14 Questions You’ve Always Wanted Answered About Anal Sex
“Expecting to have anal without coming in contact with faeces is like expecting to have vaginal sex without coming in contact with vaginal lubrication.”
Once upon a time, anal sex was a huge no-no for nice girls.
Not only was it taboo, it was also considered kind of – well, kind of gross. Letting someone put his penis (fingers, tongue) in your butt? As Amy Schumer so astutely pointed out in her tribute to the cult of the booty, that’s where your poop comes out.
These days though, butt play is hot. Whether it’s Marnie getting rimmed on the hit HBO show Girls, or Harvard University offering an ‘Anal Sex 101’ workshop during their annual ‘Sex Week’, anal sex has decidedly outgrown its verboten past. A 2010 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that some 40 per cent of women ages 20-24 have engaged in anal sex at least once. And more than half have probably played around with oral or digital stimulation, whether on the giving or the receiving end.
And why not? For one thing, the anus is chock-full of nerve endings – and therefore, filled with potential for pleasure. And for another thing, it’s fun to be bad.
If you’re thinking about incorporating some ass play into your sexual routine, or even if you’ve already tried it, you probably have some questions. Here are answers to a few things you might have wondered…
1. What’s the big deal?
Why does everyone seem to be so into anal these days? Probably because it feels so good. “Anal sex can be an extremely erotic, exciting activity,” New York-based marriage and sex therapist Dr Jane Greer told Women’s Health. “If you’re willing to try it, you might find it an unexpectedly fun addition to your sexual repertoire.”
2. Is it safe?
If done right, absolutely. While it’s true that anal is one of the riskiest types of sex, in terms of spreading sexually transmitted disease – including HIV – if you follow safe sex practices and do it with someone you trust and respect (even better, someone you love), it’s perfectly safe. Go slow, be gentle, listen to each other, use lots of lube, and wear a condom and you’ll be fine.
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3. Will it hurt?
We’re not gonna lie – it might hurt a little bit at first. If it does, slow down. Jessica O’Reilly, PhD and author of Hot Sex Tips, Tricks and Licks, tells Women’s Health that being super relaxed, and super turned on, is the key. “If you find insertion painful or difficult, stop and go back to the drawing board,” says O’Reilly.
4. Why do guys like it so much?
Contrary to popular belief, guys aren’t the only ones who are ass-obsessed. Look, like we said before: there are a lot of nerve endings back there. It feels good; that’s just biology. Sure, your anus is tighter than your vagina, which is going to blow your man’s mind. But anal sex is also an extremely intimate act that can actually bring you and your partner closer together. You’re not going to let just anyone go there, and he knows it. That’s hot.
5. Can I have an orgasm from anal sex?
Oh yeahhhh. Dr Hilda Hutcherson, an expert in women’s sexual health and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, told YourTango that some women even find anal sex the easiest way to have an orgasm. “Every woman has the ability to orgasm, physiologically, because the space between her vagina and rectum is so thin that, in the doggie position, the penis is going to press up against her G-spot.”
6. Do I need to buy anything special?
Three words: lube, lube, lube. Do not – we repeat, DO NOT – attempt anal sex without copious amounts of lube on hand. Slather on your partner’s penis, your entire backdoor area, inside the opening of your anus, his fingers, your fingers, and anything that’s going to go anywhere near your booty. Dr Hutcherson recommends using a silicone-based lubricant, rather than a glycerine or water-based one, as it will last longer and be less messy.
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7. Am I going to smell gross?
While there’s no need to get uber-paranoid about the way you look, smell and taste – we’re all people with the same, sometimes-funky human parts, after all – a nice warm shower with soap is a good idea before you engage in any butt play. Lather yourself up with a mild, non-irritating body wash and scrub until you feel squeaky clean. You can even do this with your partner, for some built-in foreplay.
Our editor Nadia dishes on how to have great anal sex
8. What happens if I fart?
Look. It happens. Life goes on. You’ll be embarrassed for about five seconds, you’ll both laugh about it, and then you’ll get over it. Vaginas fart too sometimes, that’s just part of the mystery and magic of our unpredictable bodies.
9. What about…poop?
Certified sexologist Megan Andelloux, told Elite Daily, “Expecting to have anal without coming in contact with faeces is like expecting to have vaginal sex without coming in contact with vaginal lubrication.” Good news, though. Andelloux says “There’s a difference between coming in contact with faeces and shitting everywhere.” Whew.
10. What position is best for anal?
For your first time, Hutcherson says spooning is better than doggy-style. “For those just starting out, I think getting on all fours might be a little too intense. Lying on your side in the spooning position won’t allow penetration that’s as deep. It’s also a more relaxing position. When you become more comfortable, the doggie is the easiest way for a woman to orgasm.” And don’t forget to breathe. Says O’Reilly, “As you breathe deeply, your inner sphincter muscle will relax to facilitate penetration.”
11. What if it just won’t go in?
If you’re going ver-r-r-y slowly and using lots of lube, but it’s still not happening, don’t fret. There are plenty of other ways to have fun back there; there’s no need to be too hung up on penetration. But who knows? After a little tongue and finger play, you might just be warmed up enough to try again. You can also try an ‘anal easing’ lubricant, designed to gently relax the anal area for easy insertion, like this one:
pjur Back Door Relaxing Anal Glide Lubricant (Buy it HERE)
12. If I do it a lot, is it going to make me incontinent?
The fear that anal sex will loosen you up somehow and leave you farting and shitting all over the place is totally unfounded. Take it from Hutcherson. “The thing I can say…as a doctor is, it’s not unsafe. She’s not going to be wearing a diaper, she’s not going to have faecal incontinence, she’s not going to be soiling herself or passing gas all day.”
13. Is it safe to bring toys to the back door?
That depends on the toy. You want something with a flared base that’s not going to get lost in there, so stick with things marketed for sexy times, not household items that double as sex toys. (It happens.) A toy can be a great warm-up for the main event; you’ll want to use something that’s easy to wash and will stimulate you in the right way. There are so many fun toys on the market – shop around and find the perfect one for you and your partner.
14. Is it okay for him to blow in there?
If you’re in a committed relationship and you’ve both tested negative for sexually transmitted diseases, you might want to forgo condoms. But you also might wonder if it’s okay for your man to ejaculate inside you during anal sex. Wonder no longer: doctors say it’s perfectly fine. But again, make sure you’re monogamous and healthy, as it’s easier for the anus to sustain small tears during sex, leaving you more susceptible to infection.
In summary: relax, be safe, and have fun!
Comment: Do you enjoy back door play? If so, what’s your number one anal sex tip?