Does anal sex cause incontinence?

A reader wonders whether his friend\'s doctor is right to warn against too much anal sex

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published December 30, 2011 1:00AM (EST)

    (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-55256p1.html'>Alvaro Pantoja</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(Alvaro Pantoja via Shutterstock)

The following question came by way of a Gchat message from an acquaintance:

I have a question from a conversation I had with a bunch of gay men. There were six of us, and a friend said that he had a doctor who'd warned him that continued anal sex (as the bottom) over time could permanently "wear out" his sphincter and create all sorts of incontinence problems for him as he grew older. Half of us thought it was crazed right-wing propaganda (I was in that camp). The others had heard similar things!

I CANNOT BELIEVE I'M TYPING THIS INTO A GCHAT MESSAGE. There haven’t been any large-scale, long-term incontinence studies done on gay men who bottom. (It’s hard enough to get funding for studies generally relating to sex, let alone gay sex -- so just imagine the challenge of adding in that favorite topic of toddlers everywhere: poop.) I can tell you, however, that the consensus among sex educators is that anal sex does not carry a high risk of fecal incontinence. In other words: Your friend’s docto...

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Tracy Clark-Flory

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