Alex Blaze

Anal Sex and Human Evolution

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 08, 2011 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: anal sex, Colorado, nature, New Jersey

Here's a video of a Colorado woman testifying on the civil unions bill in that state, arguing that anal sex isn't something we're supposed to do because we have anal sphincters. I'm guessing some people couldn't keep from giggling during her testimony, but she's really getting at a lot of people's discomfort with male homosexuality. Usually they don't explain it in these terms, but for a lot of people this is what it comes down to. (at 0:53)

While there are definitely arguments that can be made about the "purpose" of a body part, it's always left open to debate. She picks on the anal sphincter, which, in my humble opinion, is there to keep poop from falling out by accident. And the hymen exists too, but no one argues that it means "keep out" of the vagina.

But who knows, maybe the sphincter is there to stop buttsex. I wonder how one would explain why anal sex is physically pleasurable, assuming she's correct? Why are there so many nerve endings there that give sexual pleasure when stimulated and, in men, a prostate on the inside that can be reached by a human penis?

To someone who's new to humanity, all that would be taken as a huge, neon, blinking sign left by God/Goddess/Gods/Nature/the Flying Spaghetti Monster pointing us towards anal sex.

If we're not built to anal sex, it's just odd that we'd get so much pleasure from the act. That sort of thing would be selected against considering how the act of anal sex leaves humans vulnerable to predators and wastes time that could be spent on searching for food, if it really were something with no benefit at all.

Not that I'm presuming to know much about evolutionary biology (I only had one semester of that and that was years ago), but in my book the evidence tilts towards a practical benefit for anal sex at some recent point in human evolution.

It doesn't matter, though, since I doubt this woman, who believes that five- to twelve-year-olds will have sex if someone talks to them about it and then kick dogs, has spent much time researching sex, the anus, or evolutionary biology.

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Michael M | March 8, 2011 2:00 PM

I've always said, if it ain't natural then why do I have a prostate? I usually half joke when saying this but it gives a good point.

But is seems odd to focus on the one thing. I know Alex and others have written on the use of disgust to limit LGBTQ rights (Martha Nussbaum wrote a whole book or two on it). Still the focus on the disgusting part and not on the legal part should be the priority of the court.

John Gagon | March 8, 2011 2:02 PM

The cloaca is an orifice that functions as both a vagina and as an anus and is present in most species in fact and in mammals, it's present in monotremes.

In most species, the embryonic stage features a cloaca in much the same way embryos breath with other evolutionary/now vestigal organs.

The separate canal of the anus remains as sexual as the reptilian brain is brain I would think.

Rick Sutton | March 8, 2011 2:03 PM

She says we've been teaching fornication in schools since 1960.

I missed those classes, and I want my money back.

What a Mucking Foron.

Aubrey Haltom | March 8, 2011 2:04 PM

As if anal sex was limited to gay men...
It's a rather strange argument - certain sexual activities are reason to deny a community equal access to laws and benefits.
If we follow that thought, then a large swath of us (hetero/homo/...) are f###ed.

hey lady what did the sphincter ever do to you??

video of a woman testifying on the civil unions bill in that state

What state? That's your first sentence.

I see someone else said this but I'm going to say it anyway. Before I came out of the closet, I never met a straight man who wasn't trying to get in my back door. Why do people always associate anal sex with being gay? I think it's mainly a man thing, not a gay thing. I mean seriously, how many men have never gone there (be it with a male or female) and out of those who haven't how many wish they had? I'm thinking that percentage would be very high. There are all kinds of people who are into all kinds of things. It has little to nothing to do with sexual orientation.

Om Kalthoum | March 8, 2011 6:33 PM

No one taught me "fornication" in school. My school district must not have gotten the memo. But what really caught my attention was that after whatever she was reading where "he said" the anus is an exit not an entrance, she said that the "unwed mother rate" is 41%. They must not have been teaching sodomy all that well.

Brad Bailey | March 8, 2011 9:02 PM

When Arkansas passed its sodomy laws years ago, I wrote the local newspapers pointing out that 90% of what heterosexuals did in bed was now outlawed along with gay sex.

Needless to say, I got a lot of flak from people like the lady in the vid.

