Surprise! Teen girls are having anal sex because they're being pressured into it

My first boyfriend was pissed that I wouldn’t have anal sex with him. Not just because he, you know, wanted to try out all the super sexy things he’d learned watching porn, but because I’d done it before — with other guys who weren’t him. No fair, amirite?

The fact that the whole, entire reason I wouldn’t have anal sex with him was because I’d tried it already with a couple of other guys and the experience ranged from completely boring and unpleasurable to extremely painful eluded him. My pleasure wasn’t the point. The point was 1) No fair, wah! (i.e. why did other men “get” something he didn’t), 2) The thought of emulating something he masturbated to in porn turned him on, 3) Possible pleasure for him — the idea that it’s “tighter” or some shit. (HA. Anal sex puns, you guys!)

No matter how you do the math, all points add up to barf.

Needless to say, it’s unsurprising that a recent study looking at why teenage heterosexual couples might engage in anal sex revealed, as reported by The Independent:a climate of coercion, with consent and mutuality not always a priority for the boys who are trying to persuade girls into having it.”

The study was conducted by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who interviewed 130 teenagers aged 16-18 in three sites across the country to “explore expectations, experiences and circumstances of anal sex among young people”. They found that anal sex among heterosexual couples was “painful, risky and coercive, particularly for women” and that males expected to persuade or coerce reluctant partners:

Even in otherwise seemingly communicative and caring partnerships, some men seemed to push to have anal sex with their reluctant partner despite believing it likely to hurt her…

…Persuasion of women was a feature to a greater or lesser degree of most men’s and women’s narratives about anal sex events, with repeated, emphatic requests from men commonly mentioned…

…Women seemed to take for granted that they would either acquiesce to or resist their partners’ repeated requests, rather than being equal partners in sexual decision-making. Being able to say ‘no’ was often cited by the women as a positive example of their control of the situation.

It isn’t particularly surprising that anal sex is becoming more and more common among young people, considering how easily and readily they can and do access porn online and how common heterosexual anal sex is in porn. While I have nothing against anal sex if that’s what you’re into — like, at all — it’s worth stating the obvious: in general, anal sex is something men are more likely to enjoy than women.

For starters, as you may or may not be aware, women do not have penises or a prostate and our clits are not located in our buttholes.

Now, let’s all just go ahead and acknowledge that the majority of women do not enjoy anal sex. This is not to say that there aren’t women who do really enjoy anal sex — some find it pleasurable and bully for them —  this is to say that most young women who are having anal sex are not doing it either because they think it will be pleasurable or because it actually is pleasurable for them. They are doing it because porny teenage boys are pressuring them into it and because they’ve learned, as most of us have, that male pleasure, not female pleasure, is the point of sex. They’ve also learned that if they don’t please the boys/men they are having sex with, those boys/men won’t like them and they will be lonely and unloved for life.

What this study found is in line with the results of my own private study wherein I had sex with a bunch of douchebags in my late teens/early twenties: That that there is “competition between boys” to have anal sex with girls (see: my pissy first-boyfriend, who found it unfair that other men had had access to my ass, while he did not) and that boys want to engage in anal sex with girls because they “want to copy what they [see] in pornography.”

The Independent reports that “other reasons for wanting to do it include the claim that ‘people must like it if they do it’ ([despite] the seemingly contradictory expectation that it will be painful for women).”

I suppose what we can conclude from this statement is that “people” = males and that, as discussed above, female pleasure is irrelevant when it comes to hetero sex. Good times for girls all around (And by “girls,” I mean “unpeople,” of course).

Maybe if boys/men are so interested in anal sex they should just stick to doing it with one another, seeing as this is far more likely result in pleasure for both parties.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • It’s scary how normal it now seems to be to pressure girls and women into performing sex acts they aren’t comfortable with. I know I’ve had multiple partners who’ve tried to coerce me into trying it. One of them even decided to just try it without asking, after I’d told him no multiple times. (Full story here Obviously TW) The worst part is I know that he, and many others, would not consider what he did rape. And for a long time neither did I, though I still suffered because of it. It was so “normal” to be pressured into sex acts that it didn’t even stand out enough to leave him.

    • andeväsen

      Similar episode with me, in an otherwise not-obviously-abusive relationship. I remember thinking, “Wait, is he really carrying on after I’ve said ‘stop’? …Yup, yes he is.” With me, too, it was done with such banality that I didn’t think of it as abuse.

