We may imagine that the growing penchant for anal sex is down to the influence of internet porn (a recent sex survey of heterosexuals revealed that 40% had tried it at least once with a partner or a toy) and we may believe we are the first to stretch our sexual limits in this way. But it is clear from a just a little historical research that we are just continuing a much documented sexual pleasure that goes back to ancient civilisations. Mosaics and frescos left by the ancient Greeks and the Romans reveal anal antics were just one many sexual variants enjoyed by the ancients and it seems in some civilisations it played a big part in spiritual worship. In northern Peru archaeologists exploring the Moche people unearthed 10,000 pots all depicting various methods of anal sex. It seems from the graphic images amongst other theories of establishing political control to domination the Moche believed that semen in the rectum had some special power, so it’s clear that the desire to have anal sex is not a modern-day phenomenon.
Naughty but surprisingly nice
Increasingly a question women ask me is, am I bad to enjoy anal sex?
No, where anal sex is concerned, we can rest easy that we are not a fallen society debauched by the demons of the internet, but we are simply continuing a tradition of sexual exploration that is fast becoming the ‘in thing’ for couples to explore. According to Pornhub data, anal is the third most commonly searched term in the UK, and the stigma surrounding heterosexual anal sex is decreasing, and more couples are reporting having at least tried it once. Anal is no longer the preserve of homosexual couples and when asked a third of homosexual couples report that anal isn't part of their regular sexual repertoire.
But for anyone thinking of trying a bit of back door bonking there are a few golden rules that should be followed to make sure it’s both pleasurable and safe.
Anal is not for everyone and whether you are to be the top or a bottom, it’s important that both taking part are completely happy with the practice. In heterosexual sex, it’s mostly the girl as the bottom and guy as the top, but increasingly anal play is something straight men are exploring as receivers too. Either way it's important to always talk this through and never assume that your partner wants to try anal sex. For the receiver, if they feel anxious, this will only make any penetration to be painful. Anxiety causes the body’s muscles to contract which does not invite comfortable sex. Likewise forcing a reluctant guy to penetrate may unnerve him and result in him losing his erection this may be fear of hurting the other or possibly the anus is a no-go area when it comes to intimate play so don’t force anything always get a pass before entry.
According to anal prostate massager and strap on retailer Nexus, the nation with the greatest demand for their products is Russia, and they don’t have a great track record when it comes to supporting homosexuality. However, they are very keen on maintaining good health, so often Russian husbands will request their wives to assist in their treatment for prostate massage. Of course, exploration of the Russian out back is only seen as a health benefit and not for pleasure involved at all!
Although the medical expert jury is still out on the benefits of prostate massage for men to avoid prostate cancer the emotional benefits of being an occasional ‘receiver’ can be very rewarding
Welcome to The Pleasure Zone
This may come as an awkward surprise, but the physical pleasure of anal sex is down to our pooping procedure. Nature has a clever way of making anything that we need to do to stay alive as a species, pleasurable. So what goes in must come out, well at least some of it and if ‘gastroenterly’ all is in order then having a good dump usually brings a happy sigh to most of us.
The rectum and anus are rich in nerve endings which both send stimuli to the brain and control the muscles of the rectum and sphincter. When we are ready to defecate, the muscles of the rectum contract strongly and the muscles of the sphincter are forced open to allow the faeces to pass. Throughout this process, the nerves in the rectum and sphincter are sending strong signals to the brain, helping us monitor the process.
Anal sex reverse engineers this to produce pleasure. A penis or massager stretching the sphincter open and giving sensations of fullness in the rectum stimulates all the nerves that make pooping feel good. Unlike pooping, however, which lasts for a short time, anal sex continues on for some length of time, flooding the brain with pleasurable sensations. Additionally, the proximity of the anus and rectum to the crura (legs) of the clitoris and G-spot in women and the prostate gland in men also means that pressure and thrusting in the rectum produce additional pleasure, so anal sex is a rather clever way to turn the nerves intended for one process into reverse and produce pleasure.
