Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Slipping Through the Back Door: Anal Play for the Squeamish

If you had asked me a year ago what my feelings were about anal play during sex, I would’ve simply replied “my asshole is exit only.” Like many people, I felt that anal play was dirty, unsanitary and a porn convention. Though I am certainly no anal fiend, my thoughts on the subject have changed slightly since.

I think it all began with a miscommunication with my friends this year about the proper way to clean one’s ass in the shower. I was under the impression that they were shoving soapy fingers up their assholes and that I was some sort of hygienic delinquent, but it turned out that “up your ass” to them meant “in your ass crack”. I felt relieved. They proceeded to add that a stripper had once told them that girls love it when a guy sticks a finger up their asses during oral. And strippers should know these things, right? During my next shower, I wanted to just try it out, but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

“My ex-girlfriend really liked it,” Rob revealed to me some time later, “just a little pinky every now and then, you know.” Soon after, I caved into my own curiosity. “Fine. JUST THE PINKY,” I told him. I’m pretty sure it was all I could think about through all of the lead up to his bold venture to where no man had been before. He lubed up a finger and went for it. I felt…strange. I was searching for the pleasure in all of it, but just couldn’t find it. I made all sorts of squirmy faces during that minute or so of exploration, until I felt I’d given it an adequate chance and told him that it was enough. He scrambled to the bathroom to wash his hand, and I laid back, attempting to figure out whether I’d let him do it again. I did, a few times, and sometimes it felt more pleasurable than others, but on the whole, it’s just not my cup of tea. But, if I'd never given it a chance, I never would've learned that stimulation around the anal opening (instead of inside of it) can be exciting and pleasurable for me.

Giving and receiving, however, were two different things for me, and when I, searching for something new to do, asked myself if I (or rather, my finger) was prepared to take the plunge for him, the decision wasn’t easy. But, I manned up and did it, and much to my surprise, he loved it. It took me a few tries to figure out what felt good and what didn’t for him, but it added A LOT to fellatio, and a couple of times, to sex.

Most of the guys I’ve spoken to about the subject say the same things about why they won’t try it: “There’s poop up there!” or “It would make me feel gay” or “I’m sure it would feel good, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.” First of all, poop isn’t just sitting in your anus all day just waiting for a finger to cling to. I’ve never seen Rob’s poop, nor he mine, and I intend to keep it that way. Second, anal play isn’t gay unless there’s another man attached to the finger/tongue/object in question. Third, men have a prostate, which brings a lot of extra pleasure to many men when stimulated, so it’s worth a try. Remember: when you’re alone in the shower, or your room with the door closed/locked/whatever, you’re the only one who ever has to know what you’re doing. It’s your body; do what you want with it!

If you’re feeling curious, don’t be afraid to explore. Here are my recommendations:

- Relax. This means being comfortable with what’s coming, what it my or may not feel like, and what that means to you. If you’re exploring with a partner, make sure you’re comfortable with them, and trust them. If you’re all tense, it may be painful.

- If you’re inserting anything up there, USE LUBE. The anus does not produce its own lubrication, so a silicone- or water-based lube should be used for maximum comfort.

- Don’t just skip to it. Get in a sexy mood, get turned on, and then try it out. It’s hard to find something new and taboo sexy without any context.

- If your hands are making contact with the anus, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward. This seems pretty obvious, but still. Never use a finger that has just been anally inserted for oral or genital contact without proper handwashing between. Otherwise, urinary tract infections or other unpleasantries can occur.

- If you’re trying anilingus (anal-oral sex), be careful. While rimming can be pleasurable for both men and women, sanitation is key. Make sure the area has been thoroughly cleansed and is free of fecal matter before putting your face or anyone else’s face near it. If you are not using a dental dam (which is recommended), make sure that you and your partner have been tested for STDs, as some infections can be transmitted in this way.

If you’re a guy and you’ve moved past curiosity and are looking for something a little more exciting, try the Aneros® Prostate-Perineum massager. This thing is so amazing that my boyfriend and I actually got in a fight about it (oh jealousy, what a bitch!) In a half hour, he was able to achieve “5-10 non-ejaculatory orgasms…that came in waves,” without using his hands. Eventually he had to stop because he “just couldn’t take it anymore and was just like… [exhausted panting noise].” If that doesn’t inspire at least a little curiosity in the male population, I don’t know what will. You can find out more about this wonderful product at There are also many more prostate massagers available for men on the web from stores who keep all information confidential, ship in plain boxes and bill under discreet names, so no one has to know that you’re adding to your dirty drawer!


Anonymous said...

A page and a half of anal sex advice from someone who doesn't enjoy it and has barely any experience with it? Fantastic. I look forward to your future posts on exploring bisexuality, group sex, and S & M based on their depictions in movies. Perhaps you could expand this approach to other kinds of journalism as well? I think the byline "Jayson Blair" is available.