      • It’s scary isn’t it? I dread to think how many of us have been through it

    • derrington

      This is such a blindingly obvious thing – coerced sex is rape – legally and in reality. Maybe we should be pointing this out to boys and men that this is why porn leads to rape – not to strangers in dark alleys but to girls and women in everyday life. I’ve had the unrequested anal assault sex pulled on me – and it was rape but not as I recognised it. I thought because it was done by a boy that his right to assault me mattered more than my right not to be assaulted.

  • anaeli

    Our society’s entire construct of heterosexual intercourse, no matter which type, is centered on the idea that one party has to coerce the other, who is not allowed to enjoy it – pain is even expected and seen as sexy – and who must dedicate the act to the coercer. We’re constantly told that pain is so sexy and naughty and liberated people do it all the time, except, you know, only one of two will receive pain and it won’t be pleasurable for her. I think a lot of women can attest to this from their own life experience. Especially women who, like me, after “succumbing” to this coercion they were left with lasting injuries.

    We know this, but apparently it’s still surprising to a lot of people.

    • anaeli

      One telling aspect of this, is men who talk about mixing pleasure and pain and how the pain makes the pleasure so much better and blah di blah, other such shit. When really they’re not mixing *their* pleasure with pain. They’re inflicting pain on you for their pleasure. Because it’s sexy — also speaking from past experience as teenager girl coerced, but I am so grossed out by it nowadays, I can’t find it in me to write the name of the act (sorry).

      • Leo

        Yeah. The quote from the article says:

        ‘Even in otherwise seemingly communicative and caring partnerships, some men seemed to push to have anal sex with their reluctant partner despite believing it likely to hurt her…’

        ‘Despite’ just isn’t a logical preposition there, it makes it sound like some inexplicable thing, when pushing to do something they believe will inflict pain on their reluctant partner, shows intent to hurt. Men do not suddenly become incapable of understanding that because ‘sex’ is involved. It’s because it hurts, because she’s reluctant, they want to do it (men never seem so eager to do something women *like*…). The ‘sex’ of pornography is about inflicting pain and humiliation on women. We do know this, but I think it’s so hard for women to wrap their heads around. Blech. Just why do men have to be such shits? Things like that…socialisation just doesn’t seem enough to adequately explain. The pornography encourages it, but it exists in the first place because they want to see it. Men continually seem to show us that they actually want to exercise power over, and hurt, women.

        And I’m so sorry that happened to you.

        • andeväsen

          Here I am pulling a #notallmen – to be exact, #notallbabyboys is the gist – but it seems hard not to learn that your role as the male partner in heterosex is to coerce the female. Adult men with active interests in hurting and humiliating women for sexual pleasure happen to also be active educators/pornography suppliers for their students/pornography consumers.

      • Jessi

        this reminds me of my boyfriend who claims he likes “rough sex and s&M” but starts to whine the moment I scratch his back during intercourse. I think I don’t have to explain for whom the sex has to be rough for him to like it.

        luckily he doesn’t hurt me without my consent.

  • Meh

    On first dates, I lay out the ground rules. 1) You’re not going anywhere near my asshole, and 2) I’m not going anywhere near yours. Yes, you could say that I’m quite the conversationalist.

    Porn is definitely contributing to a rise of male ego; that is, “everything revolves around my cock and how happy it is”. This is a very dangerous sexual (and non-sexual) consciousness to have in a society. The fact that anuses are getting involved (VERY delicate parts of our bodies) is frightening.

    The weird thing is that when you go to websites like ‘The Invisible Men’ on Tumblr, you see johns asking for anal and then complaining when they a) smell shit or b) have shit leftover on their dicks. It’s like men are surprised that turd comes out of there.

    I also remember seeing an interview with an “empowered escort” talking about how she needs laxatives and ongoing douching before meeting with a ‘client’ who wants anal. If these men hate shit so much then they shouldn’t be shoving their cocks up our asses. Idiots.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Oh gosh, I’m sure you can imagine the “fun” conversations I have on first dates. Ha.

      • Meh

        lol they’re so not prepared for us.

      • Anon Imus

        If your date asks about anal sex on the first date you are definitely dating the wrong guy.

        And if most of your dates are bringing up any sex on the first date, you ought to consider the kind of guys you are dating and seriously take some time off from the dating scene.

