No one’s talking about anal sex! That’s what’s troubling Debby Herbenick over at Salon right now. The problem is that lot’s more people are having anal sex than they were 20 years ago but the topic is still one that is tiptoed around and considered taboo. And guess what? We at The “Oh!” Face are guilty. Call it Anal Invisibility. It’s just something that doesn’t get as much coverage as other things in the field of sex journalism or research.
This is a problem. It’s a problem because a lot of people are trying anal sex and a significant number of them are experiencing pain or discomfort from it. Now you might be thinking “Well duh! It’s anal sex. Anal sex hurts, right?” Wrong…sort of.
A select number of people experience pain every time they are receiving anal sex, this is called anodyspareunia. The thing is, the percentage of people who complain of anodyspareunia is about the same percentage of those who report pain every time they have vaginal sex. That percentage is about 10%. That means the other 90% are not experiencing pain.
So here’s some things you can do If you want to be a part of the 90% (Occupy Butt Street):
Use more lubricant than you think you should…and then double that amount. Seriously, lots and lots of lube. The anus and rectum don’t lubricate themselves like vaginas do, they need your help. This is also important because the tissues of the anus are thin and prone to tearing thus making unprotected anal sex the highest risk sexual practice in terms of STI transmission.
Preheat the oven. That metaphor is terrible but still, you need to be relaxed if you are going to get anything into your ass and just lubing up and going for it isn’t going to be enough. Simply touching and playing with the anus without penetrating can feel really good and is a great way to start getting that area ready for some more vigorous play. Butt plugs are great too. Lube up a butt plug and slip it in and then maybe have some vaginal sex, while getting your ass used to having something inside. The anus has two spincters, one that you can control and the other that kinda does it’s own thing, it’s easy to relax the one you can control but you ain’t going to trick the other one into relaxing unless you take your time and give it some TLC.
When it comes time to penetrate, go an inch at a time. Put it in an inch, bring it back, put it in another inch and bring it back. We’re aware that anal sex in porn seems a lot less complicated than this but these people are professionals and have a lot of experience and need we remind you that porn is entertainment and not particularly reflective of what real sex is like.
Perhaps the most important tool to ensure that you will have a good time is communication. Talk to each other throughout. Talk about what’s feeling good, what’s not feeling good. This is no time to be shy, in fact trying anal sex may be just what you and your partner need to stimulate more open dialogue in the bedroom. And on the topic of communication…get consent. Consent to have sex does not automatically mean consent to have anal sex too. Make sure that everyone is on board (but that is a whole other blog post in and of itself).
Our final point (for now) is safety and hygiene. As we said, unprotected anal sex is risky, wear a condom. But what is also important to remember is that trace amounts of feces can cause infection and other unpleasantness. You can’t go from fingering a persons ass to then touching their vulva or vagina. Same goes for changing out condoms and cleaning sex toys. You don’t wipe from back to front for this exact same reason.
Clearly there is a lot to talk about regarding anal sex and we have been terribly remiss in not covering it until now. Fear not True Believers, there will be more in the future. Until then, be safe, have fun and don’t forget to write.