THE BLOG
12/19/2014 09:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Top 10 Bestselling Gay Sex Books of 2014

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As a sex-advice columnist, I like to keep up with the latest books on gay sex. Given how obsessed gay men are with the subject, you'd think this category would be producing more titles than an automatic profile generator on Grindr, but it isn't. If you look at my list of the top 10 most popular gay-sex books on Amazon, you'll see that only one of the books was published in 2014. The rest go as far back as 1998! Take a look:

1. How to Bottom Like a Porn Star*
Published: 2014
Amazon ranking: 35,000

2. How to Bottom Without Pain or Stains
Published: 2013
Amazon ranking: 44,000

3. The Joy of Gay Sex
Published: 2006
Amazon ranking: 80,000

4. Anal Health and Pleasure
Published: 2011
Amazon ranking: 149,000

5. How to Ejaculate More and Shoot Further
Published: 2013
Amazon ranking: 160,000

(Click here to see the rest of the list.)

Want to know what "Amazon ranking" means and how it translates to the number of books sold per day? Click here. You'll be able to look at any book on Amazon and estimate how many have been sold (a neat trick to impress your writer friends!).

Why would there be so few gay-sex-advice books on the market? Gay men are at least as interested in sex as straight men, yet there are far more sex guides for them than there are for us.

We Know More Than They Do

Clearly, one of the main reasons has to do with innate knowledge. When it comes to relating, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But when it comes to sex, men are from Pluto and women are from Narnia. Their sexual plumbing couldn't be any more different, and because of that, men's ignorance could not be starker. That opens up (pun intended) a huge market to fill the void.

But that isn't necessarily true for gay men. Our plumbing works exactly the same way. You say "tomato" and I say "tomatoh," but we're still talking about the same vegetable (or fruit, depending on your politics or your botanical background). We don't need to be told to do this or that for him, because we're doing it for ourselves. It doesn't take much to understand that he's probably going to like what we do.

Still, gay men are men, and as the old Polish saying goes, "If there are tires or testicles, there will be trouble," meaning male ignorance knows no bounds and pride enforces silence. Many of the letters I get to my sex-advice column are astoundingly ignorant. One good book out of our top-10 list would've stopped them from being written.

Just because your sexual plumbing is nearly identical to your partner doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be good at sex, though. Raise your hand if you've ever gone home with a guy who was so bad at sex that the Peeping Tom put down the binoculars. Now keep those hands up. The odds are some guys were thinking about you when they raised their hands. The truth is that being good in bed is a learned behavior. Few of us are born knowing what to do and how to do it.

And that's why we buy gay-sex-advice books -- because some of us, and I include myself, know what we don't know and like the idea of constantly improving our ability to experience and deliver pleasure.

There's Just Not Enough of Us

But there's another reason that gay-sex books don't sell well, and it's the same reason that most gay books -- fiction or nonfiction -- don't do well: Gay men don't buy gay books. Raise your hand if you bought any kind of gay book in the last year. Keep them raised if you bought two or more.

I assure you that the pitiful number of hands that went up had nothing to do with worries about underarm stains. There are hardly any gay bookstores left in America, but you would be wrong if you thought that the only thing that decimated them was Amazon and the rise of digital books. Gay bookstores had always struggled even before the dawn of the digital age. When you combine how few of us there are (what, 6 percent of the population?) with how little interest we have in gay subject matter (other than porn), you have a recipe for what's happened: gay book stores nearing extinction, and, with the exception of Kensington Books, no profitable gay publishing houses.

Still, the need is there, and gay books will never go away. If you haven't bought one in a while, pick one out of Amazon's list of the top 100 gay and lesbian bestsellers. It'd make a great holiday gift for you or someone you love.

*I authored this book under a pseudonym.