Anal intercourse

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Anal intercourse or anal sex is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure. [1][2][3][4] Other forms of anal sex include fingering, the use of sex toys for anal penetration, oral sex performed on the anus (anilingus), and pegging. [3][5][6] Though the term anal sex most commonly means penile-anal penetration, [2][3][5][7] sources sometimes use the term anal intercourse to refer exclusively to penile-anal penetration, and anal sex to refer to any form of anal sexual activity, especially between pairings as opposed to anal masturbation.[7][8] Within the boylove community, there is currently no consensus on this form of intimacy. Studies have shown that "pedophiles" (those attracted to prepubescent boys) rarely are interested in, or engage in, anally penetrating prepubescent boys. That "pedophiles" usually wish to anally penetrate "little boys" is an often-repeated myth put forth by those opposed to boylove, in order to condemn boylovers and create hysteria among parents and others. There are those who are greatly opposed any form of anal sex and refer to the Greek model of boylove to support this position. There are others who feel it is a choice between lovers, if this is something they wish to engage in or not. There are also differences between teen boylovers and little boylovers as to what is age appropriate sexual expression.

While anal sex is commonly associated with male homosexuality, research shows that not all gay males engage in anal sex and that it is not uncommon in heterosexual relationships. [4][9][10][11] People may experience pleasure from anal sex by stimulation of the anal nerve endings,[Citation needed] and orgasm may be achieved through anal penetration – by indirect or direct stimulation of the prostate in men. [12][13] However, people may also find anal sex painful, sometimes extremely so, [14][15] which may be primarily due to psychological factors in some cases. [16]

As with most forms of sexual activity, anal sex participants risk contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs). Anal sex is considered a high-risk sexual practice because of the vulnerability of the anus and rectum. The anal and rectal tissues are delicate and do not provide natural lubrication, so they can easily tear and permit disease transmission, especially if lubricant is not used. [2][4][17] Anal sex without protection of a condom is considered the riskiest form of sexual activity, [17][18][19] and therefore health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend safe sex practices for anal sex. [20]

Strong views are often expressed about anal sex. It is controversial in various cultures, especially with regard to religious prohibitions. This is commonly due to prohibitions against anal sex among males or teachings about the procreative purpose of sexual activity.[5][6][8] It may be regarded as taboo or unnatural, and is a criminal offense in some countries, punishable by corporal or capital punishment; by contrast, people also regard anal sex as a natural and valid form of sexual activity that may be as fulfilling as other desired sexual expressions. They may regard it as an enhancing element of their sex lives or as their primary form of sexual activity.[5][6][8]


Anal Sex Among Youths, Man And Youth Engage In Intercrural. Attic black-figure hydria, ca. 510 B.C. New York, Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection, 737.

In 1992, a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 26% of men 18 to 59 and 20% of women 18 to 59 had engaged in heterosexual anal sex; a similar 2005 survey (also conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) found a rising incidence of anal sex relations in the American heterosexual population. The survey showed that 40% of men and 35% of women between 25 and 44 had engaged in heterosexual anal sex.[21] In terms of overall numbers of survey respondents, seven times as many women as gay men said that they engaged in anal intercourse, with this figure reflecting the larger heterosexual population size.[22]

In a 2007 report regarding the prevalence and correlates of heterosexual anal and oral sex among adolescents and adults in the United States, a National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) found that 34% men and 30% women reported ever participating in heterosexual anal sex. The percentage of participants reporting heterosexual anal sex was significantly higher among 20- to 24-year-olds and peaked among 30- to 34-year-olds.[23] A 2008 survey focused on a younger demographic of teenagers and young adults, aged 15–21. It found that 16% of 1350 surveyed had had this type of sex in the previous 3 months, with condoms being used 29% of the time.[24] However, given the subject matter, the survey hypothesized the prevalence was probably underestimated.

In Kimberly R. McBride's 2010 clinical review on heterosexual anal intercourse and other forms of anal sexual activity, it is suggested that changing norms may affect the frequency of heterosexual anal sex. McBride and her colleagues investigated the prevalence of non-intercourse anal sex behaviors among a sample of men (n=1,299) and women (n=1,919) compared to anal intercourse experience and found that 51% of men and 43% of women had participated in at least one act of oral–anal sex, manual–anal sex, or anal sex toy use.[7] The report states the majority of men (n=631) and women (n=856) who reported heterosexual anal intercourse in the past 12 months were in exclusive, monogamous relationships: 69% and 73%, respectively.[7] The review added that "most research on anal intercourse addresses men who have sex with men (MSM), with relatively little attention given to anal intercourse and other anal sexual behaviors between heterosexual partners" and "[r]esearch is quite rare that specifically differentiates the anus as a sexual organ or addresses anal sexual function or dysfunction as legitimate topics. As a result, we do not know the extent to which anal intercourse differs qualitatively from coitus."[7]

According to a 2010 study from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) that was authored by Debby Herbenick and other researchers, although anal intercourse is reported by fewer women than other partnered sex behaviors, partnered women in the age groups between 18–49 are significantly more likely to report having anal sex in the past 90 days.[25] As of 2011, this survey provides the most up to date data about anal sex at the population level.

