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Large survey reveals male sexuality in middle age
A large survey, in which over 12,000 German men aged 45 years took part, reveals male sexual behavior and sexual activity in middle age. Among other things, first sexual experiences, sexual orientation, the number of partners and the sex practices practiced were discussed.
Doctors at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) spoke to 12,354 men over the age of 45 about their sexuality over a two-year period. The doctors were able to present a general picture of what male male sexuality looks like in middle-aged German. The researchers published their study results in the journal "Sexual Medicine".
First sexual experiences
As the participants in the survey said, the majority had their first sexual experiences at around the age of 18. First and foremost, the test persons - regardless of their sexual orientation - experienced their first sex experiences with women. Some of the test persons did not experience their first sexual experiences with men until two years later on average. According to the survey, these experiences were also independent of the actual sexual orientation. "This is probably a phase of discovery in which sexually different things are tried out," explains study director Professor Kathleen Herkommer in a TUM press release on the study results.
Which sex practices are preferred?
The participants provided information about the sex practices practiced within the past three months. Vaginal intercourse was clearly in first place among heterosexual men. 98 percent of 45-year-olds said they had had vaginal intercourse in the past three months. Oral sex was in second place, with an average of 60 percent practicing it. Oral sex, on the other hand, is number one in homosexual men. 91 percent of homosexual men said they had had oral sex in the past three months. 64 percent of gay men have had anal sex in the past three months.
As the researchers report, the survey also revealed unusual sexual behavior in some test subjects. For example, every tenth homosexual man has had sexual intercourse with women in the past three months. About six percent of homosexuals are married to a woman and have only had sex with women. This group of “hidden homosexuals” was documented in this form for the first time in the study.
How many sex partners did middle-aged men have?
According to the researchers, 98 percent of heterosexual men said they had had sex with no more than ten different people up to the age of 45. In bisexual and homosexual men, this cut was much higher. "About a third of the bisexual men and almost half of the gay men were sexually significantly more active: they had more than 30 different sexual partners," write the TUM doctors.
The survey also provides information about the relationship status of middle-aged men. Three quarters of heterosexual men and over half of homosexual men stated that they had been living with their partner for five to ten years. "Almost 70 percent of heterosexual men were married, 80 percent had become a father," said the TUM researchers.
Hidden homosexuals with wife and child
"We found a group who knew their homosexuality, but did not live it out, but lived and led a purely heterosexual life," reports Professor Herkommer. Often these "hidden homosexuals" have wives and children. The study leader points out that such a discrepancy could lead to psychological problems. Based on the data collected, this can now be researched further. Around six percent of homosexuals would behave in this way.
Findings useful for prostate cancer research
Furthermore, the findings of the survey can also be used to research the influence of sexual behavior on the development of prostate cancer. The data were collected as part of the PROBASE study, which examines the risk of prostate cancer in young men. This is financed by the German Cancer Aid. (vb)