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The Bottom of It: 10 Misconceptions about Anal Sex

Anal sex isn’t exactly table talk, but while a lot of people are enjoying it, others are clouded in misinformation. Let’s get those facts straight!

anal sex myths

Once considered taboo, anal sex hasn’t always had a squeaky clean reputation *excuse the pun*. Whether it’s considered a way to spice up your sex life or deemed an “exit only” orifice, there are plenty of misconceptions about anal sex, and most of them are actually pretty ridiculous.

Whether you have formed these mistaken beliefs by listening to gossip, prowling seedy forums, or immediately believing what the media tells you, it’s never too late to learn the actual facts about anal sex.

10 ridiculous myths about anal sex

These common misconceptions prove how little people actually know about the concept of anal sex. While it is definitely a matter of personal preference, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it… or at least until you’ve got all the info.

#1 It’s always painful. Let’s put it this way: if anal sex is so painful, then why do so many people of various races, genders, and sexual orientations enjoy it so much? The anus has a muscle called the sphincter, and while this muscle is able to stretch and expand, it must be relaxed to do so. In order to have anal sex that is pleasurable rather than painful, it is essential to be relaxed.

It’s also important to communicate with the person you are engaging in anal sex with to let them know when you are feeling discomfort and when they need to stop or slow down. Another important thing, and I can’t stress this enough, is lube! Lubrication is essential for the enjoyment of anal sex. Since the anus is not self-lubricating, you will need a quality *preferably water-based* lubricant, not some baby oil you found under the bathroom sink.

If you tried anal sex without lube and started out with anything bigger than a finger, then yes, it WILL hurt! That’s why you need to start small and go slow at first, use plenty of lube, and keep the lines of communication open. The anus has hundreds of pleasurable nerve endings, so the experience is meant to be insanely pleasurable, not horribly painful. [Read: Top 50 kinky ideas everyone’s got to try at least once]

#2 It’s dirty and unhygienic. Another common misconception is based on the premise that when one engages in anal sex, there will be shit everywhere, literally! However, contrary to popular belief, the anal cavity isn’t actually where the feces is stored, and there will only be trace amounts of fecal matter located there. There are plenty of ways to remedy the situation with gentle enemas, thorough cleansing of the area, keeping your bowel movements regular, and having overall good hygiene.

The only way anal sex will be that dirty and unhygienic is if you are generally a dirty and unhygienic person. On a side note, I can’t say it will be completely squeaky clean, but it will not be anything that a condom or a quick rinse after won’t solve.

#3 It’s not safe. For the sake of argument, neither sexual entry point is considered safe unless you make it a point to have safe sex. While the anus is apparently more prone to spreading HIV and other STDs as opposed to vaginal sex, it all comes down to how responsible you are when engaging in anal sex. Condoms, both external and internal, can prevent the spread of disease, while lubrication helps prevent tears in the anal lining or cavity.

If practicing with fingers, wearing strong latex gloves or a finger cot can solve the problem of accidentally scratching the anal lining. Therefore, just like how unprotected vaginal sex or penetration without being fully aroused can irritate the vagina and cause infection, it’s all a matter of taking the necessary precautions. [Read: STDs 101 – the most common types and their symptoms]

#4 It will cause permanent physical damage. This goes right into the nonsense bin that says that a vagina gets stretched out the more sex or children a woman has. Having anal sex will not cause you to lose control of your anus, leading to involuntary bowel movements wherever you go.

Since your anus, like the vagina, is a muscle, it will get stronger the more it is used. It might feel like the anus gets more relaxed the more you engage in anal penetration of any kind, but that’s because you are mentally more comfortable and therefore less tense back there.

#5 Women who have anal sex are “sluts.” This preposterous stigma only adds to the stereotypes of women who embrace their sexuality as sluts in general. If that’s the case, then should the previous “social taboos” like women who masturbate or engage in oral sex or enjoy BDSM be in the same category?

Instead, anal sex is now slowly becoming one of the sexual norms gracing the pages of women’s magazines and websites. Women who are bold enough to want to explore their body and embrace their sexuality should not be labelled as sluts. Women should be free to embrace what gives them pleasure without fear of being labeled.

#6 Only gay men and “slutty girls” enjoy anal sex. As mentioned above, not only “sluts” enjoy anal sex, the same way that not only gay men enjoy it. There are plenty of straight men who enjoy having a girl experiment with their backdoor regions. Straight women can enjoy it, and even lesbians, too. Whatever your sexual orientation, if you have an anus, you have every right to enjoy anal sex!

#7 It will enhance a boring sex life. If your sex life is crappy because you and your partner are not on the same page, aren’t attracted to one another, or just have totally different sexual tastes, then dabbling in anal sex won’t do much more than be a novelty thrill.

Sex is about attraction, compatibility, communication, and feeling safe with a partner. Yes, anal sex can add to your shared pleasure and serve as a “treat” once in a while, but it won’t enhance an already crappy sex life enough to keep the flame burning for much longer. [Read: 30 sexy ways to spice up your boring sex life]

#8 You won’t get pregnant through anal, so there’s no need for protection. Engaging in anal sex without protection is never a good idea. Just because you can’t get pregnant from anal sex doesn’t mean its “safe” to be unprotected. Regardless of whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, transsexual, monogamous, polygamous, or even a virgin, having anal sex unprotected runs the risk of infections and STD’s. Wrap it up! [Read: How to use condoms to spice up your sex life]

#9 It will cause your partner to expect it all the time. Anal sex is just another hole to enjoy, it’s not the be-all and end-all of sexual pleasure. Yes, your partner might be excited after you first begin to experiment with anal play, but it doesn’t mean that’s all they will want. Oral sex, vaginal penetration, and other forms of intimacy are all valid modes of sexual pleasure, and they won’t all get tossed aside when you give up the butt. Trust me.

#10 You’ll lose your partner’s respect. Having anal sex with a partner you trust can add some zest to your sex life, but if you don’t already feel like your partner respects you, why would you give them the benefit of having sex with you at all? If your partner wants to have anal sex with you and then begins to disrespect you, then they are not the right person for you.

Make sure your partner is someone you trust and who treats you respectfully before experimenting with them sexually. Due to the fact that anal sex has a reputation for being risqué, just like getting it on outdoors, your partner may feel even closer to you for sharing the experience with them.

[Read: The curious couple’s guide to first time anal sex]

While anal sex used to have a bad reputation for being dirty and sinful, it’s now being more widely accepted as a means of enhancing your sex life. These common misconceptions about anal sex are really based more on ignorance than fact, and only keep you from experimenting with new avenues of sexual pleasure.

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