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.

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.

Jan 152013
 

I love anal sex, and my wife tries her best to enjoy it too. Here’s the problem: it seems I can never get enough lube up inside her to smooth out the ride, and the resulting friction causes her a lot of pain, thus severely limiting our anal encounters. How can I get more lube where it’s needed? Is there a type of lube that works better for anal intercourse? We’ve been using a water-based lube, but it just doesn’t seem to cut it. She has no problem with toys in there, but it seems that every time I get a shot, all the lube rubs off somehow, no matter how much I use. If I could only find an answer to this dilemma, she’d enjoy the experience a lot more and be more willing to try it more often (right now, it’s like a once-a-year thing). Any hints or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

–Lubeless

I am glad to hear you’re using lube, but it sounds like there is still room for improvement. First, you didn’t specify what brand of lube you’re using. I recommend a thick water-based lube that has a consistency similar to hair gel, and one of my favorites is Astroglide Gel. You may also want to experiment with a silicone lube, and the thickest one on the market is Eros Gel.

As for getting enough lube where it needs to be, there are two new products on the market that are designed to do that very job! Astroglide Gel Shooter is a soft plastic tube of lube with a long flexible neck. Tear off the top, slide the neck inside her ass and squeeze. Voila: lube right where you need it! The Lube Shooter  is a disposable plastic syringe with a flared base for safety. You remove the plunger, fill it with your favorite lube (which can be a little messy), and replace the plunger. Before you put it in her ass, push the plunger down a little to begin the flow of lube and let any air out. Lube the tip of the syringe and gently insert it into the ass. Push the plunger down gently to release the lube. You can refill it and repeat. When you’re done, throw it away.

If you like the look of metal, are into medical toys, or simply want to use something that looks a lot more menacing than a small plastic syringe, then I recommend a stainless steel syringe — often called an enema syringe or a lube syringe — which you can find on medical fetish and other specialty sex product websites. It holds a lot more lube than the plastic ones and has a decidedly more daring aesthetic. Made of polished metal, it comes with two interchangeable tips (pointy and rounded) and is available in several different sizes; the most common are 100 cubic centimeters (cc) and 200 cc (which are equivalent to 100 ml and 200 ml). The 200 cc syringe is the size of a large, thick dildo, so it should only be used on very experienced bottoms. To use it, pull back the plunger, then unscrew the top and fill the body with lube. Replace the top, then push the plunger down a little to begin the flow of lube and let any air out before you insert it. Then lube the tip, carefully insert it into the ass, and push the plunger down. To clean the syringe, take it apart, and wash it gently with warm water and anti-bacterial soap. Since this toy has a bunch of nooks and crevices, I like to go one step further and soak it for a few minutes in a diluted bleach solution (10 parts water, 1 part bleach). Make sure you dry all the parts completely, since if left damp, they can rust.

Nov 282012
 

The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy published a study on anal sex last month that was ignored by most folks in the media – except for Debby Herbenick at Salon!

In an incredibly short period of time, anal sex has become a common part of Americans’ sex lives. As of the 1990s, only about one-quarter to one-third of young women and men in the U.S. had tried anal sex at least once. Less than 20 years later, my research team’s 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior found that as many as 40-45 percent of women and men in some age groups had tried anal sex. With its rising prevalence, I felt it was important to devote a chapter of my first book, “Because It Feels Good,” to anal health and pleasure — only to find that a magazine editor wouldn’t review it because the topic of anal sex was “not in the best interest of our readership.” Even though nearly half of American women in some age groups have done it! She added, “In the correct circles, I personally will be suggesting the book to those with whom I can share such a resource.”

Hmm. The correct circles. Which ones would those be?

Read the whole article here: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/05/anal_sex_sciences_last_taboo/

Oct 242012
 

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about two years, and he loves anal sex. Before him, I had never experienced anal anything. I really enjoy it, too. However there are times that no matter how bad I want to have anal sex and no matter how excited and ready for it I am, as soon as he enters me, the pain is so great, I can’t handle it. Other times, after the initial entry the pain subsides with pure pleasure and I can’t get enough.

