Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Anal Sex But Were Too Afraid To Ass... Erm, Ask
The Debrief: Our no-holds-barred, no-holes-barred super-frank expert Q&A gets to the bottom of your most explicit bum sex fears
Are you sitting comfortably? Because we’re about to have an exceedingly honest discussion about anal sex.
Numerous surveys and research papers – such as those published in the British Medical Journal and Journal of Sexual Medicine – suggest that in both the UK and the USA, more women in their 20s and 30s than ever before are indulging in anal, and they’re doing it more frequently, too.
But while many of us may be opening our back doors behind closed doors, as a society we still largely keep mum about taking it up the bum; it’s a topic lots of folks continue to find awkward and embarrassing to chat about, whether that’s to their mates or their GP, despite having questions. Lots of questions.
So: we collected some of the most common – and unflinchingly graphic – cock-in-caboose concerns, and asked a group of sex experts for their advice. They didn’t sugar-coat it…
READ MORE: How To Have Sex
Q: 'Is there a limit on how much anal sex a woman should advisably be having in order to avoid injury or adverse effects? And how vigorously can you be butt-bonked without damaging your bottom?'
A: Tasha Reign, 27, is also known as The Princess Of Porn. She performs anal professionally in XXX films such as Buttsex Nymphos 2 and Office Booty. According to her experiences, it’s A-OK to have regular anal – and for it to build up to being pretty full-on in terms of force, if that’s what you enjoy – so long as you use lots of lubricant and take care to ease into each session slowly, giving your botty time to acclimatise to having something moving in and out of it.
'I’ve had anal sex on a semi-monthly basis for five years now, and for movies it almost always ends up being vigorous and very intense – but I’ve never experienced any extreme problems and I’ve pretty much always been happy and fine afterwards,' she reports. 'That’s partly because I use plenty of lube, and also because I know how to warm up properly beforehand.'
Rose Crompton from adult store Harmony agrees on the importance of preparation. 'Porn stars often use their fingers, slimline dildos and butt plugs to gently probe, stretch and ‘warm up’ their anus before filming an anal scene so that the area is loosened and the rectal muscles relax,' she says. 'This reduces the chances of injury and pain.'
However, because this pre-prodding-with-a-peen process isn’t caught on camera, pornography can give the misleading impression that women can bosh straight into slamming, ramming, hard wham-bamming anal sex in seconds; in fact, getting jumped up the bum isn’t something it’s advisable to just jump into.
Master Dominic is a sex educator who teaches at luxury sex sex boutique Coco de Mer, and a professional dominant. He advocates taking a few days off from having anal every once in a while, to give the body chance to rest. 'There are a whole load of muscles inside your anal passage, and a lining of mucus, so giving things a bit of time to settle down and rebalance now and again is a good plan,' he advises. 'As far as vigour goes, that’s entirely up to you; once you’re relaxed and comfortable, you might be surprised at how much of a pounding can feel great, but it *must* be on your terms. And listen to your body: if you feel you need to slow down, or stop, then do so.'
Q: 'I've heard that over time, anal sex can weaken the muscles of the sphincter, and cause you to have reduced control over your bowels. Is that true? I've also heard stories of women who've had lots of anal sex 'leaking poo' (eek!) and having to put tampons up their bums or wear adult diapers to avoid constantly soiling themselves - is that an urban myth, or a real risk?'
A: 'Whilst not technically impossible, loss of bowel control or liquid log leakage issues are exceptionally rare and generally only happen to people who are have an extreme anal stretching fetish or love being regularly penetrated with eye-bulgingly large items,' Master Dom comforts. 'I have slaves who can take two fists up the poop chute in a session, then a day later their buttholes are pristine again. Unless you’re jamming a fire hydrant up there twice a day, anal action is highly unlikely to cause incontinence. I’ve been having regular anal sex for 13 years and I’m nowhere near the need for repurposing Tampax.'
Remember, your whole waste disposal system is designed to expand and then return to its original tightness; just as it accommodates turds, it can accommodate todgers.
When you visit the loo for the first time after an anal session though, you may find that you pass a delightful liquid mix of faeces, lubricant, and (if you’ve not used a condom, which we strongly advise that you do) ejaculate. This is only temporary, so don’t panic; your body is just getting rid of the various gunges and goos left over after sex, and this isn’t a sign of internal damage. The liquid even has a nickname, courtesy of legendary American sex educator Dan Savage: he baptised it ‘santorum’ as a comedic way of protesting against Rick Santorum, a homophobic one-time US presidential candidate who expressed disapproval of anal sex between men. 'Another name for it used in the industry is ‘butt jelly’!' adds Tasha.
You can expect to fart a fair bit following anal, too; the thrusting action can force bubbles of air up into the colon, which are then expelled as trumps afterwards. FYI: sometimes these trumps can initially be wet, again thanks to lube and/or ejaculate. Get thee to a bathroom if you feel the urge to pass gas, lest you follow through with a santorum spurt.
Q: 'I’m terrified of crapping myself while anal is happening and shitting all over my boyfriend. OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD HOW DO I AVOID THE HORROR?!'
A: 'If you know you’re planning to have anal, eat lightly the day before as well as on the day itself,' suggests Tasha. 'Want to know a trick of the trade? Adult actresses eat gummy bears on set to give themselves a sugar lift; the candy dissolves within their digestive systems, keeping their energy up without creating a backlog of poop.'
