Is Anal Sex The New Dealbreaker?

So asks Details magazine.

I’m going to say… no. Is “no” the answer we’re looking for here?

Apparently, in the last ten years, instead of 26% of men and 25% of women having had anal sex, 38% of men and 35% of women have had anal sex. Okay, cool! The number of people who have had anal sex is going up! Probably some of it is because the popularity of anal in porn is leeching over into the mainstream, and some of it is because the Internet Generation in general seems a lot cooler about formerly taboo sex things.

The author, however, has taken this as an opportunity to ask a half-dozen of their friends about anal sex and end up writing an article which could basically double as Myths About Anal Sex, The Article.

“Why do men like anal sex?” is a stupid question. First of all, there are lots and lots of men that hate anal sex. It is not like the Universal Male Hivemind has put its seal of approval on buttfucking. But even if you edit the question to “why do men who like anal sex like anal sex?” there is no one true answer. Sure, Todd might like anal because he feels like it’s less intimate than PIV*, but that doesn’t mean all men like it because of that. Sure, Phil might like it because he can show off to his buddies, but that doesn’t mean all men like it because of that. Sure, John might like it because he thinks of it as a dominance thing, but it doesn’t mean all men like it because of that.

Some guys like assfucking as a kinky thing. Some guys like it because they really like asses. Some guys just like to mix it up, the same way you’d mix it up between blowjobs and PIV. Some guys like it because the girl they’re with really likes it and they enjoy getting off on her pleasure. Some guys think it feels different. Some guys dunno, they just like it, why do all you people have to get so introspective? Some guys don’t like it at all. Sex acts do not have inherent meaning: what they mean depends on context and the intent of the people practicing it.

Incidentally, the context and intent of the people in this article is terrible. “I only had to persuade two girls to do it”? “It’s something girls do when they’re really drunk”? Phillip’s entire bit about how he likes anal sex because it’s something that’s hard to get and is therefore… better… somehow… than other kinds of sex? Okay, NO. STOP THAT. You should only have sex that your partner wants to have. If they only want it when they’re really really drunk, that is not good consent. If your actions could be reasonably described as “persuading” them into sex**, that is not good consent. If you’re fetishizing pushing women’s boundaries I’m really not sure what to say to you, except that you’re really really creepy. I’m not saying it’s rape (although depending on circumstances it might be), but it is definitely not the way your sex life should be happening.

Seriously, though, this is the best Details could come up with? Men like anal because it makes sex rapier? What the fuck? The patriarchy hates men.

So if you can’t be certain whether the woman’s enjoying herself or just submitting to peer pressure, and the act itself can be unpleasant, what’s the motivation for demanding it?

Guys, I have this innovative way to discover if the woman’s enjoying herself: you ask. “Hey, lady I’m having sex with, do you like anal or are you doing it because you’re being pressured into it? If it’s the latter, we’ll stop.” Also, if it’s unpleasant because you’re afraid of hurting her and of shit spewing out, may I recommend preparing properly for anal sex, including taking a shit first and going slowly with plenty of lube? Seriously. Anal sex can– and should– be pleasurable for everyone involved.

Finally, Details comes up with its real explanation for why anal sex is a thing:

But the more plausible explanation is that it’s about accessibility—and instant gratification. Now that anal sex has been propelled higher on the mainstream menu by a hypersexualized culture and the proliferation of porn (see Ass-Hole O Mio and the Anal Excursions series), some men can’t help but order it. And some women feel the need to offer it.

So men are mindless robots driven by porn to have whatever kind of sex appears in their porn? Dammit, I don’t have fake breasts, I’m never going to get laid again. And those hentai fans must be fucked unless they can figure out how to develop tentacles. I mean, of course the sexual environment is influenced by porn: just look at the rise of the facial. But men have agency here! They can choose not to have anal if they don’t want it! Also, they can choose not to be really fucking rapey about how they get it!

Finally, I would like to point out the amusing assumption in this entire article that anal sex only comes in one form: man penetrates woman’s ass with his penis. You know, fingering, rimming, and pegging all exist. And cis dudes have a prostate up there. You might want to try getting fucked with a strapon. It doesn’t make you gay, and for a lot of dudes it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

*I used to believe that no one actually believed that PIV was Real Sex and that if they had anal or oral it Wouldn’t Count, but then last year I slept with two of them, so apparently they’re real. Weeeeeeeird.
**To be clear, “you said that you don’t want to because anal sex hurts, but it doesn’t hurt if you go slow and use lots of lube, which we will, and if it ever hurts just say so and we’ll stop immediately” is good consent. “Please baby, just once, for me?” is not.

