Dudes and Dildos

Why don’t straight men like anal sex? Maria Pawlowska’s answers might surprise you.

Here’s a superficially odd question: what do dildos, social constructs of gender, and homophobia have in common? Well actually, the last two are the major reason for which the aforementioned sex toy doesn’t get much love from heterosexual males (for use on themselves, that is).

Male anal sex—particularly heterosexual—is a bit of a taboo topic. Most of us liberals have sort of gotten our heads around the idea of what gay man supposedly do in bed (although really we should assume it’s just about as varied as what heterosexuals do, right?) but the idea of anal penetration of a heterosexual man by his female partner is still considered anything from unnatural to outright disgusting and wrong. Now, I’m fully aware that anal sex is not everybody’s proverbial cup of tea, but there are good physiological reasons for men to potentially enjoy anal sex—the “theoretical basis” is at least as strong as for anal sex performed on females which is decidedly less taboo. The prostate gland is highly sensitive and it is possible for men to achieve orgasm solely through its stimulation. And what’s an easy way to access the prostate gland…? Yup, you probably guessed—through receptive anal intercourse.

So why is it that most (heterosexual) men give up on the possibility of mind-blowing orgasms without much consideration and just decide anal penetration is a definite “no-go?” (According to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Survey of Family Growth less than 40% of men engage in heterosexual anal sex.) Obviously, for some men this is just personal preference—they can’t see themselves liking it and fair enough. But for many this attitude may be the result of deeply ingrained gender stereotypes and socially-induced homophobia (yes, even in those really liberal guys who—on a conscious level—have absolutely nothing against homosexuals and loudly advocate for gay marriage). There’s a difference between being intellectually completely accepting of other people’s sexual choices and being open to exploring things, which our culture teaches us are wrong when naked—i.e. just about as vulnerable as it gets.

And although things are definitely looking up, whatever else anyone says, our culture is still homophobic to a considerable degree. Not caring about other people’s sexuality is on its way to becoming the new normal, but we still have a long way to go, that’s for sure. And until we get there male homosexuality will get the brunt of the homophobia. The social “invisibility” of female homosexuality has to a certain degree resulted in less stigmatization. (It’s also because lesbianism is treated less seriously and more often dismissed as “just a phase.”) What’s more, “butch” lesbians “masculinize” their appearances—they may seem “odd” but as Madonna sang back in 2001:

Girls can wear jeans

And cut their hair short

Wear shirts and boots

‘Cause it’s OK to be a boy

But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading

‘Cause you think that being a girl is degrading

Consequently, lesbians bring up fewer negative connotations and pop-culture tends to over-sexualize them, but gay men are typically portrayed as anything from unappealingly “effeminate” to obscene and perverted. And, invariably, anal sex is thought to be one of the major sexual activities that men who have sex with men engage in. Because of the different ensemble of sexual organs in women, male anal penetration has become nearly synonymous with gay sex.

According to heteronormative societal standards, there are a number of issues with men being gay, many of which can be boiled down to the fact that they are seen as giving up (at least partially) their well-deserved male privileges and becoming more “like women.” Behaviors judged as “female” may involve anything from tight-fitting clothes through to personal grooming and “girly interests” in fashion as well as… sexual submissiveness. Particularly this last bit is a serious issue for some. Being the “passive” partner in a sexual relationship is traditionally reserved for women. And women, traditionally, have it generally worse off (yay for the Equal Pay Act—too bad women on average still earn only 70 cents to the man’s dollar). Now, why would anyone want to give up their sexual privileges—become passive and like gay men/women—and actually be the penetrated partner when men are endowed with the wonder of the penis and therefore should be the active partner? The superiority of the “active” vs. “passive” partner goes back to ancient Greece when older and powerful men took lovers whom they had sex with but were never penetrated by— there was a clear connection between sexual activity and societal status. Overall, the message men get is basically this: society doesn’t think that being gay is such a great thing -> gay men have anal sex -> enjoying anal penetration can make you (seem) gay -> that’s a bad thing.

And so we’re back to the dildo—believe it or not, but according to research in this area most heterosexual men exclude the possibility of using dildos precisely because they don’t want to act “gay” and be “passive.” It’s got nothing to do with what they like or dislike in bed (mostly because they don’t know if they do if they haven’t tried it). It’s more illogical and subconscious than a superficial sexual preference. Heterosexual men’s deep-seated aversion to this form of sex-play is mostly the result of what society has taught us about sex and gender roles and not what our bodies might enjoy. Whether you like it or not, most of the time there really is way more than just you and your partner(s) in the bedroom.

photo by stagshop and fabrisalvetti / flickr

About Maria Pawlowska

Maria Pawlowska is a healthcare analyst with a passion for reproductive health. She spends her free time trying to stop herself from compulsively buying new books about women, sexuality, gender and sometimes the odd primate study. Maria currently lives in London with her husband and you can reach her at m.pawlowska [@] gatesscholar.org. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaPawlowska.

Comments

  1. Hi Maria

    I have enjoyed every single bit of this blog thank you!

    Henry

  2. I am 42 years old married man who never liked guys but only girls and women. Still, I practiced anal masturbation in some periods of my life. I started 15 yo and in following years, when I was without girlfriend I was returning to that old habit but not without enormous guilt. I thought I was gay but and was ready to accept it if only I didn’t realize I don’t like other guys – I was not able to fall in love with them, I didn’t like their bodies and simply, the idea of having sex with them was disgusting. For me, they were just dudes. Contrary to that, I was falling in love with girls, loved them very much, their faces, eyes, bodies… Why did I love anal masturbation then? Simply because it was pleasant activity for me and good help for normal masturbation. I gave myself a chance to become a gay when I was young and it never happened. I simply continue to having sex with girls and now my wife sometimes gives me some anal pleasure with dildo. I can live without it though but still I can enjoy it. I am very much sure that man receiving anal sex from woman is not gay! Gay likes other guys, their bodies, look, talk etc.

  3. I’ve always said that every man should try it. Perhaps more women would like to give it to their partners than they admit

  4. The Blurpo says:

    ok my take. I have tryed anal both active and passive (no Im not gay, and no im not homophobic either), and sadly it wasent for me. But the majority of guys I spoke to is quite open for the experience. Contrary to a large number of women, who are not intersted or disliked it.

    About culture, well yes I do agree in femmephobia and homophobia. But I dont think its always the case and I dont think they hould be used as universal concepts to describe the unvillignes of some people to go anal or adding some tradtional or common modern feminine habits.

  5. Hi, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this post. It was practical.
    Keep on posting!

  6. My boyfriend and I love anal sex, giving and receiving both. We use a nice vegan anal lube and wear gloves. We haven’t worked our way up to penile/strap-on dildo penetration though that is our goal. When we do we will use condoms however. One thing that I like about it is that it allows both of us to experience the act of penetrating/being penetrated so the experience is something we can both relate to a more similar way. I love oral and vaginal (I’m a woman) as well and I don’t think I’d want to have to pick one over the others. (Besides, with oral you have all those tasty flavored lubes…what’s not to like about a pink-lemonade flavored penis?) I was a little squeamish before I first tried anal, but my boyfriend and I did as much research on it as we could in order to make it as safe and comfortable as possible. When we did try it I found it an experience like nothing else and I can’t imagine that I’d ever want to live without it.

  7. I am disgusted by the disregard people have for one another. This thread turned into a public display of insult and injury. A lot of healthy, straight men enjoy some anal stimulation. Some healthy straight men enjoy having their asses fucked vigorously. The same is true of straight women, and lesbians, and gay men. Not everyone likes anal sex. But, a lot of people do. Doing it right is quite safe. But, using a steak knife as a fork is bad practice, and forcing anal sex on a partner that is not interested or ill-prepared is bad practice. Anal cancer? Sure, there is, on average, an increased risk of anal cancer for those who engage in anal sex. But, using petroleum jelly, anywhere, increases the risk of cancer. Using a water-based jelly as a lubricant is safe. There are other potential causes for the increased risk, but some people enjoy taking risks. Let them enjoy it. Eric M probably doesn’t drive fast, or ride a motorcycle, or smoke pot, or go downhill racing on his mountain bike. But, all of these things exist because a lot of us think they are fun.

    Take a chill-pill Eric M. I don’t care if you ever try a mini-butt plug, or secretly shove your fist up your ass.
    Do what you want, and keep it to yourself. But, try to let people have a good time, however they want, without insulting them or making them feel like freaks. If anything, you are the freak for knowing so much about anal sex, never having tried it at all.

  8. I would like to point out that it’s not just men’s attitudes that go into play, but their partners as well. How many women are just wishing for their husbands to lighten up so they can finally peg them? Probably not a lot. I’m in a hetero marriage, but it’s complicated by the fact that I’m also attracted to men. My wife knows this and is threatened by that fact. This dynamic hinders both of us from engaging in anal play (on my anus, anyway). While we may be a special case, I can imagine that similar ideas affect more “typical” hetero marriages in a similar way. There may be straight men interested in anal play who feel unable to request it b/c of their partner’s homophobia.

    BTW to clarify, I’m not arguing with the post, just trying to extend it beyond a simple case of male homophobia. Women play just as much of a role in that dynamic as men do.

  9. To all you skeptical men reading this: Try it, you’ll like it. The pleasure of being pegged by a woman you love – with her finger(s) or a good toy – can be nothing less than mind-blowing. There is the prostate stimulation and there is the playing with and reversing roles: getting fucked vs. doing the fucking. It needn’t be rough and you must use proper lubricant, but the results are, in a word, memorable.

    • According to the “The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons” website:

      “Persons who participate in anal sex are at an increased risk of anal cancer.”

      I’ve heard that anal cancer is memorable albeit not all that mind-blowing.

      I think I’ll pass.

      • You know what else can cause cancer? Sunlight. Sunscreen. Antiperspirants. Cellphones. Talcum powder. And tobacco. Alcohol, unsafe sex of any kind. And even some of the safe kinds… If cancer is your only reason, or best reason, for not experimenting with anal sex, there’s a whole host of other things you should probably be avoiding……

        • These guys are hiding behind health risks, there is more to it than that, for them.

        • As I have said, that’s not my only reason but, the fact that it increases the odds of getting cancer simply confirms that, for me, I have absolutely made the right choice.

          Cellphones:  Urban legend.  But, I still use a wired ear bud almost 100% of the time.

          Tobacco: Never in my life have I.  Not a single puff/drag.

          Alcohol: Wine consumed in moderation is known to have health benefits.  Still, I very seldom consume alcohol.  I consume, on average, perhaps one glass of wine or can of beer every 3-6 months. (I just never developed much of a taste for alcohol)

          Antiperspirants: From http://www.cancer.gov: “However, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer.”

          Talcum powder: What the what?  LOL.  Don’t think I’ve ever used it and have no plans to. You are funny!

          Unsafe sex: I have sex only with my beautiful wife, and she with me.

          Sunscreen: Don’t use it. 

          Sunlight: I’m fortunate enough to have a plenty skin pigmentation, which lowers my skin cancer risk.  So I have no reason to, and am not tempted to try to get a tan – unnecessarily exposing myself to direct sunlight.  I get out enough to be healthy but not so much that I am overexposed.  I can’t control the ozone layer but I try to protect my health.

          Bottom line: I try to do my best to lead a healthy lifestyle.  Avoiding risky practices such as this is part of that.

          • You distort the facts to support your prejudice. The risk of anal cancer associated with anal sex is almost entirely due to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. HPV is avoidable. Thanks for telling us over and over about your ‘lovely wife’. Noone could possibly suspect you of being a closet-case who dwells too much on what others do in the bedroom, would they?

            • “You distort the facts to support your prejudice. The risk of anal cancer associated with anal sex is almost entirely due to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection.”

              WRONG.

              Every statement I make is 100% factual. I fact check before posting. Try it sometime.

              From the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons’ website regarding anal cancer.

              “Anal sex – Persons who participate in anal sex are at an increased risk.”

              “Avoid anal sex and infection with HPV and HIV.”

              From http://www.cancer.org:

              “Receptive anal intercourse also increases the risk of anal cancer in both men and women, particularly in those younger than the age of 30. Because of this, men who have sex with men have a high risk of this cancer.”

              From the Mayo Clinic’s website:

              “Anal sex. Men and women who engage in anal sex have an increased risk of anal cancer.”

              You seem want to promote men having anal sex with whomever.

              I am do promote men being good husbands, fathers, workers, neighbors, and voluneteers. That’s a heck of a lot healthier thing to promote than your defense of men taking anal sex. Good grief. I’m certain that men will be much better off listening to me than you.

              And, yes, I’m proud of my family and that I have a happy, healthy marriage. That is something to be proud of. If that bothers you, too bad.

              • Can you not read? Check your own sources properly instead of pulling selective quotes. It’s the HPV, not the physical act of sodomy, that increases the risk of anal cancer. You’re a fool and a bigoted troll. I don’t care either way whether you’re gay, straight, happy or sad. I think you’re a sad moron and i’m hugely thankful I’m nothing like you.

                • “Can you not read?”

                  Very well, in fact.

                  Question: Where are your facts?

                  Answer: You have none.

                  You said: “You’re a fool and a bigoted troll.”

                  I quoted the Mayo Clinic and National Cancer Society and you have only called names and fought for men to take cancer causing anal sex, and attacked heterosexual men. It’s clear which one of us is the fool and bigot, and it’s not me.

                  “I think you’re a sad moron and i’m hugely thankful I’m nothing like you.”

                  I’m the happily married father of two cute little girls and you’re the creepy guy on the Internet trying to convince men to take a penis up the butt.

                  I can say with confidence that the sad (and creepy) one sho ain’t me.

                  • My facts? From American Cancer Society:
                    Worldwide in 2002 there were an estimated 30,400 new cases of anal cancer.[2] With approximately equal fractions in the developing (15,900) and developed (14,500) countries.[2] An estimated 90% (27,400) were attributable to HPV.
                    From the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre:
                    Receptive anal intercourse, whether male or female, increases the chances of anal cancer sevenfold due to Human papillomavirus.
                    I’m not trying to convince men to do anything – you equate people saying anal sex is normal and natural with people saying ‘everyone must do it’. I first came on here to dispute some of the untruths posted by trolls such as yourself. For such a happily married hetero, you sure spend a lot of time thinking and posting about anal sex.
                    BTW, I’m a happily partnered parent myself. Is there anything you don’t misrepresent to support your blinkered view of the world? You’re still a fool and a bigoted troll.

                    • Again, you have no facts. Your “facts” don’t show that anal sex increases the risk of anal cancer BECAUSE of HPV. It shows that it increases the risk even further. But, it also shows that anal sex increases the risk of transmitting the HPV virus. So, anal sex, is a loser all around, proving that it’s an unnatural act. You are the one twisting the data.