        Dating DOES NOT EQUAL sex…

        • Meghan Murphy

          No one’s asked me about anal sex on the first date. That said, I do usually have conversations about my perspective on pornography and other such things, sometimes sex/boundary-related early on. And usually (but not always) the people I date are people I want to have sex with or have already had sex with. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother going on a date with them.

          • Meh

            “And usually (but not always) the people I date are people I want to have sex with or have already had sex with. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother going on a date with them.”

            Exactly. Totally agree.

        • Meh

          No one said that. I said that I lay out the ground rules from the beginning: Stay the fuck away from my asshole.

          If someone did ask me for anal on the first date I’d tell him to fuck right off.

        • Derrington

          Im not sure why you are putting the responsibility for guys behaviour on the girl. Youre dating the wrong guy, you should take time off the dating scene … Theres a lot of judgement of girls here. I was internet dating for a year or so and lost track of the number of guys that asked about anal before they even asked my name. I think theres a major problem with guys out there, and its not one that women or girls can cure. These men are self grooming themselves into gendered psychopaths using porn … And they have no humanity towards girls or women at all. Thats got nothing to do with how much a woman is on the dating scene or not but the sheer volume of gender psychos out there.

    • anaeli

      Have you heard of rosebudding? I heard it was becoming more mainstream in porn (I hope not). Talk about harming performers…

      I’m not going to try to explain it because it makes me gag, google at your own risk.

      • Meh

        WTF? God, it’s just getting worse. They’ve run out of places to stick it, so the places that they’ve got have to be brutalised some more.

        Seriously, for folks reading this – DON’T LOOK IT UP.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m sorry to say I have heard of it…

      • andeväsen

        Inhumane. ‘Gaping’ of the anus in pornographic anal sex is another directly harmful practice which is presented as if it must surely be sexually exciting for viewer.

        A section of the colonial French military believed that colonial soldiers of African origin had different pain thresholds to whites during World War 1. African soldiers were pushed to the front without safety gear or measures, and had military surgery performed on them without anaesthetic. Brutalizing Africans was justified on the basis of the sort of racism which held that ‘normal’ standards of pain and dignity did not apply to them.

        This is similar to women performers in pornography, compounded by the added complication that users are encouraged to glean sexual pleasure from viewing the brutalizing.

    • Obviously all parts of as woman’s body are only there for male pleasure and no other functions possibly exist

  • andeväsen

    The full study itself is well worth a read. “Attitudes such as the inevitability of pain for women, or social failure to recognise or reflect on potentially coercive behaviour, seem to be unchallenged.” Consumer culture, normalised VAW via pornography and prostitution, and poor sex education have created this together.

    And: “Being able to say ‘no’ was often cited by the women as a positive example of their control of the situation.” That sums up how low the bar is for women’s involvement in having heterosex in the 21st century. Huzzah, we are “able to say ‘no'”.

    • C.K. Egbert

      So true. This is why it is absurd to think that our ability to say “no” is liberation (e.g., “consenting” by acquiescence). No woman who is being treated with respect needs to say “no”, because saying “no” presupposes male sexual aggression/violation.

      • andeväsen

        It speaks to the level of dysfunction within heterosex that – despite millennia of practice – women’s major role in the matter is the ability to say “no”.

        If the sex we were having were truly of any merit or benefit, a woman needing to say “no” would be a rare event. Instead, it’s a hard won and precarious right.

      • andeväsen

        Our legal system has given women the right to say “no” to sex with the presupposition that males will demand sex off women, that sex is a commodity women possess and men are entitled to take, but for the word “no”.

        This same presupposition belies patriarchal religions casting women as the “gatekeepers” to sex, patriarchal communities casting women as the “honour-bearers” of their families, and neopatriarchal progressives casting prostitution as a “job like any other”.

        This brings to mind the amazing essays from RATM (and IBTP) about the nature of consent and non-consent: http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/06/11/deuces-law/ (and http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2007/05/12/she-said-i-know-what-its-like-to-be-dead/).

  • C.K. Egbert

    This just demonstrates what radical feminists have been trying to say all along: that women’s pain is “normal,” that coercion is “normal,” that it is “normal” for sex to be something women endure for the sake of men. All of this is extreme abuse.

