Talk:Anal sex

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Former featured article candidate Anal sex is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
March 1, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted

Article is homophobic[edit]

Is there some particular reason only hetrosexual oriented images are shown, or is this article actually intended to be rather homophobic in nature, considering the fact that anal sex is more popular among the homosexual as opposed to the hetrosexual community? I therefore conclude that this article needs major revisions in order to NOT be homophobic. (talk) 05:21, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Anal sex is widely practiced by many sexual orientations. Would it not be stereotyping and homophobic to portray anal sex as an act done solely by gay men? EvergreenFir (talk) 05:32, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Past discussion: Talk:Anal sex/Archive 8#The picture. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 07:00, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing to that past discussion, Adrian J. Hunter, which addresses image and prevalence aspects. Considering that the article clearly has images to represent every mentioned gender/sexual orientation combination, and additional male-male images in the "Other cultural views" section, I fail to see how the article is homophobic. The article does not have "only hetrosexual oriented images." It leads with a heterosexual image, but that has already been addressed in the previous discussion Adrian J. Hunter pointed to. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:32, 10 October 2017 (UTC) Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:42, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

health risks, it is required to add immunological infertility[edit]

Health risks, it is required to add immunological infertility

Autoimmune infertility due to Antisperm_antibodies — Preceding unsigned comment added by Путеец (talkcontribs)

See my reply on the editor's talk page. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 19:49, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Flyer22 Reborn Jytdog Now you have studied immunology, and now you can add autoimmune infertility referring to the article antisperm antibodies. Here and in all articles related to the practice of anal sex and the health of LGBT people and MSM. Путеец (talk) 07:00, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

In terms of material at the Antisperm antibodies article, what are you proposing be added? The material doesn't need its own section. Also, in addition to Jytdog and I, Doc James can help. He is also good at judging additions and giving them WP:Due weight. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:17, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
For the record, I had a good knowledge of immunology before the recent Antisperm antibodies article stuff. But anal sex is not usually discussed in immunology sources. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 16:20, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
In the article Anal sex has a section of health risks. Here it is necessary to add the item - autoimmune infertility, due to the formation of antisperm antibodies with unprotected anal sex. Путеец (talk) 16:24, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
I was asking what is your proposed text. By this, I mean include the wording you want to add here on the talk page for review. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 17:28, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
"The possibility of autoimmune infertility, due to the formation of antisperm antibodies with unprotected anal sex.". Just lead to the norms of English. Путеец (talk) 17:43, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, feel free to add it to the section in question, with one or more WP:MEDRS-complaint sources. I or someone else will tweak your addition if it needs tweaking. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 18:14, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
  • (recent changes patroller) Just passed by this on recent changes. PubMed source seems fine as it is a review and not 'a fresh out of the oven study'. !dave 19:54, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

Edit request protected??[edit]

"A 2000 study found that 22.9% of college students who self-identified as virgins had anal sex. They used condoms during anal sex 20.9% of the time as compared with 42.9% of the time with vaginal intercourse"

This isnt what the source says, source says 22% of nonvirgins

 Done EvergreenFir (talk) 07:34, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Article ignores the existence of women with penises[edit]

Some women have penises and I think it should be mentioned in the "female-to-female" section that penis-in-anal-sex is a viable form of lesbian sex! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lily.mayfield (talkcontribs)