                      “I’m not trying to convince men to do anything – you equate people saying anal sex is normal and natural with people saying ‘everyone must do it’.”

                      You are trying to convince men to receive it by calling it “natural” and “normal.” It’s common but not “natural.” Things that are “natural” are healthful. They are healthy. They don’t harm your body. They don’t contribute to the risk of anal cancer. The anus’ natural purpose is to expel fecal matter, not penile penetration. You can do it if you want but the facts are the facts.

                      “BTW, I’m a happily partnered parent myself.”

                      So, do whatever you want and let heterosexuals do what they want.

                      “You’re still a fool and a bigoted troll.”

                      You are the bigot. I have not called you a name or insulted you despite your continued personal attacks. They call names. That’s what bigots do. So, you are the bigot, not men. I have been nothing but respectful.

                    • Sorry pal, facts are facts. Do what you want but you won’t change the facts, as per the Mayo Clinic and National Cancer Society. If you want medical facts, see a medical site, such as the Mayo Clinic and National Cancer Society, as I referenced.

                  • So I give you the facts you ask for but they’re not good enough. As I asked before, can you not read? What about “receptive anal sex increases risk of anal cancer DUE TO HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS” do you not understand? Or are facts only facts when they support your position? Following your logic, vaginal intercourse is also crazy dangerous because deadly diseases can also be transmitted that way. You are indeed a bigot because you repeatedly state that sexual practices that differ to yours are “unnatural” and “unhealthy” (can you back that up with facts?). You think that all things that are natural are healthful? What, like deadly nightshade and glycoalkaloids? You’re a moron as well as a bigot. I’m not normally a hostile person, but you are not deserving of anybody’s respect. I don’t expect to change your mind – you’re clearly very, very attached to your deluded take on life and human sexuality – but I will continue to call you out as the fool you are for as long as you continue to convince everyone that anal sex is unnatural and unhealthy.

                    • Do you seriously want to compare vaginal sex with anal sex as being equally natural? Which one mixes fecal matter and sex? Which lubricates naturally to accommodate penetration, the vagina or the anus? Which one is most likely to transmit STD’s vaginal sex or anal sex?

                      From the UK’s National Health Service:

                      “Anal sex has a higher risk of spreading STIs than many other types of sexual activity. This is because the lining of the anus is thin and can easily be damaged, which makes it more vulnerable to infection.”

                      From the Canadian Public Health Service

                      “The receiving partner is at greatest risk of getting HIV. Because the linings of the anus and rectum are thin (thinner than the lining of the vagina), they are susceptible to tearing during intercourse. Tiny tears can allow the virus to enter the blood stream during sex. Even if the inserting partner pulls out before ejaculating, HIV can be in pre-ejaculatory fluid and can get into the rectum.”

                      From the NYC Dept. Of Health

                      “Anal membranes are easily damaged during sex, facilitating the spread of infection. Past studies suggest that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk than vaginal exposure.”

                      30 times greater risk. 30 times.

                      If anal sex is just as natural as vaginal sex, why is this case? Why no similar warnings about vaginal sex? Would love to hear your answer on that but I doubt I will.

                      Wikipedia explains further in its article on anal sex.

                      “Anal sex exposes participants to two principal dangers: infections, due to the high number of infectious microorganisms not found elsewhere on the body, and physical damage to the anus and the rectum due to their vulnerability.”

                      “Physical damage to the rectum and anus can manifest as generalized ano-rectal trauma, anal fissures,[12] rectal prolapse, and exacerbating hemorrhoids.”

                      “Anal sex carries with it a much greater risk of passing on sexually transmitted diseases than vaginal sex, as the anal sphincter is delicate tissue and the chances of a small tear occurring are much higher, which also provides more opportunity for diseases.[29][31] Condoms offer protection, but condoms are more likely to break or come off during anal sex, so this form of sex is riskier unless both parties are absolutely disease free.”

                      However, I stand corrected on the reason anal sex increases the risk of anal cancer. It is due to more easily contracting HPV. But, anal sex makes it more easy to contract any and all STD’s because physiologically the anus was not designed for sexual intercourse.

                      Hostile fools and bigots insult and call names. Intelligent, non-bigoted, respectful, rational people respectfully debate with facts. If they make a minor error, they own up to it, just as I did. Only one of us is acting like a hostile fool and bigot, and it’s not me.

                    • Don’t distort my words. I didn’t compare vaginal & anal sex as equally natural. I said if one followed YOUR logic re anal sex and anal cancer, all sexual interaction is dangerous and unhealthy because it all potentially allows the transmission of disease. You’re like a dog with an anal bone aren’t you? Just won’t let go. I pity you.

                    • Your entire argument that anal sex is natural is a distortion. And, I’m not the one into bones and anal. Pun intended. Pity me all you want but I’m not the one at risk of having to get fitted for a colostomy bag fighting anal cancer because of my sex practices.

                    • You’re the one following me around. You weren’t even a part of this thread. Do us both a favor and just don’t respond.

                    • Moron, you do realise that heterosexual (vaginal) sex is the greatest transmission vector fo HIV in the world today, don’t you? You know why I’ll never take you seriously? Because I’ve been a safe and sensible practising sodomite for decades and I’ve never been incontinent or had a disease. IN fact, on the several times I”ve been for tests, I’ve talked about my sexual practices with the doctors at the sexual health clinic and I”ve been told if more people were like me, they’d have less infections to deal with. You have absolutely no experience in the subject you seem obsessed with yet consider yourself the final authority on it. An objective reader will find you laughable.

                    • “Moron, you do realise that heterosexual (vaginal) sex is the greatest transmission vector fo HIV in the world today, don’t you?”

                      Well, yes. But heterosexual vaginal sex is probably the most common kind of sexual congress. Most sexually transmitted diseases are probably transmitted that way because that is the most frequent way humans have sexual contact. That does not mean that the act itself is the most risky or the most likely to transmit disease. Suppose Sex Act A has a 10% chance of spreading disease, but 5,000 people are doing it, and Sex Act B has a 50% chance of spreading disease, but only 50 people are doing it. More people will get diseases from Sex Act A, even though the act itself has a lower chance of spreading disease, simply due to the greater number of people engaging in it.

                      More humans are killed by domestic dogs than are killed by great white sharks. That does not mean that dogs are more dangerous than great white sharks. This statistic is only because humans are more likely to be in proximity to domestic dogs. On average, being around a domestic dog is probably safer than being around a great white shark, even though domestic dogs kill more humans than sharks in the aggregate.

                    • People of character who have intelligent, rational arguments don’t stoop to name calling.

                      From the Wikipedia “Safe Sex” article:

                      “Anal sex is a higher risk activity than vaginal intercourse because the thin tissues of the anus and rectum can be easily damaged.”

                      “Anal sex carries with it a much greater risk of passing on sexually transmitted diseases than vaginal sex, as the anal sphincter is delicate tissue and the chances of a small tear occurring are much higher, which also provides more opportunity for diseases.”

                      “The risk of injury to the receptive partner due to anal intercourse is many times higher than that due to vaginal sex.[36] Also, the risk for transmission of HIV is higher for anal sex than for vaginal sex.”

                      You said: “Because I’ve been a safe and sensible practising sodomite for decades. . .”

                      What a surprise.

                      “. You have absolutely no experience in the subject you seem obsessed with yet consider yourself the final authority on it.”

                      Nor do I have personal experience smoking or using illegal drugs. But, I can read what actual medical authorities who study the risks and dangers have to say. I’ll go with the actual experts.

                      Nor have I ever needed to be tested for an STD.

                    • Eric, you seem to be deliberately missing or distorting my point, which is that any unsafe sex carries the kinds of risks you only attribute to anal sex. Megaladon makes some very sound points (in fact, I’m starting to find his intelligence a little intimidating) but do you know what you are, Eric? You’re a homophobe who’s obsessed with anal sex, which makes you one of the more pitiful creatures to walk this earth.

                    • And as I said, Eric, I don’t care who does or doesn’t choose to engage in buttsex. That’s every individual’s choice and none of my business. What I object to is uninformed ideologues like you spreading fear based on misinformation and telling other people what they should and shouldn’t do in the bedroom. Sodomy has existed for as long as human society has. It’s been recorded in numerous cultures and civilisations from the dawn of history, and the world hasn’t stopped turning yet. You’re a self-righteous fool who thinks that your values are the only right values. You deserve to be called every name I can think of and more, not for being an idiot but because you’re obsessed with condemning others who don’t live as you do.

                    • “The risk of injury to the receptive partner due to anal intercourse is many times higher than that due to vaginal sex.[36] Also, the risk for transmission of HIV is higher for anal sex than for vaginal sex.”
                      YOU FABRICATED THIS QUOTE, ERIC M.
                      It’s appears nowhere on the Wikipedia Safe Sex article. You’ve been caught out twice now spouting misinformation as fact. You’ve shown what kind of a person you are – a lying homophobe obsessed with anal sex. Keep telling us it’s bad, bad, bad, Eric, and I’ll keep showing you for the lying buffoon you are.

                    • That quote is from apparently your favorite section, the anal sex article.

                      I am quoting medical experts; you are a pushing some heterophobic agenda, indicating that vaginal sex is anywhere near as risky as anal sex. The two aren’t comparable at all.

                      You are lying and intentionally putting people’s lives at risk by claiming that anal and vaginal sex even close in terms of risk.

                      From the NYC Health Dept.:

                      “Studies have also shown that women who have unprotected anal sex with an HIV-infected man even one time are about 30 times more likely to get HIV than if they had unprotected vaginal sex once.”

                      Which means that anal sex carries a 3000% higher risk of STD tranmission than vaginal sex – for men or women. Of course it does. The anus is for expelling feces.

                      Do what you want but it’s wrong to intentionally put other people’s lives in jeopardy pushing your dishonest heterophobic agenda.

                    • You’re a liar with zero credibility, Eric. You’re a lying homophobe who’s obsessed with anal sex. You won’t rest until you’ve told everyone over and over that anal sex is bad, bad, bad until they promise never, ever to do it, and to only engage in the sexual practices Eric thinks are right and proper. You don’t even see how ridiculous you’ve become, troll.

                    • The quote is NOWHERE in the Wikipedia article on Safe Sex. You’re a liar and an idiot (Wiki is easy to check fool).
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_sex

                  • I’m not your pal, Eric, and I’ve already pointed out the holes in your ‘facts’, namely that the increase in the risk of anal cancer you attribute to anal sex is actually caused by Human Papilloma Virus. Anal sex without HPV will not significantly increase your risk of anal cancer. I’d find it amusing that you – the loudest, proudest member of the anti-anal troupe – are still trolling this thread about dudes and dildoes if you weren’t such a sneaky, malicious liar. I’ve already busted you misquoting and spouting your grubby-minded conjecture as fact and I’ll keep on doing it as long as you haunt this thread with your scaremongering bullshit. You’re still a liar and a troll, Eric – go obsess about dudes having anal sex some more.

  10. Wow, people need to take a breath, drop the defensiveness, and realise that this is not a recruiting pamphlet for the anal brigade. The writer is merely pointing out that many men are uncomfortable exploring parts of their body sexually (parts I’ve been exploring sensibly for years with no incontinence or STDs thank you very much) because of ingrained social attitudes they’ve grown up with.

    • Anal sex increases the risk of anal cancer. Anal sex does increase the risk of incontenence. Anal sex increases the risk of STDs. The anus is where the body expels feces. These are all rational reasons to be uncomfortable with that activity. None of that has anything to do “ingrained social attitudes.”

      • missing the point says:

        Anal sex increases the risk of anal cancer the same way vaginal sex increases the risk of cancer in that area… increased likelihood of transmission of HPV. That’s a virus, something you catch from people, not dildos.

    • “Wow, people need to take a breath, drop the defensiveness, and realise that this is not a recruiting pamphlet for the anal brigade.”

      It does not help that “GAY PORN NEWS” is one of the trackbacks for this article.

      • “It does not help”.

        I got the sense that there was more to your objections than health.

        • Marko was trying to assure persons that this post was not a “recruiting pamphlet for the anal brigade.” The trackback from “queermenow.net” does not help that assurance.

          • Yeah, reassurance was given and a link to a gay site “didn’t help” with the assurance, which implies there is some fear and insecurity there.

            The initial objections were for heath reasons, but now there are references to fear of being recruited into homosexuality, which makes more sense and explains the strong reaction earlier.

            • “Yeah, reassurance was given and a link to a gay site “didn’t help” with the assurance, which implies there is some fear and insecurity there.”

              If fear and insecurity are the problem, then there should be no reassurances given to assuage those fears and insecurities. But so long as someone decided to issue them, they happened to appear kind of ironic given the trackback.

              • You make no sense. How is it ironic that a gay site linked to an article about male sexuality, and how does it relate to my point that the writer is not trying to suggest that men are faulty or homophobic if they’re not having anal sex? Do you dispute the contention that a significant number of men are uncomfortable about the idea because they grow up being told it’s wrong? For someone with such a negative attitude about it, you sure are trolling this thread about anal sex a lot. This lad doth protest too much I think.

                • Quite sure those same men are uncomfortable about the idea of kissing another man as well.

                • “This lad doth protest too much I think.”

                  I see the same thing. If you fear “recruitment” you have to be gay, bi or insure in the first place after all, straight men cannot be “recruited”.

                  • Does that mean that I can’t criticize the “Recruitment Campaign”?
                    …Catch 22 anyone?

                  • “straight men cannot be “recruited””

                    Of course not. That is, they cannot be “recruited” in the sense that their innate orientation would be changed. But lots of people can be compelled to engage in sexual activity that they do not like because of social pressure and factors. Lots of homosexual people engaged in heterosexual activity because of social pressure and social factors, even though they did not find it sexually appealing.

                • “How is it ironic that a gay site linked to an article about male sexuality, and how does it relate to my point that the writer is not trying to suggest that men are faulty or homophobic if they’re not having anal sex?”

                  The site link is “ironic” when juxtaposed to your comment about the post not being a “recruitment pamphlet for the anal brigade.” I do not think the post is any kind of “recruitment pamphlet.” But since you decided to make some kind of condescending reassurance to people who have those fears, I pointed out that the trackback link would probably drown out your disclaimer, since it might suggest that homosexuals are interested and enthusiastic about the idea of heterosexual males being initiated into anal sex.

