Bad News For Bottoms: New Study Finds Too Much Penetration Can Cause Cancer

300-ProstateOh, great. The fundamentalists are going to have a field day with this one.

A new study out of the University of Montréal has found that men who have sex with 20 or more partners during their lifetimes are less likely to develop prostate cancer. But there’s a catch: It only applies to straight guys. Gay men who bump uglies with 20 or more partners during their lifetimes are more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Epidemiologist Marie-Élise Parent and her researchers surveyed more than 3,200 guys in the Montréal area who answered a comprehensive questionnaire that covered many aspects of their lives, including their bedroom activities. About half of respondents had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2005 and 2009.

According to the study’s findings, straight male sluts are 28 percent less likely of one day being diagnosed with prostate cancer than their more chaste counterparts, and those that do develop prostate cancer are 19 percent less likely to develop an aggressive form of the disease.

Why is this?

“A new partner over time keeps one active over the years,” Parent explains. “So the presumption is that men with several partners were exposed to more ejaculations.”

She added: “I would like to clarify that ‘sleeping with many women’ does not mean all at the same time. People must understand that it’s more than 20 women over a lifetime.”

Gay men, however, aren’t so lucky. Or at least not bottoms.

Parent’s team found that guys who have sex with more than 20 male partners doubled their risk of prostate cancer. And their risk of getting a non-aggressive cancer was five times more likely.

How come?

Parent has no idea.

But Dr. David Samadi, chairman of urology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, thinks he knows why. According to Health Daily, Samadi speculated that it could be due to more risky sexual behaviors among gay men, or because of physical trauma to the prostate gland.

Samadi said trauma to the prostate may cause it to release the protein prostate-specific antigen, or PSA. Tests that check the level of PSA in a man’s blood are often used to diagnose and monitor prostate cancer.

So there you have it, fellas. Tops, you’re probably okay. Bottoms, you’re traumatizing your prostates. You better be careful or cancer might get you!

Related stories:

Want To Cut Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer? Masturbate Five Times A Week

WATCH: Rugby Players Demonstrate How To Check For Testicular Cancer (NSFW)

The Internet’s Strangest How-To Videos About Prostate Milking


Graham Gremore is a columnist and contributor for Queerty and Life of the Law. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Large Marge

    What a load of horsepuckey.

  • bottom72

    Oh sweethearts I will just get my prostate checked often and will continue bottoming for all you men.

  • Geeker

    Glad I’m a top.

  • DarkZephyr

    I am versatile, and I very much like to be f*cked now and again. I don’t plan on being fucked by 20 different men over the course of my life, however. That being said, I would need to read about MANY more studies, from pro-gay sources before I bought into this bullshit.

    @Geeker: I don’t suppose you realize or care just how selfish and douchey you sound? Let’s pretend this study ISN horse shit. You are fine with helping to contribute to the cancer of your partners?

    • Geeker

      @DarkZephyr: First off I’m just stating a fact,I don’t like getting topped,second I only top if my partner wants me too.

  • Paul Nadolski

    So, I’m assuming if you’re in a committed relationship, you can bottom as much as you want? (If I’m reading this correctly?)

  • money718

    @Geeker: Glad you are an idiot if you believe this nonsense.

  • restoretherainbow

    I think its extremely important to remember that one study does not make a medical fact, There needs to be a great deal more research before any sound scientific conclusions can be made. Regarding prostate cancer, we already know that genetics trumps all else. So if you are a bottom that has anal sex daily and have zero genetic risk versus a man who has had no anal sex ever (kind of sad) and has a father, uncle, and grandfather diagnosed with prostate cancer, I would worry more for the anal virgin.

  • Kieru

    This study doesn’t seem very scientific. I could have sex every day with 1 partner for the majority of my life and by their logic I should be okay. But if I have sex 1 time only but 20 separate people over the course of my life… my risks are increased? The study also doesn’t seem to go into specifics over whether the gay men in the study preferred to top, bottom, or were versatile.

    Further… the study even ADMITS that they have a correlation but absolutely zero causation. That makes the study absolutely meaningless. Correlation is NOT Causation – that’s Science and Research 101.

