There are tons of misconceptions about how it feels and who really wants it.
Anal sex is one of our culture's biggest taboos — and with that, there's tons of misconceptions about how it feels and who really wants it.
A recent study on British teens aged 16 to 18, performed at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that more and more teens are testing the waters when it comes to anal, however murky they may be. Do the youngins know something you don't? Is there more pleasure to be had from the back door than the front?
Before you rule it out completely, here's what you probably didn't know about anal.
1. Not all men are into it.
Shocker, huh? According to the study, most of the 16- to 18-year-old boys loved the idea of having anal with their partner, but when it came down to it, they never really thought they'd have it. And when they did, well, it wasn't that thrilling. "I thought it was going to be a lot better, to be honest," one man said.
But that feeling may not end in their teenage years. When we polled guys about their favorite (and least favorite) sex positions, Kyle, 34, explained, "I'll admit that I was really obsessed with having anal before I had it, but now I'm over it. I'd rather have sex that pleasures her, too."
2. It's more of a competition among men.
If these guys aren't actually enjoying it, why are they doing it? It's all about competition, says the study. Not only will men consider doing it an accomplishment, but they'll encourage their peers to do it, too.
Jonny, 26, told us, "Guys want to have it. It's kind of like this elite club: Either you've had anal, or you haven't. You want to get in on the club just to say that you can be in it."
3. The porn industry is anal's biggest advocate.
It's not all that surprising, but when the teens in the British study were asked why they were tempted to try anal out, most of them (guys and girls included) revealed that they wanted to copy what they'd seen in porn. Since anal is such a taboo topic, it makes sense that a lot of people look to porn for a how-to when it comes to anal.
4. No one knows for sure if those "slips" are accidental.
Slipups in the bedroom happen to everyone. But when he slips out of one hole and into totally new territory, is it really as "unintentional" as he claims?
The researchers seem to agree: It's pretty hard to gauge whether or not your partner actually unintentionally slipped or whether he was just using that as an excuse. The researchers said, "It is difficult to assess the extent to which events described as 'slips' were genuinely unintentional."
5. More people are trying it than you think.
Salon published an article about the biggest misconceptions surrounding anal, and how little we really know about it. They also noted that in a 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, as many as 40 to 45 percent of women and men were doing it. Which proves that even though people — of any age — may be hesitant to talk about it, they're still trying it out behind closed doors.
6. Women may be coerced into trying it.
Young men weren't concerned with getting consent to have anal sex with their female partners.
"It seems that men were expected to persuade or coerce reluctant partners," the researchers wrote, after noting that teenagers feel like women would likely only participate in anal just to please their partners. The teens even said that women would be coerced to do it even if the act "might hurt them."
7. Yes, you can still get STDs.
There's a lot of false information out there that basically says you're STD-free if you do it in the butt. They're wrong. One of the most glaring findings from the London study was that teens didn't have a clue that they could still get STDs from unprotected anal sex.
Education about STDs goes hand-in-hand with education on anal: The more we talk about it, the more information is out there.