                  “the writer is not trying to suggest that men are faulty or homophobic if they’re not having anal sex”

                  The writer seems to precisely suggest that men are “faulty or homophobic” for not trying certain sex acts. And you seem to be suggesting that too, when you say that male persons will not engage in anal sex “because of ingrained social attitudes they’ve grown up with.” Do not these “ingrained social attitudes” constitute some kind of homophobia or heterosexism? And if a person adheres to those “social attitudes,” doesn’t that make them “homophobic”? The writer and lots of posters suggest that homophobia is probably the primary reason for male persons not engaging in anal sex and that any other objections to anal sex are probably false or pretextual. So since men who do not want to try anal sex are probably adhering to homophobia, and since homophobia is bad, then men who do not want to engage in anal sex are probably bad.

                  “Do you dispute the contention that a significant number of men are uncomfortable about the idea because they grow up being told it’s wrong?”

                  No, not at all. What I dispute is that people have any obligation to purge their discomfort or reform themselves.

                  “For someone with such a negative attitude about it, you sure are trolling this thread about anal sex a lot. This lad doth protest too much I think.”

                  For someone with such a positive, non-conflicted attitude about it, you sure do get agitated and personal when people do not share your enthusiasm.

                  • I’m not agitated, but I do dislike being misrepresented, especially by homophobes. Again, your statement has no logic. Again, there is no ironic link between a gay site linking to an article on male sexuality and my point that the writer is not trying to suggest men should indulge in anal or they’re ‘wrong’. What you are dancing around is the fact that you yourself believe it’s wrong and unmanly. You’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s all it is – a homophobic opinion based in prejudice more than in fact or experience. You do know that studies have found that many homophobic men show signs of arousal when shown same-sex activity, don’t you? Secure, straight men usually don’t care what others do in the bedroom. I’m getting a definite sense of which kind of man you are.

                    • “I’m not agitated, but I do dislike being misrepresented, especially by homophobes. Again, your statement has no logic. Again, there is no ironic link between a gay site linking to an article on male sexuality and my point that the writer is not trying to suggest men should indulge in anal or they’re ‘wrong’.”

                      How are you being misrepresented? Prefacing your statements with “again” does not make them or the prior statements correct. The irony is not between the trackback link and your desperate insistence that the author is not being judgmental. The “ironic link” was between your facetious remark about how this was not a “recruitment pamphlet for the anal brigade” and the appearance of the pornographic trackback link. You decided to condescend to the panicking homophobic readers in the first place, to correct their misperceptions, so I decided to point out their possible perceptions of the collateral links.

                      “What you are dancing around is the fact that you yourself believe it’s wrong and unmanly.”

                      Does your sexual enlightenment also bless you with telepathy? I’m not much interested in complying with traditional standards of “manliness.” And I don’t think anal sex is morally “wrong” or “unmanly.” I just find it unappealing, and I have not been dancing around that opinion.

                      “You’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s all it is – a homophobic opinion based in prejudice more than in fact or experience.”

                      Alright, then. And according to you and the author, lots of male persons adhere to this homophobic opinion and that is supposedly the predominant reason why they will not engage in anal sex. They are adhering to “a homophobic opinion based in prejudice.” How does that reconcile with your contention that “the writer is not trying to suggest that men are faulty or homophobic if they’re not having anal sex.” You and the author seem to think that homophobia and prejudice are bad. So if the most likely reason that male persons are not engaging in anal sex is because of their adherence to “a homophobic opinion based in prejudice,” doesn’t that make those persons bad?

                      “You do know that studies have found that many homophobic men show signs of arousal when shown same-sex activity, don’t you?”

                      No, but I’ll take your word for it. If that’s the case, then lots of homophobic violence must be the fault of male homosexuals. But that’s not the important implication. Since homophobia is supposedly the reason that most men do not want to engage in anal sex, that means that men who do not want to engage in anal sex are not only homophobic. They are also latently homosexual! So that means that the only male persons who could possibly be secure heterosexuals are the ones who have no problem being anally penetrated! Of course! Why didn’t we realize this before?!

                      “Secure, straight men usually don’t care what others do in the bedroom.”

                      And secure homosexual men usually don’t care if others are grossed out at their sexual practices. You are playing a game in which you accuse people of having regressive and prejudiced taboos if they are not enthusiastic or approving about certain sexual acts and then you exhort them to reform their predilections. If they do not agree with you, you flip around and accuse them of being insecure.

                      I don’t care. This article brought up the topic of sodomy, arguing that certain sexual inhibitions are a reflection of homophobia and prejudice and should be reformed. Lots of people who do not “care what others do in the bedroom” take umbrage at that contention and do not think they must reform themselves.

                      “I’m getting a definite sense of which kind of man you are.”

                      Of course you’re not agitated. You can just smell the evil in people. Are you descended from Witchsmeller Pursuivant?

                  • And the penny drops. I finally understand the ‘irony’ you speak of. The problem is, the trackback link is only ‘ironic’ if, like you (and various other conservative activists), one perceives gay men as “interested and enthusiastic about the idea of heterosexual males being initiated into anal sex”, ie., as the predatory ‘recruiters’ many a homophobe has tried to portray them as being. Such esteemed company you position yourself with, bigot.

                    • “I finally understand the ‘irony’ you speak of.”

                      You see. The third time is the charm.

                      “The problem is, the trackback link is only ‘ironic’ if, like you (and various other conservative activists), one perceives gay men as “interested and enthusiastic about the idea of heterosexual males being initiated into anal sex”, ie., as the predatory ‘recruiters’ many a homophobe has tried to portray them as being.”

                      Just because one can imagine or foresee the views of paranoid persons does not necessarily mean that one shares those views. You anticipated that certain readers might perceive this article as a “recruitment pamphlet,” and so you gave your facetious reassurance. Does that mean that you actually think this article is a “recruitment pamphlet”? I anticipated that such hypothetical readers you addressed might panic at the sight of the trackback link, if they were alarmed enough to see “recruiting” in the original article.

                      Observing that some homosexual males may be “interested and enthusiastic about the idea of heterosexual males being initiated into anal sex” does not necessarily mean viewing them as “predatory ‘recruiters.’” Some male homosexuals clearly are “interested and enthusiastic” about the idea of men being initiated into anal sex. Dan Savage has a whole lobbying campaign for heterosexual couples to try “pegging.” I doubt he wants to go “recruiting,” but he clearly has some kind of interest in what heterosexual couples do and don’t do in the bedroom.

                      “Such esteemed company you position yourself with, bigot.”

                      Of course you’re not agitated.

                  • I must admit I’m starting to get agitated, mostly because this thread is turning me into a worse ‘gotta have the last word’ troll than you two. Why do you, and the non-homophobic men you speak for, find the thought of anal sex “unnappealing”? If you think men should feel no need to “purge” themselves of the discomfort they have around anal sex, having been told it’s wrong since childhood, then you must think that discomfort justifiable or reasonable. How so? If all the social conditioning we’re subjected to telling us anal sex is dirty, unnatural and unmanly is not based in homophobia, then what is it based in?

                    • “I must admit I’m starting to get agitated, mostly because this thread is turning me into a worse ‘gotta have the last word’ troll than you two.”

                      If you think “gotta have the last word” is a stupid game, nobody said you had to play.

                      “Why do you, and the non-homophobic men you speak for, find the thought of anal sex “unnappealing”?”

                      Some of the other posters listed other reasons. Some described the act as akin to feeling terribly constipated. The description is enough to deter some people from finding out for themselves. Excretion is one of the last remaining taboos, and lots of people, male and female, do not like the idea of using an excretory orifice for sexual gratification. That may be irrational or unfounded, but I do not think they have a duty to purge those taboos to perfect themselves. Some people won’t have sex with the lights on.

                      “If you think men should feel no need to “purge” themselves of the discomfort they have around anal sex, having been told it’s wrong since childhood, then you must think that discomfort justifiable or reasonable. How so?”

                      No. Just because I think a person has no need to purge himself of a discomfort, it does not follow that I “must think that discomfort justifiable or reasonable.” I think lots of practices, taboos and beliefs are not “justifiable or reasonable” like saying “God Bless You” after sneezing, or carrying lucky rabbits’ feet or being devoutly religious. That does mean people have a moral obligation to stop doing those things. Sexual predilections and inhibitions are supposed to be intimate aspects of a person, and I think telling them that they must reform or change those aspects to avoid being regressive and prejudiced is problematic.

                      “If all the social conditioning we’re subjected to telling us anal sex is dirty, unnatural and unmanly is not based in homophobia, then what is it based in?”

                      Even if all the taboos and revulsions against anal sex are 100% based on homophobia, I do not think a person has any obligation to reform or change those sexual inhibitions, certainly not for the sake of equality or purging inculcated homophobia. Lots of prejudices or retrograde sentiment factor into sexual conduct. Most people fraternize and copulate with people of their own race and marry people of their own race. Does racism have something to do with that? Probably. But that does not mean people should have a moral obligation to seek and sample sexual partners from every race in order to purge their sexual racism. Supposedly, lecturing people to control and manipulate their sexual decisions in the name of arcane morality or religion is wrong. Doing the same thing in the name of equality and inclusivity does not rank much higher.

                    • Thanks for the answers, and I agree with a great deal of what you’ve written, but I don’t see anywhere in the article the argument that men are obliged to engage in anal sex. As you say, many sexual attitudes and practices are shaped to an extent by ‘prejudices or retrograde sentiment’, but where’s the harm in making the observation that many of the taboos around anal sex are based in misogyny and homophobia?

                    • “I don’t see anywhere in the article the argument that men are obliged to engage in anal sex.”

                      The author says that the reluctance to engage in anal sex is often “the result of deeply ingrained gender stereotypes and socially-induced homophobia (yes, even in those really liberal guys who—on a conscious level—have absolutely nothing against homosexuals and loudly advocate for gay marriage)” So even if a person is intellectually in favor of equality and against heteronormativity, if they do not want to engage in anal sex, then they are probably still adhering to and perpetuating some kind of homophobia, the argument goes. And she implies that “liberal guys” who intellectually support equality but are personally disgusted by certain sex acts must be hypocrites.

                      Then the author says, “Not caring about other people’s sexuality is on its way to becoming the new normal, but we still have a long way to go, that’s for sure. And until we get there male homosexuality will get the brunt of the homophobia.” By “there,” I guess she means some state of equality and non-discrimination. Well, she must consider this article a stepping stone on the way “there” and she considers this aversion to anal sex on the part of men to be an obstacle to getting “there.” If the author is simply being descriptive and agnostic, then she would be saying, “Yes, your aversion to anal sex is probably because of homophobia and you perpetuate homophobia by adhering to this aversion. But that’s okay. You don’t have to do anything about it.” But more likely, her conclusion is “your aversion to anal sex is probably because of homophobia, so you should interrogate and reform your sexual preferences to combat homophobia.”

                      According to the author’s statistics, “less than 40% of men engage in heterosexual anal sex.” So what is the percentage of them engaging in it? Around 30%? One-third? I wonder what she considers a sufficient percentage. How prevalent does the practice have to be to placate her? Exactly 40%? 50%? 75%?

                      “where’s the harm in making the observation that many of the taboos around anal sex are based in misogyny and homophobia?”
                      No harm at all. Observe away. I think the problem arises when advocates tell people that if they don’t try to reform their sexual taboos, then they must in some way be supporting Fred Phelps.

    • Trysexual says:

      Kudos to the pseudo-intellectuals on this comment board for proving the author’s point. I think you’re all just one evolutionary step from being gay monkeys! Maybe if you tried something before you judged, you could be as happy as these fellas! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JNhhBhSAlw&feature=related

  11. Men should stop being so prude and leave their inhibitions behind. I guarantee you, once you try pegging, you’ll end up begging for more and more.

    • That’s likely just a projection Maria, you tried anal and beg for more and more, but not all women that have tried anal beg for more and more like you do, the same goes for men.

    • Right on, Maria. I’m a straight man and pegging appeals immensely to me. People who don’t like anal should just not have anal, and stop stereotyping those who do.

  12. I…I just…wow.

    So if I don’t “explore” by taking a dildo in the ass I could be considered homophobic? This is flat out crazy. I just don’t want anything up my butt. It’s pretty simple. I know many women who feel the same way. Are they homophobic if they don’t try anal?

    It’s amazing to me that you’d claim someone’s personal sexual preferences could possibly make them unintentional bigots. This one was a real head-scratcher.

    • “So if I don’t “explore” by taking a dildo in the ass I could be considered homophobic?”

      Yes, exactly. And there are other ways of detecting homophobia.
      George Will wrote a column back in 1994 which mentioned Cornell’s training for its resident advisers:

      “At a Cornell training session for resident advisers, an X-rated homosexual movie was shown and pictures were taken of the advisers’ reactions, to detect homophobic squeamishness.”

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/1994/11/13/a-kind-of-compulsory-chapel.html

      • If someone is squeamish about a man and a woman in a porn video, does that make them heterophobic?

        • By your logic, it would follow that male homosexual who has no desire for bsgpnal sex or lesbian who has no interest in sex with a man are both heterophobic. Breathtaking logic.

        • Maybe. Maybe not. My guess is that people who are screening other people for homophobia do not care about “heterophobia.” And at universities, I would guess that some academics advocate for “heterophobia,” particularly in the women’s studies departments.

          • “And at universities, I would guess that some academics advocate for “heterophobia,” particularly in the women’s studies departments.”

            Male heterophpbia is common and acceptable in Women’s Studies, for a fact.

      • 1994 was the heydey of political correctness taken to absurd extremes. I remember those days well – I was in grad school in the early 1990’s. I don’t think your story implies anything other that some early ’90’s crazy idea.

        • It implies that some egalitarians believe that if somebody is not personally accepting or enthusiastic about certain sexual acts, then that person is possibly homophobic or otherwise prejudiced, and should be reformed. That line of thought seems to have survived into postings like these.

  13. exitnotentrance says:

    What a piece of nonsense. I wonder who’s been watching too much porn?

    Not wanting objects crammed up your poop-shoot has nothing to do with culture. Have you visited the zoo lately? What group of mammals are doing anal? Nature designed two anal sphincters – an internal and an external, to keep stuff in and prevent breaking and entering. Two secure doorways plus peristalsis keep contents moving in one direction down this one-way street. You know what happens when you drive down a one-way street the wrong way too often? Accidents and damage.

    I’m buying stock in Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Depends adult diapers. By the time this lucky 40% reaches their 60’s I’ll be rolling in the dough.

    • Dr. Benway says:

      Well, horses do anal, for one. When you breed them, you need a guy guiding to make sure it goes in the right hole. I don`t think much research has been done about anal sex in the animal world, but your response, exit, reminds me of what people used to say about homosexuality. Remember when supposedly only humans did that? Well, two decades and a lot of research later, we find there are some 500 species (and counting) that engage in homosexual activity. I`d be willing to bet the same is true for anal.

