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Being Gay on Campus: 9 Persistent Myths and Misconceptions About College Gays and Gay Sex

It’s not just straight people that believe all those long-standing myths about gay or bisexual men. Lots of gay men are guilty of buying into some of the same misconceptions about other gay men. In fact, if a gay man is young enough to still be figuring things out as far as what it does and doesn’t mean to be gay, he may even believe certain myths in regards to himself.

The following are just a few of the most persistent falsehoods people still believe about young gay men, especially those that are living the college life. Whether you’re a young gay male in college yourself or simply remember the time when you were, the chances are pretty good that you’ve heard at least a couple of them. Do any of the following ring a bell?

  1. All gay men are flamboyant and effeminate.

This is perhaps the most persistent myth about gay men and it’s one that a lot of young people buy into – the notion that gay men are always flamboyant or feminine-seeming. It’s so persistent that pretty much any man that’s less stereotypically masculine has likely been labeled as gay at some point whether he actually was or not. In actuality, there’s no one right way to be gay.

Gay people come in all different types as far as masculinity goes, just like straight people do. Yes, some gay men are more effeminate or otherwise fit the stereotype of the flaming gay, but there are many that don’t. Some gays are super butch or muscle bound. Quite a few are completely indistinguishable from straight men if you didn’t happen to know they’re attracted to other guys.

  1. You can’t know you’re gay if you’ve never tried having sex with women.

All you have to do to debunk this myth is picture a society where straight men are told they can’t possibly know they’re straight if they’ve never slept with another man. Literally no one would agree that that’s a logical way to think, yet people think that way about gay, bi, or queer people all the time.

At the end of the day, people know who they are. They’re also well aware of who they’re attracted to an who they’re not. A gay man knows he’s gay just as surely as a straight man knows he’s straight and he doesn’t need to sleep with women before he knows for sure that he’s not attracted to them. Yes, many gay men did once date women before realizing once and for all that they’re gay, but that isn’t the case for everyone.

  1. All the gays on the same campus know each other.

Whether you’re gay or straight, if you go to college, it can certainly seem as if every gay knows every other gay on campus, but of course this isn’t the case. There’s no secret society every gay man on campus is part of and there’s no magic radar that helps gays identify every other gay within a five-mile radius.

If it feels that way at times, it’s most likely an “activities” thing. On any college campus, there are going to be a certain number of gay men that are activists or that like to stay involved when it comes to gay causes. Naturally, those men are going to know more gay people just by networking with others in the community, attending events, organizing activities, and so forth. Your average random gay man is unlikely to have any more knowledge than average about the sexuality of other people on campus though.

  1. College gays love to try to get straight men into bed.
2 gay men in bed

We’re all familiar with the stereotype that dictates college students will try anything once, especially when it comes to sex. However, while some people do see their college years as a time to experiment sexually, it’s simply not true that gay people use this as an excuse to try to trick straight people into bed.

For the most part, the gay guys on campus are simply interested in finding other guys to date and have sex with, period. They’re not secretly hoping to score with an otherwise reluctant straight guy or deliberately looking to do so. They’re not looking to cross a goal off their college bucket list by “turning” a straight man either. Sometimes a gay man might misread a straight man’s signals, but that’s just life. In college, no one wants to waste their time barking up the wrong tree and gay men are no exception.

  1. Gay men aren’t interested in relationships, especially in college.

Again, gay men aren’t that different from straight men in this regard. Lots of people see college as a time to play the field instead of committing to just one person, but this is by no means limited to gays. Plenty of straight people would rather just get laid and aren’t interested in lasting relationships at that age, but there are many that feel differently as well.

It’s a common misconception that young gay people are always outrageously promiscuous and just looking to have sex with as many people as possible. Many gay men are more commitment-oriented by nature and long to find “the one” sooner rather than later, even if they’re still young.

  1. All gay guys have and enjoy anal sex.

This is another widespread and very persistent myth about gay men, but it’s exactly that – a myth. There are lots of gay men out there that have never had anal sex with another man and have no real desire to try it. Statistically speaking, most gay men don’t have anal sex.

That said, if you’re a gay man that isn’t into anal and doesn’t find the idea of it particularly appealing, there’s nothing wrong with you and you’re no less gay than anyone else. Plenty of gays exclusively prefer oral sex punctuated by the occasional hand job. Again, there’s no one right way to be gay or to have sex with other gay men.

  1. Gay men in college think of nothing but sex.

When was the last time you met a college student (or any young person, for that matter) that doesn’t think about sex a whole heck of a lot? Yes, quite a few gay college students do spend a lot of time thinking about sex and a lot of energy trying to get laid, but that’s the case for straight students as well.

man in his underwear

Gay men aren’t any more obsessed with sex than straight men are, even when they’re still sewing their wild oats in college. They’re simply human in that connecting with other people sexually is probably a pretty big priority, especially when they’re still young with lots of possibilities on the table. It’s all part of the “finding yourself” experience campus life brings to the table.

  1. Young gay men are all about drama.

A young person’s tendency to enjoy or stir up drama is going to have a lot more to do with being young than it is being gay. Yes, there are definitely gay guys out there that fit that “drama queen” stereotype, but they’re not necessarily the norm. Plenty of gay people loathe drama and aim to stay as far away from it as possible.

At the end of the day, most gay college students are about the same things the straight students are. They’re focused on their degrees and discovering what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They’re interested in making friends or getting heavy into their activities. They’re not any more likely to start gossip, spread rumors, or perpetuate drama than anyone else.

  1. All gay men are submissive or “womanly” in bed.

This myth often goes hand in hand with the one about all gay men being effeminate. When two men get into bed together, it’s not uncommon for one of them to take a more dominant role than the other. However, you definitely don’t want to judge a book by its cover. Being sexually attracted to other men doesn’t equate to being womanly, feminine, or submissive by any means.

Just as a straight woman might actually be more dominant when the lights go out (or a straight man more submissive), you never can tell with a gay man. That guy with the sequined top could well be a total top once you get him alone in the dark. There are certainly plenty of gay men out there that are crazy dominant and very manly sexually speaking.

In conclusion, you really can’t generalize about any community of individuals with any accuracy and this is just as much the case for the gay community on any college campus. Here in 2018, it’s time we all forget what we think we know about other people and approach each person as an individual. Do that and you’ll have no trouble whatsoever mastering college life, whether you’re gay or straight.

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