The Ins and Outs of Anal- Part 1: Pain and Safety
More and more clients have approached me with a curiosity towards anal play. A few questions I hear time and time again are, “Is it safe? Will it hurt? Will there be a mess everywhere?” These are all normal and expected questions. Many people of all ages and sexual preferences have found anal stimulation to be an exciting and extremely pleasurable addition to their sexual intimacy.
There is a great deal to explore in the world of anal pleasure, and I hope to begin answering some of the more common questions about the topic. Let’s start at the beginning…
Know your body and listen to it. Anal sex should not be painful- not even the first time. Pain is your body’s way of telling you “Hey! Something is wrong!”, and if your body is telling you that, you need to listen. Taking it slow is the key to painless anal sex, especially if you are a beginner. Since the anal canal does not lubricate itself to the extent of a vagina, a good quality lube is going to be your best friend. You can never have too much! The anal canal needs to be relaxed and ready for pleasure. To do this, it is pertinent to give your ass some warm-up time. Make sure you are in a comfortable position. Start small, maybe only massaging the anus, slowly working up to a single finger and so on. Feeling discomfort is normal. You will need to determine where you draw the line for discomfort versus pain. If at any point you begin to feel pain, communicate this with your partner, pause, and take some deep breathes until you are ready to slowly start again or stop completely. Communication and trust are very important factors in anal play with a partner. The receiver should always be in control of the speed and intensity.
Play it safe. I cannot overly stress the importance of utilizing safer sex methods during anal play. The anal canal and rectum are comprised of very delicate tissue which makes this area especially sensitive to touch. This sensitivity is what makes anal play so enjoyable; however, it is also what places the area at greater risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Being tested regularly for STIs, in addition to using protective methods such as condoms, oral barriers, and gloves can help to decrease the potential of spreading any infection. It is also important to keep in mind that anything that has been inserted into the ass (toys, fingers, penis, etc…) should not go directly into the vagina or mouth without proper cleaning or changing of protective method. I don’t care how many porn stars you have seen do it…JUST DON’T! Without the appropriate precautions, the chances of developing a yeast infection or bacterial infection orally or vaginally increase drastically. I think we can agree no one wants that.
Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 of this series where we will discuss the down and dirty of anal play and the joy of toys.
Written by: Mary Frank, MA, LPC, CST-Candidate