Sep 112013
 

My girlfriend and I have just discovered anal sex and enjoy it a lot; I really enjoy having my cock in her tight asshole. But there’s one thing I want to ask about: the next day after anal sex, I have a painful backache. We do the ‘spoon’ position, and while it is happening, I don’t have any pain at all. Do you know anyone else with this problem and do you have any advice for me?

–Want to Get Laid, Not Laid Up

Welcome to the wonderful world of anal sex! It sounds like you would be off to a pleasurable start except for the painful aftermath. My first impression is that this is probably muscular pain. When you start a new sexual activity, you use a bunch of muscles you’re not used to exercising on a regular basis; just like if you started a new work out regime at the gym, your body needs some to adjust. It may simply be a matter of awakening those muscles and getting them back in shape.

It could also be the position you’re in is putting strain on your lower back. The next time you do it, try to concentrate on your body movements and see if the position is uncomfortable for you; perhaps you only need to make a slight angle adjustment and it will feel better. You can also do regular stretching and simple exercises to avoid muscle strains. Find a personal trainer, physical therapist, or someone knowledgeable about working out and ask them to recommend some exercises for strengthening your lower back. Once you get your back in better shape, there will be no stopping you.

Aug 282013
 

My partner and I are relatively new to anal fisting after almost 30 years of marriage. We bought your book about five years ago, and we also have all three of your anal sex guide videos. She tells me that her hand hurts, then goes numb while she is fisting me. She thinks that there is a lot of pressure on her hand, and she’s scared and nervous about going too deep and thrusting. Do you have any suggestions to help us achieve more depth with less pain for her?

–Fisting in the Golden Years

Anal fisting is possible because the sphincter muscles can be trained to relax enough to make penetration comfortable and the rectum can expand to accommodate something as sizable as a hand. However, the anal opening and the anal canal (the first few inches inside) still tend to feel quite tight once you’re inside, and that’s because of the sphincter muscles. I’ve certainly felt like my hand was in a vice grip a time or two during an anal fisting! That said, the vice grip sensation was fleeting and subsided as the person’s ass relaxed. Plus, while it has felt really snug inside someone’s ass, I’ve never felt pain or a loss of circulation, and it sounds like your partner has experienced both.

She is correct — there is a lot of pressure on her hand, but that pressure should not be so intense that it causes pain. Beyond the pain, the numb feeling she experiences means she’s losing circulation to her hand, which is actually quite dangerous. I suspect that your ass may not be relaxed enough once she gets inside, so perhaps more warm up is necessary before she proceeds from five fingers to the whole hand. Because you mentioned being in “your golden years,” I also wonder whether she has arthritis or another condition which is causing the pain in her hand. The safest solution to this problem is to switch over to some large plugs or dildos instead: they will give you the feeling of fullness and deep penetration without giving her discomfort.

Aug 132013
 

I really like licking my wife’s ass a lot. We just got into it because I was going down on her and decided to venture to her backdoor and see what happened. It turns her on immensely, even more than licking her pussy, it seems. I just want to make sure what we’re doing is safe. After licking her bare anus and probing with my tongue, should I rinse with a certain mouthwash to kill possibly harmful bacteria?

–Tongue Tied

Welcome to the wonderful world of rimming! Tonguing someone’s butthole is lots of fun, but it does have some risks. You said you’re married, but I don’t know how long you’ve been married and I don’t want to automatically assume that you and your wife are monogamous, since many couples have open relationships. There may be readers out there who are not married or monogamous, so I want to address all the angles in response to your question. It’s important for people to be tested for sexually transmitted infections, since asslicking can put one at risk for gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, syphillis, HPV, and hepatitis A; there are no recorded cases of HIV transmission through rimming. In general, the giver is more at risk than the receiver, but if the giver has a cold sore, bleeding gums, or cut on their mouth, that puts the receiver at greater risk.

