Two documentaries screening on SBS this weekend will examine the sexual lives of gay people and the decisions they make, as private citizens and as couples.

Queer As Old Folk interviews gay men who faced discovering their sexuality at a time when being caught meant jail.

Some subjects married and had affairs with men, while one English man, Alan, found surprising acceptance from his family -“ on the condition he didn’t kiss his male partner -“ and is now considering whether to kiss the groom at his own gay wedding.

The Sexual Life of Us is an Australian two-part series exploring the changing acceptance of sexual behaviour over 80 years.

I was also attracted to boys, not girls, and because I didn’t know anything about gay life or anything I just sort of shut up about it and keep everything hidden, Murray, who grew up in the 1930s, said.

I recall one experience with the boy next door. He was out playing marbles, because he was very lonely. He suggested coming to my place because my parents were out and we sort of experimented a bit. That was a flash in the pan.

Director Jenny Ainge said during the interviews she noticed one consequence of the sexual freedom of today was that now people of all ages, not just the young, want to have an active sex life.

This explains the huge growth of the internet dating sites where anonymity allows them to explore the possibility of sex in old age, she said.

Updated dates:

Queer As Old Folk screens on SBS, Friday 22 February, 10pm. The Sexual Life of Us screens on SBS, Sunday 7 & 14 March, 10pm.

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