Anal sex. It appears that all the cool kids (as well as some exploited ones) are doing it. [The uber cool ones aren't into it (scroll down to the Bugger You! post), but I digress.]
Lately, I noticed a fair amount of discussion on blogs and in primetime about this topic. The one essential thing missing from all these discussions is the actual information you would need to make an informed decision. Hence my PSA.
Like with everything else in life, the decision to engage in anal intercourse should, at a minimum, include an advantages/disadvantages analysis.
If you're a woman, the one benefit of anal sex is that you're doing a favor (or performing a service*) for your sexual partner. (As a rule, most women value anal sex as a negative experience. This makes sense physiologically: there's no comparable arousal response in rectal tissue vs. vaginal tissue.)
[*From what I've read, the compensation for anal intercourse ranges from a few hundred dollars to $4,000 (this was payment in full for doing a porno movie, so this sum might not be an accurate figure for the purpose of our discussion).]
And here are some of the potential drawbacks of anal sex:
--anorectal STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
--HIV and Hepatitis B infection
--HPV-related anal cancer (HPV, or Human Papillomavirus = genital warts virus)
Since "U.S. survey and other data suggest that, in terms of absolute numbers, approximately seven times more women than homosexual men engage in unprotected receptive anal intercourse", I hope my PSA was helpful.
(If you're interested, here are some good drawings of the anal muscles.)