  • Geeker

    @money718: Glad you took the time to give your opinion to a stranger on the internet. :)

  • tdx3fan

    “3,200 guys in the Montréal area who answered a comprehensive questionnaire that covered many aspects of their lives, including their bedroom activities. About half of respondents had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2005 and 2009.”

    You will have to forgive me if I fail to find a self-report study of 3,200 participants (most likely hand picked to include gay guys) to be generalizable. I would think that she has major issues with reliability in the study. I have not read the study, but my guess is that even she realizes these issues with reliability.

    Not to mention, you can NEVER prove causation from a study, so your headline is beyond screwed up. What they can show is a correlation between anal sex and higher risks of prostate cancer. Also, I think that having the gall to comment without any medical evidence is very unprofessional for any doctor.

    This entire article is just so incredibly poorly written. It reeks of judgement. Seriously, you couldn’t do any better?

  • tdx3fan

    @Paul Nadolski: The only thing that you should read from this is that when you have serious design flaws in your study that you should not try to generalize your results to the entire population.

    When you start looking at selection of participants in the study, I am willing to guarantee that she has major design flaws. Almost every study that involves a straight versus gays angle has design flaws that limit reliability due to the fact that most people were handpicked for the study instead of randomized and the people that wanted to participate in such a study were probably people that had experienced prostrate cancer because it would be impossible to run such a study without directly recruiting those people.

    This is no different than Kinsey going into prisons to establish his “scale.”

  • tdx3fan

    @Kieru: By your logic, every single study would be absolutely meaningless. This study is not meaningless. Its flawed. However, it just presents the possibility that there could be a trend. This study is nothing more than speculation, but every study is nothing more than speculation. Its just speculation backed up by data. That is what science is. We form a hypothesis, run a test, and then we wait around for someone to prove our hypothesis and test were flawed or to back it up by further research.

    correlation =/= causation
    NO study will EVER prove causation (even if the correlation is .97 or higher) based on the fact that there can ALWAYS be an underlying factor that influences both results.

    Maybe straight men are more likely to be hounded by their wives to go get medical exams (including regular prostate exams) and gay men take less medical health precautions (over all). Both of those things have been relatively “proven” in various studies.

  • vive

    “New Study Finds Too Much Penetration Can Cause Cancer”

    That is not correct AT ALL. All a study like this can show is association, which does NOT mean causation. For example, something else gay men do more of – for example, meth – could be causing the cancer.

  • Sweet Boy

    What happens to the oral bottoms who like to deepthroat?

    Do they get throat cancer?

  • Thomathy

    The article probably shows even less of a correlation than that, tdx3fan. 70% of men over the age of 70 have some cancer cells in their prostates, by the age of 80, that number is 80%. It is well known to be a cancer directly related to age. So much so, in fact, that 99% of all diagnosed prostate cancer is in men over the age of 50.

    It is also (usually) such a slow growing cancer that a significant number of men (I believe a study showed greater than 70%) die of other causes before suffering any ill-health due to the cancer. It is one of the most treatable cancers a person can be afflicted with. The 5 year survival rate in the US is 99%.

    None of this means that it is not also a deadly disease, it caused ~300,000 deaths globally in 2012, but rather shows that this article needlessly sensationalises and overstates the risk of prostate cancer.

    Independently of any other measure as decreased risk of 28% in men who do not have anal sex with more than 20 partners would seem to be significant. Recalling, however, that the gay male population is generously (very, very generously) 5% of the population and the fact that the average age of diagnosis is 70 years of age and that 70% of all men aged 70 have prostate cancer (some cancer cells in their prostate), the statistical significance of the correlation is vanishingly small.

    All of which is to say, the only way in which ‘fundamentalists are going to have a field day with this one’ is if they manage to misreport the study and the reality of prostate cancer as bad as the author of this article!

  • Thomathy

    @vive: Yeah, that’s not even wrong. I can’t find the study, though I have done a search for the author (no one gives the paper’s name). The best reporting on the study, however, shows that it established statistically significant correlation between number of sex partners and prostate cancer risk as well as number of other correlations with statistical significance.

    The author of the study is of course upfront about the nature of this kind of data and the conclusions. It is preliminary, it is correlational, statistical significance can be a very low threshold. In essence, the study can only point to possible avenues for further research, such as establishing the connection between number of sex partners and reduced risk (other studies have shown that regular ejaculation is good for prostate health, likely because of blood flow).