But just because it’s good for you don’t assume it's going to be the same for them. Though the female generally sphincter is less tight than the males because men mostly stand to pee without pooing where as women tend to sit and let it all go in one, so the male sphincter gets regular clenching exercises which keep things tighter.
From a psychological perspective, it’s all about trust. Humans are a herding species that is innately insecure and embedded in every one of us is a deep sense of needing to belong. We seek to be accepted and safe. Reversing this psychology, if we put ourselves in the most vulnerable place and allow another to take control we revert to the same trusting place we felt when we were infants.
Plenty of Lubrication
Quite simply you can never use too much lube. Avoid using massage oil or dairy products and although in porn films spit is often seen being used don’t rely on this. If you are a receiver and any unwanted pain is felt, demand more lube.
Position Position Position
The penis comes in all shapes and sizes and angles. The anus is far less malleable than a vagina and less accommodating for an unusually large or shaped penis so getting the right position that is comfortable for the ‘receiver’ is important. For men as the giver ‘rear entry’ is the most popular as it enables good visual stimulation and a deeper penetration but for the female receiving when laying on her back can be equally pleasurable as the penis will more than likely be angled up to put pressure on the underside of the vagina and can even stimulate the G spot. But try a few positions, on the side, over the back of the sofa, even standing
Intimacy & Openness
There is a significant amount of trust that has to be in place before anal sex can happen. Many women are nervous, insecure, and have issues accepting anal sex, due to the physical requirements and reputation it seems to have. Not only that, but it also creates a closeness, because both partners are getting their needs met. If the man wants to experiment with anal sex and the woman complies, he feels closer to her, knowing she is doing something for his pleasure. In reverse, if the man wants his partner to use a strap-on then, this role switch can provide a place in the relationship where he can take the female role and she the male role gaining an understanding of how sex is for the other.
It may seem obvious but anal sex is an ideal form of contraception and for those couples who for whatever reason want to avoid pregnancy having anal sex rather than vaginal sex still provides both with pleasure without the risk. This may be due to cultural or belief restrictions or simply that traditional contraceptive methods are not possible. You cannot get pregnant through anal sex alone. Unless some sperm somehow comes out of the anus and finds its way into the vagina, you will not get pregnant. This eases the tension that is sometimes felt between two people during sex. Without that tension, people are freer to enjoy themselves, and men get to finish inside women—something that they all love to do. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Semen plasma has a ridiculous amount of benefits to it. When a man ejaculates inside a woman, it can affect her in a lot of ways. Usually, this happens through the vagina. However, newer research has shown that semen exuded in the anus has the same effects. Some common benefits of sperm are as follows: natural anxiety reducer, anti-depressant, improves quality of sleep, increases energy, natural pain reducer, improves mental alertness, and can increase a woman’s libido.
Making more of the moment
As a sex engineer & relationship therapist, one of the most frequent complaints I hear from women is that sex is too fast. The female is designed to harvest sperm to ensure the best biological match and so seek more than one male at a time whereas the male is geared for opportunity and speed. Hence the female sexual cycle is approximately 45 to 60 minutes whereas the male is only 15 minutes. Thus she can fit four males in one session. The result today of this imbalance (due to sexual monogamy being the norm) is that many women complain foreplay is lacking and everything is too fast. Bring in a bit of anal, and that changes everything. Anal sex requires time, planning and preparation so by necessity if the man wants to enjoy anal sex with his partner he has to invest in additional foreplay skills to ensure his partner is ready and willing.
To finish with Anal-ogy – just because you have always enjoyed walking down a familiar path next time you go for a stroll why not try a different route, take an unfamiliar direction and enjoy exploring new avenues.
Founder of Intimacy Matters Colin Richards is a relationship and sex mentor who is committed to teaching people how to achieve sensual intimacy, better communication and erotic fulfilment.
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