I really would like to know why those times I can’t handle it are so painful and what I can do to lessen the pain. How can it hurt when I am so turned on and begging for it? I end up disappointing my boyfriend because I can’t handle the pain. This only happens about once out of every five times, but it is very aggravating for both of us. We don’t have anal sex all the time, usually about three to four times a month. We have tried using lots of lube. We have also tried Anal Ease — all that does is make his cock numb and he can’t keep an erection. Muscle relaxers don’t even seem to work. I am desperate for answers and help.

–Seeking Peace in Pennsylvania

Forget Anal Ease, it will make your ass and his cock numb, and that’s no fun for anyone. I also think muscle relaxants are not a good idea. There seems to be a mind/body disconnect going on for you, since it sounds like you feel extremely turned on, but your ass is not on the same page. Are you working your way up to it? Since you say that initial penetration hurts (even during those times when it eventually subsides), it seems like you’re not doing any warm up. If he just sticks his dick in your ass, no matter how well-lubed his cock is, it’s most likely going to hurt. Because our asses just don’t work that way. Your ass needs to be coaxed and seduced before a penis barges in.

Your boyfriend should start with his mouth, tongue, or one finger. When you’re ready, add another finger or move on to a small dildo or butt plug. He should not progress to the next step until whatever he’s doing feels really good and the penetration is comfortable. My hunch is that if you take things at a slower pace, you will give your ass a chance to catch up with the rest of you.

Sep 052012
 

Are you able to have anal sex if you have hemorrhoids?

The first rule of thumb when it comes to sex is don’t do something that doesn’t feel good—physically or emotionally. Hemorrhoids do not feel good. Probing them with a cock, dildo, fist, finger, or any other penetrative object can intensify this pain (and not in a fun way). Anal play with hemorrhoids also increases your chance of anal tearing, which, in turn, increases your risk of transmitting diseases.

For these reasons, it is best to hold off on anal play until the swelling goes down. If you’re unsure whether your ass is ready to cum out and play, talk to your doctor. Do not be embarrassed. Physicians have seen and heard it all, especially in the anal realm.

