Twenty Something Humans explores the world of anal play, speaking with a seasoned veteran, a curious bystander and someone who is saving their (anal) virginity for marriage.
I’ll start with a soft trigger warning for this story, just in case you’re eating something and are susceptible to feeling queasy at the mention of poo and bums. Both are mentioned a lot in this article. A lot.
Anal play can be messy, physically and emotionally, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. It requires you to step outside of your comfort zone – for some (me) it can require you to step kilometres outside of your comfort zone – but once you’ve eased your way in (pardon the pun), I’m told it can be pretty darn good.
The taboo surrounding anal sex is starting to become a little redundant; as it makes its way into our public dialogue more often, it loses its shock value. As it should. Anal sex shouldn’t be touted as “the kinkiest” of all the sexual acts. This places those who engage in anal play into a specific box. They’re considered ‘wild, adventurous nymphomaniacs’ who are constantly riding the pleasure wave. But perhaps they don’t consider themselves to be like that? Maybe anal is the only sexual act they’re comfortable with? Also, if you’re to go by this logic then you’re also assuming that all homosexual males, who engage in anal play, belong to this same category. It simply isn’t true. Having anal sex is just having sex.
Also, the people who aren’t comfortable with anal play – be they hetero or homosexual – are also then unfairly placed into a sexual category: “non-adventurous”. There is so much that’s wrong with this assumption. There are plenty of people that aren’t comfortable having anything inside them full-stop. Penis, strap on, fingers or otherwise. For these people, the height of their sexual limits might involve a different type of touch than someone who loves being pegged. Is one more adventurous than the other? Absolutely not.
"Having anal sex is just having sex."
Why does it feel good for some and not others?
Anal play feels different for different people. For some, the associated anxiety is just not worth the hassle. The thought of bleeding, tearing or shitting themselves is just too much to bear. And fair enough. Sex can be awkward enough at the best of times, throwing in the potential of poo in the mix, for some, just doesn’t seem worth it.
Obviously, for most men it feels good because their prostate is located in their anal cavity and when stimulated, it can give them a big ole’ orgasm. For women, it’s a little different.
Speaking with Sydney-based Sexologist, Georgia Grace, I learnt about a third pleasure point in the female anatomy. I was familiar with the clitoris (you’d hope) and the G-spot but was interested to learn about the A-crest. It’s located towards the very end of the vaginal cavity and apparently it’s capable of bringing on a mighty amount of pleasure. Sometimes when a woman is being penetrated anally, the A-crest is rubbed and that’s what brings about the physical pleasure. It’s not that women have a specific area in their anal cavity that feels pleasurable but more so that our insides are pushing up against that wall.
The state of (anal) play
Jess* is keen to introduce anal play into her relationship with her boyfriend, but isn’t so interested in receiving the same treatment in return.
“I want to open my boyfriend’s world, brain and body to the magical land of prostate play. If heterosexual men knew about the pleasure they could get, they’d probably be fingering their own arses all the time. I want to gift that pleasure to my boyfriend,” she said.
“I’ve had a finger and a little bit of a penis up my bum – just the tip – and then I was like, “no more”. It was too uncomfortable. I might give it another go in the future but for now, I’m happy with my vagina. It’s self-lubricating and I can tighten it…you can’t do that with an arsehole.”
Joe* is a gay male whose dicked around with a few men in his time. Speaking on his first experience, he rates it a four and a half out of ten. Not too shabby for a first time!
“I was 18 and I was really, really, really drunk. I took this guy back to my room and he asked me if I wanted to top or bottom first. I didn’t even know what that was at the time. Then he was like, “I mean do you want to take it or receive it?” I thought, I guess I’ll just take it. I’ve got to figure that part of life out at some point.”
“It was really fucking painful. It took me about five minutes to get down on the dick – and it wasn’t a big one by any means. Then, around ten minutes in, when I relaxed, it started feeling really good. We both came at the same time. I never saw him again though, and I didn’t really want to. It was just like ripping the band aid off.”
“If you’re bottoming, it’s really important to know where your digestive system is at. Because if you’re due to take a shit, it can be a disaster. For reasons you can imagine.”
That’s ‘getting shit on your dick’ for those playing at home.
“It’s happened to me once and I was mortified. It was only a little bit but poo is poo, you now? So, If I’m bottoming I like to prepare in advance. I don’t douche but I just make sure that it’s all clear down there and that I’ve been to the bathroom.
For Anna* anal play isn’t high on her ‘to-do’ list.
“I’m saving anal sex for marriage… or that might just be my excuse not to do it. I’ve literally said to guys that I’ve been seeing that I’m saving my bum for my husband.”
“I’m just not confident in my bowel movements. I’d be worried I’d shit everywhere. I’ve heard too many horror stories, like one girl who woke up one morning to find shit all over the walls and the floor. She tried to clean it up but it was just everywhere. I don’t want that to happen to me!”
The first time the idea or anal was proposed to Anna was… well, juvenile to say the least.
“He came over and I had my period. He was being really weird saying, “I want to ask you a question, but I can’t ask.” It was like he was nervous or something. So, he wrote it down on a piece of paper. It just said ‘Anal?’” – Wow. Just wow.
“If I was in a long-term relationship it’s something I’d consider, once things start to get stale. I’ve had a finger in my arse and that wasn’t good. That was a really awful experience though because he just stuck it in without telling me, Anna said.
Any time someone enters your body, it has to be consensual. It’s never okay to just slip one in without asking. Not to mention that fact that physically, this just wouldn’t work. Your body has to be prepared and relaxed.
Joe shares his advice for first timers. “Have a few glasses of wine, chill yourself out. Amal can be really helpful too. Oh, and make sure you have a fuck done of lube! If you have a dildo or something handy, maybe start with that so you can get used to having something in your butt. When you’re having anal sex it’s like doing everything in reverse. Your body might not know what’s going on and it can get shocked, so introduce something, like a finger or two, first to ease in. If you just shoved in, you can have a really bad reaction.”
* Names have been changed.
Images: Pexels and Visualhunt.
Kate Neilson is the founding editor at Twenty Something Humans. She likes eating toast in bed and drinking G&Ts at sundown. She feels awkward talking about herself in third person. Lurk her @katiepotatierose.