Figures for prevalence can vary among different demographics, regions and nationalities. A 1999 South Korean survey of 586 women documented that 3.5% of the respondents reported having had anal sex.[26] By contrast, a 2001 French survey of five hundred female respondents concluded that a total of 29% had engaged in this practice, with one third of these confirming to have enjoyed the experience.[27]

Figures for the prevalence of sexual behavior can also fluctuate over time. Edward O. Laumann's 1992 survey, reported in The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, found that about 20% of heterosexuals had engaged in male-to-female anal sex. Sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, working in the 1940s, had found that number to be closer to 40% at the time. A researcher from the University of British Columbia in 2005 put the number of heterosexuals who have engaged in this practice at between 30% and 50%.[28] According to Columbia University's health website Go Ask Alice!: "Studies indicate that about 25 percent of heterosexual couples have had anal sex at least once, and 10 percent regularly have anal penetration."[9] The increase of anal sexual activity among heterosexuals has also been linked to the increase in anal pornography, especially if a person views it more regularly than a person who does not.[5][29][30][31]

Male to male

Behaviors and views

Shunga showing a man who is having anal intercourse with a boy.

Historically, anal sex has been commonly associated with male homosexuality. However, many gay men and men who have sex with men or boys in general (those who identify as gay, bisexual, heterosexual or have not identified their sexual identity) do not engage in anal sex.[9][11][32][33] Among men who have anal sex with other men, the insertive partner may be referred to as the top and the one being penetrated may be referred to as the bottom]. Those who enjoy either role may be referred to as versatile.[34][35]

Gay men who prefer anal sex may view it as their version of intercourse and a natural expression of intimacy that is capable of providing pleasure.[36][32][37] The notion that it might resonate with gay men with the same emotional significance that vaginal sex resonates with heterosexuals has also been considered.[37][38] Some men who have sex with men, however, believe that being a receptive partner during anal sex questions their masculinity.[39][40]

Men who have sex with men may also prefer to engage in frot definition? or other forms of mutual masturbation because they find it more pleasurable or more affectionate, to preserve technical virginity, or as safe sex alternatives to anal sex,[32][34][41][42] while other frot advocates denounce anal sex as degrading to the receptive partner and unnecessarily risky.[38][41][43]


Reports with regard to the prevalence of anal sex among gay men in the west have varied over time. Magnus Hirschfeld, in his 1914 work The Homosexuality of Men and Women, reported the rate of anal sex among gay men surveyed to be 8%, the least favored of all the practices documented.[44] By the 1950s in the United Kingdom, it was thought that about 15% of gay males had anal sex.[45]

Similar to the Hirschfeld study, scholars state that oral sex and mutual masturbation are more common than anal stimulation among gay men in long-term relationships.[9][32] They say that anal intercourse is generally more popular among gay male couples than among heterosexual couples, but that "it ranks behind oral sex and mutual masturbation" among both sexual orientations in prevalence.[46] Wellings et al. reported that "the equation of 'homosexual' with 'anal' sex among men is common among lay and health professionals alike" and that "yet an Internet survey of 18,000 MSM across Europe (EMIS, 2011) showed that oral sex was most commonly practised, followed by mutual masturbation, with anal intercourse in third place".[11] A 2011 survey by The Journal of Sexual Medicine found similar results for U.S. gay and bisexual men.[47]

Various older studies on male-to-male anal sex differ significantly. The 1994 Laumann study suggests that 80% of gay men practice anal sex and 20% never engage in it at all.[48] A survey in The Advocate in 1994 indicated that 46% of gay men preferred to penetrate their partners, while 43% preferred to be the receptive partner.[34] A survey conducted from 1994 to 1997 in San Francisco by the Stop AIDS Project indicated that over the course of the study, among men who have sex with men instead of solely gay men, the proportion engaging in anal sex increased from 57.6% to 61.2%.[49] The National Institutes of Health (NIH), with their report published in the BMJ in 1999, stated that two thirds of gay men have anal sex.[10] Other sources suggest that roughly three-fourths of gay men have had anal sex at one time or another in their lives, with an equal percentage participating as tops and bottoms.[34] WebMD reports that "an estimated 90% of men who have sex with men" have practiced receptive anal intercourse.[2]


