Anal intercourse is here defined as involving sexual contact between the sex organs of one person and the anus of another.
Since the anus is one of the more sensitive erogenous zones of the body, many men and women enjoy some form of anal stimulation during their sexual activity. (Also see "Heterosexual Intercourse."} As a matter of fact, some individuals insert a finger or some cylindrical object into their anus when they masturbate in order to heighten their pleasure. It is therefore hardly surprising that, during sexual intercourse between males, the anus of one partner and the penis of the other should sometimes be brought into direct contact.
It is very well possible for a man to insert his penis into his partner's anus. However, since the anus, unlike the vagina, does not provide its own natural lubrication, some artificial lubricant has to be used. Crisco and special water-soluble creams ("Lube") are the most popular of these lubricants, and they are best applied gently and deliberately to the anus itself. This offers the opportunity for a relaxing massage of the anal sphincter, or even for the insertion of a finger. After this preparation, the penis must be inserted very slowly, and, once inside, it should remain motionless for a while until the sphincter is completely relaxed. Then one or both of the partners can begin pelvic thrusting. Many men enjoy being masturbated by their partner while they have his penis in their rectum. He, in turn, may be glad to oblige because he knows that the anal sphincter will contract during orgasm and thus provide additional stimulation for his penis. (Also see "The Male Sexual Response.")
Anal intercourse can, of course, be practiced in many different positions. Most often, however, one of the partners lies on his stomach while he is approached from behind, or he lies on his back with his knees raised to the sides of his chest while he is approached face-to-face. There are also some men who avoid the insertion of the penis into their partner's anus, but instead enjoy rubbing it between his buttocks until they reach orgasm.
While anal intercourse can be highly satisfying for both partners, it is not nearly as common as is often believed. After all, most people in our culture are conditioned to consider the anus filthy and repulsive because of its excretory function. (To a lesser extent, the sex organs are also seen as disgusting because of their association with the release of urine.) In addition, there are strong religious, social, and legal taboos against contact between anus and penis. Indeed, in many states of the United States today anal intercourse is still defined as a "crime against nature" which may carry a penalty of many years in prison. (For a detailed discussion of American sex laws, see "Conformity and DevianceŚLegal-Illegal.")
Under the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that some homosexual men object to anal stimulation just as vehemently as many heterosexuals do. Others object only to becoming the "passive" partner in anal intercourse (the one receiving the penis), but have no scruples about being the "active" partner (the one inserting the penis). The curious distinction between "active" and "passive" partners in anal intercourse is quite similar to that already discussed under "Oral Intercourse". There is only one difference: In the case of anal intercourse, it is the "passive" partner who is seen as playing a female role, while the "active" partner is said to play that of the male. Nevertheless, the argument here also implies that only the former is a "true" homosexual, while the latter somehow preserves his heterosexuality.
This kind of nonsense seems particularly appealing to guilt-ridden and insecure ambisexual men who try to justify their homosexual acts. For instance, in prison such men may regularly rape other male inmates while telling themselves that they are not really doing anything "queer". Naturally, they are not fooling their victims. However, the fact that some men would even feel the need for such self-delusions reflects the all-pervading and continuing sexism of our society.
The truth of the matter is that activity and passivity have nothing to do with either biological sex or sexual orientation. Thus, most homosexuals who enjoy anal intercourse switch freely back and forth between the inserter and receptor roles without ever suffering any confusion about their sexual identities.
In this context, it should perhaps also be mentioned that some men enjoy having their partners insert long and hard objects or even the whole hand into their rectum ("fistfucking"). One can only assume that these men are unaware of the dangers of this practice. First of all, there is a great likelihood of infection through scratches and dirt accumulated under the fingernails. Furthermore, while the anal sphincter muscle can adjust to a slowly inserted normal penis without being torn or losing its elasticity, it is likely to be overstretched by a fist or other object of comparable size. In other words, while anal intercourse as such poses no problem, "fistfucking" can lead to serious injuries, particularly if it becomes a habit. There have been cases where the anus became completely dysfunctional and had to be sewn up by a surgeon who then had to create an artificial opening in the abdominal wall for the elimination of waste.
Finally, it remains to be stated that, for anatomical reasons, there can be no anal intercourse between females. The only exception would be a female who wears an artificial penis strapped to her body. However, this possibility is more theoretical than real, since virtually all homosexual women are content with other forms of sexual stimulation.