Is anal for the abnormal?

Sex on Blogday

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Everyone has an anus. Everyone has a large number of nerve endings in their rectal erogenous zone, and everyone is physically capable of enjoying anal sex.

Yet anal sex is often seen as only appropriate for homosexual men and adventurous women. Why doesn’t everyone enjoy it more frequently? Why does such a large taboo surround anal sex?

Fewer than 5 percent of people living in the United States had anal sex during their last sexual encounter. Another fact: The anus has about the same number of nerve endings as the clitoris. So I guess females can enjoy anal sex as much as males, if not more, right?

Sigmund Freud categorized the time of infancy from 18 months to three years as the Anal Stage, the time when infants learn to control their anal region. We as humans make daily use of our anuses on the toilet. All in all, the anus plays a large role in our daily lives, whether for necessity or pleasure.

When I talk to my friends about sex, I like to eventually talk about anal sex due to its unexplored nature. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve joked with my queer womyn roommate about how viable anal play is for her, but for some reason I can never seem to persuade her — it just comes off as a joke. Why is it so difficult and weird to think about?

I need to clear the air: Shit shouldn’t play an unintentional role in anal sex. The anal region includes internal and external sphincters (the asshole), the anal canal and eventually the colon. The colon is home to feces — so essentially, it is the last stop you would be making when engaging in anal sex of any sort. Feces only lie in the anal canal (prime penetration area) when taking a dump, so there should be no worry about encountering feces, that is unless one was on the toilet before plunging in. The prostate, while only being present in males, serves a reproductive and pleasure purpose, but doesn’t prevent females to enjoy anal sex as equally.

But anal sex is not something to jump right into. The anal sphincters are not as elastic as the labia in female genitalia, so don’t think you can treat you anus like you would a vulva. If you are emotionally and physically ready to enjoy anal sex, be sure to have plenty of lube on hand. The vagina, unlike the anorectal area, is self-lubricating, so be careful and be prepared before going in. Damage can include anal fissures, hemorrhoids or even damage to the sphincters (trust me, these are not pleasurable). Be sure to take it slow, and be communicative with your partner to make sure they are enjoying every step of it as well.

It makes sense why society has shunned people away from engaging in anal play: Not only does there exist an association to shit, but there also exists an association to gay male culture. While there does lie a deep-seated form of homophobia in the taboo against anal sex, it is crucial to remember that anal sex does not require a penis or phallus-shaped object of any sort. Toys such as anal plugs, dildos and anal beads exist for a reason.

Anal sex is a difficult subject to publicly discuss in part due to the shaming of the anorectal area, whether one laughs at the passing of gas, is ashamed of their shit or even is embarrassed to have their ass seen. Although it is a mighty taboo, if you do overcome it, you may find that anal play can be extremely pleasurable, opening up a new light to your own body.

Image Source: Vectorportal via Creative Commons

Contact Matthew Kirschenbaum at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @mpkirschenbaum.