The Kardashians dedicated an entire episode to Scott begging Kourtney for it; Led Zeppelin wrote a song about it; and it also has its own category on every porn site you’ve ever been on. We’re talking about anal, babes. Here are five of the most common myths and misconceptions about butt stuff.
Myth #1: Anal is just for gay men
Anal sex, often the butt (lol) of jokes about gay men, is a perfectly natural way to engage in sexual activity no matter your sexual orientation or gender identity. It happens all over the world, dating back to the ancient Greeks, and even animals have been known to do it (seriously — there’s a whole Wikipedia page about it).
The anus is full of nerve endings that, for some people, feel awesome when stimulated. This includes the prostate – basically the G-spot of the butt. But, the opening of the butthole is where the most nerves are, so you don’t have to journey very far up there for it to feel good. In fact, even just stimulating the area on the outside can supply ample amounts of pleasure. Having a sex partner lightly touch or rim (also know as analingus) the anus can heighten one’s orgasm.
And for those who don’t feel comfortable breaching the idea of anal play with a partner (I’m looking at you, straight dudes afraid of the connotation of wanted your butt touched), self pleasure — which we all know to be a healthy way of relieving stress, boosting ones immune system, and self-esteem — can be a great place to start. Vibrators, especially those specifically made for anal stimulation can simply be placed against the anus during masturbation to feel the effects, without needing to push past your comfort zone.
Myth #2: It’s dangerous
Only to your brain’s neurochemistry, because it’s about to get fucked up from all those pleasure centers firing.
The truth is anal sex, like any kind of sex, can be perfectly safe if you do it right. So whether you’re the one being penetrated or the one doing the penetrating, there are ways to ensure that things go off with a bang and not an “ow, stop!”
For the pitcher: Listen twice as much as you talk thrust. Respect your partner’s boundaries, and remember consent is sexy. And for the catcher: Remember you deserve pleasure too. Forget the societal binary that sex is all about making sure the guy (or top) has a good time regardless of your comfort level or reciprocity.
Don’t feel the need to be submissive if that’s not your thing. Gay men know not all bottoms are subs; many are dominate and aggressive, also known as power bottoms. Take a page from their book, and demand your own please, while still being a respectful sex partner.
And for all parties involved: communicate! Before, during, and after. Because if you can’t talk about it, you shouldn’t be doing it.
Myth #3: All you need is some spit
Porn is great at fantasy. Reality? Not so much. And trying to make anal happen with just saliva is not going to do it. You need lube, and not just any old kind. Water-based lubes tend to dry up very quickly, and oil-based ones tend to stain, well, everything. (Definitely don’t use this on any sheets or furniture you’d like to be able to look at again without seeing the exact spot of your sexual encounter). Therefore, silicone lubricants are a favored choice for anal.
Myth #4: It’s still going to hurt!
90% of being an athlete is the mental game. The same is true for anal. Be like Frankie and relax, because if you’re tense, then your muscles are going to be tense, especially the ones down there. If you’re doing it alone, try some self-care first to put yourself in the right headspace. If you’re with a partner, go for lots and lots of foreplay.
The point is to feel safe in your choice, so listen to your gut (the metaphorical one, as well as the irl one) and make sure if you’re only doing it because you want to. If you need to hedge your bets, try solo sessions before bringing in another person. Try toys, like butt plug trainers to get over any fear and apprehension you may have. And remember you control your own pleasure, always!
Myth #5: Shit happens!
Okay, this one is actually fact. Everybody poops; sorry about it. Douching, or the act of cleansing the inside of your anal canal prior to sex, is something many gay men have been doing for decades as a preparation for the act. In fact, if I had a dollar for every time I sat on the floor of the hallway of an ex-boyfriend or fun-buddy’s home reading funny tweets aloud through the bathroom door while they “waited to exhale” until the water ran clear, I’d be able to afford to pay off my student loan by now.
But, that being said, douching is not a requirement, but a personal choice. If you’re going to go this route then check out this thoroughly informative guide to cleaning your ass first, to do so safely and effectively. But even the most diligent douchers will walk away from anal encounters with rouge fecal matter popping up from time to time. Whatevs, laugh it off, and just get over it, because unless your partner is a douche themselves, they aren’t going to be upset.