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What’s with all this bum stuff?

If you are someone who needs to stick a carrot in your ass, please be thoughtful, like one of my former patients, and use a condom. That way, we nurses can fish it out with ease, if need be. Even better, buy a proper butt plug with a base, because it’s made to go in and come out with its lovely flange. This is what I told Mr. Carrot.

II’m the nurse often labeled a “perv,” even though I’m not “perverted” or even inappropriate, I’m just always vocal about my desire to talk about sex and sexual health with anyone who has a question. Even around the hibachi, friends have a few drinks and they start to ask questions and the number one question is almost always, “what’s up with anal sex?” Or “how can I make it more enjoyable?” Well, maybe it’s not always that simply-said. More often, it sounds like this, “he always tries to do it in my ass and it hurts!”

Many people like to have things in their ass and others like to put those same things in there. In fact, Tristan Taormino, author The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, once said that if someone has been standing in line for a long time and still looks happy they probably have a butt plug in. So anal can’t be uncomfortable for everyone, right? These questions don’t only arise during boozy dinners, but also in professional settings, from colleagues and patients alike. So let’s explore deeper together, because anal is a very private part of wellness.

As I often recommend, let’s take it slowly:

Preparation: Consent. Is this something you want to try? Is anal something your partner wants to try? Have you negotiated the terms, maybe fingers first then phallus? Consent is the first step in preparation for any sex. Pressure is not sexy, so if this isn’t your thing, or you are just curious, but still feel unsure or uneasy about it, don’t do it! Any sex should be because you say “YES” not “maybe.”

So if your answer is YES, let’s move onto the “dirty” stuff. Some say you should first use an enema, to make everything clean and shiny, but I think that’s way too much fuss, and unnecessary. However, make sure you are not compacted or having the runs. And do make sure you have condoms and lube, ideally water-based, although some prefer silicone-based like Uberlube because it lasts longer. Both types can be used with condoms. If you’re using a silicone toy, do a spot check on your toy before using silicone lube, sometimes the toy texture can change, which may not be the safest for your body. And for Universe’s sake, please do not use numbing, heating, tingling or any other such lube, ever.

Why do you want a condom, you ask? Well, it is your butt, or their butt, and you want to keep whatever goes in there free of crap. Also, if you plan on switching from anal penetration to vaginal, make sure to have enough condoms for the switch, don’t reuse or double dip. If a fluid exchange is your thing, then remove the condom for the second entry and again no double dipping.

Finally, make sure you have time. This is potentially a long and slow process. Only the very skilled can have a backdoor quickie.

Will it stink? Nope. Well, there could be some lingering fecal matter if you go super deep, I suppose, or have poor wiping skills. But for the majority, there will be no fuss or muss. However rare, with the in and out of a phallus, there may be what Paul Joannides, Psy.D calls a “plunger effect,” wherein the suction effect may pull out the accessible contents of one’s bowels. If that does happen, well you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

Will it hurt? Sex should never hurt unless that’s what you like. However, there is something called Anodyspareunia, “painful receptive sex.” This is considered a pain disorder by some, and not does refer to the thoughtless or nonconsensual jamming of an object below. Anodyspareunia was first associated with men who have sex with men (MSM). In studies, it had been determined that up to 10% of MSM were classified as anodyspareunic, but that for most of these men this was the result of miseducation, poor preparation or a medical problem like hemorrhoids. In a study of 505 women who had anal intercourse at least twice, the percentage of anodyspareunia was closer to 8%. This means that anodyspareunia, or pain with anal sex, is not a common problem. Therefore, with preparation and relaxation, most of us should be able to ease into it and enjoy. So “Relax, Relate, Release.”

Side note, when I refer to MSM, that doesn’t mean “gay,” don’t get it twisted. While some MSM are gay, not all MSM are. We will discuss that another time.

Cue the music, it’s time to begin: So you are both into the idea. You have your lube and condoms on hand and you have cleared your schedules for the evening. Now what? Do you slather on the lube and plow the penis or dildo in? No. First, both of you need to be relaxed and excited. Apply the lube to the shaft but also the vulva, and anus. Think of doing reverse Kegels — instead of squeezing the pelvic floor like you are stopping the flow of urine, relax your pelvic floor muscles, think about inhaling and the pelvic floor opening.

For those of you who want to go that extra mile, maybe you really want to be an ass savant, you could practice making horse lips, flutter the lips, while you poop. Ina May Gaskin (midwife) says that if the lips on your face are loose than the lips and pelvis will be loose as well. Many a pooper has tried it and it works. Ok, I digress, but I am a nurse and everybody knows that nurses love healthy moving bowels.

Right, back to it... Relax.

What positions? Of course, the first to come to mind is Doggy Style. And while you’re there, think about reaching around, manually stimulate your partner’s “private parts,” i.e. vulva, shaft, whatever you and they want.

But there are other options as well like…..The Double Decker, kinda like missionary but in reverse. You can get into this position by starting in the spoon position and then the giver rolls on their back with the receiver on top. Here the receiver can take full control. If you start with vaginal penetration you can then move to anal from there. But remember, never the reverse without switching condoms or rolling one on in between. Just use that as a general rule. The receiver is also free to control their orgasm with manual stimulation. Again, go slow, don’t pop that head in too quickly. Take your time, the bonus of the DD is how close your partner is. Think of the whispers of sweet nothings or nasty talk that can be exchanged. There are other positions too, Google them. But these two are good to start with.

Afterglow cleanup: There might not be much cleanup, but you must go to the bathroom when you are finished. Urinate and see if you need to poop or fart or both. Wipe from front to back (again, use this as a general rule). For toys, soap and water works great. For penises, if you were using a condom, pee before you fall asleep. If it you went with raw dog style, and didn’t use a condom, which again is not advised as anal is the riskiest of sexual activities when it comes to infections, definitely pee and wash up.

After the cleanup, if you are both still awake and alert enough, discuss the experience. What was good about it, what needed changing? Would you do it again if….Or if there was nothing good about it, then don’t do it again, unless you BOTH want to.

So if you have been curious about exploring those other private parts, use these tips and see what happens. And remember, practice makes perfect.

Ps. Let us know in the forum if these tips helped. Remember you can use an alias once you sign up.

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