Around 20 to 35 per cent of Western couples try anal intercourse, compared to about five to ten per cent a decade earlier.
It might have jumped from ‘taboo’ to ‘tempting’ but the myths surrounding anal sex remain.
What’s is fact and what’s fiction?
Let’s debunk a few of the most common myths once and for all!
Saliva or Vaseline works just as well as lube does for anal sex
If you take nothing else from this blog, for God’s sake take this: you MUST use good quality anal lube – thick, slippery and heavy duty – to make anal intercourse comfortable.
Saliva doesn’t cut it; Vaseline can cause thrush and irritations, ditto baby oil. Silicone lubes are by far the best bet: they’re more expensive but it’s money well spent.
You need to prepare your bottom for anal intercourse
Never EVER attempt penetration without first inserting fingers or anal toys – the rectum needs time to get used to things inside it!
You can do this with your partner but you can also do it solo.
If you’re keen to try anal intercourse, prepare by gently inserting a finger into your anus for a minute or two every time you have a shower.
Yes, you will feel mighty weird doing it the first few times but it works.
Insert a fingertip and feel around, identifying both sets of anal sphincter muscles (the external and internal – more about those later) and squeeze the muscles around your finger.
If you’re with a partner, get them to apply lots of good quality lube to both the pad of their finger and the outside of your anus, then massage in a gentle, circular motion.
Wait until your muscles relax, then get them to insert their finger in a little.
Once they’ve been doing this over a few sessions, get them to insert two fingers.
The next stage is to use a butt plug: a small toy that you put inside and leave in while they give you oral sex or stimulate you with their hands or fingers.
Plugs get the rectum used to relaxing around an inserted object.
Glass dildos work well anally because they slide in easily and you can start small and work up to the same penis size as the person penetrating.
Why not go straight for the real thing? Because the dildo isn’t likely to get carried away and start manically thrusting before your partner is ready!
Anal sex REALLY hurts
Some experts say if you do anal sex ‘properly, it won’t hurt. I say even if you do it correctly, the urge to say ‘Owwww! That bloody hurt!” will strike you at times.
The anal sphincter muscles are used to pushing things out, not taking things in, so you literally have to retrain your bottom.
You can only do this by taking things slowly and preparing for it properly (see above).
But while it’s uncomfortable some of the time, it shouldn’t be really painful. If it is, you’ve rushed into it or you’re a bad fit (too small bottom with too big penis!)
Ironically, it will sometimes feel most uncomfortable while the penis is shallow.
That’s because it’s passing through two different sets of sphincter muscles which are determined to guard against intruders.
The external sphincter is controlled by the central nervous system, meaning you’re (kind of) in control of it.
The internal sphincter is about an inch further in and it’s controlled by the autonomic nervous system (it’s controlled by your body, not by you).
You can help relax both sets by bearing down (imagine you’re doing a big poo and push out).
Once the penis is through both sets of muscles and deeper, it should feel more comfortable.
BUT don’t rush the process to put it inside: take it slowly and while it may feel uncomfortable, it’s not unbearably painful. Barge right in and you’ll be hitting the ceiling.
Once you relax into it any pain should subside and the pleasure factor should start to kick in.
Anal sex is dirty and messy
The rectum delivers but doesn’t store waste so if you’ve emptied your bowel, you should be fine.
Definitely go to the loo beforehand though and, if you want to, take a shower afterwards, sticking a finger inside your rectum (use soap-free cleanser if you like but don’t put soap up there, it’s irritating).
Put an old towel down to protect anything you don’t want stained (some lubes stain and you won’t be skimpy with it!), have some baby wet wipes by the bed to discreetly wipe fingers, toys or penises afterwards and all will be fine.
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