This article was first published on February 4, 2013.
- Myth 1: it’s gay
If you think only gay men have anal sex, you’re wrong. Lots of straight men around the world enjoy anal sex. And that doesn’t make them gay. In fact, a recent US study found that 44 percent of straight men under 50 have had anal sex at least once. So gay or straight, you could enjoy anal sex.
[What’s more, gay sex isn’t just anal sex, as Love Matters reported in 2011. A US study found that only just over third of gay men surveyed said they had anal sex last time they made love – ed.]
- Myth 2: it’s unnatural
Anal sex isn't unnatural or perverted either. It has been around for centuries and been viewed as an acceptable form of sexual intercourse. Don’t trust me? Take a trip to the famous Khajurao temples and see for yourself – all those beautiful sculptures doing it!
- Myth 3: it’s dirty
A lot of us think that the anus is dirty and disgusting. Not our fault. We’ve been raised that way. Since we were kids, we’ve been told how to rid ourselves of all germs when we get anywhere remotely close to the poo-poo hole, right? But if you’re keeping yourself clean by general standards of cleanliness, there’s no need to worry.
- Myth 4: it's painful
If you’re relaxed, use a condom and a lubricant, anal sex won’t be painful. In fact, if you find anal sex painful, it’s only because you’re tense. So the key is to relax the muscles around your rectum to receive the penis.
- Myth 5: women don't like it
If you’re worried that your girlfriend or wife would not like the idea of anal sex, stop assuming! Just make a proposal and see what she says. Returning to the American survey I mentioned earlier – 36 percent of straight American women have had anal sex at least once. (Mind you, some porn might give you the impression that all women are raring for a bottom-blistering thrusting session – equally a myth.)
- Myth 6: it's harmful
I’ve heard some weird myths about anal sex and anatomy. That it makes your ass grow in size, for example! Well, that's obviously rubbish.
But you do need to take enough precautions while having anal sex. Be sure to use condoms and a lubricant. Too much skin-on-skin friction can give you fissures. And just like oral and vaginal sex, anal sex exposes you to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. So, be careful.
Well, that’s that for now. Hope I've busted some myths around anal sex. I’ll be back next week with another edition of my Sex Myth Buster series.
Have you heard a rumour about sex and wonder if it's true? Let Gayatri know and she'll nail the facts or bust the myths!
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Gayatri Parameswaran is a multi-award-winning writer, director and producer of immersive media works. She was born and raised in India and is currently based in Berlin, where she co-founded NowHere Media - a storytelling studio that views contemporary issues through a critical lens. She also edited the Love Matters website in its initial years. Check out more about her here.
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