Sunday, May 30, 2004

Anal Sex

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)

--anal fissures

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.)



At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here comes the obligatory "hey, some of us like it, so let's all use condoms" comment - because it's hard to overemphasize the importance of safer sex, and really, anal sex can be fun for women too. Your leap from "the majority of women [in the study]" to "as a rule" and "only one benefit" is mildly disingenuous. Maybe we few have been seduced by a culture of sexual exploitation into finding psychological gratification in a physiologicallly suboptimal activity (the mind being the most powerful erogenous zone and all that) ... but hell, who hasn't had her sexuality impacted by culture anyway? And we should all use a combination of condoms, water-based lube, STD testing, and monogamy when putting penises up our butts.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger ema said...

I used "as a rule" specifically to mean "most, but not all". The "only one benefit" isn't based on the study; it's based on anatomy/physiology. Rectal tissue just isn't set up to have a response to arousal. Of course, as you point out, other factors play a role in sexual desire/gratification (society, past sexual experiences, etc.). So, just because there's no rectal blood engorgement during anal sex, doesn't mean that some women won't enjoy the activity. (Hopefully, enjoy it because it truly gives them pleasure vs. because of some societal conditioning, but that's just a personal opinion.)

Regarding condom use, I agree. My one reservation: in case of unprotected sex, I think the vaginal lining is better suited to protect against potential STDs vs. the rectal lining.

At 4:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not prepared to recognize any differences between "true" pleasure and pleasure produced from the murky depths of psychology, but that's just me. =)

Also, I'd note that even though rectal tissue doesn't respond, the anus itself is full of nerve endings. Any sex toy manufacturers reading this blog who wish to capture a larger share of my wallet should really try making butt plugs that are *much shorter* than the standard derivative prostate-stimulators...

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Mediocre but Unexciting said...

Many thanks for your PSA.

If I follow the epidemiology, anal intercourse is likely to tear the walls of the anal cavity, causing contact between blood supply and the contents of the cavity (feces, perhaps ejaculate, or if there were bleeding sores on the penis but no condom, blood).

Did your post and link say this, but I was a bit slow to follow?


At 4:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whay are some good ways to make my girl want to do anal and normal? Like how can i pursuade her?

At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be nice lots of lube and be nice. Start slow and yes you can have fun.


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