with Gay Lib.

Both straight and gay press have assumed that all Gay men and Lesbian women routinely violated sodomy laws. Many did, but there are also lots of us whose sexual practices were never illegal. Passionate embrace, in various forms adopted by both men and women, might be considered sodomy by some religious folks, but never under any state law in the US.

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