If you’ve tested negative for all STIs and are monogamous, then the only other concern you have is that bacteria live in the rectum and anal canal. Not all of it is harmful, but some of it could be, especially intestinal parasites or EColi. If you are both in generally good health, then the risks are pretty minimal. Make sure your wife bathes before your asslicking sessions; a warm shower with a mild soap can lessen the amount of bacteria around her anus and just inside the anal canal. She can also have an enema, which will flush out a lot of the bacteria inside her lower rectum. There is no research about using mouthwash after rimming, but it certainly won’t do any harm and it does kill some germs.

Aug 072013
 

My boyfriend and I are fully experiencing the joys of anal exploration and loving it every step of the way. He is convinced that you can cum through your bum. I know that penetration there can for sure lead to a vaginal orgasm, but is he right? If your bum can squirt and get slippery on its own, why would we need lube?

–Bum Bum Cum Cum?

Your boyfriend is correct, many women can experience orgasm through anal penetration, either alone or with clitoral stimulation, vaginal stimulation, or both. There is not necessarily a clear distinction between a vaginal orgasm and a butt orgasm, since when you come, both your pussy and your ass have contractions. However, your ass cannot ejaculate and it is not self-lubricating, so you absolutely need lube to make penetration comfortable.

Jul 172013
 

Besides using lots of lube, what else can I do to make anal sex more enjoyable for my girlfriend?

–Good Guy

Great question! I wish every guy put this one on top of his list. The first thing is to do is talk to her and ask her what she likes. She is your best source of information, even better than me, since she knows her body best. She may like a particular position, for example. Or maybe she wants to try out a new toy. Or maybe she wants to have anal sex as part of a roleplaying fantasy. Ask her. Speaking of positions, experiment with different angles to see which ones give you the most indirect G-spot stimulation, since that is one of the ways women get off from anal penetration. And, of course, I recommend clitoral stimulation and lots of it. If you can reach her clit comfortably, have at it, otherwise, she can use her own hand or a vibrator. Working her clit while you fuck her ass will not only enhance her pleasure, it may also make her come.

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Jul 102013
 

I recently purchased an inflatable butt plug, and I love it. But, I always find myself a bit uneasy at first while I am pumping it up inside me. I have taken your advice and inflated it prior to insertion, but I still have an overwhelming fear of it bursting inside me if I move the wrong way. Or I fear the latex might give out from overuse. You briefly touched on this topic on your website and said you knew a couple of people who actually had an inflatable toy burst inside them. You said they were just fine, so I guess I’m just looking for some reassurance.

If this were to happen, would it be dangerous for all of that air to be forced inside of me so quickly? Aside from retrieving the pieces, should I worry if it will be painful or worse yet, damaging tissue? Perhaps I’m overreacting, but I just want to get the full amount of pleasure out of my new toy.

–Blown Out of Proportion?

I have heard of two people who’ve had an inflatable butt plug burst inside their ass, and both admitted that they were using the toy irresponsibly by over-inflating it. Both had no serious problems as a result. Realize that these are two cases I’ve heard about from thousands and thousands of people, so I think it’s probably pretty uncommon. That said, the sex toy industry is not regulated in any way and many manufacturers do not test the safety of their toys before putting them out on the shelves for consumers. So, your first line of defense is to select a toy from a well-known manufacturer with a good reputation.

Next, let’s address your concerns and talk worst case scenario. Yes, if a plug burst, a burst of air would come along with it, but not enough air to harm you; the worst it would do would give you gas. I suspect that the experience could be painful, as well as shocking to the body. Because these plugs are made of latex rubber, the pieces are soft and shouldn’t harm the rectal tissue in any way. Never, ever use an inflatable toy made of any hard materials. The bottom line is: be responsible, don’t over pump, and just relax and have a good time!

Jun 262013
 

My girlfriend and I are considering experimenting with anal play on each other. But I am really nervous. I research everything, and several medical sites indicate anal play or anal sex can be linked to loss of bowel control. We are only considering anal toys like small butt plugs and anal vibrating probes (no sharp edges and made for this activity), but I am still quite nervous.