I suspect she's a non-fucking moron, not a fucking one.

I love the thing about the rectum being one cell thick. By love, I naturally mean hate.

Also, some slides for reference.

I have to disagree on one point:

I think that, to many people, the hymen is exactly that, a keep out sign. One that, if missing, means the goods have been used and tainted and should be destroyed. It is the seal of freshness on womanhood and popping open before God intended it is clearly the same as going the wrong way against a 'keep out' sign.

But...poop! Things exit there, not enter!11!!

It's not like the vagina has multiple purposes, including exits and entrances. It's not a revolving door!

Annette Raftery | March 9, 2011 3:36 AM

What do you not understand about the vagina and entrances and exits? Where do babies enter and then exit when grown?

Really? My post was sarcastic. Trust me, this lesbian knows plenty about vaginas.

Wow, see, even before I ever had sex, before I ever transitioned, I knew a lot of girls who loved the back door play. Sure, not everyone does, but plenty do.

Lady, if it's not your thing, then don't do it anymore, but stay out of my bedroom. And the crazy thing, of course, is that this was to dissuade Colorado from allowing CUs.

Seriously? They really do think it's all about the sex. No, wait, I get it, now! If you follow her argument, and making the typical presumptions of the 'phobic nuts, she's saying that lesbians are totally okay to have CUs as long as they're not having teh buttsecks, right?

Or did I miss something here?

Gaytorguy | March 9, 2011 3:29 PM

What about the vaginal sphincter?

An interesting note, sort of segways to this. I was watching a documentary about LGB Orthodox/Hasidic Jews. A contradictory term it seemed.
One man said he was talking to a rabbi about it. The rabbi said it was forbidden to have anal sex, man on man.
So the man asks the rabbi what about the other ways men can show affection to each other?
The rabbi asks what other ways are there for two men to have sex?
Most people against LGBTQ rights think the G only have anal sex. Probably because those against us only have vaginal sex. Yeah, right!

My first anal sex was with my wife, when I thought that I couldn't possibly be gay.

Oh yeah...I was the top. (then)

The question of whether anal sex would have an evolutionary advantage is a fascinating one.

From what I can deduce there is a very strong argument for it being useful: Choice.

Consider this scenario:

A herd of hunter gather humans are milling around their fire. One male (who we'll call "Ung") sees a female ("Grnk") that he fancies. He gets all excited and decides he wants to mount her.

He wanders over, does the mating dance to try to entice her (coincidentally the same as the "Thriller" dance). Unfortunately she doesn't find his slide and moonwalk very appealing.

He however doesn't really care about her opinion on this. So, following the lead of the other animals he mounts her doggie style.

Now here is where the choice comes in. If she raises her hips a tad further she can let him into her vagina, thus choosing to take his seed. Or, conversely she can choose to keep them down and have him find door #2, this effectively rejecting his seed.

Through the use of anal sex she would be more likely to choose the mate that best suited her desires and needs.

Physiology supports this by way of the amount of nerve ending in the rectum and the positioning of the two orifices. If you consider that "Option B" has the potential to also be quite pleasurable for the lady, the force of the argument can be seen!

Just some thoughts to chew on.

I know this is an old topic, but: I've heard it repeated over and over again like a bad record that because we have nerve endings in our sphincter muscle, which some people find to be pleasurable when stimulated, that means we should have anal sex. Let me solve that easily solvable question:

Nerve endings are there for one reason: So that you don't poop your pants. Have you ever heard of fecal incontinence? Doesn't take much of an imagination if you haven't. It's what happens when those nerve endings stop working due to a variety of factors. It's one of the main reasons elderly folks end up needing assistance in their later years. There is even a technology called sacral nerve stimulation in which a small electrical charge stimulates the nerve endings until a bowel movement is needed, at which point the user of such a system interrupts the machine. What happens when the machine is interrupted? Poop. Because without those nerve endings, the sphincter muscle cannot function properly! Those nerve endings may coincidentally receive pleasure (most nerve endings do) but that is not biologically the purpose of them.

There you have it.

Just another example of the hypocrisy about sex on the right. "Sexual freedom for me, but not for you."