What’s up with recent increased interest in anal sex? Certainly, porn’s growing influence has something to do with it.  A sexual act which was once associated largely with gay sex now falls under a heterosexual umbrella.  Truth be told, though, anal sex is not something new.  Evidence of humans engaging in anal extends far back to ancient times. As far back as 4,000 years ago, Mesopotamia showed its freaky bottom side.  Many small sculptures displayed a man entering a bent over woman from behind.  While their orifice of choice isn’t clear, anal sex was both a source for pleasure and a common form of birth control. Another example of ancient anal play appears in Gilgamesh.  The epic Sumerian tale opens a door into sexual delights from 2,000 BC.  “…Enjoy yourself day and night, dance, sing and have fun…and let your wife delight in your lap.” Latin American artifacts from as far back as 1000 BC depict oral, vaginal and anal sex.  A 700 AD Colombian piece portrays the use of an early butt plug.  

Anal Sex in Europe Anal Sex

  Ancient Greece held sexual relationships between men in high regard.  In order to boost battlefield prowess and spirit, Greek soldiers paired with boy lovers.  Pederasty, which translates as “boy love”, was a common practice.  Older men groomed young boys to be their passive companion and sex partner.  Their bond was not viewed as homosexuality but instead defined as a dominant-passive liaison.  If the younger man remained the passive partner in a same sex relationship as an adult, he was viewed with scorn. Italian artwork, especially from Pompeii, is rich with depictions of anal sex.   Similar to Greece, Roman men who were the passive partners during anal sex were looked down upon.   The dominant partner remained judgement free.  Restrictions and freedom from restrictions on the practice were defined by social standing. And, of course, as we might imagine, eventually the Church imposed itself into the realm of anal sex.  By the middle ages a battle cry still heard today, gained expression.  The only good sex was sex for procreative purposes only.  And, if you were a woman, don’t let it feel too good.  Anything else—clergy excepted—was a sin, especially anal.  

Why Anal: An Academic Study?

  A 2015 academic study, “Why Women Engage in Anal Intercourse”, laid out six reasons why women have anal sex. 62% of the respondents said they engaged in it because they were high.  For example, one woman reported, “Every time I have had anal sex it was because I was either extremely drunk or extremely loaded; every time I have had anal sex I was on drugs.” 53% said that they engaged in anal only because they didn’t feel they “had the right to say no.” Many women stated the main reasons they tried anal was either to please their partner or because it was forced penetration. Yet, for 49% of the women, simple desire was their main reason for engaging in anal intercourse.  In some of the cases women admitted, “I do it for enjoyment.” One woman clarified, though, she only went anal when certain conditions were met.  “I won’t have [anal] sex with a man unless I can kick their ass…if I’m gonna’ give up mine, you’re gonna’ give up yours.”  

Reactions from Popular Media

  A recent article in Women’s Health magazine presents a different take on women’s feelings about anal sex. Many comments were much more positive.  One woman described her maiden anal voyage as “the most intimate night of my life.”  Another said her experience “was extremely erotic.” Other comments included women experiencing stronger orgasms, increased intimacy and a strengthened bond with their partner.  “It was the perfect balance of dangerous and sexy.” For those for whom their first experience was the result of conversation and planning, it was worth the wait. But many others affirmed the academic study’s findings.  “There was nothing about it fun for me.” “My first time was by accident.” “It did not feel good.”  

How to Make Anal Sex Pleasurable

  One of porn’s negative impacts upon anal sex is the false notion that it’s a slam-bam, vigorous, jackhammer fuck.  From a woman’s point of view, that approach couldn’t be more wrong. Instead, enjoyment best occurs when partners start small and go slow.  Hence, foreplay is a must.  One heterosexual man advised, “Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty, anal play with fingers, tongue and small toys can make all the difference.” His partner added a cautionary note.   “Remember, if a finger or toy visits the bootie first, don’t go down the street to my vagina.” Let’s face it, booties are made to expel unwanted waste, not to welcome in uninvited intruders.  Like any satisfying sexual experience, relaxation and trust are key.  A little coaxing can pave the way to a lot of pleasure.  

Expert Advice

  Expert and anal veterans agree, whatever you do, don’t spare the lube.  Use lots of it.  Rectums have no natural lubricants.  Slather that bootie up and do the same to whatever body part or toy is about to enter the rear door.  Liberal amounts of lubrication will enhance everyone’s experience. Showering beforehand is a great idea, for two reasons.  First, a soothing shower is a good place for erotic foreplay.  Second, you end up nice and clean.  Make an extra trip to the porcelain pool in case any kids need to be dropped in.  Still, don’t be surprised if a little something works its way out while the visitor is working his/her way in. That said, the rectum contains a lot of bacteria.  Wear a condom. And, last but not least, have a clear shared word that when said means “stop.”  

Anal, the Forbidden Fruit

  For many people, anal sex is attractive because it is still a bit of a taboo.  Blogger Joe Duncan writes, “If a person’s body is Eden, anal play and anal sex are the fruit from the tree of knowledge.” It’s risky business, a flirtation with danger and the freaky side.  It can either feel so damn good or so damn bad.  You don’t know until you try and part of anal’s allure is its long time marginalized status. Daring to diddle on the wild side can result in heightened trust, deeper intimacy and an unforgettable orgasm. The risk of anal sex should not be minimized, though.  Nor should the potential for pain.   Rectums are sensitive areas with soft tissue.  Often, soreness follows penetration accompanied by bleeding.  Regardless of precautionary actions, “STI’s”, fissures and irritation can result.  

Anal Sex and Power

  As mentioned above, when Church and society condemned anal sex, the dominant partner in the act escaped judgement.  Only the passive partner faced negative consequences.  Still today, power and dominance lie at the heart of anal intercourse. When it comes to heterosexual anal penetration, women are most often the passive partner.   As evidenced in the aforementioned academic study, anal intercourse all too often becomes an instrument for extreme male dominance.  And, that dominance—physical, emotional, and psychological—is not limited to heterosexual relationships.  The threat, “I’m going to fuck you in your ass,”  is not the approach of choice for many maiden voyages. Again, for many others, the risk associated with taboo sex is a turn-on.   Similarly, the power dynamics inherent in anal can also be a turn-on, especially if BDSM is your thing. If BDSM isn’t, then anal can replicate another unwelcome porn influence to compound the jackhammer fuck model.  It’s a model, that when taken to its logical conclusion, borders on rape.  

Final Thoughts Anal Sex

  If you are curious and want to try anal sex with your partner, be well informed beforehand.  Avoid the experiences of too many women who engage without full consent.  Yes, anal play can result in a lot of positive even ecstatic moments.  But, it needs to be done correctly.   And, if done correctly anal penetration can result in wonderful sex that enhances a relationship. But, a lot can go wrong as well.  More than most sexual acts, given the potential harmful outcomes, safety and consent need to be foremost considerations.  Playing with fire can be exciting.  Getting burned by the fire isn’t.  Unless, of course, your desired outcome is a painful burn. Where anal irritation, bleeding and bacterial infection might be short term outcomes, many STD’s aren’t. Proper preparation risk, doesn’t have to result in diminished excitement for the forbidden fruit.  Instead, it can make the fruit taste even better. So, get a taste of that bootie, if that’s what you want.  Who knows, it might be right up your alley.  If not up yours, maybe your partner’s.  You know never until you try. Sources available upon request