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After the O’s: Anal Aftercare

Yana Tallon-Hicks

My sexpertise for b-Vibe 

 

What is Anal Aftercare?

Aftercare — the intentional care-taking of a sexual partner after sex, typically by the penetrating, partner on behalf of the receiver — thanks our partners for sharing themselves with us and reminds them that our concern for their pleasure and well-being doesn’t stop with the orgasms.

Though aftercare has been championed by the kink community, all sex involves an exchange of power. And anal sex, especially so. Anal pleasure has long been rooted in shame and taboo. This makes anal sex extremely hot, but also, extremely vulnerable. Learn why anal aftercare is just as important as having anal sex.

How Do I Perform Anal Aftercare?

Anal sex aftercare doesn’t need to be overly sentimental or grand — it just needs to be an intentional display of appreciation and responsibility. Whatever you do, follow our aftercare general rule that the higher you fly, the softer you should pad the landing. While gently fingering someone’s ass during sex might require a simple “How’s your tush feeling?”, a long session of anal penetration will likely require much more. Here are our golden rules to anal sex aftercare:

First, check in.

The penetrating partner (sometimes identified as the Top) should recognize that their endorphins and adrenaline are likely to be lower than their partner who just received anal sex (the “receiver” or the Bottom). This means that the receiver may not yet be able to feel if they are sore or mentally present enough to ask directly for what they need as they bask in their after-sex glow.

anal-sex-aftercare-tips-01

Aftercare is most seamless if you’ve talked with your partner before anal sex, about what they typically like to have available after anal sex. If you don’t know your partner’s anal aftercare plan, giving them a hydrating drink (avoid alcohol) and a blood-sugar-raising snack (like a chocolate or fruit) are good choices.

Take care of that tush.

Anal tissues are delicate and it’s normal for them to be a little sore after sex. Gentle baby wipes can easily clean up, while an Epsom salt bath can feel purifying, pampering, and practical for sore muscles.

Praise your partner.

Anal sex can make someone especially vulnerable. So, remind your partner about all the things you liked about having anal sex with them…continue reading…

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b-Vibe: Anal Training 101

My sexpertise for b-Vibe

Yana Tallon-Hicks 

 

As anal sex becomes less taboo, people of all genders and sexualities are taking more of an interest in tantalizing the tushy. But no matter how excited you are about the prospect of entering through the backdoor, take some time and care to find your way into what has notoriously been an exit-only opening. Anal training can help.

What is Anal Training?

Anal training is exactly what it sounds like: taking time, care, and certain steps to help your body acclimate to anal penetration.

Anal training can be done solo or with a partner and can be an incredibly erotic experience. Preparing yourself to stretch your limits can add “oomph” to a playful power dynamic, a dominant/ submission relationship, or even just a Sunday night in the shower.

How Do I Anal Train?

1. First, get your brain on board.

The thought of anal play can be quite scary to people. When it comes to anal training, there is a lot of misinformation, taboo, and stereotypes that can confuse and cause a lot of fear.

The first step of anal training is to be mentally relaxed.

…and what’s the first thing your body (and butt) does when you’re scared? It tightens up. Which is no way to welcome in a penetrative object. Being mentally relaxed, well educated and consensually excited to dive into the deep end is essential.

Rather than aiming to start with penetrative anal sex (meaning penis/ dildo inside the butt), start off with a sexy anal massage. Analingus aka rimming is also a great way of anal training if you’re with a partner.

2. Familiarize yourself with your fanny.

Before partners get involved, try practicing solo anal. Massage the outside of your anus and maybe even dip the tip of your finger in your own bum while you’re alone in the shower.

Learning about the anal anatomy can be a huge benefit prior to performing anal play

Locate the two layers of the anal sphincter muscles (the outer one pushes things out, and the inner one sucks things in) and practice breathing and bearing down on your finger to help the first one relax. Feeling well-versed in your own body will increase your confidence when partnered up.

3. Get wet.

Your anus doesn’t self-lubricate like the vagina and the butt’s tissues tend to be less elastic. This makes using lubricant for all kinds of anal play essential. No lube means no fun…continue reading…

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How Do I Ask Him to Rim?

Hi Yana,

I’ve been with my husband for a long time and there’s one thing in the bed we did kind of once that I’d like to do again, but I feel weird about asking for it. Basically, I want to be rimmed, but as this is something I would not want to do for him, I feel like I can’t ask it of him for me. I mean, poop comes from there! and yet, it feels amazing (we did it once on a drunken night years ago). How do I ask my husband for this? Is it okay to ask a sex partner for something you wouldn’t do yourself? I know it’s unlikely he’d ask me to reciprocate — he’s not into butt stuff for him. Still I feel uncomfortable asking for this.