'Go to the toilet before anal play, and consider giving yourself an anal douche too - basically, this means squirting water up your botty to give it a thorough wash out,' adds Rose.
Poop will always be a possibility, though: you’re playing with your arse, after all. 'There’s an expression amongst gay men: "If you go down the rabbit hole, be prepared to meet Alice!”' laughs Master Dom. 'But I’d say in 9.5 out of every 10 cases, when "Alice" does make an appearance, it’s just a very small amount of poo on the end of his penis and can be swiftly sorted out with a baby wipe and a new condom.'
If shit does happen, try to clean up and move on without having a meltdown. 'Fully embracing your sexuality means embracing your humanity,' counsels Tasha. 'And if your man wants the honour of putting his dick in your ass, then he should be cool if poop pops up, too.' Adults who do anal should ideally be adult about accidents.
Q: 'So if I do want to douche to cleanse my colon before anal intercourse, how do I go about it?'
The most common type of douching tool looks like a little rubber bulb with a spout on the end - like this. You suck water into it, slide the spout up your bumhole, then squirt the water inside you. 'They tend to squirt air into you as well though, which can feel unpleasant and make you farty,' cautions Master Dom.
He recommends investing in a shower head attachment instead, or just unscrewing your shower head and using the hose. 'Perch on the side of the bath or stand with one leg up in the shower cubicle, then press the hose against your butthole gently, ensuring the pressure is low and the temperature is a comfy lukewarm,' he instructs. 'Then hop to the loo, push out the water, and repeat until it runs clear - it usually takes 3-4 goes. Wait 10 mins, then sit on the toilet again just to make sure you’re empty. A bit of mucus might come out towards the end - that’s normal and fine.'
Douching can help you feel more clean and confident before anal, and Master Dom reckons it won’t do any harm so long as you’re not rinsing yourself out every single day, and you stick to using plain water. Don’t use chemical enemas or saline douche liquids marketed for vaginal use, which can give you the runs.
A word of warning though: douching temporarily washes away the layer of mucus that lines the rectum and can help protect against certain infections, so if you’re douching, it’s even more important to use condoms, ideally extra strong types designed for anal use – you can get 72 for only a tenner at Freedoms Shop. Slip on a wrapper before you let him slip up your crapper, yeah?!
Q: 'Is it actually possible for a woman to orgasm anally?'
While men have a prostate gland located just in front of the rectum, which secretes the fluid component of semen and is proven to feel pleasurable when stimulated via the anus, women don’t possess such a gland. However, anal play and intercourse still have the potential to feel great for gals, and in a recent survey of 8,000 women conducted by X-rated live webcam show site Cam4, 59% of respondents claimed to be able to orgasm during anal sex.
'There are tonnes of nerve endings in the anal sphincter that can feel incredibly arousing for both sexes, plus the wall between the vagina and the anal passage is quite thin - simultaneous anal and vaginal play can be overwhelmingly wonderful, even more so if you also stimulate the clitoris,' says Master Dominic.
'Try putting a butt plug inside yourself while using a vibrator to make yourself climax,' hints Tasha. 'You’ll feel your anus pulse and clench around the plug when you come. It’s so good!'
Q: 'What’s an anal fissure? I don’t think I want one, do I..?!'
A fissure is a tear in the delicate rectal lining. They can be avoided by using lots of thick lubricant (Tasha rates Eros, marketed in the UK as Pjur) and going slowly. Teeny tiny ones do happen on occasion and usually heal on their own in a couple of days, but they can be much more serious if they’re larger, bleed a lot or become infected, so if you’re even remotely concerned, see a doctor. 'Be honest and shameless with your GP or head to a sexual health clinic – they’ve seen it all before, and your health is more important than momentary embarrassment,' advises Master Dom. The free SXT service helps you find your nearest sexual health centres.
Sex educator Tristan Taormino, author of The Ultimate Anal Sex Guide For Women, cautions against the use of anal lubricants containing numbing ingredients, such as the anaesthetic benzocaine; they can prevent you from being able to feel when you’re pushing your body too far, meaning that fissures and bleeding become more likely.
Q: 'I’ve seen ‘rosebud’ porn, where women have a bulb of bright red flesh popping out of their rectums. What the hell is that, and will it happen to me if I have anal sex?'
'"Rosebudding" involves stretching your asshole until it’s gaping wide open, then pushing out as hard as you can to purposefully give yourself a rectal prolapse – the red "rosebud" is formed by the inside walls of the rectum being pushed to the outside of the body,' explains Tasha. 'It’s a very, very full-on practice performed for fetish reasons. I partake in anal sex on film in some pretty extreme ways, yet I’ve never encountered it.'
'It takes porn performers a long time to be able to get their bodies to rosebud, and without judgment, I do question whether it’s dangerous,' adds Master Dom. 'It’s not something that will just happen randomly, although to be fair, accidental anal prolapses are possible following rough anal sex; they usually happen to people who’ve really given their arses a severe bashing over the years, but if you suspect you’ve managed to turn your bum inside out, seek medical help immediately. There are loads of ways to treat it that don’t involve surgery. I sometimes do stage shows where I fire boiled eggs out of my butthole and I’ve never prolapsed, so hopefully the majority of Debrief readers will be fine.'
And with that (butt) cracking quote, we’ll sign off.
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