7 Myths About Anal Sex

April 29 5 min read

Anal sex can seem mysterious and foreboding to the uninitiated, and the reams of misinformation out there doesn’t help. We’re taking a closer look at seven of the most common myths about anal sex and why they shouldn’t hold you back. 

*Some quick advice up top: the most essential component of any kind of sex is communication, so make sure you talk it all through with your partner. It’s really the most important thing. That and condoms. Use condoms. 

Myth 1: Anal always hurts

One of the most pervasive and pernicious myths surrounding butt stuff is that it will always feel like being cleaved in two by a flaming broadsword and that’s just the way of it. Some discomfort is natural regarding an area not universally associated with sexual pleasure and one which fulfills a specific biological function, and reframing that, both physically and mentally, may take some time. That said, there’s a difference between pain and discomfort. If at any point you feel your needle start to shift from “oh, that feels rather odd” to “oh, that stings’, listen to your body and don’t push through to the point of “my ancestors will feel this pain erupt in their bodies on cold nights for millennia to come”. You don’t want to take too much of a risk here, as the rectal wall is more fragile than the vagina or mouth, making it more prone to tearing. 

The secret to successful anal sex is usually a simple formula of lube + patience = happy butts. Use lots of lube. Like, a lot. And if you think you’ve used enough, use more. The human body is capable of wondrous things if given enough time and respect (and lube).

Myth 2: If I’m not into anal sex, I’m not an incandescent kink-wizard sex-god worthy of unalloyed love and adulation

Mainstream porn has contributed to a narrative wherein everyone is up for butt stuff every time all the time. That’s just not true. Like every other aspect of sex, anal is something you should only ever do if you want to. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with never wanting to do it. If someone tries to pressure you, kick them out of bed and out of your life.

Myth 3: The goal is working your way up to fitting the biggest thing you can up there

A useful question to ask yourself with anything regarding sex is: why am I doing this? If the answer isn’t ‘because it makes me feel good’, it’s time for some re-evaluation. When it comes to anal, this question is even more important. As mentioned above, it can involve an element of discomfort, and if both parties involved are not on the same page about limits and boundaries, that’s a bad thing. Whatever works for you, works for you, whether it’s the tip of a pinkie or the entirety of a Mutant Beast Cock XL3000.

Myth 4: I'll die from embarrassment if I get poop on someone

Even if it feels like it at the time, you won’t actually die. If you're with the right people, they'll know that a bit of mess is just how it goes with anal sometimes. As the idiom goes, if you play with fire, you might get poop on you. Sex in all its glory is a messy business, so embrace those fears and insecurities with your partners and have a conversation about it. If you’re still concerned, there are ways of dealing with this: timing your meals carefully, douching beforehand, etc. And always make sure you have some wet wipes at hand. Lifesavers.

Myth 5: Anal is only for special occasions

‘Happy birthday! Have some butthole!’ is a tired, tired cliche. While anal can be one of the more intensive sexual acts in terms of prep activity, time investment and mental/emotional engagement, it’s no more inherently ‘special’ than any other form of sex. By introducing it into a revolving menu of sexual acts, you can help to remove some of the anxiety around it and allow it to be become another form of mutually appreciated sexual expression.

Myth 6: Okay, but won’t my ass be stretched out and ruined forever?

The rectum is incredibly robust and it’s unlikely you’re going to stretch it out permanently. With safe anal play, there shouldn’t be any long-term effects. If you spend the appropriate amount of time relaxing the sphincter muscles, you’ll set the scene for good anal sex.

Myth 7:  No anal for me – I’ll never find a partner I’m comfortable enough to try it with

Good news! Like many of the best parts of sex, you can do it yourself. Finding your limits and comfort levels on your own is invaluable and can provide unexpected amounts of pleasure. It can even – but doesn’t need to – lead to increased comfort with involving a partner. Anal training kits start you out on itty-bitty butt plugs, and works you up to bigger and bigger ones at your own comfort level. Hetero dudes, you too! Stash the gay panic in the ’50s and go to town on yourself. There are literally oodles of untapped pleasure centres waiting to be tingled. 

« Zane is a writer living in London. He writes about sex, travel, identity politics and pop culture. He is queer and polyamorous, and has many, many houseplants. Like, many. » All posts →