Anal sex, often shorted to 'anal,' is the penetration of the anus during intercourse. Many gay and bisexual men share in anal sex, but not all engage in it. Gay sex may lean toward or include anal, frottage, rimming, kissing, oral, or other types of sexual interaction.
Top, Bottom, or Vers: Common terms associated with anal sex are top, bottom, and versatile. The top is the penetrating partner. The bottom is the partner being penetrated. And a versatile partner is one that engages in both anal penetration and being penetrated.
More Comfort During Anal: "I prefer to bottom but I don't have anal sex very often. When I am really turned on and want to have anal sex, it hurts," a reader writes. More comfortable anal sex takes preparation and practice. Relaxation, deep breathing, and even small toys can help ease pain during anal sex.
Also Known As: Previously known as sodomy or buggery.
Why Some Gay Men Aren't Into Anal
Are you into anal sex? If so, you are in the majority of the gay population, according to Steven Gregory Underwood. He is the author of Gay Men and Anal Eroticism, and he writes that roughly three-fourths of gay men have had anal sex at one time or another throughout their lives. Now, assuming these men continue having anal sex, that leaves a quarter of all gay men that have either never tried or no longer have anal. That's a lot of gay men that aren't into anal sex. Why?
There could be a number of reasons:
Personal taste. Some guys may have tried anal only to discover that they find no pleasure in topping or bottoming. It is very common for gay men to be decisive after a "first bad experience". Those that have never tried anal may continue to have no desire to participate, either by choice, stigma or anxiety. Stigma. There are stigmas associated with men who have anal sex with other men. The top is often thought to be the dominant partner while the bottom is considered the more submissive. This isn't always true. So, anal sex can pose a problem to, say, a bottom that doesn't want to be seen as or feel like the "weaker" or less dominate man. There is also the comparison with straight couples: the bottom would be commonly seen as the female role in a heterosexual intercourse.
Anxiety. There are more letters in the STD alphabet soup than any of us would like. The risk of contracting an STD, from the most treatable to the incurable, causes quite a bit of anxiety. Anal sex can be a pathway to many fears, so some feel it's better to abstain than engage. As a substitute they prefer non-penetrative sex. Feelings. Anal penetration is one of our closest physical connections. Many prefer there be feelings associated with that level of closeness. So, some men abstain from anal unless they have an emotional connection with their partner. Some gay men feel that that emotional physical connection is also the best way to enjoy anal sex because that closeness allows barebacking, or anal sex without a condom.
Putting statistics and reasons aside, we must conclude that sex is personal. So much so, that preferences, pleasures, desires, wants and needs vary by the individual. Our sexuality includes all of the things just mentioned above and much more, and it changes as we experience and grow. What we like today may not be what we're into tomorrow.
There is nothing wrong with not being into anal. A lot of gay men seem to happily live their lives without any kind of anal intercourse. There are a lot of other ways for men to enjoy themselves sexually. Anal sex can be replaced by non-penetrative sex like frottage or intercrural sex: both practices do not involve any kind of penetration and can be greatly satisfying. Plus there are is oral sex, and many other sexual fetiches that unrelated to anal penetration.