Anal Sex: Separating Fact from Fantasy

If you’ve watched adult entertainment on the internet, you probably know that scenes of anal sex between heterosexual couples or two women have become as plentiful as scenes of oral. In fact, anal is sometimes referred to in the media as “the new oral.” Although anal sex between mutually desiring adults is hardly a problem per se, there IS a problem in thinking that entertainment depicting the fantasy of anal – and let me underscore that word, FANTASY – is anything at all like the reality of enjoying anal sex safely and consensually. So today I want to contrast the anal eroticism shown in adult entertainment with the reality of creating pleasurable sexual encounters at home. I want you to enjoy anal whether you’re inexperienced and curious, whether you’re already indulging and very experienced. I want you to enjoy your sexuality pain-free, disease-free and mistake-free.

Let’s take the six most common anal scenarios from contemporary adult films and then look at what actually works between real-life lovers. In all of this discussion, a woman is the receptive partner. Here are the six issues I’ll be talking about: gentle preparation vs. aggressive entry; vigorous thrusting vs. going with the flow; anal to vaginal penetration; anal to mouth; anal plus vaginal penetration; and multiple partner anal.

Let’s start with preparation for anal entry. In videos, when a man – or a woman – enters a woman, penetration is usually achieved as easily as sliding a popsicle into a waiting mouth. Rarely do you see lubrication other than spit or vaginal fluid applied and even more rarely do you see condoms used. Now, if you look very carefully or slow the tracking, you may see that there was a bit of magic employed in the editing room. Chances are the shooting stopped, a tube of lube appeared, a period of slow, gentle preparation of the actress’s entryway occurred, and then everybody returned to position and cameras rolled again. To the viewer, the rear entry was sudden and seamless, but to the players, it was slower and much more sensitive. So regardless of what you think anal sex should be like based on the movies, keep the following three preparation points in mind:

ONE. Unless a couple has been monogamous for at least 6 months and thoroughly tested for all STD’s, always use a condom. Anal sex can more easily transmit bacterial infections and viruses than vaginal, and it is far riskier than oral. There is also a slight risk to an active male partner of developing a bacterial inflammation of the prostate – which is not an STD, but can be caused by traces of bacteria moving through his urinary tract and inflaming the prostate as a result of unprotected anal sex.

TWO. The anal opening is replete with nerve endings that transmit enormous pleasure when a woman is genuinely ready to receive it. So, if you’re the active partner, don’t begin anal penetration until the area is warmed up and ready – this means lots of foreplay of the same type as for vaginal sex, plus doing things like adding slow, gentle finger stimulation, or licking the outer folds of the anal opening. Always tease – and enter very, very slowly. Stop for a moment and hold still to let your partner grow familiar with the sensation. You can increase from one finger to two as part of warm up, progressing to a dildo or a butt plug if that’s what you’d like to do. Keep in mind, though, that the anus has two sphincters – that is, it has 2 rings of muscles that resist penetration. The first is at the entrance and can be relaxed voluntarily. The second, internal sphincter is just a quarter inch or so beyond that and is under involuntary control. Any tension or fear – conscious or unconscious – will cause this sphincter to tense up and penetration will be difficult and painful. Communication throughout the play is key, so that there is no pain. As the receptive partner, if something feels good, let your partner know, and if it doesn’t, above all, say so.

Acclimating to the sensations of anal touch will train the internal sphincter to relax when caressed. One way for the receiver to do that is to make a habit of frequent anal self-stimulation. That’s right – anal masturbation is a GOOD thing! Try inserting a soapy finger in the shower or pair anal and clitoral stimulation. If you use a small toy, make sure it has a flared base so it doesn’t slide inside you and get lost. Later, during partner sex, penetration should proceed so slowly that at times the passive partner may even get a little impatient – but that way the internal sphincter has the time to let go.

THREE. Never proceed where there is pain or discomfort. Videos sometimes show what seems like hellish anal entry that eventually becomes exciting. But don’t imagine that that’s a how-to method. Forced entry may look hot on screen but in real life it can cause actual tissue damage. First time anal, another film favorite, can look like a real experience – but remember, you’re watching actors – players – pretending to suffer. In real life, anal penetration may not be achievable at all the first or second time you try it, even after foreplay and warmup. If you’re tense, scared, or feel coerced, potential pleasure becomes likely pain. Pain always means stop. Only pleasure means go. It’s really that basic. And to avoid pain and please a partner, some people try using numbing gels. That’s another no. You need to feel everything, so that you can respond to the pleasure and react appropriately to any discomfort or pain.

