***This page contains graphic descriptions of sexual contact**
I felt it was appropriate to post a page dealing with anal sex since pornography often promotes this practice.
This page primarily 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.
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: Porn promotes anal sex as a natural and exciting way to have sex. The truth is that anal sex is based on lust, which is all about satisfying one’s cravings, and has nothing to do with a loving expression of sexual desire. 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. These footholds can lead to corruption of our minds and lead us away from God. An example of what can happen when people follow lust is found in Romans 1:21-31 NIV:
“For 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. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In 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. Furthermore, 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. They 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, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they 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, “Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For 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 Gay_Sex_Health_Risks) 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. Some people may disagree and argue that marriage gives a husband and wife permission to do whatever they want with each other’s bodies. I suggest Paul’s “beneficial test” found in 1 Corinthians 6:12-13 NIV for this situation:
“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. “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 practice it. Additionally, I would encourage you to pray and ask God to give you clear discernment concerning this issue, as the one of the Holy Spirit’s functions is to convict people of sin.