Saturday 4 May 2024

THE Anal Guide: Turning Pain to Pleasure

Anal sex is one of the most misunderstood sexual activities and, if done incorrectly, can be unnecessarily painful. Perhaps you had a negative first encounter, are nervous to try it, can't make it work, or are already aroused but want to crank the taboo and pain up a level. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, our Anal Guide has you covered - even for those with no interest, as we have included a section on what to do if your partner won't drop the A conversation. 

Why do some people enjoy anal sex?

Anal stimulation can be enjoyed by all sexualities, despite the widespread belief that only gay men receive pleasure. The truth is, we all have the parts to reach orgasm via anal penetration - even those with a vulva.

The geography of the anus makes it a highly pleasurable sex organ. The anus contains a dense network of sensory nerves that participate with the genitals in the engorgement, muscular tension and contractions of sexual arousal and orgasm.

Most partake in anal sex due to the simple fact it is a different type of orgasm. While for women, there are more nerve endings in the vagina and clit, there are enough in the anus to create a distinct climax. Another popular reason is the kink element. Due to its taboo nature, anal sex feels ill-behaved, as if you should not be doing it - and for those into BDSM, that's enough to make it riveting. 

Anal sex, for those with a vulva, can make for a treat when the vagina has had enough. Whether on a period, suffering from an infection of the urinary tract (UTI), wanting the least amount of risk to pregnancy (still not zero per cent) or sore for any number of reasons, it's a backup.

Why does anal sex hurt?

Despite being a hot spot for some, it does not make anal sex enjoyable for all, as other factors are at large. For example, if you are afraid/nervous and tense up, it will likely cause pain down to the fact your body is tensing muscles in the anal canal and pelvic floor. Those who thrive during anal sex know all too well it is all about a relaxed and aroused mindset.

How to prepare for anal?

A prominent reason anal gets a bad rep is that it requires planning, and if actions leading up to the event do not happen, it can put you off for life!  

In preparation, there are three things to consider: the reality that it may cause burning pain, faecal matter, and how you feel. 

For beginners, it must be understood that it is expected to feel nervous or scared. Most, unless they are into masochism (the tendency to derive sexual gratification from one's pain or humiliation) or sadism (the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others), feel this way at first as we are not naturally programmed to want the possibility of experiencing pain. The misconception is that while anal can be painful and enjoyed that way, it can also be made painless and still pleasurable. It entirely depends on what kind of sex you like. Understanding this and reading the rest of our tips will open the mind up to possibilities for what you could be getting out of anal and calm those nerves and fears.

Rushing into it is a bad idea, especially if you are a newbie. Even pros who like to be anally penetrated in situations that limit planning, such as a quickie in a bar bathroom, will often carry lube on them for such times. Lube and condoms will not only help you feel more relaxed, but they will work together to ease friction. If burning pain occurs, it is usually because there is not enough lubricant as the anus is not like the vagina; it can not lubricate itself; that is your job. Keep in mind to never use numbing products for anal, and make sure your lube does not include anything that can make you lose sense of what is going on in the anus.

Honest conversations and creating a comfortable atmosphere ahead of anal is crucial for beginners. If your partner tells you it will not hurt, they are lying. There is an extremely high chance that, without knowledge or experience, it will burn the first, second, and even the 100th time. Even if you have been partaking in anal for decades, you can still have an uncomfortable experience now and again. The most important thing you can do is lead the conversation and act with your partner if it is your first time and not theirs. You must outline your needs, speak up and direct the motion, as they will likely find it hard to read your body's language at first. As many anal positions involve receiving from behind, you can not read each other's faces. Safe words or tapping motions (such as tapping them three times, i.e. a thigh) are essential to continuing the conversation during anal. 

Similarly, it is not always a recommended time to have anal. The atmosphere matters if you want a comfortable experience. It means finding places you feel safe, such as your bedroom, and avoiding spontaneity at the beginning. Doing it for the first time in your home instead of theirs, for example, can be comforting as you feel more in control and aware of your surroundings. Likewise, if you are having a tummy ache, have eaten something recently that usually does not agree with you, or are in a bad headspace, the atmosphere will be ruined. Listening to how your body and mind feel will better inform you on whether it is a good time. 

When it is time for anal is when you feel relaxed, wanted and horny for it. Giving your partner a massage before anal penetrating is always a nice touch. So is pouring them a glass of their favourite champagne or running them a bubble bath.

On the topic of honest conversations, acknowledging anal sex increases HIV risk due to the thin tissues in the rectum is advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's Risk Reduction Tool gives you access to tailored information that could protect you and your partner.

