A new study reveals major gender differences in how we view it and why we do it.
Whether you love it, hate it, have tried or have thought about it, anal sex seems to be less taboo these days. But a new British study found that young women are not always doing it for the right reasons. The research, published in the medical journal BMJ Open, tried to gather information about when anal sex and the reasons why men and women occurs engaged in it.
Using a sample of 130 heterosexual men and women between the ages of 16 and 18 cities and suburbs of England, scientists conducted group interviews and individual interviews to find out about the sexual practices of the participants. The results revealed significant gender differences in the ways men and women talk about anal sex and motivation to have it.
While men in the study tended to correlate anal sex with male sexual pleasure and performance, the women brought a fear of physical pain and a damaged reputation. Males often expressed that he wanted to have anal sex to imitate pornography and because it was more enjoyable than vaginal intercourse, while women said they mainly did it to please their partners. There was a common understanding among respondents that women had to beg or forced to participate and should expect it hurts, and if they refused anal sex, were tense. The idea of “if you try, you will like” is frequently referred to as a man tactic used to convince women to try. And unfortunately, many subjects were unaware that STIs can be transmitted easily through anal sex.
Obviously, this study only looked at a small subsection of young adults in the UK, so that these attitudes are not representative of all men and women, especially older adults in committed relationships. Still, it is striking unfortunate harmful stereotypes and gender norms surrounding the anal sex.
However, these views are not necessarily rare among American adults, says sex therapist licensed Christine Milrod, Ph.D. She attributes this increased interest in sex-anal and stereotypes surrounding the act to pornography. But it is important to remember that porn is not sex education, and themes that can be seen in it are often seriously unrealistic. The fact is that some women are not enthusiastic backdoor action, while others really enjoy it; for some it is painful, while others find it pleasurable; and most importantly, should never be something you’re forced you to do.
When it comes to experimenting with this sexual act, first Milrod advice is not to succumb to pressure from your partner if you are not ready or interested in trying it. “Some women do not enjoy it and you should not have to do it,” says Milrod.
But if you’re interested in trying it with your partner and both are on the same page, it is suggested that you use lots of lube, go slowly, and definitely have him wear a condom to protect both of bacterial infections and diseases sexually transmitted. And do not forget to relax, enjoy, and communicate freely with your partner. This should be pleasurable for both, and should not hesitate to talk if it is not. “Too often, women just go along with everything a man says simply because they want to please God,” adds Milrod. “When women are going to decide what they want to do sexually?”