      I`d also be willing to bet that Kimberly-Clark ain`t going to be around in 30 years, but that anal sex still will.

      Btw, also presume that you`re against ORAL sex…?

      • exitnotentrance says:

        Thank you for making my point. Horse breeders guide the penis away from the anus to prevent damaging valuable mares. We could learn a thing or two from a good ranch hand.

        And to that guy who thinks a vagina is analogous to an anus- were you asleep in the back row in 5th grade the day the school nurse explained how mommy and daddy created your little sister? Let me go over it again: Anus = not for babies; vagina = for babies.

        If pregnancy is a disease, what does that say about babies? Oh yeah, and no one ever got an STD through anal sex.

      • “Btw, also presume that you`re against ORAL sex…?”

        No, Dr., he’s just as bitter about not getting that as he is about not getting the anal. I don’t see many animals giving themselves or each other handjobs, for that matter — what with so many of them not having hands and all — but my guess is he’s a very ardent and adept self-practitioner of that sexual act.

        Obviously, it’s not that he’s only against sex that nobody wants to share with him, it’s that he’s right and thousands of years of human history — as well as common sense and scientific fact — is wrong.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Dolphins do anal, so do dogs and pigs and bonobos and…

  14. As I’ve said before elsewhere – I don’t understand how anyone can have a hole, and never have tried sticking something into it.

    Without getting too graphic here – how do people properly clean their number 2 without doing some form of digital insertion in that supposed one-way hole?

    • There’s a big difference between necessary cleaning and getting off (mind you there are some people who may be off on having their anus cleaned and there’s nothting wrong with that but its not like they can be treated as on and the same).

  15. A parody, for illustration purposes:

    There’s clear medical evidence that the vagina is not designed for sexual penetration. Look at all the medical problems that come with vaginal intercourse – yeast infections, STI’s, HPV-related cervical cancer, ectopic pregnancies, etc. Vaginal intercourse can lead to this condition called pregnancy, which can be very dangerous for some women. It’s like a parasite develops inside the uterus, contorts your body, alters your hormones, and even softens your pelvic joints. Women all over the world die from it. Many women know this and still engage in vaginal intercourse anyway, sometimes just because they find it pleasurable. They don’t realize that the physiology textbooks call it a birth canal, and that’s the only natural function that it has. Don’t they know how many prostitutes come into the emergency room with damage to their vaginas?

    Vaginal intercourse is the #1 cause of pregnancy, and therefore the #1 cause of the unholy practice of abortion. When will this unnatural, disgusting habit stop? How many people have to get hurt before we wake up to what Mother Nature is telling us?…..

    • Dizzying l! If everyone followed your logic the human race would die out. But, for the public good my wife and I will take the risk of human reproduction and you can take yours with fecal incontinence. Meet you at the hospital.

      • Didn’t intend to post this one. Thought better of it. Not sure what happened.

        • I thought it was pretty funny retort, actually. I was thinking of making a smartass comment about not assuming that a baby has to be born in a hospital….

          • P.S. Oh yeah, and I don’t think it’s my responsibility to make sure that the human race doesn’t die out. I’m not sure that’s a real tragedy. Statistical probability of 99% that it will someday anyway, if the fossil record is any indication. Besides, very few people actually have children with the survival of the species in mind, so why should I? Raises another thorny question — how could someone have evolved to think the way that I do about the future of the species? That seems like really bad brain design….

      • ….see you there when your wife develops breast cancer because of your incessant mauling of her glands with your hands –her glands meant to feed your own children! Despicable.

    • Dizzying logic. Following it would end the human race. Not sure if you thought it through all the way.

      Apparently not.

      • With the the 7 billionth baby just born — which doubles the global population of less than 50 years ago — you can’t seriously be concerned about the human race dying out.

        And you can’t seriously think that anal sex leads to incontinence. For that homophobic fantasy to be true, no gay neighborhood in the world would be able to keep the Depends in stock. Ads for adult diapers would be in every gay magazine. How to care for your incontinence would be a major topic of gay conversation. As much as you’d like to pretend otherwise, that just ain’t happening.

        Sorry, but vaginal intercourse is greatly inferior to anal if, for no other reason, than anal cannot lead to over-population. If more breeders would practice it both ways, in fact, we’d not only have less people and more sexually satisfied humans, but straight men would have a greater appreciation of women, as well. Beyond all that, the world really doesn’t need your genes, thanks.

        • “Sorry, but vaginal intercourse is greatly inferior to anal if, for no other reason, than anal cannot lead to over-population.”

          Anal sex increases the risk of anal cancer. Vaginal sex increases the risk of having a baby. I’ll take my chances with a baby. They’re nice. I like them.

          • The chances of getting anal cancer from anal sex are far less than the chances of having a baby from vaginal intercourse.

            Besides, you clearly don’t know anything about what happens during pregnancy if all you associate with this process is a “baby”.

            • I’ll take my chances with another baby over anal cancer every single time. I absolutely love babies, especially when I can see my wife and I in them. It’s beautiful. However, I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about anal cancer. But, if that’s your preference, I won’t stand in your way.

              I know a good bit about pregnancy having worked with many pregnant women as part of my volunteer work. I know the process very well.

              • But can’t vaginal intercourse contribute to cervical cancer? Or ectopic pregnancies? I’m not sure that any form of sex is completely free of complications.

        • OH PLEASE…
          oh please, Mary….really ? Homophobia…bad…but mysygony…ok..even maybe a little funny…
          anal sex…..sure..it’s your anus. Superior to vaginal…..lol..not in my vagina, sweetheart…..I have a ring of muscles that would pop even YOUR cork.

          you are a woman hater.

          and ..I know gay men whose ass’ss are SHOT…and permanently gapped…so don’t bother.

    • Megalodon says:

      “When will this unnatural, disgusting habit stop? How many people have to get hurt before we wake up to what Mother Nature is telling us?”

      When the Good Men Project succeeds in its mission to persuade all heterosexual males to either commit suicide, become eunuchs, or become homosexual.

      • wellokaythen says:

        “When the Good Men Project succeeds in its mission to persuade all heterosexual males to either commit suicide, become eunuchs, or become homosexual.”

        I’m assuming the “either/or” terms were not meant to be mutually exclusive. One could actually do all three, theoretically. (As long as the suicide is last, of course.)

        • Megalodon says:

          Yes, one could do all three. But doing just one would be sufficient to make sure that that person does not engage in vaginal sex with a female person, thus helping end the putrid horror of vaginal sex that “That Guy” was bemoaning.

      • Keep fighting the good fight against the male-heterophobia. The average go to work every day hetero male really is not the inherently evil scum of the earth personification of evil he’s made out to be by some here.

  16. Scary to see a healthcare analyst who is totally unaware that too much anal play can damage the sphincter permanently. How much damage should people be willing to do in pursuit of the almighty climax?

    • Untrue. There is no evidence that anal play causes damage. If it hurts you’re doing it wrong.

    • Skep…. too much vaginal play can damage the vagina and the labia.

      Too much drink can damage the esophagus… and the liver.

      Too much of anything is damaging… because it’s TOO much!

      You’re obviously here to denigrate gay people…

  17. wellokaythen says:

    So, whay I’m reading here is that the anus/rectum is meant to be absolutely an “exit only” part of the body. That the insertion of anything is counter to nature, against the natural design of the human body. Even medical experts are stating this as some sort of eternal, universal, physiological fact.

    I’m left wondering if this is only true for sexual activities, or if this truly is some kind of universal absolute, like never never never put anything in there for any reason.

    If so, then the medical experts are in a bit of quandary. That would mean no more rectal exams and no more colonoscopies. Only prostate surgery that goes in through the abdomen would acceptable. (Is an incision more natural than an anal insertion?) I’m not sure how you would fix a torn anus without inserting something in the butt at some point. If something goes in for medical reasons that’s perfectly natural, but for pleasure it’s unnatural?

    • Megalodon says:

      “I’m not sure how you would fix a torn anus without inserting something in the butt at some point. If something goes in for medical reasons that’s perfectly natural, but for pleasure it’s unnatural?”

      Normally, you are not supposed to stab or impale sharp objects into your body. However, if someone does that to you or you do that to yourself, medical professionals may have to puncture your body with other sharp objects (scalpels, forceps and stitches) in order to repair the damage and prevent you from dying.

      Since surgeons sometimes cut into the body with sharp objects for medical reasons, it therefore follows that it is okay to recreationally stab knives and spikes into one’s viscera? Is that right?

      • wellokaythen says:

        ” it therefore follows that it is okay to recreationally stab knives and spikes into one’s viscera? Is that right?”

        Sort of, yes and no. We have all sorts of medical treatments available for people who hurt themselves in the pursuit of fun. Even for people who break the skin in the pursuit of happiness. We have antibiotics for girls who get infections from pierced ears. We have tiny bandages for babies who get circumcised. I knew perfectly well that playing rugby was hard on the knees and I played anyway and tore the hell out of some ligaments that were “not designed” to go that way. Thank God there are surgeons who specialize in operating on such unnatural people as me.

        Putting something in the rectal cavity is not technically breaking the skin. Putting something in there is not necessarily rupturing the intestine. If you put something into the anus with the intention of tearing tissue, then that is the same as stabbing your organs. But, just putting something in your butt is not the same as stabbing yourself. It’s using an opening instead of creating an opening.

        In fact, the same vaunted physiology and medicine textbooks that talk about the “function” of the large intestine ALSO say that the gastro-intestinal tract, the path that the food takes from mouth to anus, is technically “external” to your tissues, even though it runs through your body. (I know, it sounded weird to me, too, when I first read that, but we’re supposed to accept these books as the truth, right?) Technically, putting something inside your anus is not putting something inside your viscera, but inside a cavity.

        • Megalodon says:

          “It’s using an opening instead of creating an opening.”

          So do people who engage in “skull fucking.” And ask a female person how it feels when a person enters her urethra instead of her vagina. It’s another preexisting opening, but it is not going to be pleasant.

          “Technically, putting something inside your anus is not putting something inside your viscera, but inside a cavity.”

          Your large intestine is part of your viscera. Once you stab through your viscera, you are penetrating into the cavity that is inside your viscera. What difference does it make if you try through the anus or try through the skin, through the muscle and then into the cavity inside the viscera?

          But I guess that wasn’t your point. Your original point was that if medical instruments and procedures encroach and penetrate into some bodily area or space, it should be perfectly acceptable to enter into that bodily area for reasons of gratification. So if some people like to stab themselves in the intestines because they love the sensation of internal bleeding and sepsis, who are we to look askance?

          • Dr. Benway says:

            Wait a second… Did you just compare anal sex to skull-fucking, Megalodon?

            “Enter a female person’s urethra…” I just asked six women and none of them could tell me how this felt, because it had happened to none of them. Do you really think this is common sexual play, Meg, on the order of anal sex…?

          • wellokaythen says:

            Megalodon,

            Perhaps my wording was confusing and my examples somewhat extreme

            I think there’s a huge difference between getting into your rectal cavity via the anal opening and getting there by stabbing through other tissue to get to the cavity. The first one uses a pre-existing aperture with muscles that can be consciously relaxed (up to a certain point), while the second one slices through tissue to get to the same place. Anal penetration CAN cause damage, no question about it, but by itself anal penetration is not the same as cutting open your flesh.

            I concede your point that just because doctors do something in the name of medicine doesn’t mean that it’s perfectly reasonable to do it for pleasure. I can see how my earlier logic could lead to that conclusion. I guess, though, that answers the earlier question about whether the “do not enter” sign applies to all activities or just some. The answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. It appears that some penetrations are okay if done for medical reasons, but it’s unhealthy if done for pleasure. If I am concluding correctly from your messages.

            • Megalodon says:

              “I think there’s a huge difference between getting into your rectal cavity via the anal opening and getting there by stabbing through other tissue to get to the cavity.”

              Just another taboo for someone to break, I’m sure. Remember that part in the film “Quills” when the Marquis de Sade is narrating his new work? About creating holes where there were none before?

  18. And so we’re back to the dildo—believe it or not, but according to research in this area most heterosexual men exclude the possibility of using dildos precisely because they don’t want to act “gay” and be “passive.”

    It’s customary to provide a link so that readers can check into the basis for your claim, including possible countervailing evidence. Why would you present an authoritative-sounding scientific claim, offering absolutely no support whatsoever?

  19. itshiptobepegged says:

    Pegging is the new blow job. The orgasms are intense. It makes for fun role playing. It does not mean you are gay. I’m straight and I love women. It just means you want mind blowing sex. That being said I like to keep my sex life private with my spouse. So talking about it with my male friends is just not going to happen. I think Maria Pawlowska needs to get out a bit more

  20. I’ve read the first 20 or so responses, and I’d like to add a bit to the conversation from the perspective of a gay man who very much enjoys anal penetration… hopefully I can add some insight and clear up some confusion. (apologies if any of this was covered by someone else)

    1- Mind-blowing orgasms? Eh, maybe, but not usually. The author fails to mention that the prostate is located fairly deep in the rectum and sensitively can vary from person to person. Most penises are not long enough to do the trick (sad, but true), and most of the men using these penises aren’t really all that interested in helping the “bottom” get off via a prostrate massage… they have other things on their mind, like their own orgasms. What the author SHOULD have mentioned are the widely available wands and massagers that are specifically designed to stimulate the prostate. When used correctly, orgasm can be (sometimes) “mind-blowing” but in truth, an orgasm is just an orgasm, and the explosiveness is probably nothing more than a by-product of the novelty of how it was produced.

    2- cleanliness: I think the biggest barrier most anyone (straight, gay, male, female) confronts is the cleanliness issue. Yes, it’s a dirty place, but guess what? It can be cleaned and it should be! In most cases, standard evacuation of the bowels and a series of warm water enemas in the shower is all that is needed to guarantee a pleasant experience. Everyone’s rectal area is different, so before involving a partner, practice cleaning several times and then play alone until you’re completely comfortable with the job you’re doing. As many have pointed out… if it’s dirty, you’re doing it wrong!

    3- It hurts! Yeah, sometimes it does, even when you’re doing it correctly. The fear of pain (and the cleanliness issues) are probably the two biggest hurdles that straight men face on this issue (I’m not buying the homophobia argument as a blanket explanation for their aversion). Everyone’s rim and rectal cavity is unique, so the best advice I can give is to find what works best for you. First, find a good lubricant and stick with it. Second, relax and practice regularly so that your rim gets used to being stretched in such a way. Third, avoid the penile-shaped dildos and vibrators and instead chose a prostate massager. These are thin and are designed with a nice curve, and they will not be as difficult for an amateur to “digest”. Afterall, the goal is to massage the prostate, NOT stretch the rim to three times its normal size.

