Something I love about butts (and there are many things) is that we all have one. It’s a universal pleasure zone, something we can all enjoy, no matter your gender or anatomy.
It’s an inclusive concept that we all seemed to understand centuries ago in 2300 B.C.E. to 100 C.E., when the Babylonians and Grecians (and soon after, the Romans) lived their best lives and fucked anyone they wanted. But that would come to an end in the early 1200s, when religion introduced shame to the bedroom and to our assholes.
As churches became a more powerful entity in society, this shame was amplified to the point that anal sex (“sodomy”) was against the law. If you can believe it, the law considers anal sex a “perverted sexual act” and is still illegal in 12 states across America. The ACLU confidently asserts that these laws are inextricably linked to homophobia. And they have receipts.
Considering the above, it’s safe to say that anal stimulation is still shrouded in a thick fog of stigma. And as a result, there is an abundance of misinformation out there. So let’s clear some of that up right now.
MYTH #1: You need to douche.
One of the biggest misconceptions about anal play is that you’re entering the area where poop is stored, which more or less guarantees a messy experience. This isn’t true. The rectum, which is anywhere from six to nine inches long, is merely a point of passage for your poop, but is where the majority of toys and penises come in contact with.
Where stool is actually stored is a place called the sigmoid colon, which lives just above the rectum, on a right degree angle. This area is closed off by part of our anatomy known as the rectosigmoid junction, otherwise known as the “second hole” among anal enthusiasts. Think of it like a valve that naturally opens when it’s time to go number two.
The only way someone could reach the sigmoid colon is with an exceptionally large toy, penis, or fist. People who engage in more extreme anal play will often douche, because they will be stimulating this area. (On that note: Shower douches, while popular, are a big no-no, as they don’t often regulate water pressure.)
All of this is to say that as long as you keep the rectum free of feces, you shouldn’t experience any mess. You can help accomplish this by eating a diet rich in fibre (FYI: fiber supplements are a God-send if you engage regularly) and avoid trigger-foods like: coffee, red meat, alcohol and spicy things 24 to 48 hours before the action. That means no Chipotle for you, bb!
Besides diet, if you use the bathroom an hour before intercourse and rinse off in the shower afterward, you should be good to go.
If you want to double-check, lube your finger, put it up your ass and feel around for any pesky lingerers. Just make sure your nails are trimmed because, like a Cancer listening to Evermore, the skin in that area is mighty sensitive.
But of course, nothing is foolproof and shit happens from time to time. So if and when it happens to you, don’t make a big deal of it. Make a decision to clean up and continue, or reschedule. It’s no biggie!
MYTH #2: You use it, you loose it.
People seem to think that because our assholes don’t have the same elasticity or lubricity of a vagina that if we engage in regular anal intercourse, we will be left with a wrinkled, cavernous hole. This isn’t true!
The reality is that our anal sphincter is four times stronger than what’s required for its intended purpose (to hold in poop), which means we can afford to lose some elasticity in the area.
In fact, the slight reduction in anal resting tone (which gauges the tightness of the muscle when it isn’t being used) that can occur from anal sex makes the act easier and more comfortable in the future. Even then, the muscle is still much tighter than what is required to function.
Most people who experience loss of function tend to enjoy exceptionally large toys or engage in more extreme acts like fisting, which, if done unsafely, can cause the muscle to loosen beyond repair. More often than not, these people know these potential repercussions.
As long as you use plenty of lube, take your time, and stop and reassess when things get painful, you’re doing everything you can to prevent damaging your precious hole.
MYTH #3: Anal play is gay.
Imagine thinking that playing with a part of your anatomy––one that houses a powerhouse of pleasure, no less––has any impact on your masculinity and who you find sexually attractive?
Unfortunately, due to relentless societal conditioning, homophobia and religion, that’s the way many heterosexual men regard anal sex. But thankfully, that’s beginning to change.
Research from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found people’s opinions about anal sex really started to change around the mid-2000s. Back in ‘92, only 20 percent of women and 26 percent of men ages 18–59 had tried anal sex. In 2008, sixteen years later, 39 percent of women and 44 percent of men ages 15–44 had given it a try.
More recently, a nation-wide survey by Future Method found that 72 percent of Americans have engaged in anal sex, and that straight-identifying folks engage nearly twice a month.
What’s more, the survey revealed that 10 percent of straight Americans have tried pegging, suggesting that female-identifying partners may be taking the dominant role when engaging in anal sex with their male-identifying partners. Now that’s progress!
So while these archaic anal perspectives are still present today, they’re becoming less and less prevalent as people continue opening their minds and holes to the pleasures of anal stimulation. It’s a classic tale of: don’t knock it ‘till you try it!
MYTH #4: Anal only feels good for prostate-owners.
Because people with penises have a prostate and people born with vulvas don’t, it’s assumed that only the former can derive pleasure from anal play. Well guess what? That’s not true either.
In fact, there are a ton of pleasurable nerve-endings in the area and both the G-spot and A-spot (which, for those who may not know, is roughly two inches higher than the G-spot) can be accessed from the rectum via the shared wall between the vagina and the rectum.
The clitoris can be stimulated from anal sex as well. While many perceive the clitoris as a tiny nub nestled on top of the labia, there is a lot we don’t see. (As wild as it sounds, we didn’t fully understand the anatomy of the clitoris until 2005, and who’s to say there isn’t more we’re going to learn?). The clitoris is actually shaped like a wishbone, with “legs” extending all the way down to the anus. This is the part of the clitoris that can be stimulated through anal play.
ONE LAST THING: Believe in your butt.
It’s worth noting (yet again) that these myths only exist because of undue stigma. Once you take it upon yourself to start learning about and exploring the pleasures of the anus, the less intimidated you’ll be.
Generally speaking, you should approach anal sex as you would any type of sex: with an open mind, the proper tools, a willingness to explore, and, if you’re not going at it solo, a partner you can trust.
Masturbation Mythbusting: All Things Anal by Bobby Box originally appeared on Rumble & Buzz