In San Francisco, infection rates of gonorrhea are more than 8 times higher among gay men than among straight men. Since 2010, the number of new gonorrhea cases among gay men has steadily increased.

Here’s what to know about gonorrhea, including the symptoms to look for, how to prevent it and what to do if you get it.

What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually-transmitted bacterial infection that can happen in your urethra (the tube in your penis), rectum (butt), throat, or eyes. It’s caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

How do you get gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea can be spread during all types of sex—anal and oral in addition to ass play like fingering and fisting. Touching any part of your (or your partner’s) body that is infected with gonorrhea—eyes, cock, or butt—and then touching your partner’s (or your own) eyes, cock or butt can spread gonorrhea. For instance, if your partner has a gonorrhea infection in his cock and strokes his cock and fingers your butt before anal sex, you can get gonorrhea even if he’s wearing a condom when he’s inside you.

What are the symptoms of gonorrhea infection?

It’s pretty common for a guy with gonorrhea not to have any symptoms, especially if the infection is in his butt or throat. If you have gonorrhea, you might have a dry or sore throat, itchiness and pain when you poop, or a clear or yellow discharge from your penis and pain or burning when you pee. An infection in your throat might cause discharge, but this is less common. Symptoms can take between two and ten days to show up.


At Strut, we routinely check your butt and throat. You’ll probably know if you have an infection in your cock. But just in case, make sure to tell one of our nurses if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or if one of your partners was recently diagnosed with an STI.

Can gonorrhea be treated?

We can cure a gonorrhea infection with antibiotics. But you shouldn’t have any sex for seven days after you start your antibiotics to make sure the infection goes away. Yes, we mean it—seven days.

How can it be prevented?

Using a condom when you have sex can help prevent you from getting gonorrhea, if the area that’s infected (e.g., your partner’s cock or butt) is covered. But condoms don’t always cover the entire area that’s infected, so there’s always risk of getting or transmitting gonorrhea. For instance you can get gonorrhea during oral sex if you touch an infected area and then touch your own penis, butt, or eyes.

Take a shower before and after sex—that’s one way to help reduce the chances of getting gonorrhea as well as chlamydia.

Gonorrhea & HIV

If you have HIV and get gonorrhea:

  • Your symptoms or complications from gonorrhea might be more severe.
  • Your HIV disease might progress faster.
  • There’s a chance you might develop severe arthritis or keratoconjunctivitis, a severe inflammation of the membrane that covers the eye.
  • The amount of HIV in your semen will increase—meaning that you’ll be more likely to pass on HIV to an anal sex partner if you’re the insertive partner and you don’t wear a condom.

If you don’t have HIV but do get gonorrhea:

  • You might be more susceptible to HIV infection during anal sex, particularly if you have anal gonorrhea, which causes inflammation.