Things You Should Know About Anal Sex

Have you been surprised lately that everyone is trying out anal sex? Ever been accosted by a friend who is dying to tell you that — whisper whisper — she tried it and loved it?

Sounds familiar?

We began some jasoosi into this important matter and now have some knowledge to share.

Yes, most people are curious about anal sex ki baatein. But not every woman, gay or straight, is comfortable with having a penis or a dildo in their anus. Not all men, gay or straight, are instantly (or ever) comfortable with having either a penis or a strap-on in their anus either

What does it feel like, really, truly?

Really, truly? People say everything from “it’s awful and I’ll never ever do it again”, to “it’s awesome and I’m always up for it”.

Anita was 25 the first time she agreed to have anal sex with her partner. She’s 35 now, and loves it. “It’s a very different pleasure from vaginal sex; you feel kind of full,” she says. She has even orgasmed with just anal sex. For her, it was important that she didn’t jump straight into it, but started with allowing her partner to begin small, with his fingers and tongue.

Her friend Neha, on the other hand, says vehemently that she’s tried it twice, but will never do it again, no chance.

She says it was painful the first time (by her own diagnosis, they didn’t use enough lube), and that, “apart from the pain, it made me feel unpleasant, like I wanted something pushed out of me”. The only reason she tried it the second time (with lots of lube), was because she knows women who say it gets better over time. Her second time was still unpleasant, and this time she was terrified she would poop (yes, this is a normal feeling but more about this later).

Like Anita, 22-year-old Nikhil, also says that anal sex with a woman is a ‘completely’ different feeling because the anus is much tighter than the vagina. This is why some men enjoy it — it puts more pressure on the penis, which provides it with more stimulation.

Mihir, on the other hand, has other details. He’s gay, and recently had anal sex for the first time. “It’s a funny story,” he says. “We were locked in his bedroom in his parents’ house, and he warned me that I had to keep quiet. Of course, I couldn’t; I think anyone who says they can have anal sex quietly is lying.” Mihir found it slightly painful but that’s what he enjoyed, although it took him a while to stop being grossed out at the concept and to realise how kinky it felt and how he enjoyed the kinkiness.

Can I orgasm from anal sex?

Some women say they’ve been able to orgasm from only anal sex, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Many women need the additional stimulation of the clitoris to orgasm during anal sex, just like they might need it to orgasm during vaginal sex. So that’s not different. Also, remember that the nerve endings you want to stimulate for pleasure are in the opening of the anus. The inner part of the anal canal is more sensitive to pressure than touch, so whatever you’re using (finger, penis, sex toy) doesn’t need to go in very deep.

Does it hurt?

This is the top question everybody wants to know. Because news has travelled that it hurts. The reason it hurts is that unlike the vagina, the anus isn’t self-lubricating, and the sphincter muscles are meant to keep it closed.

For Anita and Mihir, a little of the pain is part of the pleasure, but it’s also true that, as Neha says, “How much pain you’re feeling should be an indication of whether there’s any damage happening.” Some people might even bleed, but it shouldn’t get this far. If there’s too much pain, stop.

How much is too much? Whatever is too much for you, is too much. Trust your judgment, not your partner’s or some anal sex porn you may have mistakenly watched for educational purposes.

How do I make it hurt less?

First, start off slowly. Perhaps on your first time you could begin with something smaller than a penis. You could begin exploration with your lover’s finger. You could try the category of sex toys called butt plugs which are designed with a flared end to prevent it from travelling up your rectum, a situation that is not nice ever.

Whether you’re using a sex toy or the person you’re having sex with is using their finger or penis, make sure to use lots of lube — you can never say this enough times. In times of anal sex, better to say I lube you than I love you. Ahem.

Mihir says that apart from lube, it helps a lot if you’re very sexually aroused — it didn’t only feel pleasurable, but also made him less conscious. Tips for women from Anita: “You’re more likely to orgasm if you get your sphincter muscles to relax.”

That’s nice, Anita, but how to relax?

