Anal sex might be something we chuckle over or mock during a conversation, but there’s more to know about doing the back-door deed than some people might think.
Since the Middle Ages, anal sex has been taboo in many Western countries. “Heretical movements were sometimes slandered by rumors that their members practiced anal sex among themselves,” according to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.org.
In the 2002 National College Health Assessment, 22.5 percent of MSU students are reported to have had anal sex, which is at least one out of every five students.
The controversy surrounding anal sex seems to mainly stem from the fact that is has been regarded as a “sin” since the Middle Ages and as something only homosexuals engage in. People were so against the act they wrote laws making it illegal.
Prohibition of sodomy was first recorded when Henry VIII was king of England and adopted a contemporary church doctrine into a system of laws. He ruled that sodomy is defined as “any form of non-procreative acts including masturabtion, oral and anal sex; they are all sins and therefore a crime.”
Sodomy has been illegal in many states in America since the beginning of our nation. In 1931, Michigan passed legislation that made anal sex, or “crimes against nature” with a person of either gender or an animal, a felony and punishable for up to 15 years in prison. In some cases, the punishment can be life in prison.
Michigan law also states that in sodomy cases, “emission” or ejaculation of sperm does not play a part in the person being accused to be prosecuted and convicted.
In 2003 the Supreme Court heard the case of Lawrence vs. Texas, in which John Lawrence and Tyron Garner were contesting the state’s anti-sodomy law. The two men had been arrested in Lawrence’s home, caught in the act of anal sex.
The Supreme Court ruled that Texas law was unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment.
The decision could be used to invalidate all other states’ sodomy laws but currently, 14 states still have such laws.
So if anal sex is so “bad” and taboo, and even illegal, why do it?
“Anal sex is a sexual practice that more than a few men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, enjoy,” Nicolle Stec, a sexual health educator from Olin Health Center said. “In men, this pleasure point is in the prostate, which is found inside their anal canal.”
Wikipedia said that the anus contains many of the same kinds of nerves as the penis or clitoris and that stimulating the anus can produce sexual pleasure. The presence of the prostate gland near the rectal wall is generally seen as a source of pleasure for men that enjoy receiving anal sex. For women, pleasure derived from anal intercourse can be related to the rectum sharing a wall with the vagina, as well as the nerve endings of the anus and the G-spot.
“I have friends who have done it because they got bored with their sex lives,” Melanie Thomas, a journalism and Spanish senior, said.
Even though anal sex can bring pleasure, there are some physical aspects of the act that can bring real pain.
“The anus and rectum carry many diseases that can be harmful in your mouth or stomach,” Stec said. “The tissues of the anus are sensitive and prone to tearing if proper lubrication is not used.”
Furthermore, Stec said any time there is ripping of the tissue, there is a greater chance of transmitting a sexually transmitted infection or HIV. “When proper safer-sex precautions are taken, the risk is minimized.” She described proper precautions as condoms used consistently and correctly with proper lubrication.
Stec also stressed that the necessary component needed before engaging in anal sex is consent from both partners engaging in any sexual activity. “It is especially important to understand that at every step, an individual needs to gain the consent of their partner to move onto the next stage of intimacy.” She also said that consent to engage in vaginal sex does not translate to consent for anal sex.
Thomas said she believes anything sexual that involves emotions is good because it is an experience you can share with someone that means something to you.
No matter which hole you choose.

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