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Sex Column: The dos and don’ts of anal sex

Doin’ the booty dance


Anal products from Venus Envy. Photo by Angela Gzowski.
Anal products from Venus Envy. Photo by Angela Gzowski.

I was going to write this article on an introduction to sex toys, but after having a few funny run-ins with people on the topic, I changed my mind. Everyone just kept talking about anal sex! The funny thing about it (or maybe not so much) is that there is so much misinformation about butt play that people might actually be putting themselves, or their partners, at risk. So that’s what I’ve written about this week. (Don’t worry, sex toys will be coming soon.) Here are a few myths going around about anal play:

Only gay dudes have anal sex.

This is actually totally false. The myth comes from a long line of overrepresentation in research on male-male sexual relationships, and an underrepresentation of opposite-sex relationships. Recent stats say that the majority of people having anal sex are straight. One way to put it: anyone with an anus can have anal sex. (And as it turns out, lots of people do!)

That being said, the anus is one of the most sensitive and erotic areas of the body, despite its taboo reputation. For men, it is the only way to access the prostate (Hello-oo male G-spot), and for women it is yet another way to have deeper, more intense orgasms.

You can’t get STIs or get pregnant from anal sex.

Like any other kind of unprotected sexual contact, you are at risk of getting STIs if you have unprotected anal sex. If you are using fingers and hands, consider investing in some latex gloves. If you are using toys, cover ‘em up with a condom.

Same goes for pregnancy—use a condom. It’s common for semen to leak out of the anus into the vaginal canal. That creates a risk for pregnancy. Anal sex isn’t a form of birth control.

Taking some of these precautions can allow for you to relax (an important part of havin’ things in and around your tush) and have sexy time all the time without worrying about unexpected infections or pregnancies.

It’s easy! Haven’t you seen the latest pornos?

It seems that anal sex has become all the rage in mainstream porn lately, but the depictions are pretty wham and bam. The truth about anal sex is it takes a lot of communication, and you’re probably going to have to go slow. Oh, and lube. USE LOTS OF LUBE! The anus doesn’t naturally lubricate like the vagina, so making sure everything is slick is important to avoid tearing and pain. Avoid any numbing creams (like Anal-Ease), as that will mask any issues that you may have.

Unlike in most porn, it’s probably best to begin with fingers to start to relax the sphincter muscles. (Some people only like the feeling of fingers around the area, and that’s it.) If you are moving up to bigger objects, go slow. It takes a while for the muscles to stretch out. Listen to your body and your partner. If you or they feel any pain, you should stop. There’s no point in getting an infection just to say you did it.

Anal touching and sex can be a really amazing experience for both parties involved, and for most it is a whole new and different aspect of giving and receiving pleasure. Just always make sure it’s safe, sane and consensual. Just relax, and pay attention.

Happy experimenting!


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