What Is Breeding in Gay Terms?

Breeding: Definition and Risks

Breeding is a slang term used to describe the process of ejaculating inside another man during bareback anal sex. Breeding is a high risk activity that greatly increases the chances of transmitting or contracting HIV and other STDs because it does not involve using a condom. It refers not only to being on the receiving end, but on the ejaculating end of the sexual equation as well. 

Breeding is also known as seeding.

The use of the term — as in "breed me" or "I want to breed you" — is most common in anonymous or I-barely-know-him sex. Just as in heterosexual sex, however, it requires a deep level of trust, familiarity and intention. With heterosexual sex, there exists both the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Gay sex dodges the pregnancy bullet, but infection is still a real risk. 

History of the Term

The word breeding — or breeders — first shot into the mainstream consciousness in 2006 in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a heavily gay community. Same-sex couples were petitioning for the right to marry, and the populace reportedly began calling them "breeders." It's also been reported that the term is used by gays in reference to heterosexual couples who have the potential to conceive, and it's used in a derogatory way. But this is not considered to be the common slang usage.

The term has its place in other slang, too, between heterosexual couples who want to have children versus those who do not.

It's also been used to refer to lesbians who resort to various biological methods to have children together. 

The Risks of Breeding 

It doesn't matter if you're top or bottom, your exposure to HIV and other STDs is the same when you engage in breeding. By definition, no condom or any other form of protection is involved.

In other words, it's OK and perfectly safe if you're in a reasonably long-term relationship with someone who has been tested and does not put you at risk. If, on the other hand, you engage in unprotected sex with a stranger or someone who is barely known to you, you may be at risk depending on his history and health. 

The Centers for Disease Control puts the risk of HIV from having unprotected sex with an infected partner at about 6.5 per 10,000 exposures. Don't take a deep breath of relief yet. That's actually pretty high, although it includes other contributing factors, such as open cuts, tears or sores. Unprotected anal sex is considered one of the riskiest activities for sexually transmitted diseases because of physical factors unique to the anus: more fragile skin and a lack of lubrication. 

And, of course, HIV is only one of the health risks out there. Anal penetration also puts you at risk for herpes, HPV, hepatitis B, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. The anus is a fertile environment in which chlamydia and gonorrhea can grow.