***This page contains graphic descriptions of sexual contact. Please pray about your specific situation before deciding whether to continue reading this text. We don't want anyone to be tempted by reading this page.
We felt it was appropriate to post a page dealing with anal sex since pornography and the rest of the sex industry heavily glamorizes and promotes this practice.
The majority of this page addresses the question, "Is anal sex a sin when practiced in heterosexual marriage?" For the cases outside of marriage (i.e. fornication, adultery & gay sex), the Bible clearly identifies sexual activity (and therefore anal sex) as sin:
Fornication: Genesis 34:1-7; Deuteronomy 22:13-28; 2 Samuel 13:2-22; 1 Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:19; Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 7:8-9
Adultery: Galatians 5:19; Hebrews 13:4; Genesis 39:6-12
Gay sex: 1 Corinthians 6:9; Leviticus 20:13, Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-32
In the context of heterosexual marriage, the scripture may seem less specific about whether anal sex is acceptable behavior for God's followers. There are, however, basic principles in scripture that will help us answer the question. Here are some points to consider:
1. Anal sex uses body parts in way contrary to their designed purposes (i.e. perversion): The anus and rectum are specifically designed for expelling waste from the body. The tissue in those areas is designed for things passing out of the body, not vice versa. Also, since there is no natural lubrication in the anus or rectum, intercourse can cause fissures in the wall of the rectum, leading to infections and diseases such as AIDS. Additionally, the urethra in the penis can become infected from exposure to the bacteria in the anus and rectum. (for a doctor's perspective, click here)
The vagina contains tissue that is designed for both penetration (during sex) and expulsion (birth or menstrual cycle). The nerve endings in the clitoris, vagina and surrounding tissue provide a perfect match for the male sexual design. When the "conventional" sex position (face to face) is used, the man and woman are positioned for the ideal amount of stimulation for both partners to experience orgasms simultaneously. Alternate sexual positions may provide more enhanced stimulation for one partner or the other, but may lessen the potential for both people having simultaneous orgasms.
2. Anal sex gives lust a foothold: The sex industry goes to great lengths to promote the idea that anal sex is a natural and exciting way to express love. The truth is that anal sex is based on lust, not love. Tolerating lust in our lives will slow down our transformation into the "new man," and give the devil potential footholds for other forms of evil in us.
Lust works contrary to love in every way (see lust vs. love) - it is selfish and only cares about gratifying its desires. When we follow lust's impulses (ex. by having anal sex), we open the door to other forms of evil which can corrupt our minds and lead us further away from God. An example of what can happen when people follow lust is found in Romans 1:21-31 NIV:
"21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless."
As the people in this example pursued lust, they ultimately were "filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity" (29). In the same way, if we give lust a home in our life, we're basically opening up the door to other kinds of evil to fill our lives.
3. Anal sex is "out of character" for a Christian marriage: The Bible instructs husbands to love and nurture their wives. Paul wrote, "28Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church" (Ephesians 5:28-29 NIV). Paul characterized the husband's love for his wife as Christ's love for the church. Such love is to be pure, without any hint of lust.
An appropriate application of this love is to the sexual relationship. Unfortunately, pornography has helped inspire many people to crave sex acts that they might not normally desire. Under the guise of keeping the marriage sex life exciting, many couples succumb to "lust-based" sex (instead of "love-based" sex) by experimenting with perversions like anal sex. For example, A husband who pursues anal sex against his wife's wishes is being motivated by lust, not love. Furthermore, by having anal sex, he is putting his wife at high risk of contracting various infections. His wife may agree to participate, but most likely only to appease her husband. When this happens, sex becomes more of a spectacle for the husband's gratification than a mutually-enjoyable, loving experience. As love is removed from the relationship, sex will likely require greater levels of the bizarre to produce gratification (e.g. sex toys, swinger clubs, group sex, bestiality, bondage, fetishes, etc.).
4. Anal sex increases the participants' chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), infection or AIDS. (see health risks PDF document) As the primary exit for bodily waste, the anus is highly contaminated with harmful bacteria. Because of the potential tissue damage arising from anal penetration, both partners have a high risk of contracting infection. A less-publicized problem that can arise is the “Gay Bowel” Syndrome, which results from repeated anal intercourse. This is where the sphincter muscle in the anus loses its elasticity and can no longer close.
In conclusion, I believe that anal sex is sin in every case. Even so, some Christians may not agree with this conclusion, and may hold that marriage gives a husband and wife permission to do whatever they want with each other's bodies. If that's your rationale, I then urge you to consider Paul's "beneficial test" found in 1 Corinthians 6:12-13 NIV:
12"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything. 13"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
We can ask ourselves, "Is anal sex going to benefit me, my spouse and our relationship with God, or will it harm or hinder us?" If it is going to harm or hinder in any way, then we would be wise not to prac