    The study is being squarely misrepresented in the media, with no article that I could find even mentioning the most basic facts about prostate cancer to serve as a backdrop or a reference for the apparent reduction in risk (or increase, as it may be).

  • Cam

    It’s funny how scientists don’t seem to take other recent findings into consideration.

    Ok, they have now determined that the HPV virus causes cervical cancer. Women with multiple partners are more likely to get HPV and therefore more likely to get cervical cancer.

    Bottoms with many partners are more likely to get HPV, since it causes cervical cancer did these scientists never think to look at the possibility that it could also cause Prostate cancer?


  • QJ201

    More irresponsible reporting of questionable data.

    and I guess Marie-Élise Parent has never heard of HPV. Of course guys who bottom are going to have higher rates of non invasive cancer…due to HPV.

    Don’t let straight people do “gay science” they never get it right.

  • Dave084

    Well if the theory is that the danger is due to repeated injury to the prostate maybe there’s something to be said for getting screwed by skinny dicks. Stand up and claim your power pencil-dick boys.

  • vive

    @QJ201: “I guess Marie-Élise Parent has never heard of HPV. Of course guys who bottom are going to have higher rates of non invasive cancer…due to HPV.”

    I think you are likely to be correct. For this reason, and others, it is important for gay men to get the HPV vaccine. It is recommended for men under 25, but you can get the vaccine at any age. You have to advocate for yourself to get it, though. I got the vaccine at age 45 when I became more promiscuous than I had been up to that point.

  • jimstoic

    Human papillomavirus?

  • EverybodySayLove

    I think the main take-away from this article and the “findings” is what the author hit on in the very first sentence: “Oh, great. The fundamentalists are going to have a field day with this one.”

  • EverybodySayLove

    I am always wondering how come straights NEVER suffer in these scenarios!

  • EverybodySayLove

    @Thomathy: fundies have done that and worse! Evidence of that is already out there…

  • KwisatzHaderach

    Ugh. Clickbait title and bogus science.

  • Jarrod

    I think we ALL know that the anus isn’t built for sexual penetration. Just because you don’t believe something doesn’t mean it’s a lie!

  • KwisatzHaderach

    I’d think HPV would cause colorectal cancer before affecting the prostate.

  • KwisatzHaderach

    @Thomathy: Thank you. It’s good to see a sane, sober response in this comments section.

  • Thomathy

    @1dizzy1: Awesome! Thanks!

  • Thomathy

    For those mentioning prostate cancer, right in the abstract the study authors put to rest such a correlation. (Thanks again 1dizzy1, for finding it.) They found no correlation, however, they also note that STI prevalence was low. That’s interesting, if only because they don’t mention if it was low in comparison to the general population or not.

    @KwisatzHaderach: It happens from time to time.

  • Bauhaus

    And not a single comment on the butt in the picture?

  • Paco

    Were all the gay men in the study bottoms? I am curious if the gay men that almost exclusively top would have the same results as their straight counterparts. Maybe it has something to do with being alone and aging out of the community that could lead to less orgasms over a lifetime. Protected when we are young and pretty, but losing that protection when we reach the “gay death” in our community for getting too old.

  • BeachDaddyDave

    My prostate is as healthy as can be, as is my colon and all other ‘nether parts’. I have and continue to have an extremely vibrant and busy intimate life, as a bottom, and so far, so good…..ahhhh, so very very good!

  • Sweet Boy

    @Bauhaus: Kind of flat, if you ask me…

  • dm10003

    Straight men should discriminate against women because they are more likely to get breast cancer than men.

    Oh wait they often do anyway.

    This is an important health issue, not a reason to make our lives illegal.

  • ridgelineranger

    Damn-it…based on this 20 different partners thing, I was screwed (no pun intended) some 40 years ago.

  • Matt

    It’s kind of obvious that anything that unnatural will cause problems down the road. It has nothing to do with religion. It’s biological. Bottoms have problems. Tops don’t.

  • Bob

    Am I the only one that this makes NO sense to??

    The article say that trauma to the prostate causes it to release PSA, which is the ONLY thing that the prostate cancer test looks for.. NOT any actual cancer.

