Anal sex and bdsm

It’s sometimes assumed that anal sex is almost a sub-category within bdsm, that anal sex is inherently bdsm, and people who do bdsm necessarily have anal sex.

Of course this isn’t true. Lots of vanilla heterosexual and vanilla gay couples have anal sex without it having any bdsm resonance for them; it’s just a variation. And lots of bdsm people don’t have anal sex in their repertoire. They are different categories, bdsm sex and anal sex. Some people do both, and some people do one or the other.

Still, I’m one of the people who does both. And I find that I feel very masterly, very dominant, while taking a submissive woman anally. It doesn’t have to be a bdsm thing, but when it happens in a bdsm context, then for me it becomes very strong, very intensely bdsm.

So, I thought, how come? What are the connections between anal sex and bdsm? 

The obvious and wrong answer is that the submissive receives and the dominant penetrates: they take the “active” role. But that isn’t necessarily how anal works in bdsm works. Aleister Crowley, for example, used to flog his male submissives, and then make them bugger him. He’d give instructions on how fast or how deep, and they knew they were in trouble if they didn’t please their master. 

It’s never what you do, in bdsm: it’s what it means.

I think the thing that’s common to both anal sex and bdsm is that they have a kind of hard intimacy. I think of the Nine-Inch Nails song, “I want to fuck you like an animal; I want to feel you from the inside.” Which isn’t necessarily a song about anal sex. Still, it’s that urge that I’m thinking about; to be truly inside one’s submissive’s body, to feel her.

The vagina is in a sense part of the outside of the body. (Germaine Greer got in trouble for pointing this out, a few years back; but for once the mad old bat was right). It’s not a hole; more like a fold, or an indentation, in the body, a thick-skinned one, evolved to deal with the outside world and with intrusions.

The anus is different. It’s thin-skinned. That’s one reason why anal sex is more risky, in terms of contact injuries and viral transmission.

In a strict medical sense the anus can also be said to be outside the body, the same sense in which the whole system involving the mouth, the throat, stomach and entire alimentary canal, is outside the body. Think of it was the inner part of a tube; the interior curve of a tube is still part of the exterior surface of the tube. Or, if you like, think of a tea-cup. You put tea “in” the cup, but the tea-receptacle part of a cup is still outside of the cup itself. Inside the cup, it’s porcelain.

But still, the hell with science and medicine.

The experience is that anal penetration is intimate. You are closer; you have to take greater care because of that; there’s great intimacy, of sensitive male flesh and skin inside sensitive female flesh and skin, moving together, carefully, body to body. (Leaving pegging out if it, for the moment: the dildo doesn’t feel anything. It’s the symbolism, not the sensation, that counts.) 

Dominants and submissives need to know each other, to be in something close to telepathic contact. Sometimes that very close contact can be experienced in anal sex.

There are other connections between anal sex and bdsm, but intimacy seems to me to be the most powerful. 

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