This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract This study used qualitative methods to assess why women engage in heterosexual anal receptive intercourse AI with a male partner. Four focus groups which comprised women from diverse ethnicities were conducted. All groups were digitally recorded for transcription; transcripts were analyzed using the methods of grounded theory to determine themes. The riskiness of AI was assessed within relationship contexts. Past experience with AI including emotional and physical reactions was identified.