So How Common Is Anal Sex, Anyway?

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Debby answers a question that has come up lately in Kinsey Confidential's sexual health outreach programs - how common is anal sex?

Earlier this evening, our terrific Kinsey Confidential graduate intern (Natalie) and I presented two dorm sex education programs on campus here at Indiana University. Both were set up as “sex trivia” games and both battled it out until the very end in hopes of winning the donated prizes we brought with us.

One fact that surprised women and men alike is that only about 25% of women and men have had anal sex. Many of the students guessed higher numbers and were surprised that it was as low as it was. After all, it’s more common nowadays to see anal sex depicted in porn or talked about on TV, in movies or in books, magazines, newspapers or the internet. However, just because something is talked about often doesn’t mean it’s done often. And just because 25% of people have ever done something in their lives (in this case, anal sex) doesn’t mean they’ve done it often or even more than once. Some studies suggest that fewer than 10% of people have had anal sex in the past year.

If you’re thinking about trying anal sex, or would simply like to learn more, consider reading Anal Pleasure & Health: A Guide for Men and Women by Jack Morin.

P.S. Natalie and I also came across a Gender Neutral Bathroom which thrilled me to no end (check out the photo that I took).

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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