How does a homosexual friendly female answer the following question: Does anal sex cause incontinence? Well, Tracy Clark-Flory on Salon.com answers the above question in the following steps.
1. Set up a strawman (bad):
Half of us thought it was crazed right-wing propaganda (I was in that camp).
2. Quote from a biased but reliable-ish source (good):
Glickman adds, “Muscles don’t wear out because you use them. If stretching muscles necessarily caused them to tear, long-term yoga practitioners would be in trouble. Just like any other muscle, relaxing and stretching the anus doesn’t cause damage if you listen to your body and don’t force it.”
Glickman has a PhD in Adult Sexuality Education but he is no medical doctor or specialist (gastroenterologist). While his comments make sense, it also does not answer the question of should sphincter muscles be voluntarily stretched through anal sex. Frankly, this is too simplistic to be of any use as a positive argument.
3. Quote a biased and unreliable source (bad):
Similarly, in “The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men,” Bill Brent writes, “Stretching the sphincter and rectal tissue safely over time tends to strengthen rather than loosen the muscles associated with anal sex, as people who practice fisting and using large toys can attest.” That’s a gem of counterintuitive wisdom to share with your friends over Sunday brunch — just maybe wait until the second round of mimosas.
Bill Brent was a bisexual (possible bias) and his book was published by Cleis Press described on Wikipedia as “an independent publisher of books in the areas of sexuality, erotica, feminism, gay and lesbian studies, gender studies, fiction, and human rights.” In other words, not a scientific press.
4. End by unsuccessfully using science to smear the strawman you previously created (very bad):
More reliably, a 1997 study found no higher incidence of fecal incontinence in gay men who bottom and nonreceptive hetero dudes (a control group — what a concept!). Of course, there are also plenty of examples of homophobic right-wing propaganda on the topic (see here) that are not even remotely based in medical fact. It’s hard to say which is to blame for that doctor’s misinformation, but, regardless, it might be time for your friend to find a new one.
First off, what 1997 study is being referring to? I believe she means: Anal sphincter structure and function in homosexual males engaging in anoreceptive intercourse. If she does, she possibly shot herself in the foot because the fecal incontinence seems to be self-reports from only 14 men.
Secondly, that link is to a book which uses multiple medical books and peer-reviewed journal articles, two articles of which are on the same linked page. Additionally, the author does not seem to be homophobic, right-wing or even sympathetic to religious objections to homosexuality (though he seems to be Christian but does not use that in his evaluation). And that’s what one would call, shooting yourself in the
If LGBTIs and those friendly to their cause want to move into normalcy, they need to stop the cheap shots or risk being viewed as loony as those they themselves view as loony.