— Um, How ‘Bout the Bum?

Dear ‘Bout the Bum,

Rim jobs are cool. They’re naughty, but not too naughty, high stakes yet low stakes, unassuming yet direct, and, if your husband was drunk last time you got one – probably a bit of an accidental slip of the mouth down south. The thing about happy drunken accidents like this between established lovers* is that you sort of have to bring it up intentionally after-the-fact if you’d like a repeat performance without rocks or a twist.

There are plenty of things we do with our sexual partners that we don’t necessarily want to perform ourselves or perfectly reciprocate. This isn’t necessarily an issue of fairness, but is more an issue of individuality. Partners don’t order the same dish at a restaurant, wear the same outfit to work, or opt for the same workout playlist. So, why do we expect the bedroom to be a well-balanced scale?

Well, sex has been set up by long-standing game metaphors: we make it to bases, we return the favor, we score, we lose our V-cards, and we get some. But what if it was just as celebrated for us to give some, share something, or customize our sexual interaction to perfectly suit our partnership [insert nerd emoji here]? … continue reading… 

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Straight Talk About the Prostate

I’ve been curious for a while about anal play while I’m pleasuring myself. I’ve heard it generates a more intense orgasm. I can take fingers, but I’d like to try something more (on the smaller side of course). Being a guy, is there a position or toy that will give me the best penetration while pleasuring myself? I’ve never reached out to anyone regarding this before. Being a straight guy, there’s not too many people you trust with whom you can mention something like this.

Your question reflects the classic conflict between pleasure and shame we’ve all been socially force-fed. You’re right! Prostate play — reached by going in and up the ol’ backdoor — can lead to more intense orgasms.

You’re also right that identifying as a straight man limits who you can talk to about receiving anal pleasure. Seems weird, as straight men are so easily socialized to talk about their penises. Though straight men have been granted permission to seek sexual pleasure, alright, it’s only certain kinds. The prostate’s location really rips up that permission slip.

As you’ve discovered, the prostate is reached easiest with a curved shape — whether hands or toys — and pressure applied to the inner wall of the rectum. That’s right, up your butt! Charlie Glickman, co-author of the exceptional The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Play, describes what you’re looking for as “a plum half-buried in the sand.” Once found, use a press-and-drag motion to massage it.

Reported reactions to prostate stimulation include longer, more intense orgasms with aftershocks, stronger ejaculations, and all around sexual sparklers. Sounds pretty nice, yet many straight men can’t get past their fears — or sphincters…continue reading…

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I Love Anal, But(t) It Hurts


My boyfriend and I have recently started exploring anal play. We’re starting small with just his finger. We use plenty of lube and it goes in pretty easily and isn’t painful at all, but almost every time we’ve done anal play, I’ve bled the next day and been very sore. When I use soap down there it’s very painful! I can’t seem to figure it out. Any suggestions?

You’re off to a great start with your anal explorations with your small penetrative objects, slow pace, and lots of lube (no one’s anus naturally self-lubricates so slather on the slick stuff! My favorite is Sliquid Sassy). So what’s with the next-day butt rut?

First, I hope you’re not drinking, drugging, or using things like poppers or anesthetic creams like Anal-Eaze to numb your bum during sex. Substance use lessens your ability to feel pain (and, ahem pleasure) and to consent to sex. Further, products like Anal-Eaze cash in on our cultural impatience and lack of pleasure-based sex education to sell us on the ideas that anal sex is “supposed to hurt” (it isn’t), that you should do it now and deal with the pain later, and that the purpose of anal sex is to pleasure the penetrating partner so just numb out the receptive partner because “whatever their pleasure doesn’t matter.”

Anesthetic products do exactly the opposite of promoting pleasure — they cut out sensation entirely, leaving us with an anal hangover the next day like this pain and bleeding you mention. This is sex, not the dentist. You should want to feel it and if you don’t want to feel it then you shouldn’t be doing it.

If you’re being a smart-ass-lover and you’re taking it slow, using small penetratives, lubing it up, and not using numbing products, then I’m left wondering if you’ve got a case of Hemmy-Hiney. Hemorrhoids, or “hemmies” as I like to infantilize them, are essentially cute little ass-vein balloons. Technically, they’re protrusions that occur when the veins lining the rectum and anus become swollen and distended either from too much pressure or irritation. When hemorrhoids start screwing up your sweet, sweet anal-lovin, you’ve got a case of the Hemmy-Hiney. Irritating, yes, but not a reason to pull the (butt)plug just yet…continue reading…

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Hell-Bent on Bending Over

My boyfriend and I think anal sex is super hot and are determined to be pros at it! We’ve played with fingers and anal toys and managed to have a pretty successful penile-anal penetration experience once, but it hurt so much that now I’m afraid to do it again.

