by – Kai, lead somatic sexologist
Anal sex/play can be full of pleasure and delight. But it can also be a pain in the arse. From time to time I get questions relating to anal sex – the most common has to do with pain and being able to accommodate penetration from a penis or dildo/other object. The anus has a couple of sphincters and is designed to keep things out not necessarily in. View anus here. The anus/rectum is also the place to access deep erogenous zones. You will find these zones around the back of the vaginal wall in woman, and the prostate for men – stimulating nerves in these areas can be highly pleasurable. Some people may find anal sex/play vulgar/taboo. The butt hole, anal sex/play is not dirty, shameful or sinful in anyway. In this blog article I give some helpful tips about how to enjoy safe butt hole play and keep it pain free.
First rule of thumb when having anal sex/play is to always take it slow when starting off. There is no need to rush ever. Rushing will only lead to pain and injury. You can always ramp up (faster/harder/deeper) when you become comfortable. Anal tissue can easily tear. Micro abrasions and lacerations can occur through rough play/sex – so just be careful. Its really important when playing with your anus/rectum to use lots of lubrication. Ideally you should use a water based lubricant, especially when it comes to penile anal penetration using a condom. If its just anal massage you might want to try an oil based lubricant for a different feel.
I highly recommend YES BUT water based lubricant for anal sex/play. This lubricant is pH matched for anal use. It is not sticky. It feels velvety and is condom compatible. The lubricants consistency is a little thicker than other lubes. Its also certified organic. Designed to match tissue osmolality of the rectum, see more here about the importance of that. (you can purchase from Polysoma). Additionally, most toys require a water based lube as oils can break down the material of dildos, prostate massager etc. You can still use an oil based lubricant if you like, provided you are protecting the whole toy with a condom.
Breathing. I cannot over emphasise how important breath work is for anal play and relaxation. The more you focus and work with your breath the less tension you have in your body and specifically your anal sphincters. Anal play requires a complete state of relaxation to enjoy the benefits. Of course some people may not be well versed in breath work for anal sex and should take some lessons before engaging in such activity.
Start off by laying on your back, legs open with some lube on your fingers massaging up/down your perineum towards your butt hole. You can vary the pressure of massage. Then when you are comfortable use your index finger and gently in a circular motion massage your external anus. After playing and exploring your anus you might wish to experiment with some small-thin dildos/or just your finger to insert. Eventually when you feel comfortable you can increase your dildo size, take a couple of fingers or even a whole penis. Anal play is all about experimentation what feels good and what doesn’t feel so good. I also recommend buttock massage especially the ischial tuberosity bones combined with anal massage. These are great relaxation tools prior to any anal penetration. You can learn more about these tools from Polysoma.
Watch out for, or if you already have anal fissures or haemorrhoids you might want to hold off anal play until they are healed. These can be caused by straining/hard poo or trauma from hard poo. Previous rough anal sex can also cause a flare of fissures/haemorrhoids. Super hard poo/constipation is not a good thing. Keeping hydrated and having a good diet to prevent constipation is the solution to this.
Keeping it clean. Its important to maintain hygiene practices. Hand washing before and after butt hole play with liquid soap or antibacterial soap is a must. Make sure finger nails are short. Toys can be cleaned with neutral soap and left out in the sun to dry. Alternatively, you should be using a condom over your toy. Many sex toy materials can be porous and require special care to prevent bacterial accumulation. A condom will also protect the material the toy is made out of. It also prevents unnecessary bacteria into your but hole from inadequate toy washing.
Now as for poo. Naturally the anus are the gates that open when you expel your bodies waste. Make sure you empty your bowel before anal play. If you choose you can douche. Just a word of warning don’t wash your butt hole excessively with soaps. They can irritate the external butt hole resulting in dermatitis, dry skin or itchyness, This can leave the skin open to infection/abrasions. You should clean your external butt hole with an antibacterial soap prior to play as it can assist in removing microscopic bugs. Please don’t ever shame someone for a spec of poo during anal sex/play. It can happen from time to time. I recommend a warm wet flannel with a bit of antibacterial soap for poo situations. Gently wipe the butt hole and buttocks in a caring (soft) fashion and get back into the fun.
Just a word on safe sex. Anal sex/play is not risk free. Condoms for penile anal penetration are a must in all casual/hook up sex situations. If you are with a permanent partner you may decide not to use a condom based on your relationship/sexual health status. Some sexual partners regardless will use condoms for hygienic reasons. At this point in time there is no specific anal condom. Just a quick mention, if you are into anilingus otherwise known as rimming (licking the butt hole) you could try using a female condom. The issue with rimming is that its not a risk free activity either. Your tongue, lips gums and butt hole are all portals for potential infection.
If you wish to learn more about breath work and anal play/ buttock massage why not come in and talk to me.