Now, let’s move on to the second key topic – vigorous anal thrusting. Just as penetration may appear seamless, vigorous thrusting in videos can convey the idea that all women like it rough. What you might not realize is that by slightly increasing the speed of the film during editing, it appears that everything is happening faster. But even if the frenzy is real, understand that the actors have trained like athletes for these roles – it’s a specialty! – and they do it because they either enjoy it a lot, or at the very least they’re neutral about it. For some it’s probably the best part of their day, since the G spot can be stimulated by hard anal thrusting, and let’s not forget that clitoral stimulation is often paired with anal too, even if you can’t always see it happen on screen. However, if you are new to anal sex, don’t even think about hard action until you’re much more experienced. Be careful until you feel you are absolutely emotionally ready, and don’t do it unless you are so highly aroused and warmed up anally that you’re just about clawing the walls. Again, be sure to have applied plenty of lube, and always have a safeword that your partner understands to mean “slow down” or “stop” if you feel any undesirable sensations.

Now the third topic – anal to vaginal penetration. THIS IS A NO NO NEVER EVER act. Period. Transferring rectal bacteria into the vagina can lead to serious health complications and infections. Yes, you see it happen in adult films, but mostly, it’s another editing trick. To the extent that it’s not, the producers and actors are taking serious health risks. An infection can put the actor out of commission and cost everybody money, so there’s really no margin in that sort of risk. As for the rest of us who don’t get paid to have sex – follow the rules. If youre likely to want to use the same hand or tool in the anus and then the vagina, always use a condom and then change condoms as you change activities.

Some of you may ask, well, what if my partner uses an enema or an anal douche prior to sex? Isn’t it safe then? First of all, enemas are not necessary. Using an anal bulb or douche filled with only warm water is sufficient to rinse out the passageway prior to anal sex. However, even the most squeaky clean anal passage is not free of microscopic pathogens. So condoms are still a must if you are not entirely fluid monogamous, and in any case, they make clean-up easier if you want to go from one passage to the next. Just remove the condom and/or clean yourself with antibacterial wipes before entering the vagina.

That brings us to what’s called ATM, or anal to mouth. ATM scenes are common in adult videos and they can be big time turn ons for lots of people because the domination energy is so present. It’s true that many women find this sort of material sexist and grossly offensive; it’s also true that many women find this material sexist, grossly offensive and outrageously hot too. So I’m not going to be making any judgments about what’s hot or not, offensive or not. Whatever your reaction to the fantasy on screen, in real life, ATM is a disaster. The simple fact is that there are bacteria and parasites found in the rectum that have no place in the mouth, and can cause serious infections, including hepatitis, if transmitted. And let’s not forget about how bacteria transfers from mouth to mouth when two people kiss. To replicate the fantasy of ATM, try blindfolding your partner – use a condom for anal penetration and remove it immediately, cleaning your penis or dildo thoroughly with an antibacterial wipe or antibacterial soap and water before entering the mouth.

Next up is double penetration. Since adult entertainment is the ultimate in fantasy, far out acts like simultaneous penetration of the anus and vagina by two different people can be done by the gold medallists of the sexual Olympics. But before you think about competing for a medal of your own, you’re going to need some training. Also realize that not all women can manage something of size in their vagina and in their anus, given their internal architecture. But, if double penetration is your dream scene, be sure youre the one calling the shots when you do it. And before you do it for real, practice with ONE partner and a flexible vibrator or dildo. Remember, you are testing yourself and your own limits, so communicate to your partner every step of the way – that’s always crucial. If you do get to the point where you can handle two happy projectiles, be sure that both of the people attached to them are trustworthy and respectful of all your boundaries and limits.

Finally, let’s talk about “party anal” – that is, anal sex with more than 3 people in the room. A party on film may look like all fun and games, but in real life more bodies mean more body fluids and more exposure to problems. Plus, any use of recreational substances – even wine or beer – will muddle your mind, and that means you can wind up doing just the opposite of what you need to do. And that uses extreme caution for your own and everyone else’s safety. I hope this gave you an introduction to anal sex that highlights some of the vast differences between movie fantasy and real-life pleasure. There’s a lot more to know on this subject and I’d like to recommend some excellent resources. One is the classic book by Jack Morin called Anal Pleasure and Health. The other are books and videos by Tristan Taormino, especially the video Expert Guide to Anal Sex, which has detailed instructions in preparing for anal sex, worth a watch for all anal explorers, even experienced ones.

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