How common is anal sex, really?
When you’re not doing it, it seems like everyone else is.
When you are doing it, you’re made to feel like you’re the only one. You know, because of anal still being a bit of a taboo.
So let’s look at some stats to reassure us either way.
A new survey from Bespoke Surgical has found that one in four straight women had anal sex on a regular basis – meaning at least a few times a month.
So that’s 25% of straight women. Not a majority, but perhaps more than you might expect. And these are women who are having anal fairly regularly – previous research suggests that 37% of women have ever had anal.
These results should be reassuring to the anal-havers and those entirely uninterested in the act. No, you’re not weird or alone if you’re having anal sex. You’re also not in a minority if it really doesn’t appeal to you. Good to know, right?
Other stats from the study aren’t quite as reassuring.
Of the 300 women surveyed, 57% of those who had anal never used a condom for butt stuff.
Now, it’s possible (and, we reckon, quite likely) that this is because straight women tend to have anal sex with longterm partners who they know are free of STIs because they get regular checks. But just in case, let us remind you that STIs and STDs absolutely can still get passed on through anal.
It’s important to wear a condom if you aren’t entirely confident that you and your partner are free of any infections or diseases, and to make sure to use an oil-based lubricant rather than a water or silicone based one, which can break down condoms.
Also concerning: one in five of the women surveyed who’d engaged in anal said they experienced tearing or other damage from the act. That’s an important reminder to partake in anal safely and comfortably, using lots of lube, going slow, and stopping if there’s any pain.
The results also showed that cleanliness is a real worry among straight women, who tend to fret about any poo getting on their partner’s penis.
This is totally understandable – the risk of the person you’re having sex with seeing your faeces can be more than off-putting. But if the entire time you’re experimenting with anal you’re panicking about poo, there’s no way you’re going to enjoy it. It’s best to shower beforehand, have a quick swipe with your finger to make sure you’re clean and comfortable, and only go ahead once you feel happy.
Don’t bother with douching – you really don’t need to do it, and incorrect methods can cause damage.
What we can learn from this research, then, is that if you don’t want to have anal that’s totally okay. You don’t have to.
But if you are keen on giving it a go, make sure you’re doing anal play safely and comfortably. Use protection, use a load of lube, go slowly, make sure you’re clean enough to feel comfortable, and stop if you’re not enjoying it. Sex is supposed to be enjoyable. If it’s not, don’t do it. If it is, don’t feel any shame.
Essential anal tips:
- Experiment first. Try rimming, inserting a finger, or using small toys before you go straight to putting a penis in there.
- Get clean beforehand – but accept that there might be some mess involved. If your partner can’t handle the prospect of mess, don’t have anal with them. Get clean so you feel comfortable.
- Use a lot of lube. A lot.
- Use protection. Use a condom, and make sure to use an oil-based lube rather than a water or silicone based one, which can break down latex.
- Go slowly. Slower than that.
- Try different positions. Choose one where the person receiving anal is in control and the thrusts won’t feel too deep.
- Make sure you’re relaxed. If you’re feeling tense anal will be no fun. If you’re not feeling comfortable, stop.
- Stop if you feel pain. Anal might feel a bit strange, but it shouldn’t hurt. If it’s not feeling good, stop.
- Enter and withdraw slowly. Ramming in and yanking out is deeply uncomfortable.
- Never go from anal to vaginal. Getting stuff from your butt in your vagina will cause all manner of discomfort and infections. Don’t do it.