Taking transgender people into consideration, yes. If following your course of thinking, then what about men who have vaginas? You talk about the "female to female" section, but a trans woman could be relevant to the "male to female" section as well, and a trans man could be relevant to both the "male to female" and "male to male" sections. You want us to mention a transgender aspect in all of these sections? We must think about both WP:Due weight and WP:Verifiability. The sources aren't focusing on trans people, and some sources that talk about men who have sex with men include trans women in the category (as noted in the Men who have sex with men article). Another issue with attempting to cover trans people in the aforementioned sections is the mechanics of sex that work the same regardless of gender identity. For example, a lesbian trans woman who has not undergone sex reassignment surgery and uses her penis to have anal sex with a woman follows the same mechanics of sex as a man who uses his penis to have anal sex with a woman. And, no, I'm not calling trans women "men." I'm solely noting the mechanics. There are also trans women who do not view their penises as penises, and trans men who do not view their vaginas as vaginas. Furthermore, it goes without saying that trans people can have anal sex. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:04, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
If you are also considering intersex people, who may or may not be transgender (although the vast majority of intersex people identify with the sex they were assigned at birth), there are obviously the same or similar issues. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:52, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Update: Looking more on this topic, I do see some sources noting that trans women engage in receptive anal sex without a condom at a high rate, which puts them at significant risk of HIV and other STIs. But that's about all that I am seeing on anal sex and trans people, which doesn't surprise me since, like the "male to female" section of the article states, anal sex is not well-researched outside of the "men who have sex with men" category. And even in that case, it's mainly focused on disease transmission instead of sexual practices and pleasure. Anyway, the high rate of trans women engaging in receptive anal sex is something we can and should mention in the article. There are social reasons behind trans women doing this, like this 2016 "Understanding the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States: The Role of Syndemics in the Production of Health Disparities" source, from Springer, page 104, notes. The source also argues to treat trans women who have sex with men as separate from the "men who have sex with men" category, but that's something to include in the Men who have sex with men article instead. Anyway, material on trans women engaging in receptive anal sex can go in either the "male to female" section since the sources are speaking of men anally penetrating trans women, or we can create a separate "Among trans people" section. But, per what I stated about the scarcity of material on trans people engaging in anal sex, the section would mostly concern trans women engaging in receptive anal sex. There is a bit on trans men and receptive anal sex as well. And just to note here, I did come across this 2014 "Practices of receptive and insertive anal sex among transgender women in relation to partner types, sociocultural factors, and background variables" source, but it's a WP:PRIMARY source, and per this discussion, we try to stay away from primary sources for health material, and this includes prevalence material. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 18:38, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

If trans women can be lumped into "men" in this article, due to the "mechanics of sex," while considering the subjects of the sources (cis men and cis women), and this concept of "mechanics" is based on genitals, then why does it not work in the reverse where trans women who use their penis for anal sex, like myself, are implicated by those same sources for the "female to female" section? Lily.mayfield (talk) 06:10, 28 April 2018 (UTC)

Huh? Not understanding your argument. Neither the Anal sex article nor its sources lump trans women into the category of men. And I was not arguing that the article should. The sources are not talking about trans people, period. If any of the people are trans, we don't know it. The point is that Wikipedia goes by what WP:Reliable sources state and with WP:Due weight. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:29, 28 April 2018 (UTC) Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:38, 28 April 2018 (UTC)


It's been raised in a discussion on Talk:Missionary position that this article is another that uses "generally" in its introductory sentence.

MOS:FIRST says: "If [the article] subject is definable, then the first sentence should give a concise definition: where possible, one that puts the article in context for the nonspecialist."

I don't think the current first sentence is a definition, and I don't really think that any statement entirely covered by "generally" can be. A definition says what something is, not what it usually or generally is.

(To work out if something is a satisfactory definition, try swapping it in to the article later on - e.g. "With regard to lesbian sexual practices, generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure includes fingering, use of a dildo or other sex toys, or anilingus". That is clearly nonsense.)

I think the MOS is clear that the first sentence needs to give a definition, i.e. say what anal sex is: e.g. "Anal sex is sexual activity involving the anus, or anus and rectum." A second sentence can then say (assuming we can source the assertion) that the most common form of this is what the first sentence says; but what is currently in the first sentence is not the definition of the term.

I think the two terms also need separating - e.g. analingus is referred to by the article as anal sex, but isn't anal intercourse; so I don't think we can define the two together.