  1. Anal sex from Wikipedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Anal Sex Safety and Health Concerns. WebMD. Retrieved on August 19, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Barry R. Komisaruk, Beverly Whipple, Sara Nasserzadeh, Carlos Beyer-Flores (2009). The Orgasm Answer Guide. JHU Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-0-8018-9396-4. Retrieved on November 6, 2011. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 See pages 270–271 for anal sex information, and page 118 for information about the clitoris. Janell L. Carroll (2009). Sexuality Now: Embracing Diversity. Cengage Learning. pp. 629 pages. ISBN 978-0-495-60274-3. Retrieved on December 19, 2010. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Dr. John Dean and Dr. David Delvin. Anal sex. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved on April 29, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Vern LeRoy Bullough, Bonnie Bullough (1994). Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. pp. 27–28. ISBN 0824079728. Retrieved on July 5, 2013. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Kimberly R. McBrideab, J. Dennis Fortenberry (March 2010). "Heterosexual anal sexuality and anal sex behaviors: a review". Journal of Sex Research 47 (2-3): 123–136. doi:10.1080/00224490903402538. PMID 20358456. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Anal Sex, defined. Archived from the original on June 13, 2002. Retrieved on July 23, 2013.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Not all gay men have anal sex. Go Ask Alice! (June 13, 2008). Retrieved on April 26, 2010.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bell, Robin (February 1999). "ABC of sexual health: Homosexual men and women". BMJ (National Institutes of Health/BMJ) 318 (7181): 452–5. doi:10.1136/bmj.318.7181.452. PMID 9974466. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Kaye Wellings, Kirstin Mitchell, Martine Collumbien (2012). Sexual Health: A Public Health Perspective. McGraw-Hill International. p. 91. ISBN 0335244815. Retrieved on August 29, 2013. 
  12. The male hot spot — Massaging the prostate. Go Ask Alice! (March 28, 2008). Retrieved on April 21, 2010.
  13. See page 3 for women preferring anal sex to vaginal sex, and page 15 for reaching orgasm through indirect stimulation of the G-spot. Tristan Taormino (1997). The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women. Cleis Press. pp. 282 pages. ISBN 978-1-57344-221-3. Retrieved on November 6, 2011. 
  14. Pain from anal sex, and how to prevent it. Go Ask Alice! (June 26, 2009). Retrieved on April 7, 2011.
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  19. Werner W. K. Hoeger, Sharon A. Hoeger (2010). Lifetime Fitness and Wellness: A Personalized Program. Cengage Learning. p. 455. ISBN 1133008585. Retrieved on August 28, 2013. 
  20. World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research Global strategy for the prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections: 2006–2015. Breaking the chain of transmission, 2007, ISBN 978-92-4-156347-5
  21. William D. Mosher, PhD; Anjani Chandra, PhD; and Jo Jones, PhD, Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15–44 Years of Age, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, Division of Vital Statistics, September 15, 2005
  22. Anne-Christine d'Adesky, Expanding Microbicide Research in amfAR Global Link – Treatment Insider; May 2004
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  24. Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center.
  25. National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB). Findings from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Vol. 7, Supplement 5. 2010.
  26. Yi, Ung-hoe; Sin, Jong-seong; Choe, Hyeong-gi (1999). "한국여성의 성형태에 대한 연구 (Sexual Behavior of Korean Women)". Daehan Namseong Gwahak Hoeji 17 (3): 177–185. 
  27. Les pratiques sexuelles des Françaises (French). TNS/Sofres. Archived from the original on April 29, 2007. Retrieved on April 30, 2007. Survey carried out by TNS/Sofres in a representative sample of 500 women from 18 to 65 years of age, in April and May 2002.
  28. Healthy sex is all in the talk. The Georgia Straight (May 5, 2005). Archived from the original on June 29, 2007. Retrieved on June 14, 2007.
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  33. Goldstone, Stephen E.; Welton, Mark L. (2004). "Sexually Transmitted Diseases of the Colon, Rectum, and Anus". Clin Colon Rectal Surg 17 (4): 235–239. PMID 20011265. 
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  35. [1] Role versatility among men who have sex with men in urban Peru. In: The Journal of Sex Research, August 2007
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  46. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Weiten
  47. Sexual Behaviors and Situational Characteristics of Most Recent Male-Partnered Sexual Event among Gay and Bisexually Identified Men in the United States Retrieved 2-13-2014
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See also

External links