The Disclaimer stuff: I'm not a health professional, the information on here is just that. It's not advice. It's what I've learned and that I found helpful in my own health journey. I've tried to use trusted, peer reviewed, sources. But please remember, things change, new findings occur. I've not made this site for me, or anyone, to be dragged down some Interweb alternative facts reality. Thanks
I'm obviously not a health expert but I am a Men's Health Forum Health Champion. It seems to make sense to base this section on one of their easy-to-understand Man Manuals.
Man To Man is specifically for gay men and was co-produced with GMFA. You can get copies of this and other Man Manuals from here.
IS MY DICK TOO SMALL?
Limp dicks come in all shapes and sizes but when erect, they're pretty much the same.
Genuine problems that might stop you enjoying sex or taking a piss are rare and usually picked up when you're a baby. if you've passed that stage, you're probably good to go.
Trying to enlarge your penis is expensive, probably dangerous and almost certainly won't work. Don't. AIl surgery has risks. You only have one cock and it cannot be replaced.
I CAN’T GET AN ERECTION
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects most men at some time and about 1 in 10 of us at any given moment.
Often the cause is physical:
diabetes, blocked arteries, drinking too much, drug side-effects, spinal cord injury, prostate or other surgery in this area.
Sometimes the cause is psychological:
relationship problems or sexual boredom, stress, depression or anxiety, sexual identity problem.
If you can't get an erection with your partner, but can when masturbating or during the night, there's a good chance your ED has psychological causes.
There are many treatments available. See your GP. They treat ED every day. Don't buy drugs privately.
Life-threatening problems like heart disease and diabetes can cause ED and you need to rule these out. Moreover, drugs sold online are often not what they claim to be and can be dangerous fakes.
MY ERECTION WON'T GO DOWN
If an erection lasts more than four hours, it could be a condition called priapism. See a doctor right away. Untreated priapism can be dangerous leading to, for example, permanent ED.
MY ERECTION IS BENT
Some bend is normal but if it's so bent it makes sex uncomfortable (for either you or your partner) it could be a condition called Peyronie's Disease. Ask your GP about it.
I CUM/COME TOO QUICKLY
Premature ejaculation (PE) is very common. It's usually caused by stress or anxiety. The good news is PE can nearly always be treated. There are techniques to try yourself - see the Men's Health Forum website or your GP can prescribe.
THERE'S BLOOD IN MY SEMEN/URINE
It's probably nothing but could be a symptom of something more serious like a prostate problem so see your GP. For semen, go if you get blood twice. For urine, once.
MY FORESKIN IS TOO TIGHT
Frequent, careful, lubricated masturbation can help (honest). Your GP can also advise on creams and stretching techniques. A last resort is full or partial circumcision, but that comes with risks.
THE HOLE IN MY PENIS IS IN THE WRONG PLACE
If you're not peeing out of the end of your penis you may have a condition called hypospadias. It can be treated, improving both urination and sexual function.
Your GP can refer you to a urology specialist.
I'VE LOST INTEREST IN SEX
Libido is a complicated mix of emotions and hormones. Ups and downs with time and age are normal. But it can also be reduced by:
stress, depression and/or relationship problems, the side- effects of drink or drugs (including legal drugs such as anti-depressants and blood pressure medication), hormonal changes (as men age levels of testosterone go down), medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes
If prolonged loss of libido concerns you, see your GP.
MY PENIS IS SORE, RED OR ITCHY
A red, sore penis head could be balanitis. This occurs in uncircumcised men who don't wash their dicks. Your GP can treat it and advise on prevention.
If you've had unprotected sex, it could be a sexually-transmitted infection (STI).
COULD I HAVE AN STI?
STIs are increasing rapidly. In England in 2013, men who had sex with men made up 81% of syphilis diagnoses, 63% of gonorrhoea (the 'clap') and 17% of chlamydia.
Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) can be caught through oral or anal sex (as a bottom or a top) or skin-to-skin contact. Some can also be passed on through rimming and fisting.
Common symptoms include:
a yellow discharge from your penis, swollen tender testicles, irritation of your penis, pain when urinating.
Your GP can help. Or for something more anonymous, try a specialist sexual health clinic. Many STIs can be treated if caught early. Some STIs such as chlamydia may not have any obvious symptoms.
It is recommended that all gay men get a full sexual health screen at least once a year, even if you always use condoms or believe you are in a monogamous relationship. You should get tested more often if you have any unprotected sex with new partners.
WHAT ABOUT HIV?
Men who have sex with men account for over half of HIV diagnoses in the UK.
It's possible to have HIV without knowing it. Most men experience some symptoms around two to six weeks after infection (such as a sore throat, fever, body aches or rash). These symptoms are common to other illnesses and many people do not realise they could be a sign of HIV infection.
It’s estimated that 16% of HIV-positive gay men don't know they have the virus.
If left untreated, HIV attacks the body's immune system, leaving it vulnerable to infections we would normally fight off
There is no cure but, if you are diagnosed with HIV and treated, you should have a normal life expectancy.
HIV lives in the blood and in some body fluids. To get HIV, one of these fluids from someone with HIV has to get into your blood:
cum and precum, anal mucus (found inside your arse), blood.
Sex without condoms is the most likely way for gay men to become infected with HIV.
HIV can also be found in vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood, and breast milk.
You can't get HIV from:
kissing, spitting, being bitten, contact with unbroken, healthy skin, being sneezed on, sharing baths, towels or cutlery, using the same toilets and swimming pools, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, animals or insects like mosquitoes.