    4- Stop judging, Jeez. Not everyone has a sensitive, accessible prostate. Some men will find loads of pleasure in it, and some will get nothing out of it whatsoever. But the great thing about sex is the sheer variety of it all! If I enjoy it, that doesn’t make me more adventurous or any less of a man, it simply means that I know what I turns me on. Try it, and if it doesn’t work, try something else. But damn, stop assuming that what YOU like is somehow the NORM and what other people enjoy is somehow perverted.

  21. In the closing words of your essay you describe the aversion to being penetrated as both “deep seated” and a cultural artifact. I don’t think it can be both. Yes, something can be “deep seated” after soaking in from the culture for a long time, but this isn’t, I think, what’s going on. I vote for a natural disinclination on the part of most men, which is not universal (hence receptive gay men, and the proportion of men who do like to be penetrated).

    I’m a gay-friendly straight man who’s learned to try a lot of things I was never sure I’d like with my wife; some things I liked, and some I didn’t, but all were at least, in theory, in bounds. But I just don’t want to be penetrated, and that dislike seems deep-seated. If it were merely dislike of the “passive” I might not like my wife on top of me, but I do. If it were fear for my masculinity, I wouldn’t cry in front of others, but I do. If it were homophobia, I suspect I’d have trouble with gay affection around me, but years of living in New York and many gay friends have dulled that to near-nothing.

    I can overcome lots of cultural urges: eating raw fish, driving on the left, speaking German are all not natural to me, but I do them now. And I’ve tried to learn to understand profoundly different moral cultures: veiling women is alien and offensive to me, but I’ve tried and to some extent succeeded in understanding Muslim women who find it liberating. And I can overcome physical revulsions: I had a deep-seated dislike of sticking my finger in my eye for good solid reasons until I turned 25 and got contact lenses — now I do it easily. A sword swallower and a porn star can do the same with their gag reflex given some time.

    I just don’t see myself getting over this one, and I don’t want to. I like my sex life, and I don’t want to add receptive anal sex to it, and that’s just a fact of my sexuality, not a cultural notion I’ve picked up. I certainly don’t think it’s because I’m a homophobe, and I’m in fact slightly offended by the suggestion that it is.

  22. wellokaythen says:

    All sorts of off-kilter assumptions and articles of faith that I see exposed here in the comments. Just some of them:

    1. Seeing intercourse as “penetration” and nothing else. The word “penetration” tends to imply that the “male” member/object is the one doing all the action and the “female” member/aperture is just passive. This is certainly true in many cases, but not necessarily always the case. A person can certainly be the one being penetrated and be the active partner at the same time. For example, the person performing fellatio is generally the active one in control of the situation, even though he/she is “being penetrated.” If I eat a corndog, I wouldn’t say the corndog is penetrating me. There are ways of having penetrative anal sex in which the one with the anus is more active than the partner. One problem is that we don’t really have very good words for an “active, in control recipient.” Maybe “envelopment” is a better word than “penetration” in some cases.

    2. Pain and discomfort are clear evidence that an activity is unnatural and contrary to “human design.” No doubt if you are hemorrhaging uncontrollably or incontinent because of a sexual activity, then something is wrong. Well, but, now that I think of it, you could say the same thing about hemorrhaging and incontinence after childbirth, which is clearly a product of sexual activity. Given the “design” of the hymen and the awkward location of the vagina, you could just as easily say you’re not supposed to have vaginal intercourse at all.

    3. Disgust is nature’s way of telling you that it’s unnatural. Okay. Many gay men find the idea of female genitalia to be terribly disgusting. Clearly their homosexuality is a product of natural design, then.

    4. Seeing anal sex as something with an active role and a passive role, or a top and bottom. These are handy labels that don’t really deal with the true complexity of the various scenarios available. For one thing, if I use a butt plug on myself, am I the active one or the passive one?

    5. Defining anal sex as penetrative sex. There’s plenty of “butt play” that involves no insertion of anything into the rectum.

    • Megalodon says:

      ” For example, the person performing fellatio is generally the active one in control of the situation, even though he/she is “being penetrated.””

      Perhaps in some earlier cultures and contexts, but not in the current culture. The person performing the oral sex is the one engaging in movement and activity, but that does not necessarily qualify them as sexual participant who is “in control of the situation” or considered dominant. In this culture, the performer of oral sex is regarded as the subordinate, inferior partner. You are probably aware of the double standard regarding oral sex. Many males will have or even insist upon their female partners performing oral sex for them, but they will absolutely refuse to perform it upon the female. If the male person ejaculates on the female person’s face or in her mouth, he might celebrate it as a sign of her degradation and submission to him. It is probaby the most common pornography trope.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I agree that very often in present-day mainstream American culture the fellator is *seen* as the subordinate participant. The fellatee is often *seen* as the dominator, no question. I’m suggesting that’s only one way to look at it that may not apply to the facts on the ground, so to speak. I’m suggesting that in reality the person manipulating the penis often has a LOT of control over events, and the person attached to the penis is in many ways very vulnerable. Perhaps in many cases they are BOTH in control of parts of the experience and are BOTH vulnerable in different ways.

        When we think of who is in control or who is in charge, it’s often an illusion or a fantasy, and that’s true of sex as much as anything else.

        I think it’s partly linked to the question of enjoyment. If the fellator is reluctant or coerced, has no enjoyment of the activity, and feels like it’s a chore, then yes I would say that person is in a subordinate position. If you’re doing something that’s not all that pleasant for you and is not your idea in the first place, but you do it as part of an exchange of pleasure, then I’m not sure that counts as a subordinate position.

        • Megalodon says:

          “I’m suggesting that in reality the person manipulating the penis often has a LOT of control over events, and the person attached to the penis is in many ways very vulnerable.”

          Yes, I imagine that a person who has another person’s genitals between his/her teeth has theoretical leverage over the other person. Whenever I first heard about incidents when rapists forced their victims to perform oral sex, it always sounded strange to me that these rapists would deliberately place themselves in such a physically vulnerable position. Remember that scene from “The Shawshank Redemption” when the Sisters intend to force Andy to perform oral sex and he responds, “Anything you put in my mouth, you’re going to lose!”

          However, it would appear that in most cases when this happens, the threats, coercion and violence used by rapists are enough to prevent victims from exploiting this ostensible, physical advantage.

          “I think it’s partly linked to the question of enjoyment. If the fellator is reluctant or coerced, has no enjoyment of the activity, and feels like it’s a chore, then yes I would say that person is in a subordinate position.”

          Perhaps “enjoyment” affects the subjective impression of the fellator, but it does not alter the cultural understanding of dominance and submission, nor does it mean that the interaction is egalitarian or even respectful. The partner receiving the oral sex may still view the fellator’s role as degrading and subordinate, and may view the fellator’s purported “enjoyment” as evidence that he/she has accepted and acclimated to this subordinate, degrading position. For some dominant persons, it is not enough that the partner comply with their sexual directives. The subordinate partner must act like he/she enjoys the inferior role.

    • I love the idea of envelopment. I hate the current cultural trope that receiving means submission. Kings and Queens receive gifts and honor. Does that make them submissive? No, they don’t have to take. They have people to do that for them.

  23. It does not have to be a 12 inch python by the way – anal sex is more than just finding a large object to stick in your man’s asshole.

    Everybody has fingers.

    If you need an entry point for discussion – playing doctor and providing a prostrate exam has a good success rate.

  24. Some problems I have with this article:
    1) “According to heteronormative societal standards, there are a number
    of issues with men being gay, many of which can be boiled down to the fact that they are seen as giving up (at least partially) their well-deserved male privileges and becoming more “like women.”

    I don’t know what this author is talking about. I have never had any privileges from being male. In point of fact, when we turn the metrics which show wide-spread black disenfranchisement (like incarceration, potential to be victims of crime, suicide, homelessness, etc..) to gender we find men dominate the bottom of the power pyramid. Why? Because women in need get help, men don’t.
    Women’s greatest strength is her appearance of weakness. Men’s greatest weakness is his appearance of strength.
    2. Hetero men engaging in anal sex at a 40% rate is A LOT. If cultural conditioning were so powerful, then it would be much lower. From what I have read, this is higher than the numbers of men who have bisexual leanings.

    3. This author also leaves out the force that female partners may bring to bear in shaming. The way the author looks at it seems to be that these are all male issues about homophobia. But, I would say female issues about homophobia play at least an equal role.

    4. It has almost uniformly been shown that when women make the same “work over family” choices men do the wage gap disappears. The wage gap is not a measure of discrimination, but a measure of women’s different choices.

    In the words of Stephen Colbert:
    This article is very short on truthiness.

    • 5)
      I find it interesting that everybody is expected to respect the sexual proclivities of others particularly gays. However, this never works the same way. If it’s bad to deconstruct gay sex and make judgements upon it, then why is it okay to do that to straight sex?
      More importantly, I am very disturbed by feminist liberal tendencies to try to state in an authoritative way what “feelings” people have are AUTHENTIC.

      This is a very slippery slope, considering that liberal feminists are (essentially) pulling this tactic out of the bigots toolbox (in other words the shaming that used to pass for “scholarly” articles on gays are now the shaming passed as “scholarly” articles on straights). What happened to live and let live?

  25. Heterosexual men are not into anal sex because they don’t see themselves as being penetrated as compared to them penetrating. The closeness to being considered gay is detestable to them.

  26. I’m a straight male that enjoys anal stimulation. To those that are objecting, don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it.

    • Megalodon says:

      Do we also have to try coprophilia before we knock it?

      • Are you honestly that juvenile Megalodon? Or are you one of those ass hats that thinks admitting to it makes you gay?

        • Megalodon says:

          Any time persons are disinclined to engage in some kind of sexual act, there are almost always other persons who chirp the line “don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it.” The underlying principal seems to be that a person cannot form a negative judgment about a sexual act until they actually engage in it. Well, does that experimental obligation apply to all sexual acts under the sun? Or just buggery?

      • No, that’s a paraphilia. I wouldn’t say don’t knock that till you’ve tried it.

        • Megalodon says:

          You know the political baggage that “paraphilia” carries. Declaring it by fiat proves nothing. Lots of people still think “paraphilia” applies to anal sex or BDSM. I believe bestiality is still currently a “paraphilia,” but the “zoophilia” lobby is trying to change that.

    • marzipan souffle says:

      All yours. Have fun 4 both of us!

    • Hey Ron, good for you… and I’m not being facetious here. I really think it’s great that you, as a self-proclaimed straight man, can get beyond the varying levels of societal b.s. to find pleasure in something outside the accepted norms for your (and mine) gender and sexual orientation. But as far as “don’t knock it ’til you try it…?” Um… no. I didn’t need to try broccoli or cauliflower as a kid to know I didn’t want ’em, I don’t have to attend a Jay-Z show to know that it’s not my thing, and I don’t need to first try inserting a phallic object into my rectum before I can make a judgement as to whether or not I’d enjoy it. ;D

      Frankly, Jill’s earlier comment regarding “a large, painful, constipated stool” seems pretty spot-on to me. I’ve passed a few of what I (rather digustingly, I admit) call “sphincter-rippers,” and the idea of something comparably sized and shaped going the OTHER way just sounds too painful to me. I don’t care what kind of orgasmic hot-button may be waiting on the other end; it just doesn’t seem worth it to me. I’ve never presumed that any of my lovers would want it (and none of them ever told me they did) for that very reason.

      And sorry, GMP, but your sub-headline was off. “Maria Pawlowska’s answers might surprise you?” Nope, pretty much exactly the answers I expected as soon as I started reading. 😀

      • When I said “don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it”, it was tongue in cheek.

        • Oh sure, I got that. I was just trying to inject a little humor of my own into my comment.

          If you don’t mind talking about it, how did you first discover you were into anal play, anyway? Considering Western society’s general views regarding male-receptive penetration (ie. the so-called comedy of the dildo scene in “Me, Myself and Irene”), it seems like it would be a tough subject to broach for the first time with a partner without having done some exploring of it on your own before-hand. (Eh, “exploring…” sorry, pun NOT intended)

          • The idea became normalised to me while reading a book by Mantak Chia called “The multi-orgasmic male” and following some of the practices. (Its eastern Kama Sutra type practice). Later on various women went there with a finger and one of them has bought me a small vib-ing toy. That’s about it really. I have gone there with her with a strap-on etc, not sure if I would on account of my being top orientated sexually, well I’m sure I would in the right circumstances, but I’m not drawn to it.

        • wellokaythen says:

          Was “tongue in cheek” meant to be a pun? 🙂

      • Marcus Williams says:

        I’ve passed a few of what I (rather digustingly, I admit) call “sphincter-rippers,” and the idea of something comparably sized and shaped going the OTHER way just sounds too painful to me.

        If the whole idea disgusts you, don’t try it, but at least in terms of understanding what’s involved, it sounds like you can only picture a penis or penis replica being used, based on the “comparably sized” thing. A finger or even sex toys made for the purpose can reach the prostate with much less stretching than those sphincter rippers, and lube can make it an easy trip. That may be just as disgusting to you or even more so than what you pictured, but the idea that it has to involve a giant rectum-ripping dildo is a myth.

        As for how to find out that the prostate can be a source of pleasure to some men, some people like to read about sex (not just erotica), or see related sex toys and wonder what those are about. For reasons mentioned above, it’s never been on my menu, but bookworms or curious types learn all sorts of things before any real-world experience or desire informs them directly. Shoot, that’s how I knew about the clitoris and where to find it long before I ever got to see or touch one.

  27. How can you be a “A healthcare analyst with a passion for reproductive health.” and be all for anal sex? Several of my family members work in healthcare (nurses, P.A.s etc.). And everyone of them agrees with Caro. I think it’s just the hardcore Feminist in you that enjoys the idea of men “Taking it in the ass”.

    • Megalodon says:

      “I think it’s just the hardcore Feminist in you that enjoys the idea of men “Taking it in the ass”.”

      You may be on to something there. Perhaps this is all just an attempt to enact feminist, egalitarian reciprocity within heterosexual sex. If penetration of a female is not supposed to be an act of violation and degradation, the feminists say, then males should have no qualms about receiving penetration in return. After all, there is nothing wrong with penetration when they penetrate their female partners? At least, that is what feminist-minded men want to believe.

      But a more cynical possibility is that feminists encourage this kind of penetration as a way for females to get revenge against their male partners, to be able to inflict penetrative degradation upon them like they themselves suffered.

