Whose side are you on?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Alexander_Evgenyevich_Yakovlev_Pierrot_Arlecine.jpgDoes anal sex cause incontinence, and does the answer depend on whether you are a right wing nut-job (or a reasonable, moderate conservative who happens to feel distaste for gays)? What words do we use, whom are we trying to persuade, or are we trying to reassure our own lot?

Here is an article by Tracy Clark-Flory in Salon, and here is a blog response. Ethnicmuse signposts this study, showing either some willingness to engage with the issue, or just an attempt to appear willing in order to advance his own agenda. That study shows no problem with incontinence for receptive gay men. (My aim, as should be clear to regular readers, is unashamedly to advance my own homosexual agenda, to encourage gay people and piss off right wing nut-jobs; and also to find truth.)

I have not studied the scientific literature, and do not feel moved to anal sex, giving or receiving, though that might change with the right partner. Does anal sex cause incontinence? Possibly in some cases, possibly even irreversibly, there may be precautions one can take to make it less likely, there may be doubt on how likely it is. There may be research that could be done to make these things more certain, and there will be more certainty about a greater range of possible likelihoods than about a narrower range. (See how mangled my language becomes when I try to be objective.)

Does anal sex cause incontinence? I don’t know. Ethnicmuse claims he can completely destroy the credibility of the Salon article in that Clark-Flory calls this book by Erik Holland with a search giving this part, homophobic right-wing propaganda. Is Holland’s book “homophobic right-wing propaganda? His blurb saying “the religious need not despair; homosexuality is not part of human design” may indicate he is, though his book title shows an attempt to appear more nuanced.

Is anal sex completely safe? No, but then neither is switching on light switches. I do not think Clark-Flory has completely refuted the idea that gay men’s incontinence is a right wing myth, though I would love to fact check her assertion that “There haven’t been any large-scale, long-term incontinence studies done on gay men who bottom”. Mmm. Define long-term, and how large-scale is necessary for sufficient certainty?

I don’t think Ethnicmuse’s attack on Clark-Flory works completely. He has asserted not demonstrated that calling Holland “propaganda” is “shooting herself in the head”. It feels to me like polemic trying to force through a point, rather than a credible refutation.

Um. There is no substitute for primary sources, and even doing definitive research- and I am not going to gain the necessary degrees for that. Meanwhile, there are people strongly or weakly identifying with one “side” or the other, and seeking more or less to find truth or to persuade or to reassure their own side.

Here is George Orwell, on how we know almost everything we know by authority rather than by experience. Why should we believe the Earth is round?

12 thoughts on “Whose side are you on?

  1. I’m sorry, but when it comes to consenting acts between two grown ups, whose business is it, other than theirs? Does smoking cause cancer? Can you hang yourself with a rope? Is driving a car dangerous? Is walking on the street dangerous? Does a cyclist take his life in his hands when he takes himself off to work every day? Should he leave his toddler daughter at home, in case she falls off the back of his bike into the path of a passing lorry?

    I am not sure why morals and sex go together all the time…..but they seem to. Sigh. How tedious it becomes, trying to defend personal choices against the outrage of those who (a) never tried it; (b) never want to; and (c) can safely ignore the pain and desolation that their outrage causes, fitting so neatly as they do, all the patterns of “the majority” who are so ordinary, so like them.

    Ordinary is a fiction, just like normal, acceptable, outrageous and disgraceful. Just words which we use to paint tar on those we target, rather than looking in their eyes.

    Have a good day. Bless you.

    XXX 🙂

    PS = I like your use of the phrase “nut jobs” – is that a freudian slip, I wonder?

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  2. What a weird topic! I think it’s useful to properly research the physical side effects of any activity, and, if indeed there are any, give people advice on how to minimise the risks of such side effects. Isn’t it odd, but not surprising, that people are desperately attempting to come to conclusions there are physical side effects to anal sex so that they can ‘prove’ it’s ‘not natural’? I gave birth just over a year ago and am still suffering from delightful mild incontinence side effects. Does this prove that giving birth isn’t part of human design??

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    • Brilliant argument. Thank you for that. You also give me the chance to share my pelvic floor tip: when you are at home, and can get to the toilet easily and immediately, leave off going as long as possible. Holding on exercises the muscles. I share this because I was fair pleased when it finally worked.

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  3. Some clarification: I don’t completely destroy any argument per se. Rather I am disappointed in that Clark-Flory links to Holland and states that his arguments are “not even remotely based in medical fact” when it is clear that she is wrong. He could indeed be a ‘homophobic right-wing propagandist,’ just that she has not shown that he is. To me she ‘shoots herself in the head’ by not using a better source to aid her point. A credible refutation? Hardly. That would require a long source listing of peer-reviewed science articles and even then would be subject to my inherent biased interpretation of the data.

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    • Welcome, and thank you for commenting and clarifying. I always wonder, can I identify and get round my biased interpretation of the data? Initially, it seems like truthfulness and common sense, but with practice I can see some biases, which gets me to seeing others.

      I do not even know whether whatever research has been done can give a definitive answer. I have just had the thought (coarseness is unavoidable) that my own arsehole can extrude a turd thicker than a penis, and that anal rape as a weapon of war would be more likely to damage the sphincter than lovemaking.

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      • I forgot to mention that your post is quite refreshingly tempered, so thank you for that. As for research, I don’t think it can lead to anything definite since we all have our agendas biased by culture, emotions and/or beliefs.

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      • tonight, i went to the bathroom and i pushed out a turd that was bigger than my penis. This proves that an anus can hold a penis very easy without damaging it… of course, do it with care…

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