The 10 Biggest Misconceptions About Anal Sex

Two sexologists debunk the myths around anal sex that it’s time to ditch, once and for all.

 

Some good news: Anal sex isn’t really a “taboo” anymore. Anal sex has enjoyed a full-blown pop culture moment, the unofficial age of the ass was fully ushered in when the Belfie stick came into existence, and, frankly, it’s only a matter of time before anal sex is proper dinner conversation. Or maybe not, but you get it.

But there’s also some bad news, which is that, despite the spotlight on anal sex, there are still a lot of misconceptions about it. To help bust the myths, Dr. Kat Van Kirk, a clinical sexologist and marriage and family therapist, and Dr. Terri Vanderlinde, a board-certified ob-gyn and sex counselor, weigh in on what is and isn’t true about anal sex.
THE MYTH: NO ONE IS ACTUALLY DOING IT.
The truth: Lots of people are. According to data from 2010, 40 percent of women between ages 20-24 had tried anal sex. That’s a lot of women.

THE MYTH: YOU NEED AN ENEMA FIRST

The truth: Mm, pretty sure there’s no such thing as “needing” an enema before a sex act. But understandably, a major concern about anal sex is that it’ll make you poop. First off, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll actually poop because of anal stimulation. But if you’re extremely worried about it, there are a few things you can do to avoid An Accident. The most obvious thing is to act like you’re preparing for a road trip, and go before you embark on this venture. And avoid things like, you know, black bean tacos or that takeout you know always gives you crazy poops. You may feel like you have to go, because anal penetration stimulates the muscles around your rectum in a similar way to having a bowel movement, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will.

THE MYTH: IT DOESN’T FEEL GOOD IF YOU DONT HAVE A PROSTATE.

The truth: Wrong! Even without a prostate gland and all the nerve endings it contains, anal sex can still feel great. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that a vast majority—94 percent!—of women who received some sort of anal stimulation during their most recent sexual encounter had an orgasm

THE MYTH: YOU CAN JUMP RIGHT INTO IT

The truth: Well, not quite. Your rectum isn’t as pliable as your vagina, and also unlike the vagina, it’s not self-lubricating. Vanderlinde strongly advises taking your time if you’re just starting out, and working your way up using smaller things like fingers and thin toys. “Sometimes it takes a few different encounters,” Vanderlinde says. Patience!

THE MYTH: IT WILL HURT

The truth: Anal sex doesn’t have to hurt. It’s often just done incorrectly. Many women find it incredibly pleasurable, and some even report having orgasms with them. If you and your partner start slow, work your way into insertion with smaller implements like fingers and sex toys and use plenty of lube, pain will be the last thing on your mind.

THE MYTH: ONCE IT HURTS IT WILL ALWAYS HURT

The truth: So you tried it once and insertion hurt really bad. You made your partner stop and vowed never to go “back” there again. You don’t have to shut the backdoor because of one or two negative experiences. Most of these experiences have to do with not following the above instructions: Go slow, graduate in size and use lube. Plus there is a nice trick to get you relaxed. If you also stimulate your clitoris at the same time it can encourage the pleasure over pain response.

THE MYTH: IT’S DIRTY (LITERALLY)

The truth: This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions I run across. The anus and the lower part of the rectum actually have very little fecal material in them, which means it tends to not be nearly as dirty as you think. This doesn’t mean you should transfer the elements into the vagina by having anal sex and then vaginal sex though because they are two different environments, even microscopic fecal elements can cause vaginal infections. Just be sure to as with antimicrobial soap before vaginal re-entry or just end your sexual exploits for that evening with anal sex. Regardless, if you are still concerned, you can always have a bowel movement prior followed by an enema, if you want to be squeaky clean.

THE MYTH:  YOUR ANUS WILL GET STRETCHED OUT. 
The truth: Just like the myth that the vagina gets irreparably stretched out from childbirth, this is also a misconception. There were rumors in the late seventies of groups of men who engaged in so much anal activity that they actually lost control of bowel movements. Regular, healthy use of anal sex will not lead to this outcome. Through regular anal sex, your anus does learn to become more relaxed but much of that has to do with your ability to relax yourself mentally for the act. And we all know that the vagina accommodates a wide range of penises, the anus can too — with the right introduction.
THE MYTH:  IT WILL CAUSE YOU PHYSICAL DAMAGE 
The truth: Having any sort of sex the “wrong way” could cause damage. Think about it: If you are vaginally dry and don’t use additional lube, you can cause micro-tears in the vagina. The same thing can happen in anal sex. Granted the vagina does create it’s own lubrication usually (depending on hormones etc.) and the anus does not but that just means real lube (not saliva) needs to be used for a healthy experience.
THE MYTH:  YOU DON’T NEED TO USE A CONDOM WHEN YOU HAVE ANAL SEX.
The truth: This is a misconception because many people think that because there is no pregnancy risk that you also don’t need to use a condom. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Most STIs are transferrable through the anus (chlamydia, gonorrhea, infectious hepatitis and HIV). Some even more so, because the lining of the anus is much more thin and can be broken more easily if too much dry friction occurs (again, please refer to the importance of lube use).

“You don’t start out with the penis. Work your way up, stimulating the outside with a finger or tongue and then slowly use your finger to enter the anus. And then once she get used to that, you can go on to bigger and better things.” – Jill Provost

Written by: Anna Breslaw & Hannah Smothers.
Sourced from: www.cosmopolitan.com