      • That’s hilarious. For those of us who liked being penetrated, and enjoy sex, why would we want to inflict degradation on our partners if they didn’t like it?
        If they like penetration, that’s great. If they don”t, no worries. But it’s a good idea for everyone to examine why they like or dislike things. Knowledge is valuable.
        Every human being has difference sexual likes and dislikes, cravings and repulsions. Good lovers, good partners discuss those and highlight the good, while avoiding the bad.
        Feminists, so far as I am concerned (being one and all), want more pleasure and equity for all. That doesn’t mean we each do the exact same things to each other no matter if anyone likes it or not.
        That’s not how the real world worlds, nor how loving relationships (no matter if they monogamous or long term or polyamorous or hook ups) work.
        But feel free to feel cynical about things.

        • Megalodon says:

          “That’s hilarious. For those of us who liked being penetrated, and enjoy sex, why would we want to inflict degradation on our partners if they didn’t like it?”

          Female persons may enjoy heterosexual vaginal copulation, but that may be of two minds. If they have internalized some Andrea Dworkin theory, they might physically enjoy being penetrated but still think that they are surrendering to patriarchy, hierarchy, degradation, false consciousness, eroticizing their own oppression, etc., and resent it accordingly, along with resenting their partners. That could be a reason to want to do things to the partner that the partner does not like.

          “Feminists, so far as I am concerned (being one and all), want more pleasure and equity for all.”

          All well and good. But you make it sound as if “pleasure and equity” are concepts of equal standing. Pawlowska is arguing that concepts of pleasure are socially constructed and mediated. Were it not for our homophobia, we males might enjoy receiving anal penetration so much, she argues. And other contributors like to argue that were it not for narrow standards of attraction, we might found every kind of human to be sexually attractive.

          This is not simply about increasing pleasure and equity. This seems to be about making sure that pleasure is subordinate to equity. The subtext is that if our pleasure preferences are not in accordance with equity (i.e. we like doing something to someone but not receiving it), then we ought to modify our pleasure preferences to remove this inequity.

          • “Female persons may enjoy heterosexual vaginal copulation, but that may be of two minds. If they have internalized some Andrea Dworkin theory, they might physically enjoy being penetrated but still think that they are surrendering to patriarchy, hierarchy, degradation, false consciousness, eroticizing their own oppression, etc., and resent it accordingly, along with resenting their partners. That could be a reason to want to do things to the partner that the partner does not like.”

            Who is doing this? Who are these people who want to do things to their partners that their partners hate. I don’t know them. I don’t seem them posting here all about how men need to take it and like it. It seems you are speaking from the abstract. I’m certainly not taking about doing that.

            • Megalodon says:

              “It seems you are speaking from the abstract.”

              Indeed. And is using concepts of homophobia and heteronormativity to explain sexual preferences not “speaking from the abstract”?

          • Why on earth would you think that heterosexual sex is degrading to women? Honestly, just because you choose to call it penetration, doesn’t mean is it in some way an act of power to have consensual sex, whoever is doing what during it. And yes, I have read those feminist texts, but I think they are a misreading of a patriarchal use of language that suggests that women are automatically submissive during heterosexual sex.

            Whatever floats your boat, in terms of whether you want to have anal sex or not, but if you are thinking about sex in those terms then the article makes a very good point.

            • marzipan souffle says:

              Hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but women still global underclass,
              used as commodity for human traffickers,politics,militia,civil wars,
              class wars,econ wars,religious and cultural conflict, to include the
              oft misunderstood tradition of marriage,family gender roles.

              Penetration can be well intentioned sunnyside up or down, but can
              and does lead to expectation of submission for either partner, in long run.

              Suggest emphasis on intimacy,communication vs. mind blowing lifestyle
              goals for long term win-win.

              🙂

              • Marzipan:
                I have to disagree with you. What we have is class as the main denomination of who has it good, not gender.
                In western countries at least the elites punish all from on high (which includes women). However, women have a 40 year head-start in helping the poor and disenfranchised women. As a consequence, the poor and disenfranchised men fall much farther than women. Men dominate 4to1 or more over women in: homelessness, suicide, on-the-job deaths (19 to 1), incarceration, victims of violent crime, and men receive much less health funding and die 7 years earlier.

                If you’re going to make broad sweeping generalizations, have some stats to back them up.

                Also, there is a lot of evidence to show the sex trafficking thing is wildly overblown.
                The most human trafficking comes from slavery (not sex slavery just slavery) in manual or semi-skilled labor. The vast majority of this is done to males.

                In Bosnia, the serb strategy was to kill all civiliarn muslim men to eliminate potential future soldiers in the war against them. This was so severe it was termed gendercide.

                This is an issue that gets almost NO PRESS from mainstream western media.

                ht tp://www.gendercide.org/case_bosnia.ht ml

                The simple fact is that western media tends to downplay when men are victimized. In order to see women victimized you simply have to turn on the tv. To find men who are victimized, you have to do research.

                ht tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZAuqkqxk9A

            • Megalodon says:

              “Why on earth would you think that heterosexual sex is degrading to women? Honestly, just because you choose to call it penetration, doesn’t mean is it in some way an act of power to have consensual sex, whoever is doing what during it.”

              I do not necessarily interpret it that way, but some feminist theorists do, even going so far as to say that heterosexual copulation is the model for every kind of oppression and violation. And since this post is informed by feminist and critical gender doctrine, this interpretation may have some implications here.

              “And yes, I have read those feminist texts, but I think they are a misreading of a patriarchal use of language that suggests that women are automatically submissive during heterosexual sex.”

              All well and good, but your dismissal of these “misreading” theorists may not be shared by feminist cohorts. Misread and mistaken though they may be, this notion has some currency in feminist/gender studies doctrine and discourse. And it can even hide under the surface in such essays that are addressed to persons who are not radical feminists.

              “if you are thinking about sex in those terms then the article makes a very good point”

              I was not even aware of this interpretation of sex until I read feminist theory. Yes, you would like to blame all pejorative notions surrounding copulation on the patriarchy and such. But feminist discourse should take some of the credit for characterizing sex as a degrading power relation.

      • marzipan souffle says:

        That is intentional infliction of pain, as rape of dignity and rectum.
        Why is this a debate? Off topic of sensuality and love. Oxymoron.

        Perhaps Eve Ensler can comment on this in her next Monologue.

        If we could solve war of sexes, we may be able to solve Global Warming and World Peace.

    • marzipan souffle says:

      Hilarious position, no pun intended! I’ll talk to you in 30 years from rocking chair on front porch!
      I can’t wait to teach my grandchildren about this.

  28. Not everyone is turned on by the idea of having things stuck in their butts. I am not judging anyone who wants to do it (male, female, gay, straight) but not everyone views the anus as an erogenous zone. I tried anal sex once, at the insistence of a boyfriend. It felt like I was passing a large, painful, constipated stool. That is not a sensation I associate with sexual pleasure. Also, having feces smeared around does not seem sanitary or healthy to me. Not to mention the smell. Finally, no one is worth giving myself an enema. Sorry, not going to do it! Again, that’s just me.

    • And that’s perfectly ok. Lots of people don’t like lots of things. I think the reasons discussed above about masculinity and such are worth discussing though.

  29. Considering how people say that anal stimulation is so great for men and can lead to mind blowing orgasms I wonder if there is any fear that, (and remember the idea of the “minute man” and “two pump chump” and how pervasive they are), such stimulation would result in not lasting as long.

    (yay for the Equal Pay Act—too bad women on average still earn only 70 cents to the man’s dollar)
    Seriously how do people come with this number? I’ve seen it as high as 78 and as low as 68. Are people like taking 2 d-5 (each side marked 6-0) and just rolling for this figure?

    MJH88:
    Might a question that we could also ask be: do heterosexual men censor themselves when it comes to their desires, not only because they connect anal sex with homosexuality and passivity, but because their partner might as well and in turn be turned off? This is to ask the question that perhaps some heterosexual men don’t reject the idea of anal sex themselves, but perhaps they do not engage in it, because they fear rejection from their partner? So let’s take this one step further and ask along side the question of why don’t straight men like anal sex? Let us also ask: why wouldn’t a straight woman like to perform it? Perhaps the same heteronormativity is also inscribed in women as well?
    Good question. I notice how heterosexual guys have their aversion to anal sex often presented as them being afraid of how they will be perceived by society (and usually an implication of lost male privilege) but not often by how they will be perceived by their partners, who are more than likely going to be women. I ask this because I’ve talked to women who think a guy being interested in anal sex (on the either side of act) is a sign he’s gay.

    • Which is so sad to me, this assumption. Bodies feel good. There are lots of things we can do with our bodies (safely etc) that feel good. Oral play from a man to a woman doesn’t mean he or she is a lesbian! Anal play shouldn’t mean anything other than both partners enjoy it. But the levels of homophobia (which is, in my opinion very much related to misogyny) are very high in our culture.

      • Yes the misandry and misogyny of homophobia are very damaging and are getting in the way of a lot of sexual pleasure for a lot of folks. It is odd that a woman can receive oral from a man without being thought of as gay (which would be ultimately wrong since there is more to lesbian sex than oral mind you but given how f’d up the overall perceptions of sex are I would expect people to think that).

        • Headbhang says:

          I think it’s perfectly understandable. Both men and women have mouths to give oral sex with, but only men have penises. Having a man taking pleasure from a phallic object has a quite unavoidable implication of homosexuality, even if there is no man attached to the object (all this even discounting the psychological aspects of passivity, etc).
          The association of receptive anal sex with homosexuality is not what is wrong, it’s rather that the indulgence in some pseudo-gayness for pleasure’s sake is seen as inappropriate.

          • Having a man taking pleasure from a phallic object has a quite unavoidable implication of homosexuality, even if there is no man attached to the object (all this even discounting the psychological aspects of passivity, etc).
            However, only a small number of lesbians would consider lesbians using a phallic object to have a latent desire for men

            • Headbhang says:

              Good point. I do want note that by “implication of homosexuality” I did not mean a latent desire for men, just that the association is evident.

          • Yes, but both men and women have fingers, tongues, and anuses (with a few rare exceptions.) Who says that the penis is the main or only body part used for penetration?

  30. I’m with Eric on this … the anus was NOT designed for intercourse. As an ex nurse I have witnessed the incontinence and other injuries arising from this disgusting practice. In one instance a female sex worker who had been sodomised had faeces coming out of her vagina as the wall between her rectum and vagina had been perforated … she was given a colostomy bag to wear for the rest of her life. Anal sex is disgusting and unnatural. Animals may indulge in masturbation and oral sex but no animal on the planet apart from homo pervertus engages in anal sex. Your anus is for crapping. Why would you want to play in the sewer? Sis!

    • Animals may indulge in masturbation and oral sex but no animal on the planet apart from homo pervertus engages in anal sex.

      Well gosh, here’s one that does:

      Male bighorn sheep are divisible into two kinds: the typical males among whom homosexual behaviour, including intercourse, is common and “effeminate sheep”, or “behavioural transvestites”, which are not known to engage in homosexual behaviour. [Reference]

      Emphasis mine. And there are others, but you’re already wrong about that, so why go on.

      And yes, violent sodomy that results in permanent injury is a bad thing (you’re doing it wrong). So is violent vaginal sex that results in permanent injury. Among consenting adults, there are easy ways to avoid either consequence.

      • “And yes, violent sodomy that results in permanent injury is a bad thing (you’re doing it wrong). So is violent vaginal sex that results in permanent injury. Among consenting adults, there are easy ways to avoid either consequence.”

        The comparison between vaginal and anal sex is beyond absurd. The vagina lubricates “naturally” faciliating sexual intercourse. It is designed for penile penetration. The human race’s survival, in fact, requires it. For that reason, there are no special books, instructions or substances needed to be sure to not “do it wrong” so as to cause permanent injury.

        • “The vagina lubricates “naturally” faciliating sexual intercourse. It is designed for penile penetration. ”

          Or perhaps the penis is “designed” to fit in the vagina, not the other way around….

  31. Headbhang says:

    Less than 40% of men have heterosexual anal sex? Surely that’s the number for the penetrative kind. I can’t imagine the numbers for the receptive being remotely near that number.
    No doubt the association with homosexuality has much to do with it – after all, all dildos are shaped like penises to a greater or lesser extent and thus it’s not all that easy to avoid the idea that they are attached to a man, which by definition are not the cup of tea of heterosexuals. Additionally, the “hygienic” aspect is another consideration that needs to be outweighed, because the inherent potential mess of anal sex can be off-putting. I have a dildo myself (very much sculpted in the shape of a penis) and while I have no qualms with the “gayness” of using it (having certain bisexual tendencies), I don’t use it nearly as much as I’d like to if it weren’t for the hassle associated with it.

  32. “but the idea of anal penetration of a heterosexual man by his female partner is still considered anything from unnatural to outright disgusting and wrong.”

    Aside from it being vomitously disgusting and repulsive, it is not just considered unnatural, it IS unnatural (i.e. the human body was not designed for phallic sized penetration of the anus) and as a result it has, by far, the highest likelihood of causing bodiiy damage (i.e. tearing of tissue, bleeding, hemorrhoids, etc.) and the transmission of STDs.

    “Heterosexual men’s deep-seated aversion to this form of sex-play is mostly the result of what society has taught us about sex and gender roles and not what our bodies might enjoy.”

    100% wrong. Certainly for me. It’s got nothing to do with any of that. My deep seated aversion / repulsion / abhorrence / disgust is completely natural for me and, in fact, protects my health. Most things that are unnatural (body designed for it not to be done to it), unless it’s trying to bring your health back to a natural state, are harmful in some way(s), and this is a good example.

    Homosexuals can do whateve the heck they want but leave me out of it.

    • As a straight man who experiences his best orgasms through receptive anal penetration (only with my own toy thus far), I have a different take on what is “natural”. First off, arguments from nature are a logical fallacy, in terms of what humans should and should not be doing. Second, how can something unnatural be responsible for my most explosive orgasms? If you believe God designed us (I don’t), are the sexual effects of the prostate just an overlooked side effect? If you don’t like the idea that is fine. But to say it is objectively unnatural is a bit much. Are handjobs unnatural? How about oral sex? We humans have the ability to make choices and explore life. Anal sex is one such thing for me.

      It’s not dangerous or messy. If it is for you, you are doing it wrong. It doesn’t hurt at all. It doesn’t involve fecal matter at all, again if you are doing it right.

      I generally agree with the point of this article. I’ve never shared this act with a partner (for a variety of reasons), but mainly because I still do experience some conflict over how submissive it would be to have someone else penetrate me. I guess I haven’t met the right person in terms of trust to share it with yet. There was a point where I was confused over what my body was telling me (holy f*ck this feels good) and what my brain was telling me (anal sex makes you gay). I got over that when I began to put less worth in what society was telling me about what my sexuality should be.

