The sexual behaviors of gay and bisexual men were the subject of many research studies during the AIDS epidemic and gay men are probably a part of the population whose sexual practices are most widely known and monitored since the mid 19080s.
Freely living your sexuality is recognized as having positive health effects. Sexuality is not limited however to behaviors and practices. It is also involves desires, needs, emotions, sensations and feelings.
Very few research studies have been done on sexuality in Switzerland. This lack of interest probably comes down to the fact that many researchers and doctors still feel uneasy when talking about this subject which is so essential to a happy life.
Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, gay and bisexual men have become accustomed to regularly being questioned about their sexual practices by health authorities so as to track risky behavior and improve prevention campaigns. A wide range of sexual practices were mentioned and the answers would probably be different if asked of heterosexual men. As we can see, anal intercourse is practiced by three fourths of gay men and is not the most common sexual act among gay men, contrary to popular belief. Around 15% of gay men practice sadomasochism or fisting. Given the specific risks surrounding these practices, Dialogai has organized community activities regularly meant to promote healthy behavior such as the successful talk on anal sex (Living with pleasure and without risk) and “bondage” workshops as part of the Being Gay Together (Être Gay Ensemble”) program.
When asked about their real needs when seeking sexual partners, this is how gay men responded. Although many gay men spoke to emotional, social and mental needs (being held or hugged, finding a partner, a break from loneliness, to feel better) gay spaces and applications tend to be designed to facilitate sexual contacts and not satisfy emotional needs. As we can see, for certain gay men, sexuality is a way to address psychological symptoms.
These pie charts follow logically from the previous data. Having many sexual encounters does not necessarily fulfill existing emotional and social needs. This could perhaps explain how only 47% of gay men are satisfied with their sexual life as opposed to 76% of the general population even though gay men on average have a significantly higher number of sexual partners throughout their lives.