Thoughts? TSP (talk) 11:13, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

MOS says nothing about objecting to "generally." You are making a mountain out of a molehill, just like you have at the Missionary position article, and for reasons that Rivertorch stated there. The primary definition/meaning of anal sex is a penis entering the anus/rectum. It is the most commonly understood meaning, and is what the article mainly covers. And we should be clear about that right off the bat. It is the overwhelming meaning in reliable sources. Your "with regard to lesbian sexual practices" comparison makes no sense to me. Anal sex among lesbian couples isn't nearly as widespread as it is among heterosexuals and male-male couples, as the article makes clear. And pegging is not common. Anilingus also isn't nearly as widely practiced as penile-anal sex. Your assertion that the current definition isn't a definition simply because it states "generally" and/or specifies "penis in anus/rectum" makes no sense to me, and I can only assume you are arguing that due to you wanting the lead sentence to be vague so that it covers all types of anal sexual activity right from the beginning.
Your proposed wording of "Anal sex is sexual activity involving the anus, or anus and rectum." is completely vague and raises the following question: What type of sexual activity? By contrast, the current lead sentence is clear about what anal sex generally (a.k.a typically/usually) means, and then goes into other definitions, as it should. Fisting is not a standard definition of anal sex at all. It is a very rare act. And per WP:Due weight, it should not be mentioned in the lead at all. But your proposed wording automatically includes it because your wording is broad. Sources like this 2009 "The Orgasm Answer Guide" source, from JHU Press, page 108, are clear that anal sex typically refers to the insertion of the penis into the anus and rectum. So that is just one example that contradicts your argument that "A definition says what something is, not what it usually or generally is." And so does this review that is used in the article. We don't use "refers to" wording for the lead sentence because, per WP:Refers, this article is not about the term. The lead sentence should define what the act is. That act is defined solely as "the insertion of the penis into the anus" in the vast majority of reliable sources. And when taking the time to mention other anal sex acts, "the insertion of the penis into the anus" is either always listed first or is noted as the primary meaning. And, yes, per WP:Due weight, we commonly give the most weight to the primary meaning on Wikipedia. In reliable sources, and in studies on anal sex, anal sex is typically defined as the insertion of the penis into the anus. We do use "refers to" after defining the different versions of anal sex because the "refers to" wording is specifically about the terminology. And like WP:Refers states, referring directly to a term rather than using it is different. As for distinguishing "anal sex" and "anal intercourse," they usually mean the same thing. Only occasionally do they not mean the same thing; and this aspect is also covered in the lead.
Those are my thoughts. Pinging Grayfell, Adrian J. Hunter, Johnuniq, MrX, and Doc James for their thoughts. With the exception of MrX and Doc James, I know that these editors watch the article. All of them, however, have been involved in discussion on this talk page. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 14:07, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
Many many terms do not have perfect universally accepted definitions. We should begin the article with the most common definition.
The current definition IMO is fine as it is the most common "Anal sex or anal intercourse is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure."
This IMO is not the usual definition "Anal sex is sexual activity involving the anus, or anus and rectum." and thus would not be an improvement.
The current definition is supported by three references. What references support the proposed change? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:49, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting, Doc James. The vague, proposed wording can be supported by one or more sources (meaning that I've occasionally seen sources be vague in such a way on the topic before going into more detail), but I wouldn't use it per what you and I have argued on the matter. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 14:55, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
And the penile-anal aspect is especially important with regard to medical research. Just like the literature in general, it is the type of anal sex that medical sources usually focus on. For example, this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) source states, "Anal sex (intercourse), which involves inserting the penis into the anus, carries the highest risk of transmitting HIV if either partner is HIV-positive." Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 15:19, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't see any problem with "generally". It would be great if every word had a single, crisp definition that was universally agreed upon. But language doesn't work that way. The meaning of some terms is fuzzy, and someone researching such a topic will want to know that. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 00:55, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
