Though more people are becoming open-minded, anal sex is still considered taboo and a sexual act that only homosexual men engage in. It is easy to assume that this has always been the case, however, many ancient cultures engaged in anal sex shamelessly – whether they were heterosexual or homosexual.
Historically, people have used anal sex as a form of conception. Due to little or no birth control, anal sex was the best way to prevent pregnancy besides abstinence. In the ancient Andean civilization of Moche, anal sex was such a common sexual practice that it was widely depicted in their pottery. So wide that images of vaginal sex on ceramics were rare. In ancient Greece and Rome, sexuality was more fluid. The social construct of homosexuality and heterosexuality did not exist at the time. So essentially, most people were bisexual. And let’s not start with ancient Babylon.
So when did it become taboo?
As Christian orthodoxy grew and gained popularity, sexuality became repressed. Sex was no longer for pleasure but for procreation purposes. As religion and sex continued to be linked, the Bible (specifically Genesis 19:14-25) was used to create laws against anal sex. Sodomy laws popped up everywhere.
- In 1986, the United States Supreme Court upheld Georgia’s sodomy law, which criminalized oral and anal sex between people of the same or different sex, on the basis that homosexuals had no constitutional right to engage in sodomy. (Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986).)
- In 2003, Texas decided to remove sodomy laws in the Lawrence vs Texas case, making sex between consenting members of the same sex legal in the United States.
- Currently, anal sex is illegal in 12 states in the U.S with reasons linked to homophobia.
Learning about the history of anal taught me one important thing: taboos, like trends, change over the years so don’t be a follower and just assume booty play isn’t for you due to societal opinion. Explore the options that shameless sexuality has to offer.
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