I’ve tried it and I didn’t love it. And according to the rules of modern sex, this makes me bland and boring
This year high street family friendly chain Paperchase stocked Valentine’s cards professing that ‘nothing says I love you like anal sex’. So I guess it’s official. What was once a kinky and even taboo sexual act is now being declared to customers as a standard expression of love. Right next to the floral 2017 diary planners and jazzy passport covers.
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When I brought this up with my friendship group, it turns out a lot of my mates have become firm pros with anal. Making me feel like everyone has been secretly going home at night and taking it up the bum whilst I catch up on Netflix and get my whites wash on. So when did anal become so mainstream? And am I really now in the minority or uncool if I admit that I hate it?
Apparently, anal sex has been on a big rise for years. A 2010 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 40 per cent of women aged 20-24 had tried anal sex. The study also found that in 1992, the highest percentage of women in any age group who admitted to anal sex was 33 percent. But in 2010 it was up to 46 per cent.
Sex and relationships expert Tina Radziszewicz explains: ‘Just a generation ago, oral sex was seen as disgusting and shocking, yet now it’s a common part of most couples’ sexual repertoires. It seems that anal sex has become the last taboo – the final sexual frontier to be crossed.’
But she insists: ‘It’s vital that you don’t let yourself to be coerced into any sexual activity you’re unhappy with. If you do go along with it when you’d rather not, the resulting resentment will likely eat away at your relationship.’
I don’t want to offend anyone who does enjoy anal sex. Sex is to be enjoyed and if you find pleasure from anal then more power to you. But for those who say ‘don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’, well I have tried it and I wish to continue knocking it.
I spent years convinced I’d never give it a go. I remembered the episode of Sex and the City when Charlotte was asked by a boyfriend to have anal sex. ‘I’m not a hole’ she cried, before deciding that she did not want to be ‘Mrs Up The Butt’ and telling her man a firm no. I felt I was Charlotte.
But I threw caution to the wind and agreed to give it a go for a man I loved. Armed with a bottle of vanilla scented lube and a ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ style mantra. Now I don’t want to go into too much graphic detail in case my 85-year old granny figures out how to Google my name and this article sends her over the edge. But for me, the experience was painful, uncomfortable and gave me no pleasure. I kept worrying that if he went in too far, I’d tear in two. I could just see the newspaper headline: ‘Women found bummed in half.’
I even went back for a second and third try. I wondered whether it was just beginner’s nerves, but no. It was still as unpleasant and painful. So sod it, I thought. I’ve spent years pretending to enjoy sexual encounters that were less than pleasing. From the men who banged against my pubic bone like they were trying to crack a coconut open, to those who ‘arrived at the party’ after just five minutes. On my face. Without warning.
I’m not going pretend to enjoy sex when I don’t.
Of course the boyfriend understood when I said I didn’t like it. But I could tell he was disappointed. And when I spoke to friends after the event, many seemed convinced that I just needed to keep trying anal until I eventually start to enjoy it. But anal isn’t like my once aversion to tea. I can’t add three sugars to bum love to make it more pleasant. I’ve done the research and concluded that it’s a no from me.
And that shouldn’t make me bland or boring according to the world of modern sex. It sometimes feels like anal has gone from being a sex act with marmite ability to divide to something that elevates you from ‘basic bitch’ to ‘cool girl’ status. Reverse cowgirl, rampant rabbits and crotchless panties are apparently so passé. Now it’s ‘have anal’ or you’re shagging like a grandma.
But I’m not vanilla because I’m not a fan of the chocolate love (sorry). And disliking anal shouldn’t make anyone feel like they’re not sexually liberated or in the ‘cool’ group. I’m not 14-years old anymore trying to convince the popular girl gang that I actually like the taste of WKD Blue and Mayfare fags.
Surely sexual liberation is about being free to have the sex you actually get enjoyment from. And that for me and I’m sure others does not include anal. Not to mention that a 2016 study found a direct link between anal sex and bowel incontinence. So there’s that nugget of joy to throw out there if anyone criticises you for not wanting to take it up the bum.
I love sex and I even love kinky sex. I’m open to new experiences and trying new things out. But I also know myself well enough to know when something is not for me. And there’s no amount of vanilla scented lube that can convince me otherwise.