What he said. RivertorchFIREWATER 03:27, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
Absolutely true - but encyclopedia articles aren't, on the whole, about terms, but about subjects. A dictionary (or, on Wikipedia, a disambiguation page) is the place to explain the different things a term can mean. An encyclopedia article is about an encyclopedic subject; I'm suggesting that the first sentence should define what that subject is. That certainly doesn't have to be the only thing that term could possibly mean - that's why we have disambiguation - but I feel should be the definition that the article intends to use.
Incidentally, OED has "anal sex n. sexual activity involving penetration of the anus.", which seems to me a significantly more useful and universal definition than the one we have at present. TSP (talk) 11:52, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
Disambiguation pages are not the place to explain different things a term can mean. Disambiguation pages are to help readers find the article they're looking for. MOS:DAB is clear about this.
Dictionaries aim for brevity at the expense of nuance. Flyer22 has already demonstrated that the OED definition is not as universal as you think it is. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 12:48, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
TSP, you make it seem that like an encyclopedia is not the place to explain different meanings of a term. And yet encyclopedias, including Wikipedia, do that. I told you at the Missionary position talk page that Wikipedia commonly starts off its lead with one definition -- usually the most common definition -- and then includes other definitions of the topic after that. I told you that just like with dictionaries and encyclopedias, the first listed definition does not preclude or exclude the other definitions. It's the same with Wikipedia, and Wikipedia often has a Definitions or Terminology section to further address the different definitions. One example is the Terminology section of the Myocardial infarction (Heart attack) article. Another is the Definitions section of the Cancer article. And yet another is the Types section of the Neoplasm article. The Neoplasm article also notes definition aspects in the lead. I've told you that we don't allow our lead sentences to be bogged down by an identity crisis simply because there are multiple definitions. We usually choose one, and note others after it. And for those articles that begin with something like "[So and so] does not have a precise definition, but [...]," they are often changed as well.
This aforementioned 2009 "The Orgasm Answer Guide" source, from JHU Press and sexologist Beverly Whipple, page 108, states, "Anal sex typically refers to insertion of the penis through the anus and into the rectum, but can include anilingus (oral stimulation of the anus), fingering, and use of sex toys, including vibrators and small dildos known as 'butt plugs.' " This is what our Wikipedia article states, except that we have separated the matter into two sentences, we do not use "refers to" (per WP:Refers), we use "generally" instead of "typically," and we don't specify what type of sex toys. You make it sound like the lead stating "Anal sex or anal intercourse is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure." is telling readers that all anal sex, including as part of lesbian sexual practices, includes "the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus." The lead is clearly not stating that. The lead clearly states "Other forms of anal sex" and then notes what they are. This 2017 "The Psychology of Human Sexuality" source, page 410, states, "When most people hear the term 'anal sex,' they tend to think about penile–anal penetration. However, this is not the only way that the anus can be involved in sexual activity. Some people may insert a finger or sex toy into the anus during masturbation or partnered sex. Others orally stimulate the anus, a practice known as anilingus (colloquially referred to as 'rimming')." Just like with the WP:LEADIMAGE representing what the topic is generally/usually about, so should the lead sentence. When we direct readers to the Anal sex article, what we are usually directing them here for is the "penis in anus/rectum" aspect. And this is not only because it's what people usually think about when they think of anal sex, but because the vast majority of the literature on the topic (which leans more so toward men who have sex with men research, as noted by the article) is mainly about that aspect. There is no valid reason to have the lead sentence be broad in its definition...when most of the content in the article (including the health material) is about the "penis in anus/rectum" aspect. We want our readers to know what the article is mainly discussing from the beginning, and we certainly don't want them guessing as far as "anal sex vs. anal intercourse" goes. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 13:19, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
There is no reason to change the current lead. MOS is a guideline that generally should be followed, but this is one of those cases where "generally" is precise English that conveys the sourced facts regarding what "anal sex" generally means. There is no UN Committee that issues definitions for terms describing sexual acts, and there is no WP:DUE or helpful way to list all variations in the lead. Johnuniq (talk) 02:39, 15 June 2018 (UTC)