    PSA isn’t cancer.. Just something that’s released when you have cancer.

  • NateOcean

    I could understand 20 in a day, or even 20 in a week, but 20 in a lifetime? What sort of gays are these?

  • spiffy

    The doctor who made the speculation is not even the person who made the study.

    And anal sex is not exclusively practiced by gay men. Plenty of straight guys like to get pegged.

  • Liam

    Enough already with the faux health studies.

  • vive

    @NateOcean: “I could understand 20 in a day, or even 20 in a week, but 20 in a lifetime? What sort of gays are these?”

    Montréal gays? Maybe it’s the cold weather. :)

  • Alan down in Florida

    This is just too much to get my brain around. It makes no sense to me at all.

  • RevJames

    OK, I don’t buy it, but here’s a thought:

    Risk of prostate cancer goes down as number and frequency of ejaculations goes up. Maybe some men who bottom aren’t as interested in finishing off with a bang, maybe the bottoming experience is enough and they actually ejaculate fewer times.

    Not that I know anything about any of this of course!!! Heaven forbid!

  • HarleyOinker

    @DarkZephyr: You realize that it’s not the number of partners for gay men, per se, but how often you get your butthole wrecked. LOL! Read the article again. And less than 20 guys, seriously? I’m probably close to 200, and that’s certainly not enough for my hungry hole!

  • barkomatic

    @Paul Nadolski: Well, if you’re in a committed relationship you probably have a lot less sex than someone who isn’t.

  • Blackceo


    Hungry hole??? LOL Oh my.

    Well i don’t know aboit the validity and reliability of this study. Cerrainly seems flawed, but all you research smarty pants are turning me on. I love a brainiac.

  • MrMouth1117

    I want to talk as an adult to this group and newsletter I hope none of this is shocking…it is the truth! when I was 4 years old I was repeatedly raped by my 15 year old male cousin, eventually he got 5 more of our cousins to sexually abuse me. I was gang banged and when all the cousins had me one on one I was penetrated! It stopped when I was 15 years old. This study rings true to me, because when I was 20 I had anal cancer and also the tissues surrounding my colon! The first thing the doctors asked me if I was raped, and or sexually abused. I couldn’t lie I told them yes, they said all the penetration cause scar tissue which in turn caused the cancer! They wanted to know if I wanted to report my rapist/s. In those days we kept silent so I said no. Hence as an adult I never get penetrated nor do I penetrate! Many years later when I was 38 I had a clot that attached itself to my colon once again the doctor saw the scar tissue and asked if I had anal cancer, I said yes, he said I was lucky I was and still am in remission! So the next time you get mounted remember this. And furthermore condoms by virtue of the fact they are man made material cause greater friction destroying the walls of the colon. Hence I believe if you are going to do it (no dialogue will stop anyone from mounting ) I think bareback is better!

  • David333

    Here is what gay guys should know that is not being put out there. 50 to 80% of gay men( and roughly 30% of straight men) carry the HPV virus. If you are bottoming without a condom, you are at risk for developing anal condoloma. If left untreated, this turns into anal cancer. But no one talks about it for some reason. Again, 50-80% or all gay men have HPV–which causes no symptoms or identifying traits until it is released into your anus and then it causes condoloma(also called warts) on the anus or in the rectum. These have to be burned off ( I hear it’s quite painful as you can imagine) or they grow bigger and become cancerous. Why this isn’t front page news I have no idea, but if you doubt me, look it up or ask a qualified doctor–a colo/rectal dr, and they will confirm this. Again, there is no current test available for HPV so there is no way of knowing if someone has it, but the majority of gay men carry it-causing no symptoms unless they release it into your ass. Then it’s a major problem that has to be burned or cut out.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Geeker: I don’t care if you don’t bottom. That is not what I took issue with. It was your concern for yourself concerning getting cancer as opposed to any concern you might have for your sexual partners getting it as a result of your penetrations. Without willing bottoms, you wouldn’t be getting any @$$. Surely you know this.

    @HarleyOinker: I am happy for you and your “hungry hole”. I am personally not wired that way, and in fact I have met the love of my life and will certainly not be adding any more notches to my belt if I can possibly help it. That is just me. If feeding your hole regularly makes you happy, more power to you. :)

  • rickhfx

    The picture of the backside used for this story is a women’s, any gay guy can tell that. WTF ?

