Is Anal Bad? Uncovering Misconceptions Around Anal Sex Taboos

Is anal bad? We wanted to find out what common misconceptions fuel anal sex taboos, and discovered these might be limiting your pleasure!

Published Nov 23 2018 4 min read

Is anal bad? We wanted to find out what common misconceptions fuel anal sex taboos, and discovered these might be limiting your pleasure!

So, for anyone and everyone with a butthole, listen up. There are a high number of nerve endings located here. If played with correctly this can be one orgasmic erogenous zone.

Butt Why Are There Anal Sex Taboos?

Homophobic Tendencies

In some cultures throughout history anal sex was a celebrated part of human sexuality, but in many it was stigmatised, declared illegal and punishable by death or mutilation.

Let’s look at the UK for example! In 1861, under the The Offence Against the Person Act, removed the death penalty for anal sex, but made any “male homosexual acts” a prisonable offence. This was decriminalised in 1967.

Even though anal sex is not limited to gay men, and not all gay men have anal sex, these laws were commonplace during colonisation, spreading anti-anal and anti-gay sentiment around the world.

The HIV/Aids crisis of the 1980s may have done nothing to dispel homophobia, but it did create a movement for sexual health, really spotlighting the use of condoms and safe sex.

In more recent years, we celebrate that gay marriage is becoming legalised across the world. Unfortunately we still inherit many of those homophobic stigmas and stereotypes. Which means we have to work extra hard to challenge those, including those around anal sex being negatively associated.

Is Anal Bad? Uncovering Misconceptions Around Anal Sex Taboos

Faecal Fears

Understandably – as this is where you excrete – people will fear faeces. Dr. Lauren Streicher admits that:

“If there’s stool in the rectum, and there is stimulation to the rectum, it will increase the chance of having a bowel movement.”

But is anal bad inherently because of this? There are many ways to decrease your chances of this happening.

“Being penetrated causes the muscle there to move in the same way as it does during a bowel movement. So even if there’s nothing in there, you’ll still get that sensation without anything coming out.”

Just make sure you aren’t due to poo. Preparation is key and that could include making sure you have gone to the loo a few hours prior to anal sex. Some people use anal douching or an enema.

Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau’s advice on anal sex cleaning customs are to:

“Also keep in mind that using something like an enema in preparation can cause inflammation or trauma to the mucosal barrier of the rectum, increasing the risk of injury during anal sex. Go ahead and poop before, but don’t feel the need to go crazy flushing out the pipes.”

Lay down a towel, or some Sheets of San Francisco, have some tissues and a shower nearby. There is always a risk of some mess, but remember, we are all human, and no one should be shamed or ashamed of a natural bodily function.

The are also fears of faecal incontinence (uncontrollable anal leakage) after. While 9% of men and 7% women reported this happening, the same study did not look into whether this was a result of a one time thing or a regular practice of anal penetration.

Condoms are important when it comes to anal sex. Particularly if you are having vaginal sex after. They say “no double dipping” for a reason. You want to reduce the risk of spreading faeces into the vagina which can cause Bacterial Vaginosis. So, use a new condom for each orifice.

The NHS explains that anal sex has a fairly high risk of spreading STIs:

“This is because the lining of the anus is thin and can easily be damaged, which makes it more vulnerable to infection.”

Butt is anal bad because of this? Wearing a condom can make it a totally fun time.


Does anal hurt?

The pain might scare people the most into thinking anal is bad. However, due to the way our nerve-receptors work when we are in a high state of arousal, there is a fine line between pain and pleasure.

It is important to be aware that the anus doesn’t naturally lubricate, so make lube your best friend. Silicone based lube works wonders with its soft silky texture, but if you are using any silicone based sex toys, then try oil based lubes.

Added note if using sex toys for anal sex, make sure it has a flared base – you really don’t want anything getting lost up there. Read more about what you shouldn’t be sticking up there in our guide to prostate pleasure.

Of course, if you are uncomfortable at any time, then back off. Without good preparation, arousal and a hell of a lot of lube, there can be anal tearing, haemorrhaging and damage to your anus. A little blood is considered quite normal afterwards and small tears only take a few days to heal, but if there is a lot of blood and pain, do make sure you see your doctor.

Anal Pleasures

Because the male prostate is located next to the rectum, anal sex can be considerably pleasurable as well as aiding with erectile dysfunction! Wearable smart vibrators for men such as Tenuto can stimulate the prostate through the perineum if you don’t want anal penetration.

Not only that, but because of the length of the clitoris, even women can orgasm from anal sex – and we know that orgasms have so many health benefits (just check out our infographic).

So, what do you think? Is anal all that bad now you know of these misconceptions that fuel taboos? All you need is a little preparation, with some care, communication and consent when it comes to anal sex to enjoy the sexual wellbeing benefits.

Have better sex