I did try a butt plug once before privately, and afterward I was a bit discomforted and itchy. There was no bleeding or terrible pain, but it felt more like a pulled muscle. Yet it made me nervous. Is some discomfort or “itchiness” normal if it was my first time? I did use lube, but then I researched and my fear began about trying anal play again, until my courageous girlfriend suggested it.

I realize these sites often report the worse case options (e.g. a headache is brain cancer, etc.). But I think people considering anal play for the first time could really use some advice as to the risk of loss of bowel control. Small tears and such can heal, but permanent damage scares me (more than my girlfriend). Having sad that, I have close friends who are very into anal sex and none of them seem to have a bowel problem!

–Jittery Instead of Jazzed

Stick with your girlfriend and your friends on this one, and take a deep breath. Just because you want to put things up your butt doesn’t mean you’re headed into the land of adult diapers! The few cases I’ve heard of where anal penetration lead to serious problems always involved drug use and irresponsible practices like no lubrication, no warm up, and foreign objects. As long as you go slowly, use lube and appropriate butt toys, you’ll be fine.

When you engage in anal penetration, you learn how to relax and control your sphincter muscles. Contrary to common myths, you are not stretching out those muscles, loosening them, or damaging them. As for your first anal experience, it’s common for the first time you have something in your ass to feel strange. Your ass is used to expelling things, not taking them in, so the feeling takes some getting used to. The itching may have been caused by a reaction to the lube or the material of the toy. I recommend you give it another try, have some patience, and go at your own pace.

Jun 152013
 

I was so sad to hear of Jack Morin’s passing. He was a true innovator and the author of two of the most important books on sexuality: Anal Pleasure and Health and The Erotic Mind. When I found out that Morin was dying, I wrote him this letter. I am sharing it here to celebrate his amazing life.

Dear Jack,

There really aren’t enough words to describe just how important your work in the field of sexuality is, but words are all I’ve got, so that’s what I’ll go with. I feel like none of my work could exist without yours. When it comes to anal sex and anal health education, obviously, you wrote the book. But it goes far beyond that: you broke the ground, you blazed the trail, you opened up the discussion, and you boldly put your name on all of it at a time when no one was talking about this taboo subject. By doing so, you made so many things possible. Anal Pleasure and Health has a pivotal place in the history of sexuality and sex education in the last century, and I am forever grateful that you wrote it. I still have my copy of what I think is the first or second edition, the one I read in the early nineties, with its dented baby blue cover and pages all marked up. I was interviewed last month for a full page article in Glamour magazine about anal sex, and that’s just one example of the tremendous cultural shift that’s happened in the dialogue about anal pleasure. You made that happen, basically. It all comes back to you. You made it possible for my book—and countless other books, articles, websites, videos, and workshops that discuss anal sex—to exist.

You’ve left a legacy of shame-free, sex-positive, holistic, pioneering work on anal pleasure. It inspired me to write my book. And I know it has inspired thousands and thousands of people to explore anal pleasure in their lives. And that’s just one of so many things you’ve done in your career. You are a leader and a light in the field of sex education. From the bottom of my heart, I want to express my gratitude, my respect, and my awe for everything you’ve done to make this world a better place. I promise to honor you by taking the torch you lit and setting the motherfucking world on fire. I’ll do my best, anyway.

May 292013
 

Do you have any advice about anal beads? I saw them at our local sex shop on our last trip there, and I am wondering what they’re like, how to use them, and any tricks you might know of.

–Bead Curious

Anal beads come in many different varieties. One particular style used to be the most abundant and inexpensive: hard plastic beads on a nylon or cotton string. If you see those, steer clear of them: they are cheaply made, impossible to clean properly, and potentially unsafe (since the plastic usually has rough edges or seams). You want to look for an anal bead toy, which is one continuous piece of rubber, vinyl, or silicone. I recommend silicone, since it’s resilient, warms to body temperature, and can be easily disinfected with a sex toy cleaner or warm water and anti bacterial soap. Some bead toys have beads that are all the same size and others graduate in size; pick a size and style that appeals to you.