  • jantheman4903

    ok…if they are it to straight men who are penetrated with that could damage at same time.

  • Blackceo


    I’m so sorry that happened to you!! The fact that you are still here to tell your story makes you a hell of a survivir. It does make sense even if this particular study has some design flaws that damage to your prostate would increase your chances of cancer in that area.

  • edfu

    @Sweet Boy: Yes, it’s entirely possible; throat cancer via oral sex is caused by HPV, and it’s on the increase.

  • edfu

    @Cam: HPV does not cause prostate cancer. HPV causes anal and throat cancer.

  • NoCagada

    So, what? Having too many kids makes a vagina prolapse along with a few other things…look how many women die in childbirth…BREEDING KILLS!

  • scotshot

    @spiffy: You forgot tone of women do it regularly also. Women have orgasm 40% of the time vaginally, 95% anally.

  • scotshot

    @Matt:@scotshot: Tone should be tons.

  • AnitaMann

    Gawd, I hate people way too much to ever sleep with 20 people. I’ve been with three guys in my entire life. If I outlive my husband, I’ll just stick to masturbating.

    And I’m not judging those who have slept with 20 people. I say good for you. You have a less cynical personality than me. I just tire of people’s bullish*t way too much to deal with 20 people. Good god.

  • Saint Law

    Top or bottom – You want to keep your prostrate healthy make sure you get enough zinc. Pumpkin-seed oil is a very good source of this.

  • Desert Boy

    I’m no doctor but I’ve read several medical studies that claim the prostate, in order to be and remain healthy, needs to be emptied on a regular basis. In other words, for men, ejaculation is a normal biological function.

  • Virge

    My dad’s a doc and refers to “research” such as this as “one legged science” — unable to stand on its own.

    I went to the link given and found some oddities.

    They >>questioned<>(FORTY NINE PERCENT)<< were found to have prostate cancer between September 2005 and August 2009, while the rest served as the control group.

    If gay men were represented in the study at same rate in population there would have been about 120 of them in the study with 58 of them developing prostate cancer.

    I can see about a dozen potential problems with getting anything accurate from a survey this out of whack.

  • Mikah

    Yeah yeah too much of anything is a bad thing and every damn thing can kill ya.Too much anal,too much vaginal,too much ejaculation,too much sex,blag blah blah.Sex can be dangerous and risky no matter what gender or sexual orientation or sexual position.What else is new?

  • ted72

    @DarkZephyr: Well said and you’re a true man for being versatile :) It’s hotter and sexier to be so.

  • nephilim71

    I’m a nurse and I see a whole lot of straight men in their 60’s and 70’s that have prostate cancer. Prostate cancer doesn’t discriminate. I personally know 7 straight men that have it.

  • Leonard Woodrow

    I have to say it … the butt in that pic is really gorgeous. I could walk behind it for miles!

  • Zack Z

    This whole thing is highly suspect. My first question is: What agenda did the researchers have? My second question: Why did Queerty run such an inflammatory headline?

    You know who’s gonna love this? Homophobes. Get ready for the American Family Association, the Traditional Values Coalition, Westboro Baptist Church, etc. to start linking to this article as “proof” that “the gay lifestyle” is inherently unhealthy.

    The researchers apparently only established a *correlation* between frequent anal penetration and prostate cancer. As any first year student of statistics can tell you, correlation is not causation. Therefore, to say that anal penetration “causes” cancer is absurd.

    The claim about “trauma” to the prostate is pure speculation. The article says that “a traumatized prostate releases more of a prostate-specific antigen [PSA].” But while PSA is associated with prostate cancer (as well as benign prostatic hypertrophy), that doesn’t mean high PSA *gives* you prostate cancer. Again, correlation =/= causation.

    I am curious about the researchers’ political and religious beliefs. The research took place at the University of Montréal, a Catholic university. The researcher mentioned, Marie-Élise Parent, attended Seminaire de Joliette in Québec, Canada, also a historically Catholic school. Did they set out to “prove” that anal sex is harmful, in order to support some preconceived religious notion that homosexuality is BAD?

