Anal sex: top five facts

Anal sex – plenty say they love the intense sensation and pleasure. But many others cringe at the idea of anything other than water and soap getting near their rear end. Read all you need to know about anal sex in our top five facts

Text: Stephanie Haase

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How does it work?


When having anal sex, two things are very important: taking it slowly and using lots of lubricant. The anus, unlike the vagina, doesn’t have any natural lubrication. But if you want anal sex to be painless, you will need to make up for that with lots of lube.

Also, your partner has to be very relaxed, so the muscles around the anus aren’t tight. You should start by stroking the anus and after a while, you can slip in a finger and see how your partner likes it. If all’s good, you can put the head of your penis inside.

Move very, very slowly. Fast movements will hurt. Anal sex needs some time to get used to, and the slower you move and the more time and lube you take, the better your chances of enjoying it!

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Is it dirty?


It is a good idea to ask your partner to visit the bathroom and wash the area around the anus with soapy water before having anal sex. But enemas are not necessary (actually, they can irritate the anus and the bowel).

The ‘tube’ inside your anus is the rectum. It’s a temporary store for stool that’s ready to leave the body. If you’re healthy, and you don’t have diarrhoea, constipation or intestinal diseases, once you’ve been for a poo, the rectum is left empty and pretty much clean until the next load of waste comes along.

If you are too worried about it being dirty but still want anal sex, you could try starting in the shower. Just remember that your lube should be silicone-based then, because water-based lube will wash away in the shower.

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Why does it feel so good?


For men, anal sex feels really good because their prostate gets plenty of attention. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland which you can feel through the wall of the rectum about five centimetres inside. Stimulating the prostate can give a man truly amazing orgasms.

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Also, the anus and rectum are much tighter than the vagina, and that makes penetration a very pleasurable sensation for men.

Women like anal sex because there are many nerve endings around the anus which means it’s very sensitive to touch (men have those nerve endings, too). Stimulation feels good and can give intense pleasure.

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Anal sex and STDs


The risk of getting an STD when you have anal sex is very high. Because the anus doesn’t have any natural lubrication, it’s very likely that you can get small tears around it when having anal sex. And that makes it very easy for viruses like HIV to get into your body. Which is why you should always use a condom when having anal sex!

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What anal sex feels like for the insertive partner (a.k.a. the “top”):

Neil, 28: “I love anal because it feels like my dick is being crushed into pure heaven in every direction, if that makes sense.”

Brad, 30: “What I like most about anal is the unleashing of sexual energy. Leaving a handprint on their ass. Having scratch marks down my back. Getting sweaty. Just the sheer primal physicality of it all.”

Stephen, 31: “I found the best thing about sticking my dick into someone’s ass is dominance. Taking control and going as hard or soft as you want is a huge aspect to me. However, this always means taking your partner into great consideration. For example, starting slow and easy, adding in lots of foreplay, maybe dirty talk to make them feel desirable and more ‘ready’ to take it.”

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Gregory, 29: “The feeling of someone’s ass slapping against my thighs, or their hole tightening around my dick is incredibly empowering. Watching them react when I know I’m stimulating them in a way they’re enjoying is a huge ego boost because, in a sense, there’s a kind of ownership over this other person’s orgasm.”

What anal sex feels like for the receptive partner (a.k.a. the “bottom“):

Edwin, 35: “My favorite part of anal sex is definitely the foreplay. The sensation of a tongue hitting those spots takes the experience to a different level. It just builds onto the anticipation for receiving, and for me, that time in between is the most erotic. Once inside, it feels like every nerve ending in my body is being touched. It’s the perfect balance of pain and pleasure.”

Guillermo, 22: “After getting into recovery, sex was something that was sort of new to me again. I felt like a born again virgin but I still knew what to do. Bottoming feels great without any inhalants, and it’s a lot more intimate.”

Bruno, 26: “Anal sex has always felt like a giant stress relief to me. I’ve often said ‘I need to get this hangover fucked out of me,’ because that’s how good anal sex feels. With the right partner, it’s a euphoric experience that can both mellow you out and put you to fucking work.”

Barret, 30: “To me, receiving anal sex feels like total vulnerability. It’s like having all your secrets laid bare in front of someone. But it’s also euphoric, and fabulous. Receiving anal sex feels like realizing the power of your queerness. It takes every unkind feeling or thought you’ve ever had about yourself, every slur anyone has ever called you, and puts a certain amount of pleasure behind the “shame” of sex. And in that moment, when you’re getting your guts rearranged, you feel sexy, and powerful and queer.”

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Eliot, 24: “First of all, I’m a masochist. Not that all bottoming is painful, but generally, there is some discomfort, especially at first, and especially with larger penises. But the discomfort usually goes away quickly (with enough lube) and is replaced with this subtle feeling of being stretched or filled. And that is what I love—that pressure. It makes me hard and builds the longer and harder I bottom. The feeling eventually takes over, until it’s all I can think about is that pressure against my prostate and in my penis until I orgasm.”

Kiel 27: “Anal feels like both heaven and hell. It’s hard to explain why the sometimes “painful” stretch or depth is intoxicating, but the feeling of a well-lubed bare penis moving back and forth is amazing. I can feel my prostate being hit and massaged. Anal sex feels like that first glass of unsweetened iced tea on a hot summer day. It feels like the hot shower after a weekend camping trip. It’s titillating, orgasmic, and perfect.”

Kevin, 30: “Good anal sex is like eating a delicious meal that is too hot. Those first moments are filled with a slightly uncomfortable sensation mixed with bits of euphoria. During this time, you are bordering between regret, eagerness, anxiety, and pleasure. After a deep breath out and an inhale of determination, time passes and the meal cools. You then enter a state of delicious consumption, as your booty devours their penis.

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