Is anal sex ok between a married Christian couple as foreplay?

Below are the reasons why “back door” penetration is out of bounds, even when limited to foreplay between straight married couples, and even when the climax is saved for normal intercourse:

1) Anal sex is Unhealthy

Anal sex is is really unhealthy. There’s tearing, bleeding, bathroom complications, and a whole bunch of other nasty health problems and risks.

2) Anal sex breaks Natural Law

On moral issues, Catholicism follows a principle known as Natural Law. That means “use things according to their purpose.” In marriage, anal sex is achieved by inserting the man's reproductive organ into the woman's digestive tract. That’s not very “natural.”

Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles - William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V Scene I

3) Anal sex violates dignity of the person

It is demeaning and violates the “Dignity of the Person” who in this case is the woman. There is an unnatural and disproportional disparity of power between a couple during anal sex. Throughout history it has been more about power than love. Even in ancient Greece where historical revisionists say it was “accepted,” the passive partner was always frowned upon, regardless of whether it was a man or a woman. Anal sex has always been about one person asserting dominance over another.

In the modern gay community the person on the “bottom” is seen as weaker. In an interview, American Idol winners Chris Allen and Adam Lambert were asked “who will get the top bunk during your tour?” Adam blurted out “I wanna be the top!” The clip went all over the gay blogs because Adam, who is known as gay and who unexpectedly came second, was asserting his dominance.

The extreme power disparity that happens during anal sex is very distinct from the natural and moderate interplay of power between a married couple during real intercourse. People who agree to be passive partners in anal sex generally have low self esteem, which is further fueled by subsequent occasions of it. This becomes a downward spiral in the emotional life of passive partner. It is true whether or not anal sex is limited to foreplay. It often fosters deep seated, sometimes silent, resentment by the passive partner, which can undermine the health of the relationship.

4) Anal sex speeds up male climax

In Pope JPII’s teaching “Love and Responsibility,” he pointed out that it usually takes women longer to climax than men. He also said that the man should try to time his climax to coincide with the woman. Given that advice, it’s counter intuitive for the guy to advance his climax by having fake intercourse in the wrong place as a “warm up.”

5) Bible forbids anal sex

Nowhere in the Bible does it say anal sex is OK, on the other hand Romans 1:24-27 says:

“women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women…”

Scripture is clearly saying women cannot have “back door” sex. The Bible doesn’t say “it’s only sex if there is a climax.” Using that excuse is kind of like Bill Clinton saying “I didn’t have sex with that woman.”

Even if a couple could rationalize Romans 1:24-27 to apply only to anal sex that ends in climax, it would be precarious. Men aren’t always masters in self control during sex. If there is a premature climax, then the couple would be engaging in sin that is listed among the worst of the Bible. Using this rational for anal sex is like trying to justify playing ball hockey on the freeway. (Of course, we propose that it is serious sin even if there is no premature “accident.”)

6) Anal sex is counterfeit sex

Anal sex is too much like natural intercourse to be foreplay. It is a spiritual axiom that evil uses counterfeit representations of holy and natural things to degrade the sanctity of those things, and there is no greater counterfeit of real intercourse than anal intercourse (even as foreplay).

Does the Vatican say it's wrong?

There is no Magisterial document discussing anal penetration foreplay between married couples, nor does there need to be. We can just imagine CNN covering that story! The Bible says:

"... this is the covenant that I will make … I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts." (Heb 8:10)

The Magisterium (Pope and the Bishops) doesn’t have to spell out every type of forbidden sexual behaviour like the Book of Leviticus under the Old Covenant. We are in the New Covenant. Prayer and mutual respect will draw the married couple to the truth on this issue.

The Bible, Natural Law, biology and common sense clearly indicate anal sex is not OK. If couples are doing it, they should stop, and if a priest is saying it’s OK as foreplay between married couples, he should stop. Christopher West discourages this kind of foreplay, and rightly so.

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