Myths about anal sex

When it comes to anal sex, there are a lot of myths out there. Like any other sex act, there are misconceptions everywhere but with anal, it seems like there are far more bandied about. Here we debunk some of these myths.

1. “All gays have anal sex”
Not true. Not everyone likes anal sex, and it is not one-size-fits-all. Some people aren’t comfortable with the idea of anal penetration or have tried it and found that it really isn’t for them. Some guys only top, some only bottom, some both, some not at all. It’s an individual choice.

2. “It will hurt”
Sadly, many people associate anal play with pain due to previous bad experiences or lack of understanding on how to make anal play enjoyable. Pleasurable anal sex is 90% preparation, and that includes getting mentally prepared. You can’t just shove a penis in – that will probably hurt. Going from erect straight into the anus (in a matter of seconds) is a no-no. The anal sphincter is strong, yet sensitive. It is best if you start small, with something like fingers, and then work your way towards something larger such as a butt plug or the penis. It is essential to relax the anal sphincter and to take it slow.

3. “It is dirty”
Anal hygiene is one of the most common concerns that people have about anal play. Fortunately, it isn’t that difficult to manage, and actual “pooping” during the act is extremely rare. However, you may find that poop is transferred to fingers, a sex toy, or penis if you have not taken any steps to rinse out the anal canal. At a minimum, to prevent any poop appearance, a bowel movement and shower before your anal adventure is suggested.
If you want more peace of mind that your playtime will be clean, you can try douching. It is best to complete this process at least an hour beforehand. You can try a reusable enema, or you can use a disposable enema (available at any pharmacy).

4. “Anal sex is just like what you see in porn”
Is any kind of sex just like what you see in porn? Anal sex requires preparation, and this can include conversations about protection beforehand, like PrEP, ARVs or condoms. When you watch it in porn, anal sex might seem like something you can launch into spontaneously, but real-life anal requires more care and consideration.

5. “Only ‘city’ girls and gays have anal sex”
Anal sex does not only take place between gay or bi men. It is also quite common among heterosexual people and that includes both men and women. Ever heard of pegging? Go look it up. It is falsely believed that anal sex is not enjoyable for women (because they don’t have a prostate) and that anal sex is associated with pain. This misconception of pain during anal play leads some to think that only people into BDSM (bondage) do it.

6. “You don’t need to use condoms when you have anal sex”
Condoms are recommended when having anal sex to prevent many STIs, including HIV. Most STIs are transferrable through the anus (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, infectious hepatitis, and HIV). Some even more so, because the lining of the anus is thin and can be broken if too much dry friction occurs (which is why it is important to use lube). While being HIV undetectable if a guy is positive or being on PrEP if a guy is negative are also very effective ways to prevent HIV transmission they do not prevent other STIs.

7. “Your anus will get all stretched out”
There have been rumours of men who engaged in so much anal activity that they actually lost control of their bowel movements. This is extremely unlikely to happen and these falsehoods are often used to attack men who have sex with men.  Your anus can learn to become more relaxed during sex (in part because you may become more mentally relaxed) but the sphincter muscles revert to their normal state afterwards. It is, of course, possible to hurt yourself if you aren’t paying attention to what you’re doing or if you’re forcing your body (or your partner’s body) to do something that doesn’t feel good. And, if you suffer from haemorrhoids or any other condition that affects your anus or rectum, you may want to be more cautious and check with your doctor. Also, if it hurts or feels uncomfortable, listen to your body.

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