The thing that fans of anal beads love about them is the ability to experience one particular sensation –when the sphincter muscles relax, the anus opens up, the bead slides in, and the muscles close around it — several times (some toys have 5 beads, others as many as 10). Make sure to lube each part of the bead toy and go slowly as you insert each part. The fun thing about them is that once you have a portion or the entire length of the beads in your ass, you can pull the toy out all at once, creating an entirely different sensation! Some people like to pull it out just before orgasm to push them over the edge, while others wait until after they’ve come. Experiment and see what works best for you.

May 242013
 
Madison Young as a pony girl on the set of Rough Sex 2

Madison Young as a pony girl on the set of Rough Sex 2


Last month, I gave a talk as part of an evening called
The Truth Behind Fifty Shades of Grey at University of Maryland in College Park. There was a lively audience discussion, and we gave students the opportunity to ask questions anonymously. I asked several of my colleagues to chime in and answer a few of those questions.

Can it be hard to enjoy “vanilla” sex once you’ve escalated [to BDSM]? I’ve heard porn indulgence can desensitize people until they keep needing to escalate–is this the case with BDSM?

I asked my friend and colleague Felice Shays, a sex and BDSM educator, to take this one on. Listen to my fantastic interview with her on Sex Out Loud here. Felice says:

So, you are afraid to try things other than missionary positions, kissing, and other sexy acts because pot always leads to crack? And spanking always leads to bestiality? No, friend, don’t worry about escalation, as you call it. When you try out different things you’re figuring out what you like. Keep experimenting—add to what you and your partner enjoy; keep what works and don’t keep what doesn’t feel so good. But don’t be afraid to try something again down the road—what may feel eh today might feel off the charts next week. Watching lots of porn isn’t a bad thing unless it interferes in the healthy functioning of someone’s life (see Hernando Chaves’ discussion of sex addiction). People don’t get desensitized when watching lots of porn, hopefully they keep getting turned on. Their interests might shift over time, so what may have been a fantasy last month, may not be as hot this month. And yet other people love to watch the same kind of images throughout their lives. The good news is that sex is not like a runaway car, careening down a side of a mountain into the tiny town about to destroy the innocent townsfolk who live there. No. Instead, you get to make decisions about what you want, and when you want it. That includes if you want to gently kiss someone on their neck or press your teeth in a firm way against that flesh. Or if you want to be on top or you want to give or get it from behind. The other good news, is that no one gets to hold the truth to what vanilla or kink actually is. I can hear you say, “You know what I mean. Like spanking and dirty talk and like that.” And I say, what is someone’s “vanilla” may be someone else’s ‘you’ve gone a bit too far, pal’.  And vice versa. My friend says she and her husband are vanilla, yet he holds the back of her head as she’s sucking him off. He’s not forcing her or choking her, just getting off on how pretty she is, how good he feels, his hand in her hair, his cock in her mouth. And she loves it too; feeling just the right amount of pressure on the back of her head that makes her feel high and hot.

That’s playing with power right there. And they consider themselves vanilla—not kinky.

So I can’t tell you what vanilla is. And frankly, I don’t really give’s a rat’s ass. I want you happy and turned on, not bored.

It’s about what turns you on and what your desires are.

Desire, like other tastes, change and morph as we gain experience in the world.  And just because you love pizza, doesn’t mean you want to eat it every night.

Worry less and EXPLORE and EXPERIMENT more.

So when you add new ways of being sexy and sexual to getting it on, you might want to keep those new ways—plus any of the other ways you used to—whatever make you happy. And you probably won’t want to make love or fuck exactly the same way every time either. Mood, partner, time of day, if you’re high or drunk, all these things will affect what you want.

So if you try slapping someone’s face and realize you both really like it, the doors to vanilla are still yours to walk through. Cuddling, sex without an edge or ferocity, are still yours whenever you want it.

Keep open and curious—and don’t let fear run your sex, or your life, for that matter.

You are allowed to experiment explore and discover what you like.

ADD to your sexual vocabulary, don’t limit it.

Just think of the stories you will tell with all that new language.

It’s worth repeating: Worry less and EXPLORE more.

Felice Shays, Sex and BDSM Educator. Follow Felice on Twitter @FeliceShays