“Right, we need to talk about anal sex,” she said, looking very uncomfortable. There were a few giggles that went unacknowledged. “It’s dangerous. That… area… is designed for things to come out of, not go into. It’s also dirty.”
Incongruously, the smell of fresh baking drifted on the air. This was, after all, the cookery department.
Her face was already red, so she simply added, “Up until quite recently it was also illegal.”
That was the end of the discussion. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and we moved quickly onto something more wholesome: a video of two (heterosexual) teens discussing pregnancy.
“It’s not just a biological process – it’s also supposed to be fun.”
I actually had a pretty decent sex education all told, and a sex ed teacher who wasn’t afraid to tackle subjects like masturbation, oral sex and the fact that this isn’t just a biological process – it’s also supposed to be fun. But even at the time I think I understood that this very brief discussion of anal sex was one of the really low points. It’s why I’ve remembered it. Trouble is, because I’ve remembered it, I’ve also internalised it. Looking back with a logical mind, I can see that it was a prejudiced attempt to put everyone off the idea, rather than tackling it in the same way as you would with penis-in-vagina sex. But logic doesn’t always take away the stigma.
And the fear.
That’s it, I’ve said it, I am afraid of the idea of anal sex. I’m afraid it will be painful. I’m afraid it will cause damage. I’m afraid that I won’t like it and I’ll have to tell a potential partner to stop. I’m afraid of being the top, because eww, that’s where the poo comes out. I’m afraid I might gag or throw up or make a fool of myself.
“The male G spot. Oh my god, how did I not know about this before?”
As someone who’s only just discovered their bisexuality, and everything is new and fresh and multicoloured, I’m also fascinated by the idea. Of course, I am very aware that anal sex isn’t something that’s just for homosexual male encounters, but it is something that I’ve been able to tuck away in the “never think about this” drawer up until now. I haven’t had to admit that I’m afraid.
Well, now I’ve looked into it and discovered that, contrary to what I might have been taught, anal sex is actually very safe (so long as you take sensible precautions, which, um, actually you should do with all sex). And it’s clean. And it’s natural. And fun. The male G spot. Oh my god, how did I not know about this before?
It’s possible that my hangups won’t go away, despite my attempts to apply logic. It’s possible that, even though I’m thinking about maybe experimenting with a prostate toy, I’ll still chicken out. It’s possible that the psychological damage has already been done. If that’s the case, I’m fairly sure I’m confident enough to tell a potential partner that they may never be able to have anal sex with me, either giving or receiving, and they’ll have to accept that or move on.
And that’s OK, because nobody has to do anything with their bodies that they don’t want to do.
But at the same time, I’m hoping that I can get over the fear. Because I’d rather it was my choice whether or not I engage in any activity I might enjoy, not the choice of some teacher passing on her own prejudices twenty years ago.
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