The Normalization of Anal Sex

In just a few decades the number of women who have tried anal has gone up to almost half. Probably the number in anal only relationships has risen proportionately. I wonder if it will ever become dominant? It surely has to eventually.

The precis: We’re all having more sex, and more kinds of sex than ever before, and we’re getting sexually active at younger ages. But the “big story,” as Slate writer William Saletan puts it, is anal sex! 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. And in 1992, the highest percentage of women in any age group who admitted to anal sex was 33 percent. Now it’s 46.

Saletan goes on to say: “The last time I looked at the anal sex data, I figured that most women who reported having done it meant they’d tried it just once. I was wrong. … One-third of these women say they’ve done it in the last month. Among all women surveyed, the number who reported anal sex in their most recent sexual encounter was three percent to four percent. That’s a lot of butt sex. And remember, this is what women are reporting. If anything, they’re probably understating the truth.”

The evidence also appears to support the many anecdotes out there regarding anal sex resulting in more orgasms for women:

“Among women who had vaginal sex in their last encounter, the percentage who said they reached orgasm was 65. Among those who received oral sex, it was 81. But among those who had anal sex, it was 94. Anal sex outscored cunnilingus.”

The article (which is fairly anti-anal) tries to explain it away by saying that anal is only being added onto other sexual acts in the study and it wasn’t the anal that caused the orgasms.


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