Did I just hear some parents pass out?

When I was growing up, I don’t remember ever thinking about anal sex.  Do you?  Twenty years ago… or even ten years ago, most teenagers would not have known what anal sex even was. Those who did know about it probably would not have considered engaging in it. But as we talk about so often on this site, online pornography has become the primary sex-ed resource for many teenagers today.  Teens are the largest audience of visitors to X-rated sites, and pornography has totally normalized anal sex.   Many of the most popular pornography videos include anal sex, even group and gangbang-style anal sex. One can even easily find online content depicting oral-anal sex (when a man removes his penis from the anus and then inserts it directly into the mouth of a woman)… I know, it sounds pretty gross, but when our kids watch this content, it normalizes this type of behavior in their offline lives.  I’ve talked with countless girls whose boyfriends have asked them if they would “do anal”, and unfortunately, many of them have a messed up picture of what staying pure really is about.  They think as long as they aren’t engaging in vaginal intercourse, they are still “technically” virgins and therefore, they are technically honoring God. 

It’s important to help our kids realize that outside of marriage, anal sex isn’t normal or healthy. And it’s debatable whether anal sex represents God’s best even within marriage. Anal sex is not only incredibly intimate, but it is also incredibly risky and (in our view) degrading, and it also is an easy way to spread STDs (despite what many kids seem to believe). The porn stars we work with often attest to the physical problems resulting from this practice, including anus tearing, pooping in one’s pants, inflammation, and diseases. Some have had to receive multiple surgeries to repair the damage from receiving so much abuse.

It’s important that we tell out girls that they should never feel pressured by their boyfriends to experiment with anal sex. Guys should not pressure their girlfriends to engage in this type of behavior. Anal sex is not a safe alternative to “going all the way.” Whether inside or outside of marriage, activities that make someone feel degraded, abused, or scared are not part of a loving relationship. Remind your kids as you talk to them about sex that just because they aren’t engaging in vaginal intercourse doesn’t mean they are honoring God’s standard for sexual purity. 

Now, reading these words is a whole lot easier than saying them out load to your son or daughter, and although you should always be available for and aware of teachable moments, some of this content may (admittedly) be better received coming from your son or daughter’s youth pastor or small group leader, so Craig and I wrote a book and have a video series that can help you and those who your son and daughter look up to address this and other difficult topics relating to sex.  You can get a copy of the book here (entitled “The Volunteer’s Back Pocket Guide to Sex”) and the video series here (called “Pure Sex”)… be sure to check them out and spread the word!