It’s no secret that more Americans are having anal sex than ever before: A study published last year in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that more than 45 percent of women in their late 20s had tried anal sex.
On the flip side, women rarely get the opportunity to be penetrators. Virginia Vitzthum exquisitely described the appeal of taking on the male role in a piece for Salon back in 1999 — before we even called it “pegging”
“In a way I’d never understood those words before, he was mine. The knowledge I could really hurt this person by being less than careful made me feel responsible, protective. The vulnerability appalled me at the same time; it was vaguely disgusting that he would let someone do this to him. Mixed in with the disgust was possessiveness. The thought of anyone else penetrating him seemed revolting. These observations clicked into place in quick succession; I felt like a projector being loaded with slides of maleness, of male seeing.”
But, taboos change, and so do the cultural meanings of particular sexual acts. Just as the gay community has long debated the politics of being a top or a bottom, the hetero world is slowly catching up -or, um, bringing up the rear. As Pulley puts it, “We only have so many orifices. You’d think we’d all be itching to take advantage of them all, right?”