The more HIV someone has in their bodily fluids, the more infectious they are, and the more likely they are to have serious health problems. HIV treatment lowers the levels of HIV in the body and can make the carrier less infectious, but it won't get rid of the virus completely.
Men who have sex with men should get tested roughly every six months for HIV. You can get tested at any sexual health clinic. A lot of places do one-hour testing or even quicker. It just involves a finger prick, so no worries about needles. You can also get home testing kits by post.
If you think you've been exposed to HIV, go to your local sexual health clinic or A&E as soon as possible, preferably within 48 hours. They will be able to prescribe you with a 28-day course of anti-HIV medication called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which may prevent you from becoming infected with HIV.
HIV isn't a death sentence, and many people with HIV live long and healthy lives with the right care. But that doesn't mean it's trivial. GMFA provides information and advice for gay men living with HIV on their website.
WHAT IS HEPATITIS?
Like HIV, the only signs of hepatitis - a blood- ·borne liver disease - may be a short flu-like illness. There are three sexually -transmitted forms of hepatitis (hep): A, B and C.
There are vaccines for Hep A and B. These will usually clear up on their own (although you should seek advice just in case yours doesn’t).
Less common but potentially more serious is Hep C. There is no vaccine and it won't clear up on its own.
AII of these activities can transmit hepatitis:
unprotected sex, rimming, fingering, sharing toys, fisting, group sex, sex without condoms, sharing needles or drug straws.
I’M SCARED OF BOTTOMING
Most gay men will consider bottoming at some time. However, the thought of doing it for the first time can be scary. Don't let that put you off.
You may prefer to douche before bottoming, especially if indulging in deep arse play like fisting or with large dicks/toys. Use plain, clean water, preferably at body temperature. Avoid using shower attachments - the water pressure can be dangerous. You can get douche bulbs online or from any good sex shop. Try not to go overboard and irritate the lining of your arse, as this can make you more vulnerable to STls.
Get yourself relaxed with lots of foreplay like rimming or fingering. Some men do use amyl nitrate (poppers) to relax the muscles around their arse but there are two major health warnings.
Poppers: (1)have been linked with an increased risk of HIV transmission, (2) don't mix with erection drugs like Viagra and may cause a heart attack.
Deep breathing is far safer, helps you to relax and relaxes the arse too.
Find a position that suits the size, angle and curvature of your partner's dick. Any position where your knees are bent and drawn into your chest, whether you are kneeling, lying on your back or on your side, will probably lead to more comfortable sex, or will be a good position to start from.
There's no such thing as too much lube. It just makes everything more slippery, which isn't a bad thing. Use water- or silicone-based lubricants if you're using latex condoms. Avoid any lube with nonoxynol-9. It irritates the lining of the arse, may make sex more painful and also increases your risk of HIV.
Look after your arse. You can't get a new one. So know your limits. With time you may be able to take larger objects but there's always a maximum size: about 4-5 inches diameter (the width of your pelvic opening).
HOW CAN I BE A GREAT TOP?
Take your time and listen to your partner. This is as much about the emotional as the physical side. If he's nervous, he might want reassuring that you're not going to hurt him and that he's in control.
Find out what he likes. For some guys, topping is about being dominant (and some bottoms like that), but for others, it's a two-way street. Ask him how he likes it. Listen to his reactions too. If he's making noises that suggest he's in pain, ease up a bit.
The first time you top, you may be a little anxious. This may make your erection less hard than usual. Relax - you're both there to enjoy yourselves. If you have erection problems, concentrate on something else like kissing for a while.
Our advice above on lubes and position apply as much to tops as to bottoms. Lube is essential when topping. If you have a bigger than average cock, any position where the cheeks of his arse can provide a buffer to your length (like him lying face down) will be a good bet until he's used to it.
Remember: It's not only bottoms at risk of HIV. Tops are at risk too, although it's statistically less likely. Anal mucus can carry high concentrations of HIV, and the membrane just inside the tip of your cock and the foreskin can absorb that directly into the bloodstream if you fuck a guy's arse without a condom. You know the solution. Rubber up.
There's more on sexual health and sexual pleasure on the GMFA website.
Don't put sex before safety. Trust your instinct about where and what isn't safe. Carry condoms and lube. If bottoming, you might want to put the condom on the top yourself Don't flash cash and make sure you know where the exits are.
I HAVE PAIN / A LUMP IN MY TESTICLES
Testicular cancer is rare. True, it is the most common cancer in younger men but this is only because cancer is so rare in young people.
But don't let that keep you from the doc. It's rare but the risk is real. So if you notice a lump in your testicles, see your GP immediately. Testicular cancer can be treated very successfully if caught early.
CAN YOU GET PENIS CANCER?
Yes. But it's very, very rare. If you have a lump or sore, see your GP or sexual health clinic.
I HAVE TROUBLE PEEING
AIl of these could be the sign of a prostate problem:
a weak flow when pissing, a flow which stops and starts, having to wait before you start to go, having to piss more often than previously, a sudden urgent need to piss, pissing more often at night.
It is normal for the prostate to grow as we get older.
Because the prostate is right next to the bladder, this growth can push on the bladder and cause peeing problems.
See your GP to check that it is not prostate cancer and for advice on the many various treatments.
Incontinence (peeing when you don't want to) may also be a sign of prostate growth but there are other causes too. See your GP.
THE MALE G-SPOT
Some gay men call the prostate the 'male G-spot' as it is responsible for a lot of the pleasure you feel when getting fucked. Substances like steroids can also cause the prostate to enlarge. But there's no evidence gay men are more or less likely to get prostate problems than straight men.