Depressing report - anal sex in under 18s

(359 Posts)
noblegiraffe Tue 19-Aug-14 17:45:54

bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/8/e004996.full

The link goes into much more detail but the gist is:

"First, some men's narratives suggested that mutuality and consent for anal sex were not always a priority for them. Interviewees often spoke casually about penetration where women were likely to be hurt or coerced (“you can rip 'em if you try and force anal sex”; “you just keep going till they get fed up and let you do it anyway”), suggesting that not only do they expect coercion to be part of anal sex (in general, even if not for themselves personally), but that many of them accept or at least do not explicitly challenge it. Some events, particularly the ‘accidental’ penetration reported by some interviewees, were ambiguous in terms of whether or not they would be classed as rape (ie, non-consensual penetration), but we know from Jack's interview that ‘accidents’ may happen on purpose.

Second, women being badgered for anal sex appears to be considered normal.

Third, the commonly circulating ideas that ‘everyone’ enjoys it, and that women who do not are either flawed or simply keeping their enjoyment secret, help support the erroneous idea that a man pushing for anal sex is simply ‘persuading’ his partner to do something that ‘most girls would like’. Even Alicia's narrative contains some of the apparently coercive features of anal sex that other women report in negative terms, despite Alicia reporting enjoying anal sex.

Fourth, anal sex today appears to be a marker of (hetero)sexual achievement or experience, particularly for men.18 The society which our interviewees inhabit seems to reward men for sexual experience per se (‘every hole's a goal’) and, to some extent, rewards women for compliance with sexually ‘adventurous’ acts (enjoyment signifying not being naive, unrelaxed, etc), although women must balance this with the risk to their reputation. Women may also be under pressure to appear to enjoy or choose certain sexual practices: Gill describes a ‘postfeminist sensibility’ in contemporary media, where women are expected to present themselves as having chosen behaviours that conform to a stereotype of heterosexual male fantasy.24 The common portrayal of anal heterosex in terms of men breaking women's resistance can be compared with narratives about first vaginal intercourse25 and perhaps have superseded them to some degree in the British context where premarital vaginal intercourse is considered normal and so perhaps less of a ‘conquest’.

Fifth, many men do not express concern about possible pain for women, viewing it as inevitable. Less painful techniques (such as slower penetration) were rarely discussed."

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-Aug-14 17:52:49

I'm not suggesting this is right by any stretch of the imagination, but ime it has always been like this.
A lot of people will blame internet porn and I think it does have its place in here, but it was common conversation way back in the early 90's before many homes had internet access.
I think anybody who doesn't realise this is the way of the world is naïve to say the least.

I think things have been heading this way for a while. I'm 27 and when we were at University men used to take the piss out of any bloke who said he wasn't interested in trying anal sex, the most common phrase was that any man saying he didn't want to do it was secretly gay.

Nice, huh?

AlpacaYourThings Tue 19-Aug-14 17:55:49

Jesus, that's depressing.

Good grief, this makes me glad of my advanced age, and equally makes me fear for my (young) DSs and a a world they grow up in. I am not sure how I'd cope if I had girls.

And this from the BMJ - not a publication normally noted for its feminist slant, so even more depressing reading.

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Tue 19-Aug-14 18:07:46

"the most common phrase was that any man saying he didn't want to do it was secretly gay."

What stunning logic!

Vacillating Tue 19-Aug-14 18:16:05

I work with teens frequently and have cause to discuss their sexual experiences sometimes. I think the report is conservative and whilst often women have had awful early experiences of sex currently the normalisation of once hardcore activities is creating misery and a culture of women thinking if they aren't loving it then they are wrong.

Porn, pop, tinder non of it helps

Glovender Tue 19-Aug-14 18:24:17

(Whilst recognising that a minority of women genuinely enjoy anal sex....)

I was going to point the finger at internet porn, but perhaps you're right morethan. I think this is an unfortunate consequence of the continuing idea that sex is something women allow men to do to them ie women are conquests and the more sex, the greater the number of women and dirtier the sex the greater the validation. Do men really enjoy anal sex more than straight vaginal sex? I can think of one reason why they wouldn't and one why they might - so all square - but it makes more sense if one looks at it as something a man feels he ought to be pushing for / striving to achieve.

What I am sure of is that any man who pushes for it to happen and doesn't seem to respect the concerns of his female partner should immediately be shown the door.

