How many people have had anal sex?

About 20 to 25%, in case you were wondering. More men than women have had anal sex, and that’s not just because some of those men have had sex with other men. More men seem to have had heterosexual anal sex than the number of women who have had anal sex. One challenge is that, in spite of the fact that anal sex is a riskier activity in terms of the potential for cuts, tears and infection, women and men use condoms less often for anal sex than they do for vaginal sex. If you’re interested in learning how to have safer, pleasurable, enjoyable, comfortable anal sex, check out the book Anal Pleasure & Health: A Guide for Men and Women by Jack Morin, PhD.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at

  • Mens Sex Toys

    I would have to wonder how that data was gathered. In my opinion, anything other than an anonymous method produces flawed results.
    It’s not like these people are being asked if they prefer cats or dogs as pets. Not everyone is open to discussing their sex lives, and those who are are generally going to be more sexually adventurous than those who don’t.

  • Debby Herbenick

    It was anonymous data collection using Knowledge Networks, one of the most respected companies that specializes in nationally representative probability sample data collection. We published the results of our work in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in October 2010. You can download the entire scientific journal issue at if you would like to learn more about the study methods.