    This also belies the idea that most men are “good” or “nice” guys. Any man who has a modicum of respect will never, under any circumstances do anything that involves coercing someone into anything, causing her pain or discomfort, or refusing to do things that are pleasurable for her. Sadly, I’ve yet to meet any man who thinks that hurting women is unacceptable–let alone coercing her, or engaging in non-mutual sex.

    I’d have to disagree that a man that is trying–or even thinking–of engaging in anal sex with a woman (or any uncomfortable, non-mutual sexual act) is capable of a caring or good relationship. It just means that he is a good manipulator to make a woman think that he cares, when in fact all he cares about is maintaining his sphere of privilege where he can violate and hurt as much as he wishes.

    • andeväsen

      The report for this study does find agreement in many points with your essay on consent.

      The act of imposing one’s will on a sexual partner should, logically, be perceived as unethical. However in our warped society sex is framed as a commodity that women possess and men must buy/steal, hence logic fails.

    • “I’d have to disagree that a man that is trying–or even thinking–of engaging in anal sex with a woman (or any uncomfortable, non-mutual sexual act) is capable of a caring or good relationship.”

      Are you disagreeing with Meghan’s disclaimer about how heterosexual anal sex is just fine so long as women are “into it”? I disagree too, I don’t like disclaimers in general. Radical feminists should not have to constantly be apologising for what they say.

      When women claim they are getting pleasure from anal sex, we ought to be critical of that claim. As Meghan said, women do not have pleasure-sensitive organs in their anuses (at least none that I know of.) I suspect that women who experience “pleasure” during anal sex do so because they feel it makes them “naughty” or “rebellious” or “sexually liberated”. They may also be proud of their ability to “handle” the pain or the boredom. In these cases, the women involved are not truely experiencing sex pleasure, they are experiencing ego boosts that come from their ability to conform to the status quo. The desire to prevent pregnancy may also be a factor in women “liking” anal sex.

      There are probably also women who are into anal sex, because they are sexual masochists and you all know how I feel about BDSM. I will not post another anti-BDSM rant here. Let me just say that if something is causing you pain, that’s your body’s way of telling you that it is being damaged and you should stop.

      If a women has an unusually large anus and can thus have anal sex without experiencing physical pain and she genuinely experiences sexual pleasure directly as a result of the sex act (and not as a result of an ego boost or her partner being turned on) and the sex act is otherwise free from dominance and submission dynamics (meaning the man does not view it as a way of dominating or degrading her) than I suppose that anal sex, under those circumstances, is no worse than vaginal intercourse. But how many acts of heterosexual, anal sex honestly fit all these requirements? I daresay there aren’t very many and even those acts would not exist were it not for pornography.

      I think that were it not for pornography, men would see little point in inserting their penises into women’s anuses when they could just insert their penis into women’s vaginas and thus significantly increase the odds that she will enjoy the act. Gay males do it because they do not have vaginas. Suffice it to say, any man who wants anal sex from women garners my automatic suspicion.

      That’s just my personal take on heterosexual anal intercourse, other supporters of egalitarian sex may come to different conclusions. I think the important thing is that we agree in principle that sex should be egalitarian and free from pain and power dynamics. Everything else should be subject to debate among “sex-negative” feminists, unlike liberal porn-loving feminists who allow virtually no debate among their ranks.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m sure that some women who claim they enjoy anal sex just mean they enjoy or are turned on by doing something “naughty,” as you say, and that others say they enjoy it because the actual anal sex doesn’t hurt and their partner stimulates them in other ways while they are doing it so that they do actually get off. But I also don’t doubt that there are a minority of women who actually get physical pleasure from anal sex… I mean, women are built differently and have nerve endings in different places. That’s why individual women need to be stimulated in different ways and places in order to orgasm and why some women have “clitoral” orgasms and some have “vaginal” orgasms (I put those in quotes because the clit isn’t a separate entity from the vagina and those nerve endings extend into the vagina, but to oversimplify…). But who knows, maybe you’re right. I’m just giving the women who claim they enjoy it the benefit of the doubt.

        • Trudat

          The vagina and anal canal share a common membrane wall. III

          That is, the membrane wall in between the vagina and anal canal have nerve endings going to both sides. Some women may feel greater pleasure from anal sex than vaginal sex, because of how her nerves are arranged.

      • andeväsen

        “Gay males do it because they do not have vaginas”

        And presumably because they (and straight men) have sexual pleasure-giving prostate glands, which can be reached pretty straightforwardly through the rectal wall. It is the best route to reach the prostate for medical exams and ultrasound scans.

