I used to be of the opinion that anal sex is gross and weird… yet in the last several years, my opinion has changed. If you told me a few years ago that I would have a collection of anal toys by now, I’d probably kick you. Yet, after discovering it and doing it well, I’ve changed my mind. Anal sex can be wonderful, but there’s still so much weirdness and stigma around anal. It’s time we address it!
Myth #1: Anal sex is for gay men, only.
This idea started with the AIDS epidemic in the 80s. Then, unprotected anal sex was the most common method of infection for the HIV/AIDS virus which was then viewed as a gay male disease. If one does some research on the topic, one can learn that anal sex between the sexes has been part of sexual society for decades, “Ancient Greek pottery (c. 500 B.C.) shows men engaged in homosexual anal intercourse. But the oldest known depictions of heterosexual anal appear 800 years later on Peruvian pottery (c. 300 A.D.). In Peru 1,700 years ago, hetero-anal intercourse was by no means rare. On surviving pottery depicting erotic art, one-third of it shows hetero-anal intercourse. Chinese and Japanese woodblock prints (16th to19th centuries) depict heterosexual anal intercourse fairly frequently. And ever since the invention of photography (1840) and motion pictures (1890), pornography has shown hetero-anal play.” (Castleman)
Unfortunately, as Loren adds to the conversation, hetero couples are so afraid of the gay/religious stigma of the act that they are less likely to A) admit to anal sex/play, and B) educate themselves on the safety (which will be addressed later).
Myth #2: Anal sex is dirty or gross
When I began writing for SGP, I promised myself I’d never lie to readers, and I won’t. Anal sex can be gross or dirty. Usually, if an “accident” is going to happen, the receiving partner did not prepare adequately for receiving. If one is going to engage in anal sex (and personally, I highly recommend it) there are steps of preparation that can be taken to make the experience much more pleasant.
- Enema vs. Anal Douche: An enema is the introduction of liquid into the rectum to evacuate the bowels, medicate, or nourish. An anal douche is a jet or current of water, sometimes with a dissolved medicating or cleansing agent, to a body part, organ, or cavity for medicinal or hygienic purposes. Both can be used prior to anal sex to clear out your lower bowel areas and prepare for penetration.
- Being careful of what you eat, or laxative use: Some people feel more comfortable prepping for anal above the bodily equator. As a recovered bulimic, I can’t recommend either of these options as a habit, though once in a while I can see the reasoning. This is a good option for people who are opening up to anal play and who aren’t comfortable yet inserting a device into their anus and cleansing themselves in the previously mentioned ways.
Why prepare? This just sounds like a lot of uncomfortable work. Well, douching can make sex more enjoyable (for both parties!). Anal preparation can help you avoid accidents, the worry of accidents, and help you enjoy this totally worthwhile sexual act.
Anal Sex / Play Safety:
Why it’s important:
Anal tissue is thin, tight, and not self-lubricating. This does make anal sex/play dangerous if you don’t know how to do it safely. The environment of the anal cavity (the anus) is perfect for the transmission of STIs. Bacterial, viral, and into the bloodstream.
Don’t get scared off! Your options:
Anal Penetration: Use a condom and lots of lube. When shopping for lube always make sure it’s water based but if you are planning on anal we recommend that you pick up some lube specifically for your back door.
Anal Play: Gloves and finger condoms are not a popular subject but they’re used more than you’d think. Again, lube from our friends above is always a must for protection and pleasure with these protective options.
Anal-Oral Play: Dental dams! When giving or receiving a rim job, or even cunnilingus, dental dams are a great idea. Pick some up on Amazon for about a dollar per piece.
Finally, “how-to” suggestions to ease into anal:
- Preparation with an enema, douche, light diet, or laxatives. Simply pooping and cleaning before anal can help to empty your cavity.
- Foreplay and warm-up, to relax you and ease into penetration.
- Lots and lots of lube! Apply lube to you, your partner, and everything that will go inside your ass. Then keep re-applying!
- Use anal toys to warm up before main penetration. See our favorites here, and make sure your anal toys are body-safe, and non-porous! Toys that contain phthalates, PVC, thermoplastic rubber (TPR), or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) can have toxic chemicals that leak through your sensitive anal walls, and porous materials that can harbor germs and bacteria.
- LUBE: Basically, keep applying it throughout.
- Ease it in. As much as you see people in porn taking their partner’s whole length on the first try, don’t try it at home. Go slow, listen to your partner, ease into it, and keep asking your partner for feedback.
- Orgasm: For women: play with your clit during anal. You can thank me later.
Have fun exploring 😉
*As always, the author supports slutty and safe sex, no matter how one identifies
and tries to use as many gender-neutral words as she knows how to use.