- Talk of anal sex is likely to evoke a curious laugh from those who haven’t tried it.
- For those who have tried it, ‘it’s not as hectic’.
- Once a taboo subject, women are having a good time with anal sex.
When it comes to ‘back-door’ sex more women, believe it or not, are warming up to it — this, according to a study by the Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.
Like 28-year-old Mapaseka Tau* from Benoni, who secretly enjoys anal sex more than vaginal copulation, especially when there’s clitoral stimulation during intercourse.
“I’ve always been open to exploring because I started watching porn in my early 20s, and wanted to re-enact the positions I saw in these movies. When my ex-boyfriend suggested anal sex, I agreed. The first time wasn’t great but neither was it painful,” she shares.
According to a 2017 study published in Men’s Health, nearly 43 percent of men and 37 percent of women reported having anal sex with the opposite sex in their lifetime. Once a taboo subject, women are now having a wild time between the sheets.
Mapaseka continues, “Ndumiso* knew what he was doing. He went down on me until I came and after that, he circled my anus with his tongue. He then gently inserted one of his fingers in my booty hole until I felt dry. Then he wet my behind with a lot of lube and spooned me. He didn’t go in fully the first time, he gently penetrated me while caressing my clit and vagina. With time I had the most intense orgasms from anal sex that I can’t even describe,” she adds.
Admittedly, anal sex is not for everyone but neither is Pilates or yoga. Using the ‘back door’ does need a lot of mental and physical preparation, though, and being on the same page as your partner. There may be a number of reasons why some women have written off anal sex.
According to Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, a medical doctor and author of A Guide To Sexual Health & Pleasure, one reason is that most people explore anal sex before doing some research – resulting in an uncomfortable first attempt.
“Then it’s difficult to get someone to relax, enjoy and to break some of the taboos surrounding anal play,” she explains.
To brave it or not
Most men seem to have an undeniable infatuation with anal sex. Joburg-based sexologist from Soulful Sex Linda L Venter says men are known to be curious risk-takers and eager to try something new.
According to PornHub, from 2009 to 2015 the search volume for anal sex videos rose to 78 percent globally. Whatever the reason for this surge in searches, most people cite being put off by hygiene concerns.
Dr Mofokeng shares, “Most people are concerned about germs. You should be fine with regular grooming, washing and cleaning of the area around the anus. Use your finger to clean out the lower end of the rectum while showering — the perineum is no dirtier than any other part of your body.”
She also recommends a diet high in fibre if anal sex is a regular indulgence for you.
Here are answers to some of your most burning questions
around anal sex!
Can a woman climax from anal sex?
“Anal sex is not something that only happens in the genital area and in isolation, your whole body is involved. Some women find anal sex just as pleasurable because the nerve supply, pelvic movements, lubricants, and the emotional and erotic experiences add up and play an important role in achieving an orgasm,” Dr Mofokeng says.
How important is protection?
“A lot of people mistakenly assume that anal sex is devoid of risk and using condoms is unnecessary. Many common STIs can be transmitted during anal sex, either through oral play or penetration. HIV, specifically, has a higher risk of transmission through anal rather than vaginal sex. Ensure that the condoms you use are compatible with the lubricant you choose,” Dr Mofokeng adds.
What position is best?
“While the doggy position is a common way for your man to enter you from behind, how about being a kinky cowgirl and straddle him either on a chair or in bed? You get to control the pace and how far the penis goes. You can also let him enter you from behind while both of you are standing. Or, let his fingers show your nipples or clit some love by caressing them while thrusting you in a spooning position,” Dr Mofokeng suggests.
What if I get the sudden urge to take a poop during the deed?
Dr Zhana Vrangalova, sex expert and New York University lecturer of human sexuality, says “sh*t happens”. Literally, especially when anal sex is involved. She adds that as long as you have visited the loo and your tummy isn’t upset, there shouldn’t really be anything to worry about.
Will too much ‘back door’ sex lead to my anal muscles loosening and ultimately faecal incontinence?
A University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Medicine study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, has debunked myths around these concerns. It said, although engaging in the practice of anal sex may increase the likelihood of these conditions, the study did not provide data on the frequency of the practice of anal sex and the impact of incontinence. It did, however, show a relationship between the practice of anal sex and faecal incontinence, more so among men than women. Furthermore, it found that faecal incontinence can be chronic, be caused by muscle and nerve damage around the rectum, constipation, surgical procedures, and even childbirth.
Should I be worried about bleeding during anal sex?
And when it comes to bleeding, Lauren Streicher, M.D, Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Northwestern University’s Medical School once told Women’s Health that, although common, it’s not normal to bleed during anal sex. Since the rectum doesn’t have the same elasticity as the vagina, she says it’s also not unusual to have tears or pain.
“Persistent anal bleeding can be a red flag symptom that something is really wrong, which you should check out,” she says.
In the future, she advises, to use a lot of lube that is silicone and not water-based.
A thin or thick water-based lubricant — which one works best?
Dr Mofokeng says that extra lubrication enhances pleasurable and safer anal sex: “Without lubrication the risk of discomfort, pain and anal tears is greatly increased. Water-based lubricants are most accessible. They’re also easier to clean up but they tend to get absorbed a lot quicker and if anal play lasts a long time, you may opt for a longer-lasting silicone option.”
An exhilarating ride?
Sexual empowerment is not about trying everything on the menu but the freedom to explore your own sexual preferences. Dr Mofokeng says that visual learning is key. This means using a mirror and your finger to explore what the tension around your anus feels like when someone else touches it.
“Solo anal play is encouraged before including a partner. As you inhale, tense the muscles around the anus and when you exhale, relax the muscles. As you exhale and release the tension, take your finger and slide it into your anus, to see what it feels like. There shouldn’t be pain — just a little pressure, as pain would mean that you’re pushing too hard and too far. Also, practise breathing exercises with deep inhalations and exhalations prior to exploring anal play with a partner,” she advises.
According to Dr Mofokeng, a lot of men also enjoy anal play, and getting penetrated by their lover, who is a woman, is a turn-on.
“The more open-minded people are, the more they can bring their fantasies to life,” she adds.
*Not their real name