        “When women claim they are getting pleasure from anal sex, we ought to be critical of that claim”

        Yes. Women’s erectile/pleasure-giving tissue is on the front side of the vulva and vagina, so while it may be possible to just about somehow reach these via the anal route, it seems unnecessarily roundabout, with loads of body structures in between.

        There was one woman in the study who reported a pleasurable experience from anal sex. It is worth reading the paper for the investigators’ critique, or attempts to get a better understanding, of this claim. She describes something along the lines of “it was nice that my bum felt cushiony” during anal sex.

      • bella_cose

        I have a friend who’s a lesbian, and she’s really into anal sex. Obviously, not with a man though. I do think there is a small percentage of women who derive actual pleasure from anal sex, and probably some who don’t get pleasure, but don’t find it painful either. I think it’s really awful that women feel like they have to perform sexually for men, and engage in acts that either hurt, or just don’t feel pleasurable.

        I just don’t understand why in 2014, so many people think there is nothing wrong with a woman having any type of sex, just to keep a man satisfied. I guess I’m lucky that I only had one coercive boyfriend, and that he wasn’t into anal sex. He was somewhat sadistic though, and was never happier than when he got me to do something I didn’t want to do. Unfortunately, my experience is not unique, and I don’t think I know any women who hasn’t had coercive sex at some point.

      • C.K. Egbert

        I completely agree. We really can’t divorce our sexual desires from the way in which women are strongly socialized into the normalization of their pain and the pleasure they get from pleasing men (and the social punishment for refusing to do so). I also think women are afraid to be honest about their experiences of pain/violation, because of the stigmatization of “victimhood.” By saying they “like” it or they “choose” it, they can reclaim the selfhood and humanity that was stolen from them.

        Also, I hope I don’t sound condescending, but I read your blog and I was incredibly surprised that you were an undergraduate (I’m a grad student) given your level of critical analysis, awareness, and eloquence (which is greater than a lot of professional intellectuals). I hope you keep writing.

        • “I also think women are afraid to be honest about their experiences of pain/violation, because of the stigmatization of “victimhood.” By saying they “like” it or they “choose” it, they can reclaim the selfhood and humanity that was stolen from them.”

          I think this is a very important truth. Thank you so much for articulating it.

          It’s also the double bind of living under patriarchy: this sort of adaptation as a survival strategy (and I think it’s much more broadly applicable than just this particular manifestation) just further cements the power differential.

      • Yes! The point is mutuality. No one should be being “convinced” into anything, both people should be extremely excited about and really looking forward to whatever sex in order for it to happen.

        Meghan said something interesting when she used the word “boring.” If one person finds it boring (which sounds sort of neutral as opposed to excited and enthusiastic) it shouldn’t be happening.

    • Insidious_Sid

      “Any man who has a modicum of respect will never, under any circumstances do anything that involves coercing someone into anything, causing her pain or discomfort, or refusing to do things that are pleasurable for her.”

      So… he should not refuse to do something “pleasurable for her” such as give her oral sex even if he finds it repulsive, yet she may refuse to do same because feminism.

      Gotcha.

      • Meghan Murphy

        If a man finds giving his female partner oral sex “repulsive” he should get the fuck out of her life/bed. imo.

      • bella_cose

        If a guy can put his dick there, he can put his mouth there. Especially since I’m sure the same guy would be expecting to have oral sex performed on him.

        The majority of women don’t orgasm from piv sex, and refusing to do something that would make sex mutual is just plain inconsiderate.

        And seriously, any male repulsed by the look, smell, or taste (unless there is some kind of infection present) of a vagina, has no business having sex with a woman.

        • Trudat

          Not all men like a vagina, just like not all women like a penis. Then there is everything in between and the middle, in terms of what people do or don’t like.

          It’s better to realize that people have a range of what they do or don’t enjoy. Trying to impose your belief and likes on othes will simply NOT work.

          • bella_cose

            If people are repulsed by genitals, then they shouldn’t go near them.

            Also, most often, women will do tons of things they are uncomfortable with just to please men sexually. IN GENERAL, I don’t see reciprocity and mutual pleasure across the board, and so I stand by my comment.

      • Meh

        Lots of women don’t like having cock shoved up their asses. You’ll just have to get over that. It’ll be tough, but the days will pass, the seasons will change, and you’ll find peace again.

