Good things come to those who wait, anal sex is no exception.
In our fast paced, instant gratification culture, we are used to getting what we want when we want it. We order a pizza, it comes in twenty minutes, we want to watch a movie, we stream it, we want a date, we Swipe Right. One of the few things we can't instantly stream or download are our bodies abilities. We can't lose weight in a day and we can't become a yoga master in a week. Likewise, we can't rush teaching our bodies how to have happy healthy anal sex.
Today, the most common way for people to get information about anal sex is porn. While porn can be entertaining, it's media designed for entertainment. It doesn't give an accurate representation of what's really entailed in having healthy anal sex. Think of porn like any other movie you would watch. Be aware that it's edited for your enjoyment. You wouldn't go to see a movie like Mission Impossible and leave the theater thinking you could do all the same stunts. Why then do people watch adult movies and assume the action on the screen translates into real life? Just like mainstream movies, the prep work has been edited out. You don't see an adult film actress sitting with a toy in her bottom for 20 minutes to relax her muscles while she puts on her make up. Usually, films start after the actress is prepped and ready. Don't assume you can comfortably do what's on the screen without proper prep work.
The ubiquitous misinformation, antiquated taboos, and myths about anal sex, have combine with the abysmal state of sex education in or society. This has helped perpetuate the assumption that anal sex is painful. While this myth has persisted on and off in different cultures for centuries, anal sex also has a tried-and-true history of delivering fabulous fun filled sex to millions.
Let me also say here, everyone is different. Each person has his or her own unique emotional and physical capabilities and comfort zones. You know your body best. Respect what your body tells you. Anal sex should not hurt!
The Lay of the Land
Most people have a challenge with comfortable anal sex simply because they don't understand how that part of the body works. Fortunately, it's just basic anatomy.
The rectum is made up of muscle bands. The outer muscle band is voluntary. This is the one you can clench when you think about it. The inner band, and the one which can be harder to relax, is the involuntary one. This muscle is linked to your autonomic nervous system. Just like your heart beat, breathing, and swallowing, this muscle is working all the time without your conscious effort. This muscle also responds to your stress levels. Meaning, when you're nervous, or when someone is impatiently saying, "Just relax!" it can have the exact opposite effect.
The rectum has one of the largest grouping of nerve ending in the body which makes it extremely sensitive. For many people, that's a win! For other people, that's just too much stimulation.
Not to be too technical, but please do refer to the graphics below. Note the angle of the rectum. Many people assume the entry angle to the bottom is the same as the vagina. IT'S NOT! The angle is tilted forward somewhat to the front of the body. When something enters the body at the wrong angle, it can be very painful.
Anal Sex is Like Yoga for Your Bum
I like to equate anal sex to yoga. Which, if you think about it, is quite reasonable. Very simply, the rectum is just muscles. Let's imagine you've never done yoga before. You have never stretched, or worked out. One day, you decide to get off the couch and go to yoga. Instead of taking the beginners class, you jump right into the advanced yoga class. You try to do everything the teacher does. Surprise! You pulled a muscle in your leg. It hurts. Now imagine, that muscle has many times more nerves than your leg. The rectum is exceedingly more sensitive than your leg. That's why it hurts so much when you pull those muscles.
How to Get Comfortable
Anal sex shouldn't hurt! Just like any other part of the body, patience is required to get your body used to stretching in the way you want it to. This process can take longer for some than others, each body is different. For many beginners, using a toy specifically designed for the bottom is a great way to start stretching those muscles. Find a small, beginner's friendly toy and work up from there. If it hurts, stop, come back to in a while.
If you are finding this whole process is taking longer than you would like, or you're nervous about trying anal sex, practice with a toy at home alone can be helpful. Have you ever done yoga at home just so you could keep up with the class the next day? It's the same thing. When you do your home work, class is so much easier. Feeling confident about your bodies capabilities will also help you relax when it comes time to be with a partner.
Position can make a significant difference. It's hard to relax one specified muscle when you're tensing many others in the same area. Therefore, positions like Doggy Style, or any other position where you have to tense your muscles may not be the way to go. Cowgirl, AKA Woman on Top, and Spooning can be an easier way to start. In these positions the receiving party has a bit more control over the angle of entry. If there needs to be course corrections, the receiver will be able to move and adjust freely. The giver cannot feel what the receiver is feeling so communication is key.
Touching base with someone about what they're into before hand can be tricky. You may not want to lean over the dinner table and ask, "How do you feel about booty love?" Or, maybe you do. In any event, knowing what's on and off your partners menu is pretty key in avoiding any awkward moments. Chat about it, it could bring you closer.
Use lube, it's good sex etiquette.
Unlike the vagina, the rectum does not make it's own lubricant. Even if you don't regularly use lube, now's the time to start. The vagina is designed to stretch. The delicate tissues of the rectum and colon, not so much. Which is why I recommend generous amounts of lubricant. When you think you have enough lube, perhaps, just a bit more.
Do NOT source your lube from around the house. Most things around your house which are slippery are entirely unsuitable for use inside your body. This is the time to splurge and buy yourself a bottle of sex lubricant. The thicker the better. Thicker lubricant stays in place better and gives more cushioning than thinner lubricants. Which is just what we want for happy anal sex. There are thousands of lubricants on the market today. When in doubt, a thick water based lubricant should do the trick.
Avoid lubricants with Sorbitol. Sorbitol is a food additive which can also be found in many flavored lubricants. It may make your lube taste great, but it is also linked to bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. Introducing Sorbitol directly into the rectum or colon could cut your evening short.
Health & Hygiene.
Here's the question everyone wants answered, but nobody wants to ask in front of their friends. "Is it messy?" No. And, maybe yes.
For the most part, we don't store poop in the rectum. We keep it higher up, in the colon. When our bodies move the waste down into the rectum, we then get the sensation of having to use the restroom. Unless you actively have to go to the bathroom, there isn't a lot being stored in the rectum. Yes, there can be some vestigial fecal fragments hiding out. As unappealing as that may sound, it's usually unnoticed, and if it is, a quick shower and condoms make for easy freshening up. For most people this isn't a big deal.
If the Ick Factor is completely turning you off, you can always use an anal douche. You don't need any floral scented washes, just clean warm water will suffice. After douching, give your body about 20 minutes to rebuild it's natural mucus lining before commencing play time.
The rectum is the last place in the body which absorbs water. Which means, anything we introduce here gets quickly absorbed. This is why sexually transmitted infections can be easily shared, and why unprotected anal sex is considered high risk behavior. Using a condom during anal sex can not only protect you and your partner, it can reduce the Ick Factor, and make for quicker, easier clean up.
Sometimes, we get so focused on the goal we forget to enjoy the journey.This whole process should be fun, feel good, and hopefully bring you closer together.