I’m not against anal sex or anything mentally, but I think my body might be against it physically? Where do we go from here? Is there a way to make this work or are we doomed to a life of plain ol’ vaginal sex?

Anal sex with your boyfriend’s penis, like Rome, wasn’t built in a day, but was rather built stone-by-lube-slathered-stone and with a lot of patience. You won’t be building an entire, tourist-packed city of pleasurable anal sex in one night.

It sounds like you’ve done some good — ahem — “leg” work here what with feeling mentally engaged and turned on by anal sex, which is an often-overlooked but super-important initial step. That giant sex organ called the brain is too-often neglected, especially with anal sex. When we feel afraid what does our butthole do? It tightens right up, making penetration difficult and painful. Being genuinely mentally into the sex you’re having is very important.

However, as you’ve learned, your body can’t always work as fast as your brain. Fantasizing about letting your boyfriend’s number one celebrity kick through your VIP backdoor entrance like some kind of anal sex rockstar doesn’t make it so. You say you’ve worked up to this shining, lubey moment by playing with fingers and toys (small buttplugs, I’m assuming) which is great.

But are you taking the time to warm up with these familiar friends-of-your-fanny directly before penile penetration? Or are you banking on that one time you used a buttplug last week to tide your tushy over? Just because you managed your biggest booty plug that one time doesn’t mean your butt is now open and available to you throwing whatever you please in there…continue reading…

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The V-Spot: Unplug to Buttplug

Hi Yana!

My partner and I both really like butt plugs. We have the “Little Flirt” [a small, silicone butt plug made by Tantus] that we ordered online to experiment with. A friend of ours suggested the Njoy Pure plugs [made of stainless steel and available in a variety of sizes] and they look great!

We want to get one for each of us, but trying to figure out what 25mm difference in radius would feel like from a website’s picture online is like trying to figure out the real feel of weather in Celsius.

Sometimes the Little Flirt comes out during play and we’re worried that the smallest Njoy Plug doing the same. So, should we buy larger?

When it was a $15 toy it was no big deal to just order it online and find out in the mail, but these toys are expensive! Is there a good way to order toys online or is it really just best to find a good shop that you can go to in person? Thanks!

Hi OSM!

I always recommend shopping for sex toys IRL to get a real sense of sizing, material, and feel of your soon-to-be sex toy. Moreso, female-friendly, brick-and-mortar stores that boast well-trained sex educators are well-worth the extra time and money spent as they can offer customized advice, considerations, and sex toy education unavailable on the Internet.

This can be geographically or financially difficult for many. If you can’t unplug from the Internet to buy your butt plug and you’re (rightfully) skeptical about size, take the website’s measurements of the toy and compare it either to a toy you have at home or 1-3 of your fingers, noting that firmer toy materials (like the stainless steel Njoys) have less give and therefore will feel bigger inside of your body/booty.

Do read reviews about quality but don’t solely depend on reviews about quantity: everyone is different and one person’s mindblowing multiorgasmic experience with a particular sex toy doesn’t mean you’ll be similarly exploding. Instead, buy based on material, shape, vendor and pleasure principles…continue reading…

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Finding the Male G-Spot

If you’re a loyal reader (and you should be), you know that I recently wrote a column that asked the ever-important anal sex question, “Why the avoidance, bros?”

I then systematically listed and destroyed the pesky barriers to male anal sex and prostate stimulation, squashing rumors that prostate play (and therefore anal sex) is inherently “dirty,” “painful,” or will somehow magically change your sexual orientation from straight to gay.

For those of you behind on the behind-sex talk, the prostate is a soft, walnut-shaped orgasm turbo-switch surrounding the male body’s urethra just below the bladder. It’s located at the bulb of the penis where the shaft connects to the body, behind the pubic bone. The prostate is not actually in the rectum, but it can be felt through the rectum’s front wall, so it’s easiest reached via anal penetration. When a man is turned on, the prostate (also known as the P-Spot or the Male G-Spot) swells with fluid which is then expelled during ejaculation. More importantly, prostate stimulation leads to simply killer male orgasms. Continued…

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A Straight Boy & His Butt

— The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure by Charlie Glickman, Ph.D. and Aislinn Emirzian

— Customer review for the Aneros male G-spot stimulator at Aneros.com

— Kara X., my friend

If I had a prostate, aka the P-spot, aka the male G-spot, I would be all over that thing….continued...