Sexual problems in gay men: an overview of empirical research

Annu Rev Sex Res. 2001:12:93-120.


This article summarizes the findings and theoretical perspectives of 19 empirical studies of sexual problems in gay men. In order to understand these problems better, various differences between male homosexual and heterosexual functioning are discussed first. The studies included differ widely in terms of the issues explored, the populations studied, and the way data have been collected. In a few studies, researchers generally have looked at the prevalence and experience of sexual problems. In other studies, researchers have focused on the etiology and treatment of specific problems, such as sexual desire disorders, sexual aversion, excitement and arousal problems, orgasm disorders, sexual pain disorders and sexual compulsivity. Overall it is surprising how little is known about these problems in gay men. This is also true, however, for same-sex sexuality in general. Suggestions are made for studies that will enable us to obtain a better understanding of sexual problems in gay men.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Compulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / psychology
  • Flame Retardants / toxicity
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organophosphates / toxicity
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology*


  • Flame Retardants
  • Organophosphates
  • tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate