A Respectful, Frank Discussion about Anal Sex

Educate Ourselves

Anal Sex has become part of today’s world. Regardless of whether or not you have any personal interest in the act, I believe we need to educate ourselves. People are engaging in anal sex in unhealthy ways both outside and inside of marriage. Women are coerced and pressured to do things that can only result in pain and damage. While other Christian couples believe anal sex creates intimacy because it requires profound trust, communication and sensitivity. For them, anal sex communicates love through an intensely vulnerable act.

Please resist a quick judgement “that nobody should do it” and allow yourself to learn.  The goal of this article is to neither condone nor condemn anal sex, but to educate. You get to decide what is right for your marriage bed and how to talk to your kids. But instead of just saying “don’t do it”, let’s spend some time wrestling with the topic.

What does the Bible really say about anal sex?

How come anal sex is becoming more main stream?

What are the health implications and cautions surrounding anal sex?

These are just some of the questions we must wrestle with ourselves and be prepared to answer for our kids.

If we don’t want our friends, kids or grandkids to get their information from Teen Vogue or Pornography then we must equip ourselves to comfortably talk about today’s issues – and anal sex is one of today’s issue. Even if your son or daughter never deals with anal sex, maybe they will help empower a friend to make good choices.

What Does the Bible Say?

When most Christians consider anal sex, they think about Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. The men of Sodom knock on Lot’s door demanding to have sex with the men inside. They wanted to rape them. The word sodomy derived it’s meaning from this story in the Bible. But some people have expanded sodomy to include both oral and anal sex, even in marriage. Sodomy simply refers to men raping men.

The bible doesn’t specifically address anal sex in marriage. It would be nice if it did, but it doesn’t. Anal sex is a gray area in the bible.

The Bible does teach things that may impact our decisions about anal sex.

1 Corinthians 6:12 says, You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.

Is it Good for Your Marriage?

Just because God allows something does not mean it is good for us. This principle applies to all kinds of situations – drinking alcohol, eating certain foods, or what acts we enjoy in the marriage bed. What might be good for one marriage might be disastrous for another. Past experiences or struggles will impact whether we enjoy something in marriage. God can heal those thing but sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes He leaves a thorn that makes us more dependent on Him. Even just our physical body can impact whether something is good for us. For instance, if we have bad knees, it may be time to give up basketball. Together with God we must carefully discern whether something is good for our marriage.

God designed sex to get to know each other in order to create intimacy. Part of the challenge of living in today’s world, is discerning the impacts of what we have been exposed to. Do I want to participate in something because God created me that way, or because I read about it in 50 Shades of Grey? How much am I expressing who I am, and how much has pornography twisted my ideas of what excites me? Purity is God’s good plan to encourage us to know only each other.

If you have struggled with purity, then ask for healing. Ask God to erase memories that distort sex. Create new memories shaped from selflessly loving each other and from only seeing each other. Focus on connection more than results.

Does it Control You?

Our choices about sex also should not control us.” I must not become a slave to anything”. The sex act cannot become more important than our relationship with God or loving our spouse.  When things control us, we become selfish. All of a sudden we cannot let go of the desire for a certain act even though our spouse has  communicated their discomfort. Our mind continues to obsess and we close ourselves off from relationship because we feel deprived. If there is anything hidden, bring it out into the open. Pray about it, talk to your spouse and get help if you need to.

The last paragraph of 1 Corinthians 6 starts with, Run from sexual sin! And it ends with, So you must honor God with your body.

Assumptions About Sexual Sin

Be careful about making assumptions about certain acts in marriage being a sexual sin. These passages are talking about sex outside of marriage- adultery, joining your body with a prostitute, homosexuality. The passage doesn’t give warnings to what people can or cannot enjoy within the confines of a loving marriage bed. Maybe we honor God with our body by freely enjoying His good gift of sex within marriage.

God does not address different specific sex acts within the marriage bed. He doesn’t talk about oral sex, manual stimulation, using vibrators, and God doesn’t address anal sex. He trusts us to discern as husband and wife if anal sex will strengthen the marriage and build intimacy. Within a loving marriage, where we are more concerned about our spouse than ourselves, God gives us freedom. He gives us freedom not to use or hurt each other; not to coerce, pressure or nag   – but to love each other.

Outside of marriage anal sex, as any kind of sex, is against God’s best plan. In fact, I can imagine God weeping over the women that have been violated and coerced to participate in anal sex. I think God also weeps over the men that have been deceived into pushing for anal sex. Resist judging others and realize how much brokenness exists in this world.

Why is Anal Sex Becoming More Mainstream?

Anal sex is not something new, but has certainly become more mainstream. A topic that was once taboo is rapidly becoming normalized. “The Mindy Project”, a mainstream television show, viewed an episode titled “I Slipped”, a term boys commonly use when their girlfriend doesn’t want to have anal sex. Many magazine’s including Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health and Men’s Health, have hopped on board with “how to” articles about anal sex. Trust me, with the internet at your fingers, no shortage of information exists. Some of the information is respectful and some of it not so much…

Pornography

Pornography has also had a huge influence on Anal sex. The third most popular word searched on Pornhub is anal. Videos portray women moaning in ecstasy as men pound them from the backside. Pornography has brainwashed men to believe that women will enjoy anal sex once convinced to partake. In reality, the hard, deep thrusting portrayed in porn would only hurt a woman. Men want anal sex because they see it in porn.

Husbands that have viewed pornography should pray and ask God to erase those memories. Do not allow yourself to dwell on those images. Replace your thoughts with pure thoughts. Nothing learned from porn will ever help you become the lover that you desire to be.

Status Symbol

Anal sex has become a status symbol. Another way to brag about being a man. Girls are pressured, manipulated, tricked and sometimes forced into anal sex. We must educate our boys and help them understand what it means to be a man. They need to learn how to protect women and treasure the girls they date. We must empower our girls to say no and develop their sense of self-worth independent of keeping a boyfriend.

As culture continue to change and the internet expands, we must equip ourselves and our kids to make good choices that will honor God. “Because everyone else is doing it” is not the right reason. A decision about anal sex should never be taken lightly because many cautions go along with the act.

The Cautions 

Many cautions exist for anal sex. The anus has both an external sphincter and internal sphincter used to control bowel movements. In order for a woman to enjoy anal sex and not get hurt, she must completely relax in order for the sphincters to relax. Women should not drink alcohol or use a numbing agent to block the pain. It is like eating a steak while still numb from a filling. You might do enormous damage without even realizing.

Women that have anal sex to please their husband usually just end up in pain. Anal sex is one area of the marriage bed that I would discourage a wife from stretching to meet her husband’s desire. It is OK to say no. Husbands, do not ask your wife for anal sex. If she is nervous or tentative at all, anal sex will only hurt and may cause physical damage.

I believe the only time a couple should consider anal sex, is if the wife brings it up. The anus is filled with sensitive nerves that can scream pain, but that can also produce much pleasure. Women can become in tune to sweet spots they want to explore but they must understand the cautions, go very slow and have absolute trust and open communication with their husband.

Thin Sensitive Tissue

The anus has absolutely no natural lubrication. In order to avoid pain or tearing, lubrication must be generously applied to both the penis and the anus. Most people recommend a silicone or thick water based lubricant.

The tissue of the anus is much thinner than the tissue of the vagina. Small tears or fissures can easily occur that are both painful and hard to heal. In fact, rectal fissures have become one of the most common reasons for college women to visit the health clinic.

Obviously, women that struggle with hemorrhoids or any intestinal issues should not consider anal sex an option.

Wear a Condom

While women cannot get pregnant from anal sex, STD’s actually transmit much easier. The thin tissue and small tears provide direct access into the blood stream transmitting HIV, Hepatitis and STD’s. The bacteria in the rectum can also increase the chance of urinary tract infections for the husband. In order to avoid STD’s and infections, always wear a condom when having anal sex.

Bacteria Concerns

The entire anal and rectal area is filled with bacteria that should not be transported to other locations. Anything that goes in the rectum goes nowhere else unless it has been thoroughly cleaned. This includes, fingers, toys, penis’s or anything else. If a toy is used, it must have a base on it to act as a stop. During orgasm, the muscles around the anus contract and suck things in. People constantly end up in the ER to get things surgically removed from their rectum.

Find Accurate Information

Do not get your information about how to have anal sex from pornography. The wife must have total control during anal sex to determine the speed, movement and progression. She must be thoroughly aroused through extended foreplay in order to relax enough.  Most women work their way through a progression of steps to learn to relax and receive. The wife must have complete trust that her husband won’t push things and will respect her wishes. Educate yourself and make good choices together.

In order for a wife to enjoy anal sex it requires great communication, care, sensitivity and trust. It is sad to think that girls and women have been coerced, manipulated or forced into anal sex. No loving husband who understood the cautions would ever ask a wife to have anal sex for him. No woman or girl should ever feel pressured to say yes to anal sex. It is OK to say NO. 

What Now

So what am I supposed to do now? Am I supposed to bring up the topic of anal sex with my kids?

Only you can answer that question, but hopefully you feel a lot more equipped to handle the question if it did come up. In fact, I would encourage you to practice talking about anal sex with your spouse. The more comfortable you get talking about sex, the better.  If you have a teenager that has struggled with porn, you might initiate a conversation about what kind of sex they’ve seen. Kids need to understand the difference between porn and reality. They also need to hear positive messages  about sex in marriage.