If your hemorrhoids are mild, the swelling has decreased, or you cannot wait to stick things in your ass, remember that anal play with hemorrhoids (or without hemorrhoids, for that matter) requires a lot of open communication. And lube. Lots of lube. Lube is necessary for all anal play. But it is ESPECIALLY important when you’re dealing with hemorrhoids. There is no such thing as too much lube. So lather, rub, dip, and slather on the magical, slippery stuff. Your ass will be happy you did.

~~~

Abby Spector is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where she majored in Feminist/Gender/Sexuality Studies. She is currently interning for Tristan, a job that allows her to write about sex, research feminist porn, and play with dogs (among other, equally awesome things). When she isn’t working, Abby enjoys comfortable nudity and salty foods. Her dream? A world where she could sit around naked and eat overly-salted french fries. Her blog is Sexy Awkward Times.

May 042012
 

My girlfriend and I really like anal sex. We do not use condoms out of personal preference and we use KY Jelly for lube. I usually come in her ass, and it always used to be fine. She would get “the runs” for a day, maybe two, but would be fine after that. It worked perfectly for two years, but recently it’s taking longer before she’s back to normal again. Plus, the outer part of her ass becomes sore afterwards. Is there anything we can do?

–Runny in Reseda

When it comes to your ass, what goes in must come out. When you introduce lubrication (which is a must) into her butt, only some of it will be absorbed by the tissue of the rectum. The rest of the lube is likely to mix with her stool; add your ejaculate to the mix, and the next bowel movement she has will be loose or runny. KY Jelly, like many water-based lubes, contains glycerin, which may be exacerbating the situation. Glycerin can draw water into the stool to stimulate evacuation (that’s why some constipation suppositories contain glycerin).

So, you may want to experiment with a glycerin-free lube like Maximus Lube, which is water-based, or any silicone-based lube. If her anus is irritated after anal sex, I suspect it’s because of the diarrhea she’s having; I recommend witch hazel wipes, which you can buy at any drugstore (they are marketed as Hemorrhoidal Wipes, but they’re not just for hemorrhoids), and some Vitamin A & D ointment — both soothe a sore ass.

Oct 302011
 

The first time I tried anal sex was almost six years ago but it was EXTREMELY PAINFUL. I want to try anal again with my current partner. It gets me hot thinking about it with him, but when it comes to doing the actual deed, my butthole it closes up and nothing will get through. Seriously, it locks up tight — not even a finger will fit. I’m at a loss because I don’t know what to do to loosen up.

–Want to Get Loose

You and your ass were traumatized during that first negative experience, and you need to realize that it takes time to heal from any trauma. It sounds like you have a partner you trust and you’re enthusiastic and open about giving anal sex another shot, but your body hasn’t quite caught up to your mind.

I recommend that you very slowly begin to introduce anal play into your solo masturbation routine. Start with external rubbing or a vibrator on the outside only. When you are ready, really take it slowly. Try one finger or the slimmest toy you can find. Give yourself the time and space to explore anal play on your own, so it will take the pressure off doing it with your partner. When you feel comfortable, you can try it with your partner, but you need to take it just as slowly as you did on your own. Make an agreement with your partner that you’ll be the one to call the shots (or call it off if need be). Focus on your desire and trust to help you move past the fear and anxiety and toward pleasure.

Oct 012011
 

My girlfriend and I have been dating for over three years. When we first started dating, she let me fuck her in the ass a couple of times; she never had an orgasm during anal sex, but I know she enjoyed it. We always used tons of lube (generally Astroglide), I always went very slowly, and my cock is a pretty average 6″ long and not too thick. Then, one day, I was forbidden to enter her ass. I have played with her ass and licked her ass while I’m going down on her. There is no doubt that she enjoys this and if I finger her ass at the moment of orgasm it almost always pushes her over the edge.

A month or so ago, she said we could try anal sex again, which we did several times, again using lots of lube and going very slowly. She never complained that it hurt, but she said at times it made her feel nauseous. She seemed to be more focused on getting through the act rather then trying to enjoy it. I tried to get her to play with her clit to enhance her pleasure, but she just wanted to get through it. Then she stopped the anal sex again.

I’ll be the first to admit this is my idea, I think I have a bit of an ass fetish. I really want anal sex to become part of our sex life, and not only for me, but because I know she enjoys it… if she lets herself. There is no doubt in my mind that her aversion to this is all mental; she’s a “good girl” and thinks anal sex is something that she shouldn’t enjoy. She isn’t totally adverse to anal play as she admits that sometimes she does like it when I finger her ass and she will sometimes finger my ass during a blow job or a hand job.

First, what can I do to put her mind at ease and let her know that it’s okay to enjoy anal sex and she’s not a freak for getting pleasure from her ass? Second, is there any way to ease the feeling of nausea?

–Help Me With Her Mind-Body Issue

I want to address the nausea first. It’s not unheard of for someone to feel nauseous during or after anal sex. Because anal sex stimulates the rectum, it can also stimulate the colon and intestines, giving someone a mild stomach ache. She should avoid eating a meal right before anal sex. Some positions, like doggie style with her ass up and head down, may exacerbate the problem, so you can experiment with different positions to see if some ease her discomfort.

As for easing her mind, well that’s a lot trickier. First, it sounds like the two of you need to have some better communication about sex. Her abrupt stops to anal sex seem to surprise and confuse you, and you need to ask her why she has put the kibosh on it several times now. It also seems like anal play is okay with her, but anal intercourse is not, and that needs to be addressed. It’s troubling that you believe she wants to get through it rather than enjoy it since it sounds like you’re doing all the right things to make it pleasurable for her. If, like you think, this is “all mental,” then communication can also help her talk through some of her issues. Many people have hang ups about their ass and anal pleasure which are based on myths and stereotypes. She needs to let go of her judgment of herself and of her feelings that some sexual things are normal and others aren’t. If she feels kinky or perverted for having anal sex, assure her that lots of people do it and it’s just another form of pleasure. The tricky part is that she needs to believe you, which you can’t make her do.

I would also encourage you to explore why she has trouble letting go or being vulnerable during sex, because that may be a component of what’s going on. Open up the dialogue and be as encouraging and non-judgmental as you can; help her to figure out what her issues are and how to work through them. If she’s open to it, you might want to also try couple’s counseling with a therapist who has experience with sexual issues.