About ozyfrantz

Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.


  1. Tightness may be a reason. I’d maybe like to try it but to be honest it doesn’t look appealing at all. Anytime it happens in porn I skip the scene. Good luck to those who enjoy it, I just can’t see the appeal in it compared to PIV

  2. Some people think it’s really dirty, but unless you’re sick (you need Imodium, for example), it’s not. Lube is pretty much needed though, unless you like pain (both will feel pain).

    It’s not like I can compare (no vagina), but I think it’s pretty nice and enjoyable. It only hurts the first time or two, when your ass is still “virgin”. Playing with fingers and toys can make that first time more pleasant. It definitely is more tight however, even if you were to do it a lot (I don’t recommend daily, skip a day at least).

  3. only tried it once and it was so painful I almost threw up. I’ll never do it again. No way. I have a low threshhold for agonizing pain. Best thing friends have told me is “it stops hurting” and “it kind of feels like you are taking a crap the wrong wsy.” If some guy says it’s a deal breaker, good riddance to him.

    • Dealbreaker says:

      I hope it goes without saying… something was being done incorrectly.

    • That level of pain shouldn’t happen. :( Sounds like your partner forgot the lube–which should ALWAYS be used during anal stimulation, in large quantities.

      Even a finger up there can hurt if you’re not properly lubricated.

  4. Many animal species like to have anal sex. Should we psychoanalyze their sexual behavior as well? Why is it that you never hear of anyone trying to psychoanalyze lesbians for enjoying anal sex using dill-dose or strap-ons? I detect a bit of misandry on the part of this Details magazine author.

    • Easy for you to say, Andrew since you’re the one who reaps all the pleasure from anal sex.
      Any woman who says it’s pleasurable is lying. She’s only doing it to please her man and show submission.
      Many men are notoriously selfish sexually, with one goal in mind and that’s to get off and go to sleep. A man like that should be told to go masturbate because that’s what he’s using the for woman for – just another way to masturbate.

  5. (Anal Sex For Beginners By Garnet Joyce)…Patience & lots of lube are the keys to a good 1st anal sex experience. If she hasn’t had anything in her butt before, plan on taking at least a few weeks before you move up to putting anything c*ck-like in her bottom. First, she’ll have to be fully aroused in other manners. Makeout, play with her nipples, rub her clitoris, you know. Whatever gets her motor running. It’s always easier to try new things when you’re both pretty aroused before you start. Then use a good thick lube (I recommend Maximus) to rub around her anus. It’s a good idea to rub the lube in your fingers a bit to warm it up first, especially in the winter months. The first time you do this, don’t have the goal of actually going inside of her butt unless she insists. The goal is more for her to get used to feeling arousal from that area of her body. So many of us aren’t used to feeling good sensations coming from our butts if we haven’t experienced anal play before. Try pressing & rubbing all around the sides of her anus. If she begs for more, then let her have the first one or two knuckles of one finger. But no more than that. You’ll have plenty of time to explore in the next few weeks. And only play with her anus for as long as she can take it. The anus can wear itself out from extended play. The next couple of times just use one finger & still lots of lube & arousal. The more of a tease you are, not giving in to her full desires to be penetrated in her butt, the more she’ll crave it. And it’s always better to go too slow than too fast when it comes to the butt. Now, you may think you’re ready as you move from one finger to two fingers. But no, you’re not ready to stick your d*ck in her just yet. As I told you before, the anus gets tired. Wiggling your fingers around can feel pretty nice, but if you want to move onto a c*ck, you’re going to need to buy some butt plugs. Tristan Taormino taught me that the more you mess with the butt, the more likely it is to say “no more tonight honey.” So the best way to warm up to anal sex isn’t going to be by going in & out of her butt with your fingers, but slowly stretching it out to prepare for your d*ck. Bootie is a great beginner plug. Then you could maybe move up to something like Ryder. Or for convenience you could just get every size of the Pop Plugs which are relatively inexpensive silicone plugs that work their way up in size. But whatever you do, Don’t Forget The Lube in all of this. It’s extremely important! When you’re first starting out with plugs feel free to switch between them & fingers, but make sure that the fingers you use for her vagina aren’t the same fingers you’re using for her butt. Once your girlfriend has become comfortable with the biggest butt plug in your repertoire you can then move on to your d*ck. Just remember that you have to do finger, then small plug, then bigger plug, then maybe an even bigger plug, & then your d*ck each time you do this. It’ll become easier with time & she can also warm her anus up for you in preparation for a hot night of butt sex! Things to keep in mind: Do Not Use Any Sort of Anal Desensitizer!!! I cannot say this enough. The tissues in the rectum are very delicate & can easily be torn. Desensitizing her anus means that she won’t be able to feel something going seriously wrong. And on that note, if something hurts, stop. Slowly take whatever’s in her butt out & do not try again until she’s comfortable with it in a day or more. Use Lot’s of Lube! There’s Never Enough Lube! Shit Happens. So Wear A Condom! I don’t care how monogamous or disease free you are. Bacteria In Your Urethra Is A Big No No & there’s lot’s of it in everyone’s butt. Communicate with each other about how things are going. Remember, anal sex is supposed to feel good for both people. So if she’s not enjoying it, then it’s probably not worth pursuing.
    Anal Sex for Beginners | Ask Garnet

