Anal Play is not actually that “gay”

Homosexual individuals receive a lot of stereotypes when it comes to anal sex and foreplay, but the reality is that it’s not just gay men that enjoy anal sex. Straight men, straight women, bisexuals…they all enjoy it. In a survey done 44% of men and 36% of women reported having anal sex. So what is such the taboo with anal sex?

In the article “Anal Sex” by Simon Hardy, anal sex is explored as a phallic sexuality. Phallic Sexuality is the dominant way of thinking about sex; in our society it is heteronormative, and patriarchal in the way that the man or the “penis” is dominant while the female or “vagina” is submissive. The article talks about sex in prison in this ideal because it’s not about sexual attraction, it’s about dominance. A man dominating another man in prison shows his authority and makes the other man weaker.

The reason anal sex between men is seen as such a taboo is because a man is willingly giving up his dominance to be submissive to another man. The heteronormative society that we live in today teaches us that men are always supposed to be the ones with the power. So, for a man to be submissive to another man, that freaks people out. But that is not true for everyone. In a study done in the article, gay men sometimes switch back and forth between who is the receiving and who is the dominant one. That way one man isn’t completely stripped of his “dominance”.

But gay men are not the only ones who enjoy anal sex. Or anal play for that matter. In a study done, discussed on this Website around 25% of gay men have engaged in anal play—not including anal sex. But, over 51% of all men have reported participating in where’s the other 26%? Straight and bisexual men. And on top of that 43% of women have reported participating in these acts too. What this shows us is that the ass isn’t as taboo as we thought. Simon Hardy’s article explores anal sex as different alternatives,not just for gay men. In the article Hardy describes anal sex as , “a method of contraception, heterosexual substitution, routine variation of sexual repertoire, as a special/ultimate intimacy, and a fashionable theme of culture representation.” More couples are having anal sex as a way to switch up their love lives. And that’s okay. There is a stigma of the anus as a dirty place, but if the person you are engaging with cleans themselves regularly then it shouldn’t be dirty.

In the online article it describes how society, in an attempt to normalize anal sex, “desexualizes” gay men and pushes them into the heterosexual world. While trying to get more people to open up to the idea of anal sex, it takes away the identity of gay men and fits them into heteronormative stereotypes telling people “Look these people are just like you and they have anal sex too!” This then strips the identities of gay men away in an attempt to comfort straight men. This is retroactive in its attempt for progress. The solution offered instead is to not make excuses or try to belittle those who are different— simply own the fact. Anal sex has a lot to do with sexual subjectivity. Sexual Subjectivity is taking some aspect of your sexual being and owning the fact that you do it and like it. Anal sex is a concept that has tried to be hidden for years but as years and years go by, more people are standing up and confessing that they enjoy it. And they are having subjectivity in it, and not apologizing, and I think that is the way it should be.

Personally, almost all of my friends have had anal sex. They talk about it openly and some of them like it and some of them don’t. Their modes of thinking on it is: “If you never try it how would you know you never liked it.” For them they did it with a partner that they were with for a while and physically comfortable with and after they tried it they made the decision whether to do it or not. And I like that idea. I don’t see why one sex is deemed good (and even held up in such sacred respect) while sex in an area nearly inches away is condemned. Everything is a personal choice when it comes down to it, but to tell someone what they are doing is dirty and gross isn’t helping. The one thing I do not agree with is the idea of anal sex as a method of contraception. Even if you can’t get pregnant, I believe condoms are always a good idea because STDs are always a risk.

“So it turns out that exploring the most private of private parts with your tongue, or getting pleasure from it, isn’t necessarily a gay thing. It’s a human thing – if we let it be.”

So my question to the readers is this:
How do you feel about anal sex? Do you think it should be as taboo as it is?
Do you think society is trivializing gay men’s identities in a way for straight men to accept anal sex more?
Do you believe anal sex makes you more vulnerable?

One thought on “Anal Play is not actually that “gay”

  1. Anal sex is one of those things where I try to not let my opinion get in the way. Whether or not someone is or is not into something has no effect on me whatsoever. I personally think individuals care too much what other people are doing sexually, especially when it is harming no one. I don’t think that anal sex trivializes gay men’s identities, or makes individuals more vulnerable. It is simply a sex act that two individuals participate in. In Fischer’s article, “Purity and pollution,” she states, “it is only the surrounding culture that gives sexual practices or people who engage in them particular meanings” (38). Is there a way to rid ourselves of all the taboo surrounding all non-normative sex acts?


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