Hygiene should be considered, although you do not have to go crazy. A bath, shower or wet wipes beforehand works for most. Still, some like to douche (a small device that squirts warm water into the anus to rinse out residue) or use enemas, although much more invasive and most commonly used for fetishes. We would not recommend forking out on a douche or enema if you do not yet know if anal will be a regular occurrence - the showerhead works just fine!

Certain positions can be very influential or full of consequences; choosing what is best for you will only come from experience. Some find doggy the easiest to receive, while others argue it is the spoon, etc. It is individual and learned through discovery; be bold, switch it up, and try out different positions until you find one you're comfortable in. We recommend being on your knees and leaning forward with your chest on a soft service such as a bed to encourage your sphincter to relax. Likewise, the foreplay you partake in is necessary to get the best out of it, so if you were not considering toys or fingers, perhaps it is something to consider.

While we would not immediately recommend it to a newcomer, toys can help you - even if it is your first time! Buying a dildo that is smaller than your partner's and working your way up the sizes can ease anxiety and prepare you (fingers work the same way to loosen up your sphincter). To achieve this, once the finger or toy is inside the anus, hold it there for a full minute (butt plugs are trusted by many for so). Nearing 60 seconds, you will feel that the anus is not as tight anymore; this is the time to carefully remove the toy or finger as gently as you can for a minute, then go back in slowly, and by repeating this process, you will eventually be able to recieve\penerate deeper and more demanding. At a point, you will hit what is the sphincter muscle (about 0.5-1 inch deep). It is vital to push past with caution and unhurried, as this is where anal can get very painful. Again you want to only keep it in the anus at that point for a minute, then dip and give the anus a break for a minute. We recommend doing this procedure repeatedly until it lacks discomfort and is replaced by pleasure. 

Anal beads can also have the same effect, but often, the designs can look intense. However, do not let that put you off; they can be as much a pleasurable segue as lube makes the experience. When seeking toys, look for the following: safe materials such as silicone, metal, treated wood, glass, plastic or ceramic. These are nonporous materials, and they all have two things in common: they are smoother and have a water-resistant surface. Sharp edges and toys with seams that can collect faecal matter for obvious reasons should be avoided. Most important is that the toy features a flared base to avoid getting stuck or lost in the anus - opting for toys with handles is recommended. Do not, under any circumstance, use the same toy to switch back and forth between the vagina and anus without washing with hot water and disinfecting first. VavaViolet's Editor-in-Chief, Sophie Blackman, recommends Lelo's G-Spot Vibrator Gigi™ 2 and Remote-Controlled Prostate Massager Hugo™ 2 Remote.

How to make anal sex more painful/taboo? 

The following tips are only recommended to those with a desire to make their anal sessions as pleasurably gruelling as possible. 

Firstly, if you want to, you can skip all the above advice, but even when making anal freaky or wanting it to be painful, it is advised to take safety measures. There should never be a reason for a safeword not to be in play, especially if you are taking it to a consensual non-consent (CNC) territory (a term used in BDSM where all boundaries and scenarios are carefully negotiated in advance, ensuring that both parties are fully aware of and consent to the agreed-upon activities. The sexual fantasy and practice involving role play that mimics some form of forced activity can take anal to a whole new world of taboo. If being dominated arouses, CNC can make anal an even more playful and liberating experience. Still, education on the subject is required first (our following guide will be on CNC).

Bondage and feeling restricted while being penetrated in the anus has a thrill many describe as freeing. To make the most of bondage during anal, we recommend knees and head down with your arms held or strapped behind your back or to your sides. 

Another way you can make your anal less typical and more filthy is to scrap the lube and replace it with salvia. Spitting into their anus and around can be humiliating and degrading; tickling kinks lube just can't.

Taking anal to a public setting is a sure way to turn up the antics as high as you can. Being anally penetrated in front of a crowd at a sex party is something you will never forget. The same goes for doing it anywhere public, but remember to consider the laws where you are. In most places, it is illegal to have sex somewhere where non-consenting eyes can witness it. So find those dogging spots and continue to keep them a secret.

How to converse that anal is off the table?

If you are still unsure about anal or know in your bones, it is not for you, saying no is good enough. You do not need to prepare some gentle paragraph telling your partner you don't want anal; you do not need to consider their feelings at all! If you do not want to, you do not have to. If your partner can not fathom basic human principles such as consent, the only conversation you need to have is the endgame one.

By Sophie Blackman.


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