    • Seems like an awful lot of trouble… I don’t want to anything that I have to get “used to”.

      • Most coffee-drinkers, smokers, beer-drinkers, whiskey-drinkers would not do so if the didn’t want to do anything they’d “have to get used to”. Now, I never aquired the taste for coffee, nicotine or whiskey, but I do like a good stout once in a while. This is not an argument for you to try out anal, but rather to point out that not wanting to do anything that needs some getting used to is a rather limiting and too absolutist attitude in my opinion.

    • Andrew, I find you disgusting. What the hell makes you think that most women find having to have their anuses
      stretched is enjoyable? You make it sound as though you’re cavalier by taking your time using fingers, etc.
      while all you’re looking for is a tighter place for your c**k and your own pleasure.
      BTW, anal sex can cause serious problems with the sphincter muscles, where they become so stretched
      that the woman can’t control her bowels. That type of injury can also occur during childbirth due to the extreme
      effort of pushing the baby out. She could also experience rectal prolapse or tears in the area between the vagina and rectum. I suppose though, your pleasure supersedes any harm you could do to your partner because it feels good to you.
      Sounds like misogyny to me.

  6. Why does our culture of sexuality have to jump straight from ‘this is something men like to do in the bedroom’ to ‘they must be pressuring women into it!’ I always get the impression that writers of articles like this have contempt not only for men (why else would they focus on men with questionable motives of anal sex and not quote any who enjoy it as a mutually fun bedroom activity?) but for the sex act they are writing about in general. The article tries to imply that anal is all about negative traits that are gendered male in our culture, like ego, emotional distance and dominance (not fun BDSM Dominance but bad controlling dominance).

    Also, obviously, fuck this: “Ideally, every girl is a disgusting pig who wants it…but only with you.”

    • agreed, the guys in that article seem like complete douchbags. I feel sorry for their girlfriends.

    • So, Mori, what you’re saying is that a woman who refuses to have anal sex is showing contempt for men?
      My opinion would be that any man who “encourages” his partner to have anal sex is showing contempt for women. Anal sex and blowjobs are submissive acts performed by women for one reason only and that is to submit to what she thinks will keep her man at home. What do you submit to?
      Is that what you say to a partner when she doesn’t want to go along with the program as dictated by you?
      Oh, I see – a woman is not supposed to have an opinion of her own about what SHE enjoys sexually as opposed to how you want it to be and has to submit to your way? Do the words “sexist pig” ring a bell???
      Good luck sweetcheeks.

  7. It seems like stuff like this exists for the sole purpose of perpetuating the worst faith in men when it comes to sex.

  8. And then there is the camp that thinks men have to pressure women into anal because if a woman WANTS it she’s a dirty slut and you should never consider marrying her. It’s only ok if you have to pressure her into it but she really doesn’t want to, you see?

    (I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.)

    • “(I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.)”

      No! Stay! We need people like yoyu to terraform the place into a habitable planet.

  9. “It’s something girls do when they’re really drunk”

    That has some truth to it. Personally, I can only do it when drunk because it numbs the pain. It’s not that I’m more easier to coerce when drunk, but that I specifically drink more in order to be able to handle the anal. Still, I need some preparation and knowledge that I’d be doing it when I’m sober, so I can take a laxative and clean myself out beforehand. I’m hoping that eventually my hole will stretch and that it won’t be so painful.

    • Ok, this is where I just have to ask, WTF? Why force yourself to something so unpleasant and uncomfortable just to please a guy? Jeez.

      • I second that. It’s one thing if you want a little buzz to make it more fun, but if you are having that much pain either you are doing it wrong or you are just a top – just jkidding, but you know what I mean. So am I, and I get by fine.

      • Just a guy says:

        “Ok, this is where I just have to ask, WTF? Why force yourself to something so unpleasant and uncomfortable just to please a guy? Jeez.”