      • Thanks for being open about those thoughts. There are women out there who won’t be weird with you, and I don’t think you necessarily have to take a truly submissive role while you do it. I have opinions about playing with these types of activities outside the traditional “taker/giver” paradigm. There are ways to broach this with a lover that can equalize the experience.
        That we frame receiving as submissive says a whole lot about how we frame all sex I think.
        Email me offline if you want to discuss.

      • If I guy asked me for anal penetration, I wouldn’t think it was gay, but I admit I’d feel pretty squeamish about it due to the yuck factor. I have a strong aversion to fecal smells and I’m a bit of a germophobe. Maybe I could wear a hazmat suit…. 🙂

      • TS

        “First off, arguments from nature are a logical fallacy, in terms of what humans should and should not be doing.”

        I’m quite sure that I made it clear that I was not telling anyone what they should or should not do.

        “Second, how can something unnatural be responsible for my most explosive orgasms?”

        Do you really believe that just because something feels good it is natural and therefore a healthy thing to do? Is that what you teach your kids? Sorry, I don’t personally subscribe to “if it feels good, do it, no matter what it is.”

        “But to say it is objectively unnatural is a bit much.”

        Any physiological definition of the purpose of the anus and rectum show that it is designed to expel fecal matter. That is it’s natural function. The vagina, by contrast, has multiple functions by design, one of them being sexual penetration.

        “Are handjobs unnatural?”

        I never said that. Hands are designed to do countless things.

        “How about oral sex?”

        I haven’t commented on oral sex being unnatural. However, the human mouth, unlike the anus, is designed to put things into it, not just expel waste, as is true of the anus.

        “We humans have the ability to make choices and explore life.”

        As I said, people can do whatever they want. I am not anybody’s judge and stand in no one’s way to live as they choose.

        • Marcus Williams says:

          Any physiological definition of the purpose of the anus and rectum show that it is designed to expel fecal matter. That is it’s natural function. The vagina, by contrast, has multiple functions by design, one of them being sexual penetration.

          Physiological definitions don’t invoke design, they describe function. Rectums expel fecal matter, and vaginas expel babies. Neither function precludes an object from penetrating for sexual pleasure. Psychologically, I get the difference and even share your squeamishness to some extent, but physiologically speaking, there is no design and “natural” or “unnatural”, just things that body parts do and don’t do.

          • “Physiological definitions don’t invoke design, they describe function.”

            Function is enabled by design. Ask Apple.

            “Rectums expel fecal matter, and vaginas expel babies. Neither function precludes an object from penetrating for sexual pleasure.”

            Let’s test your argument.

            For a fact, rectums expel fecal matter. For a fact vaginas expel babies. How does those babies get in there? When the owner of the vagina gets sexually excited and wishes to be penetrated, her vaginal walls naturally secrete lubricating fluid, facilitating intercourse. The body is designed for this.

            What is the rectum and anus’ design (or function if you wish) natural process that facilities intercourse?

            “physiologically speaking, there is no design and “natural” or “unnatural”, just things that body parts do and don’t do.”

            Uh, that’s ridiculous. Natural and unnatural have clear definitions and apply to human biology and physiology. Based on your argument, giving birth is not a natural process; tear ducts don’t naturally create tears; human hair doesn’t naturally grow.

            • Marcus Williams says:

              Okay, let’s test your logic, too.

              For a fact, many men find it pleasurable having their prostate sitmulated, so pleasure is one of the prostate’s natural functions. It’s tucked away and fairly hard to access, so the most natural way to reach it for stimulation is through the anus.

              Voilà! Steve Jobs designed the anus as a pathway to pleasure.

              • “For a fact, many men find it pleasurable having their prostate sitmulated”

                See the previously referenced function of the rectum and anus.

                For a fact, many men find it pleasurable to self-asphyxiate by hanging themselves, sometimes leading to death. Therefore, self-asphyxiation by hanging is a natural process.

                According to your logic, but not mine.

                According to your logic.

              • Megalodon says:

                “For a fact, many men find it pleasurable having their prostate sitmulated, so pleasure is one of the prostate’s natural functions.”

                Many people who have suffered traumatic and egregious injuries (like being stabbed in the abdomen or sudden severance of a limb) have described the initial sensation as not painful at all, but as euphoric and pleasurable. This is a result of the brain releasing endorphins during severe injuries to counteract the body’s pain and panic response. Does that mean one of the functions of the body is to be deliberately injured so that we can feel this particular pleasure?

                You may say no because such injuries probably mean lots of pain and debilitation. But lots of BDSM participants think the pain they suffer is worth the gratification and pleasure that supposedly accompanies their actions. Or some may like pain for its own sake. Perhaps some people like the particular pleasure that accompanies sudden loss of a limb so much, they think it is worth the accompanying pain and permanent damage to their bodies.

      • Megalodon says:

        “Second, how can something unnatural be responsible for my most explosive orgasms?”

        Some people have their most explosive orgasms while they are suffocating themselves (or having someone else suffocate them) with a noose. Apparently, sometimes the orgasms are so good that they suffocate themselves until they die. So clearly, self-asphyxiation must be entirely natural and benign because it can produce orgasms that people are willing to die for.

        • Exactly. I didn’t think of that example but it clearly illustrates the principle.

        • Re what is natural. Quite literally, as a part of nature, every thought and action a human being has is natural. To highlight (but not prove) my point, I think Kinsey said something along the lines of “the only unnatural sex act is that which you cannot do.” So yes, depriving your brain of oxygen to have a better orgasm is 100% natural because it is something that a part of nature (a human) can do. As with anal sex, it has its risks. If one is educated about these risks, they likely are avoidable. As with anal sex, there likely is a physiological explanation for why auto-erotic asphyxiation is pleasurable to many people.

          Did my anus and rectum evolve to accomodate a phallic object being inserted into myself? Probably not. That doesn’t mean that it cannot function in such a way. My tongue did not evolve to lick a woman’s clitoris, but it can. Our hands did not evolve so that we could use them to bring ourselves and our partners to orgasm, but they can. (I hope these arguments by analogy highlight my point that our lives would be extremely boring if we only did the acts that our body evolved to perform).

          I didn’t put my prostate just outside the walls of my rectum. I didn’t make the nerve endings in my anus as sensitive as they are. I didn’t make it so that if I directly stimulate my prostate, I get more blood flow to that region and in turn, better orgasms. I also didn’t create the social stigma associated with male-receptive anal sex. The article was about this social stigma, yet Eric M.’s original comment that I replied to stated the article’s point was “100%” wrong, and he ended the article stating that homosexuals can do whatever they want, but to leave him out of it. That last comment of Eric M. only proves that there is a stigma about straight men enjoying receptive anal sex and that it is a topic worth discussing.

          • Did you even read what I wrote? I said nothing about what is “natural.”
            I explained that a man taking a penis up his anus is “UNnatural.”  Kinsey’s opinion conflicts with physiological facts about the human body.

            The anus, by structural design/function is a one way pathway (unlike the vagina, by contrast)    But, can you still cram/force a penis up in there?  Sure, knock yourself out.

            “That last comment of Eric M. only proves that there is a stigma about straight men enjoying receptive anal sex and that it is a topic worth discussing.”

            Any stigma is based on the fecal reality of what the anus and rectum’s physiological purposes are.

            • Anonymous Male says:

              I don’t see any reason or evidence to believe that the human body is in fact “designed” at all. If it is designed on purpose by some supernatural or anthropomorphic forces, and that’s a big IF, who’s to say that any body part has only one function?

              I mean, if God or Nature is so brilliant, why couldn’t God or Nature “design” a body part to have MULTIPLE functions? Clearly the mouth is “designed” for both language and eating, so why couldn’t an anus be “designed” for more than one thing?

              We do all sorts of things on a regular basis that would be completely “unnatural” from a design standpoint. Such as:
              Eat cooked food
              Live outside of Africa
              Survive appendicitis
              Sit in a chair for hours at a time
              Write blog posts

              • I don’t believe your analogies bear up to the scrutiny of logic. You are comparing human anatomy and physiology to human activity. In addition, you are somewhat off base on you premise that we are not “designed” to do things such as eat cooked food. Leading evolutionary biologists have noted that our smaller teeth/jaw structure and digestive tract have evolved over time to take advantage of what fire can do to meat and vegetation.
                Why don’t we just agree that when it comes to our sexuality, let’s stay out of other people’s bedrooms, unless we’re invited.

                • Anonymous Male says:

                  JE,
                  I see your point about distinguishing between physiology and activity, but in this debate the two were getting intertwined already. Several commenters have stated what they think are *activities* that body parts are “designed to do,” such as expelling feces, and activities they are “not designed to do,” such as receiving sexual stimulation.

                  Perhaps the cooked food and other technology-based examples are bad examples. But, if they are bad examples for the reason I’m hearing, then they help me make my point. If cooked food is a bad example because the human body has changed over time in adaptation to it, that means there is no single design for the human body. Instead, it’s an organism that’s in flux over the long term. Perhaps the prostate has evolved as well to adapt to many uses. (Granted, it’s hard to find evidence of prostate evolution in the fossil record, but genetic studies could tell us how much the related genes have changed over time.) If the human design has coevolved with human technology, then maybe the question of anal sex is basically a technological one. Clearly some anuses handle insertion better than others — that’s why there’s a wide range of technological options.

                  I thought the example of the appendix was a good one. If the human body is “designed” in some way, it is not a perfect design by any means. If there is a “designer” to the universe, I suspect the design was done by a committee, which would explain some of nature’s weird outcomes.

                  As for staying out of other people’s bedrooms, I agree with the sentiment, on the whole. However, this article and this website raise questions about sexuality.

                  Besides, those passionate, dedicated E.R. nurses out there want to warn us about the dangerous hazards of the “wrong kind” of sexual exploration. We taxpayers are paying for some of those ER visits, so shouldn’t we be able to talk about what’s happening? (This last bit is sarcastic. I’m just using this as an extreme example of how this could be part of a useful public discussion.)

            • Discussing what is natural implies a discussion of what is “UNnatural”. If every thing (including acts, thoughts, behavior) on this planet is natural (and it is) than it cannot be “UNnatural.” Hence why an appeal nature for what is proper/natural/not unnatural is a fallacy because literally, everything you can conceive of is natural.

              I think I addressed the remainder of what you wrote already (regarding cleanliness, “cramming” things up holes, etc . . .). I’ve acknowledged that the anus did not evolve for sex nor is it’s primary function to accomodate objects going in, but that’s an immaterial point to A) the topic of the article (social stigma), and B) whether a person can choose to explore his or her body outside of its evolutionary aims, free of stereotypes, and C) the fact that it can accomodate objects going in, free of pain, free of mess, etc etc . . . .

              The stigma concerning straight men and receptive anal sex has nothing to do with a “fecal reality” because our society is generally accepting of gay men and straight women enjoying anal sex if they so choose. Any concerns about cleanliness apply to those groups just as much as it does to straight men. The stigma does have to do with what your initial comment hinted at, that such acts are best left to the “homosexuals”. That is exactly the stigma I struggled with for a long time, and it is the reason I’ve kept this to myself (haven’t trusted past partners enough to share), because of thoughts like the one you laid out.

              At this point I’m not sure what we disagree on other than I enjoy anal sex and you don’t. We both seem to agree that people are free to engage in whatever they want so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. You seem to think putting anything into the rectum is unnatural and not part of it’s function. My position is that appealing to nature in this regard is fallacious because all human actions are the actions of part of nature (us; human beings); I’m also arguing that primary function is not a limiter on human experience. It can guide and inform behavior, but it should not be a complete barrier. None of this has much to do with what the article was getting at, namely why is not okay for straight men to explore this part of their body if they so choose, without being labeled as gay or weak or passive?

      • TS:
        You bring up an interesting point.
        I remember reading an article about male on male rape in Africa. It was done to prisoners as a system of dehumanization.

        The article centered around trying to free up feminist human-aid resources (for women) to help these men. These men not only felt less manly, but when they confided in their female partners what happened, their worst fears were confirmed as the woman also felt they were less manly and left them.

        Another form of pressure the author leaves out is the fear of seeming “homo” to WOMEN.
        For as much as the message is bandied about that men are the enforcers of the masculinity I have found (through research and a little firsthand experience) that it is much much more often women, not men who shame men who deviate from traditional masculinity.

        ht tp://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8774295/White-Feather-women-didnt-impress-those-at-the-Front.ht ml

    • Is the mouth designed for oral intercourse? It probably wasn’t part of any initial design, but plenty of people enjoy it. I mean, it fits in there any everything, but choking is an issue as is breathing problems…..just saying.
      And plenty of men like to give anal, but not receive, leading me to think that Maria’s points are spot on and that many men’s issues with anal are cultural and based on gender roles.
      There are a lot of things in this world that aren’t natural but that we do anyway because they feel good.
      Don’t do it if you don’t want, Eric, that’s fine, but I think painting things with a brush of “natural” means the only real sex we should be having is PIV and nothing else.
      I think anal play can be done safely and well and bring people pleasure. Some people don’t like it for whatever reason. So don’t do it….

      • Sorry, Julie, but read any medical and/or physiological definition of the function of the anus and rectum and you will always find that its singular function is to expel waste. It has a very clear singular purpose. It’s designed to push out, not take in. I am not arguing that some people don’t enjoy it; evidently they do.

        The mouth as least has multiple purposes, and as far as I have ever heard, oral sex has seldom caused physical damage to the mouth. All without reading a special guidebook on how to do it without damaging your body.

        “Don’t do it if you don’t want, Eric, that’s fine, but I think painting things with a brush of “natural” means the only real sex we should be having is PIV and nothing else.”

        I never said that, Julie. I simply said that anal sex is unnatural. People can and will still do it, but that doesn’t change the physiological facts about the anus. Sorry you disagree, but there are no facts to support that argument that the anus was designed for sexual penetration.

        • Why do you think people do penetrate it, male or female? Do you have any opinions about that?
          The back of the throat is not designed to be penetrated by phallic objects,yet that’s a common porn trope. Also frottage between breasts. It also isn’t natural I suppose to spill seed on the face, rather than getting it in it’s proper natural vaginal canal.
          My point is there are a lot of things that we do sexually that are not natural. And yes, that’s not what you said, but it does follow that if one thing is unnatural, why do others?
          In the female, clitoral nerves can run to the anus, and give women great pleasure. The prostate gives some men great pleasure when massaged.
          Humans have been having anal sex for centuries. Whether or not that is natural doesn’t seem to matter, whether or not the area was designed for it.
          So in a sense we both agree and disagree.
          Some folks enjoy it. Some don’t. Human beings are funny like that.
          So long as everyone involved is in agreement with what they are dong, and dong it safely as possible, I don’t see much problem.

