I’ve been considering having anal sex with my boyfriend. We’ve been having sex for about 8 weeks now and we started talking about having anal a few days ago. We’re both curious, he’s not pressuring me or anything, but I realized all I really know about anal sex is that a lot of people don’t want to talk about it and I don’t feel comfortable asking my friends. I have some concerns, like his penis, it’s sort of bent a bit and also he wants me to perform it on him as well.

Curiously curious

Dear Fayners Girlfriend,

It’s understandable why you’d be hesitant about asking someone about this topic. Common responses to the mention of anal sex are gasps, cringes or stunned silence. But why?

From a "moral" standpoint, any sex that is not strictly for the purpose of producing children is sinful. People who give in to carnal desire are considered weak. Sex for play or strictly for pleasure is inappropriate.

Enter anal sex. With anal sex, there is no possibility of becoming pregnant. So even while vaginal sex out of marriage may still be deemed immoral by some, it’s much more accepted by say…. the porn industry.

But anal sex is not the only sexual act that simply functions as a means to an end – pleasure to the point of orgasm. For instance, the use of hands and fingers, or mutual masturbation, is very popular. Also, oral sex has nothing to do with procreation. Many people see oral sex as an alternative to regular sex if they’re not ready to or unable to have other types of sex. In these ways, oral sex is not very different from anal sex, yet the majority of the sexually active community sees oral sex as perfectly acceptable.

So why is anal sex different? Certainly one can argue that it involves penetrating an area that was not meant to be penetrated – but the same could be said of oral sex! So this can’t be the only reason anal sex is taboo. Every person who is against or at least uncomfortable with anal sex is hardly a religious zealot; many healthy, sexually active and open-minded people certainly avoid the topic.

Anal sex is socially different. If one researched anal sex, some of the topics you would come across are sodomy, HIV/AIDS, rape and homosexuality. These things cannot be ignored because they are historically appropriate.

Ideas of sodomy became so ingrained in modern society that it was actually illegal across the entire country for many years and is unfortunately still banned in certain states. To me, this seems to be less about the act and more about the people who are perceived to have anal sex. Such bans allow men and women to enjoy "normal" sex, while gay men’s sexuality and behaviors are restricted at the risk of legal repercussions.

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