Heterosexual Anal Sex

executive summary
Anal sex used to be thought of as an act exclusively practiced by homosexual men, but new studies have revealed that it is becoming more and more popular among heterosexual couples. Libida.com has collected facts, figures, and other information to better inform you about this myth-riddled topic.

hot facts
Questions answered:
  • How common is anal sex?
  • Who's having anal sex?
  • What kind of anal sex are they having?
  • Why do couples have anal sex?
  • How can I practice safe anal sex?

  • How Heterosexuals Have Anal Sex

    Who has anal sex? 

    An update on heterosexual anal sex

    Anal sex is often thought of as an act of a homosexual man.  But according to the numbers in a new study, it is heterosexual couples that are having most of the anal fun.  

    In fact, if you were to count up all of the people having anal sex at one time in the US there would be more heterosexual couples engaging in the act than homosexuals. And, they seem to be growing in numbers.  

    Up to 40% have engaged in some sort of anal play says a new review of all available anal sex studies -- who is doing it, how often, and what they are doing.  

    Anal sex between a man and woman has always been common throughout history. It was a general method of birth-control We see it regularly depicted in the art of ancient cultures. It was only in medieval times that sodomy became associated with satanism and was demonized.  

    It remained punishable by law until there was a recent shift in cultural norms that opened up anal sex into the mainstream. We saw it with regularity in pornography and even in popular culture –such as being discussed openly in TV shows like Sex in the City,  and in magazine articles like New York Magazine.  

    But how common is anal sex really?

    It turns out to be quite regularly practiced by approximately 10% of heterosexual couples.

    Several studies have come up with values of anywhere between 6% and 40% of couples who practice anal sex in their lifetime -- with 10% having done it in the last year.

    Who is having anal sex?

    Men and Women are doing it at all ages and backgrounds, but there are a few characteristics of those who do it more.
    Specifically, men and women who...

    * Have had more partners in their lifetime.

    * Are younger.

    * Use sex toys.

    * Have a history of same-sex partners.

    * Engage in varied sex acts.

    * Are hispanic men or white women (have highest rates).

    * Are in long-term exclusive relationships.

    * Engage in other anal sex play (i.e. dildos, analingus) 


    What kind of anal sex is practiced between men and women.

    Most anal play takes the form of intercourse, with the female being receptive and the male active.  Anal intercourse is not the only way to have anal sex, however.  While few studies have looked into what couples actually do when they have anal sex -- one study of 1478 heterosexual men found that the men who had experienced anal intercourse with a partner, had also inserted a finger into their partners anus (53% of time) within the last 30 days. 24% had received a finger in their anus and 24% had put their mouth on their partner's anus. 

    Safe Anal Sex

    Surprisingly, little condom use is associated with anal intercourse.  Anal sex is one of the more risky behaviors when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, as it is easier to pass on a disease in this way, than with just about any other sexual act.  Yet, it is commonly practiced without protection.  This is believed to be, because couples are often in long-term relationships and are doing it as a way of avoiding pregnancy. 

    Why couples have anal sex

    Couples report anal sex to be:

    • Intimacy enhancing.  Some saying that it requires more intimacy than vaginal sex, which is easier and requires less committment and patience to enact.
    • Novelty and variety.  Anal sex opens up a whole new area of sensation that is both intense and new.
    • Power Play.  Some people who love to play with power use anal sex as a way of control-domination.
    • Taboo.  Anything taboo can be used to enhance intensity. Anal sex has that "forbidden" stigma, but is not TOO taboo.
    • Pain/pleasure.  The sensations of anal sex can be intensly pleasurable, while bordering on the intense edge of pain. 

    How To Have Anal Sex

    Buying Anal Sex Toys 

    Preparing for Anal Sex

    McBride, K. Heterosexual Anal Sexuality and Anal Sex Behaviors: A Reveiw
    Journal of Sex Research Vol 47. Numbers 2-3 March - June 2010