Ever alert to subjects that I’m not-quite-forbidden to discuss and aware that some new readers may be turning up in hopes that a naked young man will appear (NOT), I decided to take on the subject of anal sex in my own school-ma’rmy way. (The real initiates tell me I’m hopeless. Oh, well. I’m used to it.) There is no similarity between male-on-female consensual anal sex and male-on-male anal sex, consensual or not. Anal sex is not unisex. This is true on a number of levels.
Physiologically, moving from anal penetration to vaginal penetration is problematic because fecal contamination of the vagina is troublesome. The top of the female tract, past the cervix, opens directly into the abdomen, which is why things like douching with shaken carbonated beverages as a contraceptive can be deadly. The tract is meant to be welcoming in order to promote fertility. Therefore it is less defended against micro-organisms. The ick factor of the vagina may be based on an aversion to menstrual blood, which is meant to be a sluffing and discarding of the uterine wall.
Historically, among people who understand that intercourse is the source of fertilization and among whom the males wish to guarantee the blood line of the family, controlling access to the vagina has been a means of controlling their descendants for purposes of inheritance. Castration of guardians of harems is not meant to prevent sexual interaction but rather fertilization by another man. Anal sex is therefore a way of evading unwanted fertilization. It might be quite welcome, but this would not involve carrying fecal traces from anus to vagina since the vagina would go unused. (This aspect was high in my consciousness because of watching an episode of “Downton Abbey” in which a handsome Turkish prince may have resorted to this means, not to protect fertility but to preserve the woman’s hymen in a culture that highly values virginity. Of course, the screenwriter punished him by immediately killing him with a heart attack.)
I’m bouncing off an article in Slate http://www.slate.com/id/2270622/pagenum/all//#p2 about how to get women to accept anal sex. It points out that this protection of virginity along with demanding other nonstandard practices can be seen as a way to exact proof of absolute love and trust on the part of the woman. (See “game” at: http://www.therawness.com) In an age of HIV-AIDS, not using a condom would ask for even MORE absolute trust. Young women in our culture are taught that love means giving the guy ANYTHING and many men seize on that. This sort of guy will sometimes be proud of a child out of wedlock, but now that paternity is easy to prove with genetics, he can’t evade financial obligation so a man may be happy to avoid pregnancy. The article also mentioned that anal intercourse may be more satisfying for men with rather smaller penises, so I suppose it follows that it works better for women with rather large loose vaginas, maybe after childbirth.
Culturally, we are still dominated by two religious forces. One is the Reformation/Protestant attempt to evade the Pope by going straight to the Bible and lifting it up as the absolute authority. The problem then is dealing with a text not written in a modern language or in a modern context, plus the fact that it is an anthology filtered by a male committee in the 4th century with an ancient agenda, and it contradicts itself on every side -- even apart from the total difference between the Old and New Testaments with the extra confusion of the Apocrypha. In contemporary times the Bible has been used to condemn masturbation (onanism), fornication (sex out of wedlock), and sodomy (variously defined as same-sex unions or cross-species unions, also called bestiality). Because most animals, esp. those we commonly see having sex, enter from behind, this position is probably the source of confusion over sodomy and insistence on the Missionary Position.
The Catholic church has approached these things from a slightly different point of view, which is the moral error of “from is to ought,” the idea that if something exists, it ought to be that way because God created it that way. Fertility and the obligation to suffer the results of multiple pregnancies and large poverty-burdened families, are also seen as “ordained,” and thus anything that suppresses or evades fertility is seen as sinful, a way of withholding souls from God, because God is the Soul Collector. He owns us.
Some conventional and conservative Christians, let alone those who cannot handle change (esp. changes that would diminish their power and ownership) use these religious ideas as weapons to control others. They are selective and ignorant about what they claim, but collaborate to make a great racket and often have a lot of political clout.
Rape of any kind and particularly anal rape and esp. rape using objects to penetrate can become weapons of war, “proving” that the victims are weak, controllable, and easily terrified. Their suffering deaths terrorize others. There begins to be publicity. The taboo on discussion is coming off a lot of things.
Okay, total change of gears.
Personally, bodily, accepting part of another human being into one’s own parts (tongue or penis or finger into anus, mouth, vagina) can be a merging, a fusion, with someone desired and beloved. Or it can be an act of contempt, showing that the intruder means nothing. The difference is in the persons involved and can’t be codified into a rule. To entice and invite someone, then treat them with uncaring contempt is a potent punishment that might not just be about that person but also about their “kind.” This carries over into social classifications: all whatevers become objects of contempt. Some aggressors won’t care -- it might add to the experience for them to cause suffering.
“Making love” is a euphemism for sex but most people would agree that having sex is a matter of tumescence, sensation, distention, and so on. Making love has a strong and positive emotional context. Both are about the management of consciousness but in quite different modes.
Then beyond that, there is a political dimension to everything a human being does. Anal sex might be a matter of defiance or a sign of affiliation. It could mean “fuck the pope” or “shove your laws.”
In addition, any act can have huge significance as an experienced metaphor, a personal emotional construct and source of energy. In this aspect the potent force, possibly key to the person’s sense of self, drives art, especially the ultimate art that is life itself. This is not “cured” by counseling or even “true love,” because it is wired into the brain. The brain is changed by all experiences, especially early and intense ones, and both ecstasy and trauma actually change the cells. If we respect identity, we must respect this because identity is as much physical as “mental.”