5 False Myths About Anal Sex — DEBUNKED!

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Anal sex is a topic many people are curious about but not comfortable talking about openly. And for every one or two people admitting they'd like to try it (or actually have tried it and enjoy it) there are dozens more insisting it's dirty, degrading, and downright gross.

So, how do you separate fact from fiction about anal sex? Here's what you need to know in order to decide whether anal sex is right for you.

First, it's important to know that the anus is a "natural" part of your erogenous zones. The anus actually has tons of pleasure-enhancing nerve endings that connect to nerves in the vulva and penis. People are capable of having an orgasm just by stimulating the anus through anal sex or otherwise.

It's a sex act worth your consideration. Why bypass incredible potential pleasure because of negative myths and false beliefs? So, to help you wrap your mind around this sex act in a new way, here are five anal sex myths I'm happy to debunk:  

1. It's dirty.

While a little messiness can occur during anal sex, it doesn't have to. The book Arouse Her Anal Ecstasy offers directions on techniques for cleansing, both inside and outside, that are unique to anal sex and are really quite simple. 

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The idea that the anus is dirty comes from childhood experiences of frowning adults, wrinkling their noses and making negative statements about your bodily functions. Of course, we believed those adults and simply accepted that this part of our body is "disgusting." But most of those adults also wrongly said that sex, in general, is "bad" and "naughty" (and we now, happily, know otherwise), so perhaps it's time to question their comments about the anus, too.

2. It hurts.

Many women try anal sex just to see what it's like. But if it hurts, they don't want to try it ever again. Let me assure you, anal sex doesn't have to hurt (and it's not supposed to)! 

Both you and your partner must understand that treating the anus like it's the vagina is a huge no-no. They are not the same; do not try penetrating them the same way. The anus lacks the natural lubricant of the vagina. And unlike the vagina, which is always open, and takes little-to-nothing to prepare for penetration, the anus's job is to hold things in, not let things in. You must approach it slowly!

Experiment with light touch around the anus. Does that feel okay? Wait for the answer. If yes, proceed very slowly... very, very slowly. Take plenty of time for many yeses. If a "no" shows up in the least, respect it. Stop. Pain is never a good thing.

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3. It's not loving.

In our culture, anal sex somehow landed on the "taboo" sex act list. The men I ask usually say, "Yes," they want anal sex. When I ask why they prefer this to vaginal intercourse, the majority admit the taboo factor is highly arousing.

Something being "taboo" definitely elicits strong sexual arousal, but not in a way that includes feelings of love. If a loving partner responds to (gets aroused by) the "taboo" nature of any activity, it is definitely possible that person might shift from loving connection during sex to self-centered lust. If you're okay with this kind of arousal, great. If not, then stop. It's time for a conversation.

Talk, talk, and talk some more. Reduce the taboo nature of anal sex act. Claim it as normal and natural. Then, you can love each other while you use this act as a way of giving and receiving pleasure to and from one another.  

4. You'll feel dishonored. 

Never allow anyone to dishonor you sexually (and, for the record, only YOU can decide where that line is for you). Ensuring that you feel honored during anal sex depends on the way your man goes about it. If he's aroused by associating anal stimulation as something taboo, he may very well see you and your anus as an object of lust and get off on the idea of "degrading" you through this act.

You get to say "No" to this. Then, the two of you talk, hoping to change this attitude. Perhaps try consenting to exploring very limited stimulation of your anus so you can both see it as pleasurable. Then, and only then, can you approach this sexual act as a means of joint sexual pleasure. If your partner cannot (or will not) engage in the act in ways that feel healthy and honoring to you, say, "No."

But if your man approaches anal sex as an activity meant to please you, help you feel good, and make you feel cared for, there is no dishonoring occurring. It is love-making.

5. Friends will disapprove.

Yes, people do judge. Your friends may disapprove. Interestingly, I've asked a number of friends and clients if they engage in anal sex. Almost every woman says she has tried it, but only a few women continued. They themselves puzzle over whether this is because of physical discomfort (what they first claimed) or the overwhelming weight of it being a social taboo.

When I share with friends that I like anal sex, they often look at me strangely... unless they like it, too. Then, they're highly relieved to know that someone else will talk about it in a positive light. But whether your friends approve or don't, what occurs in the bedroom is between you and your trusted partner. 

And here's the thing: anal sex may bring you closer. If you and your partner enjoy this activity that isn't openly discussed by others, it becomes just yours, not shared. Part of your private, intimate life together. No one else knows about it.

Different from the usual sexual activities that everyone else knows about (because they do them, too), privacy about a sexual topic can actually make it special. So, it's your choice whether you want to keep believing the false anal sex myths or open your minds, hearts, and bodies to the idea of discovering a new way to show your love for one another.  

And at dinner with friends, you can look across the table and quietly grin at one another, knowing that you share a secret, sexual delight.

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Anne Stirling Hastings, Ph.D. is a California psychologist and author specializing in sexuality and relationships. She is the author of self-helpb ooks and is now writing Transformational Fiction novels in which she entertains and informs. Dirty Sex or Clean Sex is available on Kindle.

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