Seriously, are you folks unaware that you're coming off as a laughingstock here, both to the Anscombe nutters and the sex-positive crowd?

Anonymous said...

Wow... this is detailed.

As slightly uncomfortable as I was reading it, however, kudos for being so open and honest.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I find a story about a real life personal experience entirely more entertaining and worthwhile than a dissertation on the pros and cons of anal. I'd much rather hear a first time story from someone who didn't entirely enjoy the experience (but is willing to write about it) than an expert teaching me the finer points of anal pleasure. I enjoyed the post!

(Don't forget kids, the internet is serious business.)

JB '09 said...

I think the story's hilarious. Sure, it would have been more pertinent if the writer had more anal experience herself, but it was a decent piece. It should've said more, perhaps, about what her boyfriend thinks, since he seems to get more into anal, and as a sex columnist, the opportunity to write something about anal play being okay for straight guys could have been pressed more.

But hey, props to Princeton for finally getting any kind of sex column anyway.

As for the kids who knock these columns as stupid, worry about them when they actually try making a suggestion as to what they would prefer. Let 'em whine--their lack of contribution is much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

By Princeton standards, this article is a decent piece of sex writing. It doesn't have any gross misinformation, it's fairly open and positive about the whole experience, and it seems fairly honest. I mostly agree with jb09. Decent sex writing is better than bad sex writing.

Anonymous said...

So is this related to the salmonella outbreak on campus?

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Anonymous said...

Like the billboard: "Colonoscopy OR Cancer"... is the same as advertising; "Insurance or Accident"... one does not PREVENT the other... it just helps in the aftermath. Prostate massage via one's colon as preventative care... with-out... the Pharmaceutical or Urologist's "PROFITS" CLOUDING THE MAN'S HEALTH DECISIONS, is where his adventurous spouse might be his prostate's best medicine.
Colon and Prostate Cancer prevention and or control...
Prevention is PREVENTION... too late is TOO LATE! If frequent ejaculation (ejecting that nasty ol' semen) is one of the measures of control, to eliminate a cancer causing, carcinogenic element, of man's prostate health... and... unrestricted Blood flow in this area is also touted as one of the best preventative measures, to HELP lengthen a man's life, not just his/her sex life.
THEN... "IF" all this is true, a "nasty massage" through the inner colon wall, to his prostate, to help eject toxic seminal fluids, and the massage increases blood flow... then this is the NON-gay approach to his best prostate/colon health, her lengthened sex life, their lengthened life together.
All people have to do is get past man's "MIND's EYE" [his/her mental vision of GAY] when it comes to anal touching.
Just think of the men that will see a different MENtal image when the DOC pokes a finger into FORMERLY forbidden zones, checking for an enlarged prostate and other inner problems of the colon. [wait a minute, he allows his doc the privledge of access... why not the person that he married... doesn't she get this same access?] MEN might not have as great a problem bending over for the Doc, "IF" his wife has less of a problem in the marriage bed, incorporating this activity into their daily life.
Men check their wives for breast lumps... she could check him for prostate bumps... a fair trade off? Get the emphasis OFF the totally sexual approach, and the Gay factor, and put it in the HEALTH column of men’s and women’s periodicals.
The next major hindrance to men going to a doctor is; the male patient standing NAKED before another male... not a comfortable position to be in… embarrassing? Yes! This lends more to the comfort of the situation… plus the mental image of one man touching another’s private/personal flesh, which man sees as designated; only for the opposite sex.
Doctors say they don’t see it that way? They… the doctors, nurses and other medical staff… are looking from the wrong direction... it’s not how they say they see my nakedness… It’s HOW I SEE IT! And the surrender of total submission to another… Women, because of their physical make-up, are predispositioned for this… MEN are not!
Tens of thousands say get over it… write articles and make advertisements saying; “It’s no big deal… get over it!”… TENS OF MILLIONS see this in a different light and abstain from the doctor’s office, until the problem exceeds the “male patient’s” discomfort level… by leaps and bounds.
I had to bleed rectally before I’d allow a colonoscopy, had to bleed from the urethra to see an Urologist, and had reflux backing up into my throat before I saw a Gastroenterologist. All are complications from injuries acquired in Vietnam. (The Colonoscopy will not happen again… they took way to many liberties… when they can satisfactorily explain; how one can photograph the inside of the colon from outside the human body… FROM THAT ANGLE!! I might consider another visit… not likely!!)
[The last part of the above is to show why some men avoid the medical establishment… and why a loving spouse may just be the greatest advantage, to a straight male’s preventative health, where his prostate, her love life, is the winner.]