AlpacaYourThings Tue 19-Aug-14 18:28:53

A 'friend' of mine once said that he liked anal sex with his girlfriends because then he really knew he 'owned her'.

JustTheRightBullets Tue 19-Aug-14 18:41:22

This wasn't the norm when I was a teen. (90's)

stargirl1701 Tue 19-Aug-14 18:45:45

Nor me, Bullets. I was a teen in the 90s too.

thisisnotalovesong Tue 19-Aug-14 18:53:27

Glovender - not all men enjoy it.

DH doesn't. I love it (I accept I'm unusual) and I would be up for it often, but he says no. It's too tight & uncomfortable apparently.

And you know what? I respect his choice.

I know bland, it was completely ridiculous. To make it even more mad, actually being gay is not really the thrust of the insult either (hardly anyone my age actually thinks gay = bad), it's an more that if you say you don't like anal you are a closeted homophobes secretly wanting to have sex with men but lying about it and pretending to be straight iykwim.

We have the dubious honour of being the generation to grow up with the internet and fuck all parental controls so I kind of wouldn't be surprised if in twenty years time things have swung back the other way, though.

Okay i'm being super optimistic there.

expatinscotland Tue 19-Aug-14 18:59:16

How depressing.

It's awful, isn't it. I have never been badgered (or actually even ASKED) for it apart from one relationship with a guy it transpired was heavily into porn/swinging et al. Different norms. He messed with mine too. Which is the point, isn't it. I felt I had to go along with all these things to show how cool I was. And it comes at a time in your life - teens/twenties - when your sense of your self and what you do/don't like just isn't solid enough.

I know the author of the paper and, horrifyingly, the BMJ article is a lot less provocative, for publication. The problem is even worse.

I have two little girls and I just want to put them in the world's comfiest tower, forever.

Showy Tue 19-Aug-14 19:06:25

I was a teen in my 90s and went to uni before the advent of internet porn. One of my friends tried anal. It was taboo, none of us reported partners pushing for or expecting it.

Now, some of us are back out there post divorce, some of us have siblings and nieces out there and they all report the same stuff. Many men expect anal, most expect little to no pubic hair.

I worry for DD.

gussiegrips Tue 19-Aug-14 19:06:30

I came across this article via work -and, it's scared the beejeezus out me.

The undertone is that young men believe that consent isn't necessary for anal sex.

Terrifying. What is covered in sex ed about consent?

Consent isn't really on the nationAl curriculum iirc, gussie, I know there are some teens running a campaign to have it be taught about.

JustTheRightBullets Tue 19-Aug-14 19:13:14

It desperately needs to be, and they need to talk about this stuff. sad

campaign4consent on hold while they do their exams.

beachyhead Tue 19-Aug-14 19:16:07

I had heard from a friend who is a practising NHS consultant that injuries to young women as a result of anal sex are on the increase and there has been concern noted at the hospital he works at.

It does. My kids are only little but that they really understand consent is top of my list.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-Aug-14 19:21:26

I was a teen in the 80's and it was like this, but perhaps a bit more reserved.
Young people behaved like this but only spoke about it with mates. It wasn't reported about and as before internet there weren't discussion groups and social networking to inform everyone this is what young people did.
I agree that it was taboo, but people were still having anal sex and still informing their mates.
Maybe the expectation wasn't there as in the nice boys wouldn't ask the nice girls to do it, even though they were sexually active.
I think internet porn has normalised it and this is the problem with men/ young men acting like they do.

expatinscotland Tue 19-Aug-14 19:22:45

I think it's definitely become more expected.

This here, however, is rape in a lot of cases.

cruikshank Tue 19-Aug-14 19:26:29

Depressing, but just about what I would have expected for a generation raised on unlimited porn where women are simply compliant orifices waiting around for a man to 'own' them. And morethan, I disagree strongly with our post. This was in no way the expectation when I was in my teens in the 90s. Back then a bloke would think he'd got lucky if he got a finger-frig out of you. Now it's all shaved cunts and anal penetration due to men being given a completely false narrative of women's sexuality. I wonder how many of those young men surveyed would be hankering after a little back-door action if they knew the women they watched on-screen 'enjoying' it were only able to perform the acts they do because they're taking painkillers and know they can get their fissures sewn up at the company's expense, or that the only reason they want to perform the acts at all is because they were abused as children or are active drug addicts.

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