Never Fear: Anal Sex


Does anal hurt?

No, it should not. When giving anal sex a shot, start slow. Don’t dive right in, spend some time getting to know the outside alone. The anus is full of sensitive pleasant nerves inside and out. Get to know the sensations by touching and pressing your finger on the outside. Instead of pushing your finger inside, let your anus pull it in. 

Use lube! The anus does not produce its own lubrication and is composed of very sensitive tissue. You will need to lubricate anything that goes in there. If you are ready to try more than a finger, get a small butt plug. Make sure it, and anything else that will ever go in your butt, has a flared base which is larger than the largest part of the toy.

When you are ready to try with your partner, go slow, use a lot of lube and communicate. Get in a position where the receiver can have control over the amount of penetration — spooning is good for this. Communicate how it feels, when you’re ready for more or less or if you need to stop. As the giver, make sure to ask how your partner is doing, what they need, how they need or want it. Keep checking in. And if it hurts, stop. 

A few things to remember: Condoms! Penises can give and contract STI’s from anal sex. Dildos can pose the same risk if being used between multiple partners in their lifetime, plus they harbor bacteria inside of their porous silicon. Never go from anus to vagina. That is a surefire way to get a raging yeast infection. If you want to switch, take off the condom and put on a new one each time.

And if you don’t like anal sex, you don’t like it. There are plenty of other fun things to try. You can cross this one off the list. 

How do I introduce my boyfriend to the concept of pegging?

Pegging earned its name June 21, 2001, when Dan Savage of The Strangers polled his readers on their favorite terminology for “commonly accepted slang for a woman [penetrating] a man in the ass with a strap-on dildo.” He announced the winner in a post titled “Savage love” which cited a total of 12,103 votes, “peg” getting 5,216 of the votes. The other options were “bob, for Bend Over Boyfriend” and “punt, for kicking the ball to the other team.” Peg refers to the dildo used for penetration. Pegging is a great way to hit the prostate, for those prostate-havers. The gland is a much underrated part of the sexual anatomy capable of ushering in amazing orgasms. 

I suggest pitching the idea outside of sex. This isn’t something to be sprung on someone in the heat of the moment. Allow space to talk it over. — Preferably outside of the space you normally have sex in. Those areas carry emotional energy that can make coming to a conversation like this with a clear head more difficult. Anal play is often an emotionally loaded subject. If they are not interested, they are not interested. Ask them to let you know if they change their mind. If they are interested, you’re in luck, the above question is a great introduction to anal play.

Rachel Richards is a peer health educator at Mount Holyoke College.

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