Going Anal: Exploring The Back Door
The “back door” or anal intercourse used to be taboo between heterosexual couples, but this is quickly changing. In 1992, a study by the CDC found that 26% of men and 20% of women between 18 and 59 had engaged in anal sex. By 2005, those numbers had risen to 40% and 35%, respectively, for those between 25 and 44 years old.
Anal sex has now entered the main stream, and with good reason. The anus is comprised of muscles, just like the vagina, but these muscles are generally tighter than in the vagina, offering a more pleasurable experience for the male partner. But women aren’t left out of the fun. While some women may find the experience uncomfortable, others find it very enjoyable. The anus contains more nerve endings than the vaginal walls, although not the clitoris, so can provide a pleasurable experience for women as well. In addition, because of the location of the female g-spot, it can be stimulated through anal penetration, potentially leading to the deeper, more satisfying orgasms associated with the g-spot. As an added bonus, the likelihood of pregnancy from anal intercourse is extremely low (although still possible), offering one less worry for women.
For the adventurous couple interested in exploring this uncharted territory there are some things to keep in mind and tips to help on the journey.
• The anus does not create lubrication on its own like the vagina does and is comprised of very fragile tissues that can be easily torn. For this reason, the use of a water-based personal lubricant is always recommended.
• The rectum, or the opening of the anus, is comprised of two sphincters that control the opening of closing of the rectum. These are comprised of many nerve endings that can provide either pleasure or pain; each person’s sphincters will react differently. When penetration occurs, your partner should be relaxed and receptive. Penetration should be slow and careful and if resistance or pain is felt, you should stop immediately. To aid in relaxation, clitoral stimulation can be used to increase arousal.
• Although not a necessity, the receiving partner may wish to empty their bowels first in order to minimize any discomfort. This can also reduce the risk of any “blow outs” or accidents.
• The anal cavity has many microbes that are not found on other parts of the body. For this reason, after anal penetration, the penis should not be inserted into the vagina or mouth without being properly washed first. It is also a good habit to wash the penis after anal sex even if you will not be engaging in further sexual activity. If a condom is being used, discard and use a fresh one for any further sexual activity after anal penetration.
• For those that are hesitant to jump right into anus-penile penetration, sex toys such as beads, plugs and smaller vibrators, or even fingers, can offer an “introduction” to this new activity.
• Most importantly, there is often the misconception that when engaging in anal intercourse you don’t need to use a condom as you would in vaginal intercourse. This could not be further from the truth. Barebacking, or anal sex without a condom, presents the highest risk of contracting an STD of all sexual acts. So, unless you are in a monogamous relationship, make sure to use a condom.
Like any new sexual experience, communication with your partner is key. Anal sex may not be for everyone, but using the tips above, you can be comfortable with exploring its potential.
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