This usually depends on the person. The best way is with foreplay, because it will loosen you up and turn you on. Some people even say that anal stimulation in women soon after you’ve had an orgasm is easier, because at that point you can’t help but relax.

But one of the things that often helps people relax is rimming. It’s also called anilingus (like cunnilingus) or just a rim job, and it’s when a person stimulates the anus using their tongue, either kissing or licking, or moving it around the edge of the anus.

Isn’t it all a bit… dirty?

Two technical details. The anus is the opening through which faeces leaves the body and the rectum is final portion of the large intestine ending at the anus. The rectum is an extremely clean part of your digestive system, far away from the part of your intestines where faeces is.

Some people like the clean, controlled feeling so they take the extra trouble of  doing a full water-based enema beforehand with an enema bulb, an instrument usually used by doctors to cure constipation.

But really, you would want to wash the outside of your anus before anal sex but that’s about it.

All this is good but what if I feel like No 2?

A lot of people feel like going number two during anal sex, so that’s completely normal. Whether you do or don’t usually depends on how deep the penetration is (more penetration, more chances), and the shape of the man’s penis or dildo. Most doctors say the only way you can have some control over the situation is if you poop before getting down to anal sex. If you have gone to the toilet three or four hours before, that should be safe enough. But if you do get that feeling again in the middle of action (as it commonly does happen), no need for embarrassment — maybe even channel what this doctor said, “Think of the penis as a plunger.”

Do I need to use a condom? What about self-care?

YES.

A woman is at 17 times greater risk of getting HIV and AIDS via anal sex than vaginal sex. In fact, you’re generally at a much greater risk of receiving or transmitting any sexually transmitted infection, like HPV warts, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhoea or hepatitis B, through anal sex. Some doctors say it’s because of the “trauma the anus and rectum receive during anal intercourse,” since the skin is more likely to tear because the anus is narrow, and doesn’t self-lubricate.

Also, there’s another important rule: if you’re going to have vaginal sex after anal sex, or switch back and forth, this is not the time to be kanjoos! Change your condom. It doesn’t matter if it feels like this will break the flow of all sex activities: the anus is full of bacteria that could infect both people involved, and cause a urinary tract infection in women.

And a last note from the maintenance department. A lot of anal sex can possibly make your sphincter muscles weak and it’s not good if you need to keep rushing to the toilet to poop, so doing Kegel exercises will help.

What about pegging?

Pegging is when a woman uses a strap-on dildo on a lover for anal sex. Here too, you’ll not only need a strap-on that everyone’s comfortable with, but also a lot of lubricant. Kartik, 23, says that he and his girlfriend have been doing this for a while — she likes the power that comes with being the one doing the penetration, and he just gets a lot of pleasure from anal stimulation.

Some research says that men have P-spots (like the G-spot in women) which allow for the stimulation of the prostate gland. Yes P for Prostate. But while the G-spot means pleasure all the way, not all men enjoy prostate stimulation.

Being at the receiving end of penetration can make men realise the importance of foreplay and how long it actually takes for a woman to relax and well, what women’s sexual experiences feel like. It’s because sex is otherwise external to men’s bodies. As Charlie Glickman, a sex educator, wrote in his 2011 column How Pegging Can Save the World, “A lot of men discover that when sex is about catching rather than pitching, their mood, their emotions, and their connection to a partner can often have a bigger influence on what they want to do and how it feels.”

Are some positions better than others for anal?

You could try a whole lot of positions for anal sex, just like there are with vaginal sex. Nikhil says most people try the most common position they learn from mainstream porn — the position in which the receiving partner is bent over, and the giving partner thrusting away from behind.

But Anita says that what helped make her feel instantly comfortable about anal sex is to be on top, because it means she’s in more control of how deep and how fast. The added bonus, we hear, is that being on top will make it much easier for women to rub their clitoris. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

So if you’re curious about anal sex and want to try it out, remember to take it slow, use a condom, lots and lots of lube, and perhaps you will be one of those who have discovered a new route to more orgasms.

* The names and characters appearing in this post are for representational purpose only and the post has no bearing on their sexuality or health status.

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