        In the meantime, we’ll continue talking about how shit anal is (boom boom tssshhhh).

      • Meh

        P.S. Don’t like going down on women? Here’s some good news: You don’t have to. Feel better now, champ?

        • hmmm

          some women dont like receiving oral, some men dont like receiving oral, some women like doing anal, some men dont like doing anal. do what makes you feel good as a couple, dont do what doesn’t. any coercion either way is awful.

      • C.K. Egbert

        That was poorly worded on my part. Enthusiastic and mutual desire should be present for both parties (with qualifications). No one should be coerced to do anything sexual they are not comfortable with, and no one can be “required” to perform any sexual act.

        The point is that men often refuse to be concerned about their partner’s pleasure and thereby sexual encounters are often non-reciprocal: the woman sexually pleases the man, but the man refuses to engage in activities (or in the same activities) in a way that is pleasurable for her.

      • Any dude (like yourself?) who’s super-keen to stick his dick in someone’s ass should demonstrating how super-excellent it is by having his partner give him a good reaming.

        C’mon Sid, it won’t hurt a bit!

        Gotcha.

  • Jonah Mix

    A lot of pornography openly eroticizes the discomfort and pain that anal sex causes women. After all, the term “painal” is a common one for internet porn searches. At absolute best, this is a case of men and boys just not caring about whether or not women get hurt; at worst it’s men and boys intentionally hurting women to arouse themselves.

    The pornography industry is the #1 constructing force for violent male eroticism and must be dismantled.

  • pisaquari

    I always told him my serrated knife sharpener would feel tighter….

    • Meghan Murphy

      HA

  • “Maybe if boys/men are so interested in anal sex they should just stick to doing it with one another, seeing as this is far more likely result in pleasure for both parties.”

    Oh yes, this. This. This.

    I also think that there is more going on than chimping pornography with all of the pain and humiliation of women it entails. “Getting fucked in the ass” is also common parlance for being taken advantage of; being lied to; being robbed of something significant; being hurt and destroyed in any of a vast multitude of ways. The act and the words that describe it (and Meghan’s disclaimer goes here – if you really dig it – have atter!) carry connotations of vile and violent loathing and contempt. And vile and violent loathing and contempt is super duper hot these days.

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  • Ellesar

    All so familiar. Fortunately a long time ago now, but I have the unfortunate experience of having been subjected male partner and a female one. I went along with it, endured it, because we are prude shamed when we don’t aren’t we?! If I had actually been raised to have know that what I wanted was important I would not have – but few girls are.

    • Ellesar

      Subjected BY a male partner and a female one – not at the same time btw.

  • Thomas Eisenecker

    I once read a work by a radical feminist on porn. It had some quite interesting ideas. One of them was that homoeroticism is basically central to heterosexual porn (obviously to gay porn, as well). So, since men, who watch a particular piece of hetporn, bond over that activity, they actually want to have sex with themselves. The woman just has extremely bad luck because she is standing between their desires, as sort of a “middle(wo-)man”.

    And I think this just might be the case here. Those men that re-enact pornography do not desire (intimate) sex with their partners. They either want to masturbate in the woman’s body and/or bond with other men over their misogyny (maybe that’s why it’s supposed to be such a turn-on?).

    • Thomas Eisenecker

      From factcheckme’s radfem101 (one the places by which I was inspired):

      “Male bonding over misogyny
      Under patriarchy, men bond with each other through observing and perpetrating acts of misogyny, such as working in groups to sexually harass women, watching misogynistic pornography together, and sexually abusing women such as in sharing hired prostituted women and strippers, sharing sexual partners, gang rape, and woman-murder.

      Why? Because…

      Male bonding over misogyny supports male power. Men increase their individual and collective power through all-male group-bonding, which creates relationships and networks through which they pass along opportunities and knowledge. This power-sharing over misogyny is often contextual, such as business deals that take place in strip clubs or where “business trips” are organized around or include buying prostituted women, where the women performing are economically coerced and exploited, and where female associates are either not invited or do not feel comfortable so are unable or unwilling to participate, and are denied opportunities that are in effect only available to men. Male bonding over misogyny creates a shared identity and group cohesion, where they reassure each other that they are not powerless sexual slaves, rape-objects, domestic servants, physically weak or saddled with children; women are. They build trust over knowing that they are part of the same group, the privileged oppressor class, and that they share experiences, perspectives, and values, namely, male entitlement, male supremacy, misogyny, and a willingness to abuse their male privilege, including harming and committing crimes against girls and women.”

