||Anal Sex and Risks
sex or anal intercourse is human sexual behavior involving the anus
and rectum, especially the insertion of the erect penis into the anus.
Some people enjoy activities involving these sensitive areas of the
body, while others do not.
The terms sodomy and buggery are imprecise: while they are sometimes
used as synonyms for anal sex, they often refer to all sexual activities
that are considered unnatural, including bestiality.
sex has been the subject of a strong taboo in many Western countries
since the Middle Ages, when heretical movements were sometimes slandered
through rumors that their members practiced anal sex among themselves.
At that time, anal sex also bore associations with witchcraft. Some
medieval woodcuts portray persons kissing the anus of a goat-like
figure representing the Devil. To a lesser extent, anal sex remains
somewhat taboo in many Western cultures and is still illegal in some
practiced by heterosexual couples, it has often been associated with
homosexual men. Like persons of other sexual orientations, some gay
men enjoy sexual activities of this kind while many others do not.
Heterosexual couples have sometimes used anal intercourse as a means
of birth control. It should probably be considered a fairly reliable
but not foolproof method, as it is still possible for semen to contact
the vagina and result in pregnancy.
in less developed areas, a severe tradition regarding the first wedding
night required that "the morning after" the husband exposed
on a balcony the sheet used for nuptial bed, which had to present
an evident blood spot, as a proof of previous chastity of the wife,
presuming that the defloration necessarily produces bleeding (since
this does not necessarily happen in every case, the lack of the sheet's
exposition, or of the spot, could cause serious troubles to both,
even in the case of a perfectly innocent woman who simply failed to
bleed). Virginity, and its "correct" loss, had to be demonstrated
this way to the public, as a matter of public relevance.
reason why women accepted the practice of anal sex before marriage
has to be therefore found in the need of offering a material proof
of love, so that the promised spouse would not lose interest in them,
marriage being the principal scope of a woman (in these cultures),
without which she would be worth nothing. It has to be recalled that
in small villages there were old women (former midwives) specialized
in examining the conditions of hymen before the wedding.
the same mentality, women were not officially allowed to find pleasure
in sex, therefore sex was only served as a sort of marital prostitution;
in this sense, under the sole husband's determination, anal sex was
a form of contraception too in the case of couples who already had
too many babies, since the ignorance about other methods was total.
Similar facts were reported up to a very few decades ago, and it is
currently impossible to certify whether this mentality has been totally
abandoned or has otherwise been substantially modified.
Gay men have long been associated with anal sex. Several cultures,
such as Ancient Greece, earned a reputation as normal practitioners
of homosexual anal sex ("Greek love" was a term used to
refer to it.). It was custom for an older Greek man to take a young
boy under his wing. He would affectionately tutor the boy, and engage
in sex with him until a few years after puberty, at which point the
young man chose his own pedant. Some argue that this was actually
inter femoral intercourse not anal intercourse.
not all gay men participate in anal sex or find it enjoyable, especially
after the advent of AIDS. Other gay men reserve anal sex for committed
is not true that all gay relationships involving anal sex contain
a "receiver" (taking the place of the woman) who consistently
submits to anal sex, and a "giver" (taking the place of
the man) who always performs it. Some relationships are structured
this way (the preferred terms are top and bottom - most bottoms in
this culture would be very offended by the implication that their
manhood was in doubt); however, many gay men who have anal sex both
top and bottom at different times. (see switch.)
some cultures, a man who tops other men is not considered homosexual,
whereas a man who bottoms is. Anglo-American queer culture does not
make this distinction; both tops and bottoms who sleep exclusively
with men are considered gay.
Anal sex can be very pleasurable both for the top (insertive partner)
and the bottom (receptive partner). The anus contains many of the
same kinds of nerves as the penis or clitoris, and stimulating the
anus produces sexual pleasure.
the presence of the prostate gland near the rectal wall is an additional
source of pleasure for a man who receives anal sex. Although male
receptive anal sex has often been thought of as the exclusive province
of gay men, in recent years many straight men have discovered receptive
anal sex as a source of intense sexual pleasure. A woman may penetrate
her male partner using her fingers or an object such as a dildo or
butt plug; harnesses can be used so that a woman can wear a dildo
(this is sometimes referred to as a "strap-on"). This practice
often forms part of BDSM as practiced by dominatrics.
Anal sex is an effective means of transmitting most sexually transmitted
diseases. In particular, it is the sexual activity which most effectively
transmits the HIV (AIDS) virus. Health care professionals suggest
that condoms should always be used for anal intercourse, but they
should by no means be considered an absolute safeguard. The best suggestion
is to avoid anal sex with anyone known to have a sexually transmissible
disease, and indeed with anyone whose disease-negative status has
not been determined.
sex does carry some risks to health and comfort even in the absence
of a risk of sexually transmitted disease. The vagina is well adapted
to sex, being strengthened for this activity and secreting its own
lubrication, whereas the anus and rectum are not. Thus, artificial
lubrication is generally used in anal sex (oil-based lubricants like
Vaseline destroy latex condoms, and the two should not be used together).
The anorectal muscles are largely under involuntary control, making
slow, gentle, and responsive insertion necessary to avoid pain. Additionally,
nothing which has been placed in the anus should ever contact the
vulva, vagina, or mouth without being thoroughly washed with soap
or a similar disinfectant, to avoid infection caused by the transmission
of inappropriate bacteria to this area.
is also very important to be careful when inserting objects into the
anus. Objects with edges or points can cause severe injury. Moreover,
objects could get lodged in the rectum, resulting in a trip to the
emergency room. (Most dildos nowadays are made with flared bases.)
Additionally, nothing longer than eight inches (20 cm) -- be it a
penis, a vibrator, or anything else -- should be inserted into the
rectum. Objects exceeding eight inches risk colliding with the sigmoid
colon. The sigmoid colon's lining isn't much stronger than a wet paper
towel, and trauma can result in internal bleeding, with potentially
fatal hemorrhage. It would be wise to wash carefully after every use.
It is dangerous to share sex toys; if a dildo is used on more than
one person, it should be covered with a condom which is changed after
each use. (See masturbation for more information on the use of sex
all forms of anal sex, it is very important for the person being penetrated
to know their limits and insist that the penetrator slow down, stop,
and/or withdraw if they are in pain. Like any form of sex, anal sex
is rendered much more dangerous under the influence of alcohol or
drugs, which reduce responses, judgment, and ability to pay attention
to one's own needs.