    Journalism requires critical analysis. Just passing along a research conclusion–and worse, over-simplifying it with a titillating headline–might help you get website hits, but it does your readership a disservice. By parroting this finding with no critical analysis whatsoever, what you have done is help the homophobes who want to prove gays are bad, wrong, evil, unnatural, etc.

    Congratulations, Queerty.

  • Aaron


  • reesielover

    I sure hope this is a bunch of garbage. I don’t need another health worry. I’ve had wonderful weekends at gay bathes and gay cruises where I’ve exceded 20 men inside me in a couple days. I love the feel of a sexy man inside my body and sure don’t want to lose that wonderful experience.

  • EdgarCarpenter

    Queerty, you have a lousy record for science reporting. You hype up poorly designed studies which have nonsensical “conclusions”, and frighten gay people who don’t have enough background in the sciences to understand what’s wrong with your stories.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves for doing this. Telling people they’re at great risk for cancer when there’s absolutely no evidence for that is nasty and cruel.

  • Blackceo


    Are you the one who said something in another thread about it not being enough to feed your “hungry hole”? I’m all for getting your freak on but gracious.

  • Mark Behar

    Science “doesn’t say” this at all. Another example of bogus attempts at summarizing science reports inaccurately. PSA and prostate cancer are very much like the “what comes first, the chicken or the egg” issue. PSA is an imperfect attempt to gauge risk of prostate cancer. Prostatic stimulation of any kind (finger, penis, or just ejaculation from anything) may cause elevations of PSA. BUT human papillomavirus (HPV), the cause of abnormal pre-cancerous tissue changes (dysplasia) although well studied in the anus, throat, cervix and vagina, has NOT been well studied in the prostate. So indeed, bottoming with lots of men (especially with those with HPV of the penis) may not only increase risk of anal and rectal cancer, but through unknown mechanisms increase risk of prostate disease. HOWEVER THIS IS SPECULATIVE!!
    –in my humble opinion, Mark P. Behar, PA-C, Family Medicine

  • SteveDenver

    TRAUMA causes increased cancer risk.
    My neighbor’s boyfriend has an extremely long penis and they like to bang hard. After experiencing pain on several occasions, her gynecologist told her that his tool strikes her cervix and can cause cancer.

  • SoreAssBottom

    Excuse me? 20 sex partners in a life time for a Gay men? This has to be a joke. Where is the hidden camera? Why even Doris Day “clicked her mouse” more that 20 times by the age of 16. PLEASE! A gay man only having 20 different tally-whackers in his entire life. And this is why I have packed my travel bag, and scheduled me a shuttle flight to Uranus where tops out number bottoms 9 to 1. It is my sworn duty, and role in life to serve my fellow tops. My Motto => NO TOP’S LEFT BEHIND, hmm or is it NO TOPS LEFT WITHOUT A BEHIND?

  • SoreAssBottom

    “I pledge allegiance to all the Top’s of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which they stands, one nation, indivisible, Hung, box X-L condoms, K-Y, with liberty, poppers, and justice for all Bottoms.”

    It is my duty! as a power-bottom, to be on call 24-7 ready at a moments notice to “service’ my fellow Tops. Even in combat on the front line, I know just when to bend over and tie my combat boot strings, and angle up for their weekend relief of duty. It is my cross to bare in life, in relieving my fellow Top’s of the hourly and daily stress and ravages of War. There is a very good reason a “disciplined” and through bottom is “unable” to hold onto the soap.
    Just saying…. :)

  • Aidanf

    53 year old bottom here – never topped. P&S robably bottomed close to a thousand times these past thirty years with a few hundred men. I have suffered an enlarged or swollen prostate on occasion from heavily endowed men whose thrusts were particularly deep. So there is probably some truth to this. My advice to younger generations is not to be pigeonholed as bottoms because I think it’s a lot less risky for a number of reasons to be top instead of bottom and because tops are more respected in the gay community. Sad but true.

  • Fer_bottomsub

    I worked as a prostitute in the London area for over 12 years. I was a bottom, submissive bottom, worked in several gangbangs, a few films even. I quit 8 years ago but I’m still very active as a bottom. I have topped but only to please good clients. I’ve been fucked by no less than 2000 guys in my life. I will not stop.

Comments are closed.