        Because god knows, a guy will never do anything unpleasant or uncomfortable for a woman.

    • Personally, I *really* enjoy anal sex. It shouldn’t hurt; if it hurts, you’re risking damaging something. And besides, the whole “anal = pain” association makes it terribly difficult to relax, which makes it not hurt. :)

      Are you using enough lube and stretching yourself out carefully? Have you considered just trying a finger or a buttplug until you can practice loosening up? Will your partner be willing to go super super SUPER slowly while you practice deep breathing and relaxation? Most importantly, have you considered taking anal sex off the table as a sex act? You shouldn’t *have* to do something that you have to get drunk to get through.

      • I usually do it drunk too. Mostly has to do with sexy times being mostly (not always) on the weekend, drinking on the weekend, being more up for it (more sexual at all) and yeah its less pain if there’s any (usually not painful, but it’s easier to push my limits then).

    • Aya, are you serious?
      If you have to get drunk in order to have anal, you have a problem. You need to think about why you’re
      having anal in the first place. So you get drunk and take a laxative to do it. Is there a man on earth who would do that for their partner? You need to look up the word “doormat”.

  10. As someone who likes anal sex, occasionally, and smaller anal penetration almost *all* the time, it’s not supposed to hurt. If it hurts, you should not be doing it. Full stop.

  11. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    I’d appreciate your posting my post. You can remove the first sentence, if that was the dealbreaker.

  12. It’s always been the woman’s idea, in my experience. I’m not hating or shaming or whatever. It took me a while to wrap my mind around it and try it but my .02 is…DO buy a a high end specialized lubricant. DON’T be in a big hurry. DO listen to your partner and trust what they say and be open to whatever happens. The entry the first time around or so took a long while. In a little, a little rest, in some more, and so on. Once you are all the way in, have fun, but don’t try to show off your stamina – it’s pretty intense for the gal. Once you finish you’ll feel like a new man. Or something. But that’s how it was for me after my first anal experience with the wife of fifteen years.

    • Pedro, it’s a woman’s idea because the woman wants to please the man. It’s not because she’s happily looking forward to the pain it can cause.

  13. unenthused says:

    Some women get offended just by being asked. Frankly by not waiting for it to be her idea (and it may never be) and asking yourself you can still end up being called the asshole even if you only do (or don’t do) what your told. It’s a no win scenario.

  14. That article is talking about straight people having anal sex! What the HELL is wrong with Details having an article about straight people and sex? Eeewwww.

  15. FlyingKal says:

    And cis dudes have a prostate up there. You might want to try getting fucked with a strapon. It doesn’t make you gay, and for a lot of dudes it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

    Well, I reckon most all dudes have a prostate up there… 😉
    But anyway. Since my partners, except for occasionally accepting to receive some oral, wouldn’t do anything besides straight-on boring PIV, I’ve tried it by myself. But with or without massaging the prostate it mostly just leaves a lingering awkward feeling afterwards.

  16. Just a guy says:

    Keep trying and keep looking for better partners. Both are worth the effort.

  17. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    All the women I’ve met (about four) who liked this have been Capricorns. I don’t like doing it, but will if my partner likes it. I had a rubber instrument used on me once by a woman, and there was absolutely no thrill, only a stinging sensation for a day afterward. I’ve heard (and actually done this) that one should do long oral on the site to get it ready. But that’s more of a problem these days because of Hep C.

  18. I really like it. I was curious about it. Bought a rather large butt plug, took a while to get it in without pain, and, worked my way up to a dildo just yesterday. Maybe I should have asked my husband if he’d like to do it first, though. lol I thought I’d surprise him… get all the prep and stretching out of the way…. He doesn’t even want to try. :-(

    Ugh…. It did help me in other ways strangely. TMI, I know, but the plug has helped my internal hemorrhoids stay in… I think I was just plain way too tight before. I’ve been having problems with them for years. Learning to relax/control my muscles has helped a lot.

  19. First of all, whether or not I agree to have anal sex is MY choice, not HIS. If he somehow forces it, it becomes rape.

    And if I may go off subject for a moment, what’s up with so many teen girls agreeing to give boys blowjobs
    instead of having intercourse? Do they actually think a blowjob isn’t sex? Furthermore. what does a girl get from the experience besides a mouthful of sperm and the chance of acquiring an STD? Surely she won’t have an orgasm while gagging on a penis. Is the girl so stupid to think for one minute that it’s a way to get or keep a boyfriend? He’ll dump her and call her a slut, then move onto the next stupid girl. Young girls have to learn to never be pressured into or submit
    to the sexual pressure of boys.

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