          • “Why do you think people do penetrate it, male or female? Do you have any opinions about that?”
            I really don’t understand your question. Sexuality is a natural drive.
            “The back of the throat is not designed to be penetrated by phallic objects,yet that’s a common porn trope.”
            Seems like the gag reflex would preclude that. I don’t understand it and have never seen it.
            “It also isn’t natural I suppose to spill seed on the face, rather than getting it in it’s proper natural vaginal canal.”
            It’s neither natural nor unnatural. Semen is not harmful to the skin. I’ve never heard of any damage done to any body part as a result of that activity.

            “My point is there are a lot of things that we do sexually that are not natural. And yes, that’s not what you said, but it does follow that if one thing is unnatural, why do others?”

            There is a difference between not natural and unnatural, as in “contrary to nature.”

            “So long as everyone involved is in agreement with what they are dong, and dong it safely as possible, I don’t see much problem.”

            I’m not standing in anyone’s way of doing whatever they want. But, that doesn’t mean that if it’s unnatural, I won’t call it out as such.

            • So wait, I asked why do people penetrate the anus, and you said because sexuality is a natural drive? So it’s natural to penetrate any hole but not natural to have certain holes penetrated?
              Not sure if that’s what you mean….

              There is porn that focuses on deep throating, training the gag reflex to not engage thus allowing the penis to extend deep into the throat, sometimes blocking breathing.
              Also there is porn that focuses on puking due to deep throating.

              Is it the potential for damage that is the issue for you? That the rectum and anus might be injured?

              Is space travel and deep see diving contrary to nature?

              I guess I want a definition of things that are contrary to nature, or that you believe are. Cause it may be contrary to the design of the anus? But why then have people played around with it for centuries?
              People have done, and do, all kinds of strange, innovative, playful creative things that probably are contrary to nature.
              We create social and cultural reasons to do them or not to do them.

              • “So wait, I asked why do people penetrate the anus, and you said because sexuality is a natural drive?”

                Julie, you said this: “Why do you think people do penetrate it, male or female?”
                NO mention of “anus” in your question.

                I really didn’t understand what you were talking about there, which is why I said: “I really don’t understand your question.”

                “Is it the potential for damage that is the issue for you? That the rectum and anus might be injured? “

                No, my issue is that it’s disgusting and repulsive. But, it’s also unnatural. The evidence of that is that it often causes damage to the body.

                “Is space travel and deep see diving contrary to nature?”

                I believe we are made to invent new technologies and methods that enable exploration. So, I would say no but it’s probably debateable.

                “I guess I want a definition of things that are contrary to nature, or that you believe are. Cause it may be contrary to the design of the anus? But why then have people played around with it for centuries?”

                Come on, Julie. Are you seriously arguing that just because people have been doing something for centuries it’s natural? I can list quite a few really not nice things that fall into that category.

                People have done, and do, all kinds of strange, innovative, playful creative things that probably are contrary to nature.”

                Julie, a man having a penis crammed into his anus is unnatural and has caused bodily damage to a lot of men. That is a fact. It is also disgusting. That is my opinion.

                Again, people can do whatever they want but it doesn’t change the facts nor change my opinion.

                • “I believe we are made to invent new technologies and methods that enable exploration.”

                  Yep. I’d say we are made to do that, and we do that, natural or not, outer space or inner space, psychological exploration, technological exploration and yes, physical exploration. I have no desire ever in my life ever to deep sea dive. It seems terrifying and yes unnatural to me. We were designed for air, not underwater pressures, but I get why people go do it. I have little to no interest in several sexual activities that are out there, anal included (i’m pretty ‘meh” on the topic) but I am quite interested in learning why people codify some acts and damn others, and those codes can change over various societal shifts.

                  Actually, I don’t think we were “designed” at all but that’s another topic for another day.

                  I particularly like TS’s comment above, about the article being about social stigma.

                  You find it repulsive, is the main info I’m getting out of this conversation. I think we get that.

          • I think Julie makes a good point to bring up prostate massages. As I understand it these are often given to men who are experiencing prostate problems. In turn, this would be to say that this so called Medical discourse that is being referred to throughout the postings, actually does sanction anal penetration and the massaging of the prostate. Not only that it is done for the benefit of those with prostate problems. I think this goes to show that simply referring to a medical textbook definition or this idea of science defining what is natural, is a contradiction to a known medical practice.

            Also, I think this whole idea of referring to the ‘naturalness’ of sex is very problematic. What we have to understand is the medical discourse is shot through with Heterosexual norms. No doctor or scientist is purely objective. Often a doctor or scientists own heteronormativity will be written right into the subject matter of their research, in turn, reproducing the heteronormativity, while at the same time legitimizing it through its co-option into medical discourse.

            The idea that sex is somehow a natural drive is lacking at best. Sexuality is so much more than simply what is natural. Human beings desire.

    • marzipan souffle says:

      Agreed. After childbirth, when every bodily function is stretched and tested, don’t recommend repeated offense to this important area of health.

      Do partners explore more viable options of intimacy and communication? 1000’s of more dynamic experiences than abusing rectum.

    • Aside from it being vomitously disgusting and repulsive, it is not just considered unnatural, it IS unnatural (i.e. the human body was not designed for phallic sized penetration of the anus)

      Do you feel the same way about anal sex when a woman is the receiver?

    • “100% wrong. Certainly for me. It’s got nothing to do with any of that. My deep seated aversion / repulsion / abhorrence / disgust is completely natural for me and, in fact, protects my health. Most things that are unnatural (body designed for it not to be done to it), unless it’s trying to bring your health back to a natural state, are harmful in some way(s), and this is a good example.”

      You can’t claim “certainly for me” and “natural for me” and then slyly use the word “unnatural” without the same qualification. Such use directly implies “certainly for everyone else,” and if that’s not what you really think, you ought to work on the precision of your “is” statements. The facts you cite–tearing, higher incidence of STD transmission all that–are statistical truths. Your repulsion is not. That’s all you. Viz.:

      “Aside from it being vomitously disgusting and repulsive, it is not just considered unnatural, it IS unnatural.”

      That’s a universal claim, not a personal one. There’s a vast difference between “it is” and “I find it to be.”

      The logical conclusion to draw from your words is that you believe that people who engage in anal sex are committing unnatural acts, which is just so Old Testament. It used to be a bad idea to eat shellfish in the desert, too–an abomination before the Lord, just like homosexuality. Now we have refrigerators. We also have easy-to-use disposable enemas, condoms, a wide selection of lubricants, and easily accessible information about how to minimize risk. Whether people bother to play safe or not is up to them.

      It’s disingenuous of you to don the mask of subjective disgust when you actually think your disgust is a natural consequence of an objective truth.

      So, you know…do whatever you want, but leave me the heck out of it.

      • My comments are not directed to anyone. So, there is no need to take them personally. But, let me clarify: repetitively ramming a penis or other phallic object into the rectum/anus is unnatural for any human body, based on the construction and function of those body parts, nothing to do with any moral judgements.

        However, I am standing in no one’s way of doing it to their heart’s content but that doesn’t change the physiological fact of the matter.

        • Marcus Williams says:

          Let me try some of that argument on cauliflower, which I personally can’t stand:

          Cauliflower is disgusting to me. The smell makes me want to puke, and the one time I tried even a small bite the texture alone was enough to almost make me gag. It is clearly designed to be disgusting and my disgust is a clear sign that eating cauliflower is unnatural. I’m not standing in the way of anyone eating it or using it as an ingredient if they’re into that, but they’re engaging in a disgusting, objectively gross behavior if they do. It’s a culinary fact.

          Does it work?

          • No that doesn’t work.

            Eric M.’s argument seems to be that the anus has a primary function which is the expulsion of waste from the human body. Incidentally there are methods of producing pleasurable feelings by inserting objects into the anus. These secondary effects are not important enough or relevant enough to override his repulsion for human waste.

            You are making the argument that your distaste for cauliflower implies cauliflower’s unsuitability as a food stuff.

            I don’t find the arguments symmetric.

            I think a symmetric argument would be to claim you enjoy eating feces. That there are methods to make eating feces “safe” regardless of the “designed” purpose of feces to not be eaten.

            • “I think a symmetric argument would be to claim you enjoy eating feces. That there are methods to make eating feces “safe” regardless of the “designed” purpose of feces to not be eaten.”

              Exactly. Eeexxxactly.

            • Marcus Williams says:

              I’m not arguing against Eric M.’s repulsion for human waste, or even for anal play. The part I disagree with is asserting that said repulsion is a result of “design” and that anatomical structures have acceptable purposes and unacceptable purposes based on “physiological definitions”. As far as the science of things is concerned, there is only what anatomical structures can or can’t do, which includes whatever functions organisms can adapt them to. It makes no more sense to me to say what the prostate is “really intended for” than it does to say what hands are really intended for. There is no intention. There’s no question that people and cultures add value judgements after the fact, but physiology is neutral on such matters.

              • “The part I disagree with is asserting that said repulsion is a result of “design” and that anatomical structures have acceptable purposes and unacceptable purposes based on “physiological definitions”.

                Note that I didn’t use the term “acceptable.” That’s a subjective judgment a person must make for themselves. I used the term “unnatural.”

                “As far as the science of things is concerned, there is only what anatomical structures can or can’t do, which includes whatever functions organisms can adapt them to.”

                This is not a rational position to take since people can do all manner of extreme things to their bodies, including impaling themselves through their heads, groins, and abdomens – and lived. According to your logic, that’s not an unnatural use of the body.

                Physicians will tell you that physiology is absolutely not neutral. Body parts have specific functions. They can tell you specifically how a given body part works, and designed to do.

  33. What are the statistics for heterosexual women? Especially taking into account,as MJH88 suggests above, that heterosexual women are far more likely than heterosexual men to be encouraged (or pressured) to have anal sex.

    • I wouldn’t disagree with what you are saying. However, just for clarification purposes, my question was why wouldn’t a heterosexual women perform anal sex on her male partner? The point of the question was to try to bring up the topic of heteronormativity and women. A woman can hold a man to dominate ideas of masculinity as much as a man can hold himself to them. In turn, a man who might be open to such an activity, might hold back and censor his desires in order to conform to his gender role, not because he necessarily buys into masculinity, but because his partner might. I think its important to discuss the idea of desire and how in many ways we are not born with innate desires, but we learn how to desire. There are some women who were taught to desire men that imbue dominant ideas of masculinity. I think both men and women need to interrogate themselves and their desires.

  34. Marcus Williams says:

    Why don’t straight men like anal sex?

    It’s not a universal reason, but you left out hemorrhoids. Being a bookish sort even when it comes to sex, I’ve been aware of the prostate’s pleasure potential for quite a while, but I’ve never really been able to get to it to find out because of hemorrhoids. I’ve never asked for help, but I admit I’m squeamish enough to rule out asking if I can’t confirm it on my own. I’m not saying it’s logical, but for me the squeamishness has less to do with “that’s what gay guys do” and more with “that’s where poop comes out”. My aversion to the route one has to take to get there might be founded on a cultural bias, but it would take some pretty amazing and new kind of pleasure to overcome it.

  35. Transhuman says:

    I do not believe the pay gap myth should be promoted to the GMP if this site really is interested in truthful interaction with men and those who care about good men. If a worker, male or female, works part time, has lower-paid jobs and takes frequent unpaid leave then cause and effect indicates they will get paid less. Being paid is not a right, it is the representation of labour value stored in an easy-to-transport form namely currency. None of this is evidence of a bias against women who freely make these choices.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male%E2%80%93female_income_disparity_in_the_United_States
      “However, in 2010, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee reported that studies “always find that some portion of the wage gap is unexplained” even after controlling for measurable factors that are assumed to influence earnings. The unexplained portion of the wage gap is attributed to gender discrimination.”

      • Also I believe that women in their 20s and 30s without children actually earn more than men. So it goes both ways.

      • “” The unexplained portion of the wage gap is attributed to gender discrimination”

        . . . despite there being no evidence of it.

        Corporations are not only loathe to discriminate but in this economy, it is encumbent on businesses to hire, pay, and promote the best man, woman, or child for the job.

        However, companies absolutely will pay new hire X a little less than new hire Y if new hire X is willing to accept a lower offer that still falls within the pay scale for that category. Much of that has to do with what a person feels they need and want and will demand.

        Men are more likely, IMO, to feel pressure to earn more and ask for more since, even today, they still are considered to be the main breadwinner and less likely to take weeks, months, or even years off after the birth of a child.

      • Kendra excerpts:
        “The unexplained portion of the wage gap is attributed to gender discrimination.”

        Too bad this never works for male issues. When there is shown to be a substantial female advantage in college enrollment and graduation rates, then the battle cry of disparity = discrimination is nowhere to be found (particularly when feminists are trying to refute the boy crisis).

        It’s not scholarly to presume where there is unexplained disparity to PRESUME it must be discrimination.

        ht tp://www.consad.com/content/reports/Gender%20Wage%20Gap%20Final%20Report.pdf

        This is the largest report ever done on the wage gap with the most controls for people’s decisions. The portion of unexplained gap is NOT 30%, but 4% to 7%.

        Also, as this article points out this does not equate to discrimination, but a possible lack of even more hair-splitting in decisions. It could be that women are making decisions to go for employment with other compensation besides wages: such as better health care, in-work day-care, flex time, etc..

        Without those added level of controls in a study, it is NOT KNOWN the cause of the remaining disparity.
        The authors of this study call for an even more in-depth study.
        This study was commissioned by the federal government. It was also taken down when Obama took office. The truth is nobody’s enemy, except liars.

    • WHAT? ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT HERE? YOU MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

  36. I agree with the majority of what is being said in this article. However, I worry about putting too much emphasis on social constructions. It seems, according to this article, that homophobia is so deeply engrained into heterosexual men’s unconscious that even the most liberal heterosexual men cannot access or understand why they have the sexual preferences they do. Now I say that I worry about this because, it begs the question how would heterosexual men find their way out of the social constructedness of their gender role, in order to be more open to new sexual activities, if their sexual preferences are inscribed on such an unconscious level?
    Might a question that we could also ask be: do heterosexual men censor themselves when it comes to their desires, not only because they connect anal sex with homosexuality and passivity, but because their partner might as well and in turn be turned off? This is to ask the question that perhaps some heterosexual men don’t reject the idea of anal sex themselves, but perhaps they do not engage in it, because they fear rejection from their partner? So let’s take this one step further and ask along side the question of why don’t straight men like anal sex? Let us also ask: why wouldn’t a straight woman like to perform it? Perhaps the same heteronormativity is also inscribed in women as well?

Trackbacks

  1. […] This, by Maria Pawlowska? Is possibly not safe for work, but it’s a great look at masculinity and […]

Speak Your Mind

*