Final Thoughts

1 Corinthians 8:2-3 says, Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.

I don’t have all the answers but I know that we need God. We live in a  world where sex has become a way to simply seek pleasure for yourself, no matter who gets hurt. Broken people are doing broken things. Our young people have access to more pornography and information about sex then us old people could ever imagine. Meanwhile, the church rarely proclaims the powerful way sex makes husband and wife into one and the extravagant pleasure that God offers us in marriage. We cannot limit our conversations about sex to the do’s and don’ts of sex. God’s original design was for us to be Naked and Unashamed. He still wants that for us through the transforming power of Jesus’ Blood. Even in our brokenness, God wants to heal us and to enjoy the good gifts He gives us. As we make decisions about our own sex life and as we help our kids make decisions about theirs, we must include God in that process.

God wants to be a part of your life and your decisions – especially your sex life.

Comments 13

  1. Ruth,

    Thank you for what you are doing to renew godly marriages!

    If I may disagree with you a little. You wrote, “I believe the only time a couple should consider anal sex, is if the wife brings it up.” I do agree with you that in the case of anal sex, that it should not be attempted unless the wife truly desires it and both the husband and wife have learned how to approach it correctly. However, it sounds like you were saying that the husband can’t even express his desire for it, which I would not agree with. Sexual communication in marriage is of utmost importance and both husband and wife should be able to express their sexual desires to each other in a godly and understanding way.

    Thanks again for all you do!

    • Richard,
      What a fine line we walk. I think it depends on whether his motivation is for his wife to enjoy something new or for him to enjoy something new. Women are so used to putting other peoples needs ahead of their own that she could easily agree just for his sake. Which is never a good idea in this arena.
      Ruth

  2. You cover the topic well here. But I find it interesting when people talk about anal sex how many warnings we have to issue. Isn’t that an indication of how unwise this practice is? Yes, I would stop short of calling it a sin, but it’s a very bad idea. There are so many possibilities for harm, and there are other ways to achieve a tighter grip on a man’s penis.

    • I agree that many cautions go along with anal sex. That’s part of the reason it bothers me so much to think about people taking anal sex so lightly because of bad information or lack of information.
      But I don’t think that women who enjoy anal sex are just trying to achieve a tighter grip on a man’s penis.

  3. Thank you so much for addressing this subject, Ruth. I’ve heard many people point to studies about the dangers of anal sex, but the truth is that very little of that research has been done on couples in monogamous heterosexual marriages in which both husband and wife enjoy the activity. When we look at studies that point to the dangers, we don’t necessarily see that those studies are done with non-monogamous sexual contact or women who felt coerced. The conclusions of those studies simply aren’t helpful in determining whether anal sex is safe in a good Christian marriage.

  4. Thanks for the courage to discuss this subject frankly. One question for me that arises is this:

    Why does the discussion of anal sex predominately focus on the context of penis-in-anus sex? The use of the male partner’s fingers or hands to sexually stimulate their female partner’s anus would utilize more skill, control and protection against harming her delicate tissues. It would also be more likely to bring her to orgasm (with abundant lube, of course).

    Penis-in-anus sex seems riskier because there is very little control of the lady parts and might accidentally injure her.

    • Ed,
      I think that is a topic for another day.
      I agree Penis-in anus sex is much riskier and yet kids are partaking and young brides are being pressured by their husband. The portrayal of anal sex in pornography has falsely educated people to believe that a man pounding a woman from the rear would be exciting and enjoyable – which is a total lie and dangerous.

  5. “But some people have expanded sodomy to include both oral and anal sex, even in marriage. ”

    Yes, and that frustrates many of us who have written on sexual intimacy within marriage as regards oral sex. Another term that was expanded upon is lust. Lust does not mean mere sexual arousal or desire as it involves covetousness.

    Good post, Ruth, I think couples need tread carefully here as regards anal sex. It is not for everyone. Oral sex is much better for many married couples as it does not have so many troubling aspects to it.

  6. Hi Ruth. We are a mature age male/ female couple who occasionally engage in anal sex. We enjoy anal along with all other sexual activity. Sometimes we both feel like anal and other times not. We always use a lambskin Condon when having anal with plenty of lube

      • Thank you Ruth. I guess a point I would like to make is that we don’t regard anal sex as a sin or unnatural. Just part of an enjoyable sex life

        • Thank you for sharing how you regard anal sex. I don’t disagree, but I do believe that the decision needs to be mutual and out of love. I am afraid because of the prevalence of anal in pornography and how it has been misrepresented, that many wives feel pressured and experience pain, or lack of pleasure. Unless a wife feels excited to explore this territory, she most likely will be too tense and only experience pain. Therefore, I believe people must be educated and empowered to discern with God the right choice for their particular situation. I really do appreciate you sharing your experience, because some people believe anal is never about mutual enjoyment or loving each other.

          • Yes Ruth. It definitely has to be mutual. In our case it took years before we approached actually engaging in anal intercourse. We had years of anal play and touch before we thought we were ready .

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