      • Derrington

        Exactly!

  • nk

    so, do gay men enjoy anal sex?

    • Meghan Murphy

      Is that a serious question?

    • bella_cose

      If you bothered to read the comments, you would see that it’s been discussed, and the physical reason why it could be pleasurable for them has been mentioned a few times.

    • ske

      99% of gay men have prostates, 99% of women don’t. Therein lies the difference nk.

    • Laur

      How did I know this question would come up?

      First, despite common assumption not all gay men do have anal sex.

      Second, anal sex is specifically being shown in porn as a way to degrade women. Most women truly do not get pleasure from anal sex but feel it is something they have to do to please their partners. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ANY women who do get pleasure from anal sex. But as we live in an unequal society, and specifically a sexually unequal one, there’s no way to know what women would and would not get pleasure from without male dominance.

    • bottomresponse

      Some of us do and some don’t. Contrary to popular belief not all gay relationships involve anal sex.

      For those of us who do enjoy it though, yes very much. It’s all about stimulation of the prostate and anus. There’s a lot of nerve endings in the anus and well the prostate should be obvious. Still not the same as porn though. The best feeling is from a guy only going a few inches in so that he’s constantly rubbing the prostate. That’s also how you can have anal sex without needing to clean. Things are usually very clean for the first 4 or 5 inches. There doesn’t need to be any of this deep pounding bullshit that you see in porn. There’s also a lot of other problems with what you see in porn.

      Frankly I’m not surprised that women hate it. If straight men are trying to act like they see in porn then they’re basically doing everything wrong for it to have any chance of feeling good for anyone but a masochist. Really following porn is basically a how to guide to make anal the most painful thing ever with the highest chance of mess.

      My source is 13 years experience as a bottom

  • My ex boyfriend was interested in anal sex and tried to get me to be OK with it. He also wanted to be pegged (which I thought was cute). Given that he wanted to reciprocate, I wasn’t sure whether to read it as degrading or where his motivations were coming from.
    I had mixed feelings about it. I had once had an anal ultrasound procedure and had been a bit disconcerted that I had some pleasurable feelings about it. Weirdly the boyfriend’s enthusiasm and wanting to be close to me in that way made me feel better, though at the same time I was a bit freaked out. I’m still not sure about his motivations. Is this motivated by a desire to be close to me and accepting every part of me or is this about domination and your ego?

    • C.K. Egbert

      Not to be intrusive, but that might have actually been from the ultrasound. A family member of mine had a (non-pregnancy) ultrasound, and she described it as a pleasurable experience.

      Personally that doesn’t sound like acceptance for me…Certainly “acceptance” doesn’t involve wanting to penetrate/invade. In fact it seems like the opposite. I adore and appreciate nature, but that doesn’t mean that I want to put my footprint on every part of the wilderness (in fact I’d like to have places where humans don’t go at all).

      Also, of course, it cannot be truly reciprocal because women can’t get the same pleasure (via direct stimulation) by penetration that a woman could through “artificially” penetrating a male, whereas a man can be pleasured through anal intercourse. In fact what he was asking was for you to do something that would be pleasurable for him so that he could do something that would also be pleasurable for him.

  • “My first boyfriend was pissed that I wouldn’t have anal sex with him. Not just because he, you know, wanted to try out all the super sexy things he’d learned watching porn, but because I’d done it before — with other guys who weren’t him. No fair, amirite?

    I appreciated you writing this/sharing this Meghan. I saw this study a few days ago but hearing someone share their experience and also their experience of saying no to their boyfriend is encouraging and great to read about.

  • corvid

    The porn industry profits in so many ways from women’s misery. First the systematic torture of the “performers”, and then from its cruel imposition of sexual norms on all women. It creates norms and standards that are unquestionably cruel to women, to which any woman who can say “no” will… and then it feeds’ men’s misogyny and sense of entitlement to the acts therein, supplied in turn by more porn and more torture of prostituted women. That seems to be the main function of “painal” in porn. We must always remember that to the pornographers, this is cold hard business sense. No woman escapes.

    (Hey all, I’ve changed my commenting name from Lela… kind of an arbitrary selection in the first place. Hope you are all well.)

    • marv

      Haven’t heard from you enough. I am relieved you didn’t leave us.

