Are you having anal sex? Because it turns out quite a few of us are game for butt stuff. I've long said that all guys should try it at least once, because the guys I've been with who are into butt stuff really love it, but even sans prostate it can be a pretty great time. And you may agree, because at least one in three straight women in the U.S. has tried it at some point in her life, although only about 13 percent had tried it in the last year. This was from a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine which looked at over 10,400 heterosexual women between 15 and 44, so it's a pretty diverse group age-wise. Interestingly, while occurrence were equal across races and ethnicities, anal sex is more common among women with higher levels of income and education.
So the richer and more educated you are, the more likely you are to be down with bum play. Other factors that made you more likely included: being in your 20s, not religious, and being either married or cohabiting rather than single, having sex with women, having your first sexual experience before the age of 16 and others. According to Refinery 29, researchers pointed out that using the information, especially those criteria that correlated with more recent or frequent anal sex, would show where there was more education about the "need for condoms (yes, even in anal sex) may be particularly necessary."
Here are three other things you should know if you're thinking about trying anal (because you never know if you like it until you try!):
1. More Women Are Trying It
Even in the last 20 years, there's been a major uptake in women having anal sex. As Marie Claire says, "In 1992, a similar survey found that 16 percent of women aged 18-24 had tried it. Now the number is more like 40 percent." That's over a 100 percent increase in not very long.
2. There's A Link Between Anal Sex And Female Orgasms
As Slate notes, in the same studies we found that "94 percent of women who received anal sex in their last encounter said they reached orgasm — a higher rate of orgasm than was reported by women who had vaginal intercourse or received oral sex." Now there are lots of different theories for the link between anal sex and female orgasm. Are women orgasming from anal? Are women who orgasm a lot more relaxed and therefore willing to try? Is there just a link between adventurousness and orgasms? My guess is the latter, but in any case it's worth exploring.
3. Safety Is So Important With Anal
So, I've only had anal sex once — I was nervous, but it was really good experience and I enjoyed it. This was down to three very important factors: 1. A sexual partner I trusted and was comfortable experimenting with, 2. Loads of communication and lube, 3. Taking our time. I really recommend time and lube to keep from hurting anything. But it's not just an opinion, it's really important that you take your time and use protection with anal sex because there's a higher STI risk.
The UK's National Health Service website explains that "anal sex has a higher risk of spreading STIs than many other types of sexual activity. This is because the lining of the anus is thin and can easily be damaged, which makes it more vulnerable to infection." So for your mental and physical health, slow down and be safe! It was really fun, and I didn't even poop on him.
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