  • Trudat

    The author, Megan Murphy, is spewing a sex-negative propaganda that is harmful to women.

    1) 20% of young women enjoy anal sex and practice it relatively frequently.

    2) Women who engage in anal sex regularly are MORE likely to achieve an orgasm than women who only engage in vaginal sex. That’s right, you read that correctly.

    The study where this is from-

    Google- A Descriptive Analysis of Pain During Receptive Anal Intercourse in Young Heterosexual Women.

    3) A request for a sex act by either partner or a negotiation between a couple about what they want sexually is NOT coercion.

    Both men and women have the right to ask for what they want or walk away from a relationship.

    4) Women don’t all like the same things, don’t all think the same way, nor do they all enjoy sex only one way.

    5) 50% of women who tried anal sex, did it IMPROPERLY.

    That is, she and her partner did NOT use lube nor did they do foreplay. Consequently, it should be no surprise if such women have a negative view about anal sex. However, part of their problem is ignorance and lack of understanding.

    And it should be no surprise, that those women that took the time to learn how to do anal sex and were open-minded, are the ones having orgasms at much higher percentages.

    • Meghan Murphy

      “The author, Megan Murphy, is spewing a sex-negative propaganda that is harmful to women.”

      http://feministcurrent.com/tag/sex-positive-feminism/

    • bella_cose

      “1) 20% of young women enjoy anal sex and practice it relatively frequently.

      2) Women who engage in anal sex regularly are MORE likely to achieve an orgasm than women who only engage in vaginal sex. That’s right, you read that correctly.”

      I read the study, and I’m not sure where you got your assertions from. Are you sure you cited the correct article?

    • C.K. Egbert

      Being coerced and doing something one is not comfortable with is not being open-minded It is being coerced. Saying “no” is not being close-minded, and it was very explicitly stated that the women were RELUCTANT to do this (i.e., they did not want to do it) and the men continued to pressure them into it. Thus it was coercion. If someone is uncomfortable with a sex act to any extent, it needs to stop. Anything else is sexual coercion, and that is abuse.

      These men tried to coerce women into sex KNOWING that in doing so they would (a) not be giving her pleasure, (b) causing her pain, and lastly, that they might injure her. They wanted to do it anyway, because they don’t think sex is about women’s pleasure but about hurting women.

      By your comment, you apparently do think it is acceptable for men to force unwanted sex on women, particularly when they know it is going to hurt her. You have absolutely no argument against this blog post.

      It’s not “harmful” and “negative” to say that women should NOT be coerced into unwanted sex (it was stated clearly that the women were RELUCTANT; they did not want to do it, and the men continued to pressure them). It is not harmful and negative to say that men should not advocate for sex acts they believe will only cause a woman pain and will not be pleasurable. It is you who are harming women by endorsing coercion and claiming women who say “no” to a man are “close-minded.”

  • Yousra

    Eww, I can never understand heterosexual men’s passion for doing things that turn their partners off or requires sacrifice from their partners. None of my boyfriends ever asked me to do anal (anyone is aware I’m not the type to be coerced) but they all talked about it (including teens) saying “I like it because it’s tighter and gives more sensation”… Uh, ok but what about the girl’s sensation?? Just saying, most boys are horrified by the idea of putting something up their asses, why do they assume us, girls, supposed weakest and most cowardly people on earth, would be ok with this? Man we already go through the pains of pregnancies and periods to let humanity survive and give birth, why the fuck would we endure other useless pains for a bunch of selfish spoiled douchebags’ dicks?

    Not to mention the fact that if you expect a girl to let you USE HER ASS (because let’s be honest, that’s what they’re asking, “be my sex toy, I don’t care about your feelings”), you better be a god on the pussy side: what kind of man can’t even manage a vagina and asks for anal? Oh wait… your last sentence says it all. If you don’t care about someone’s feelings, don’t care about their genitals either… then yeah, pls go fucking gay for this! An ass is an ass, man or woman. There’s literally nothing in nature supporting heterosexual anal and I know the het men engaging in these practices are very found of their “dominant male role” and “animal instinct”: breaking news dudes, YOU are the ones supposed to take it up the ass.

  • crayven

    I’m a guy.
    I HATE feminists.

    And even I agree that anal sex is a result of coercion rather than “girls wanting it”.
    Most do not. It feels like shit for them and it’s just dumb guys wanting to enact their retarded porno shit in RL.