One of the most popular sex positions has long been a taboo topic. We tapped an expert to get the bottom of anal sex (so you can too!)
There's nothing like having a Sex and the City-esque chat with your friends to make you feel ahead or behind the sexual curve, particularly when that curve is the butt. If it seems like they're all trying anal sex, that's not a crazy assumption: 36 percent of women between ages 15 and 44 have had heterosexual anal sex in their lifetimes, and 13 percent have done so recently, according to new research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
If you haven't taken part in any butt play yet—or even if you have—many aspects might seem myserious or embarrassing. So we tapped Dr. Kat Van Kirk, sex therapist, for some useful information about trying all things booty. We don't necessarily suggest you bring these facts up at your next cocktail party, but they could make for some fascinating fodder with your sexual partner.
1. It Shouldn't Hurt
An obvious fear about anal pentration is that it'll be painful to insert something as big as a penis (or even a finger) into such a small hole. "You really need to be communicating the whole time," says Van Kirk, meaning before the act, during, and after. "There may be discomfort, but there shouldn't be pain." Like everything else, pain is a signal that something is wrong. If you feel uncomfortable, start with a small item, such as a toy, and work up from there. (Learn How to Get More Pleasure Out of Common Sex Positions.)
2. It's More Pleasurable for a Man to Receive Anal Sex
No, not a myth. "The prostrate is stimulated through the anus," Van Kirk says. "But you can find it inside of him if you insert a finger inside and make a hook toward the front," meaning toward his testicles. You can also stimulate that area by pressing into the perineum, or the space between his testicles and anus.
3. The Prostrate is Similar to the G-Spot
Think guys have all the luck? Not so fast. "Women actually have an analogous area, the G-spot. It's very similar tissue as the prostrate," says Van Kirk. A partner can access your G-spot by penetrating with a similar hooked angle toward the anterior wall of your vagina, whether that be with a finger, his penis, or a toy.
4. Some Women Can Orgasm From It
Anal sex doesn't have to be some gift you give your partner so he can check it off his own bucket list. Contrary to popular belief, you might enjoy it too. The G-spot tissue "explains why some women like anal sex," Van Kirk says. A penis might hit your G-spot from an entirely new angle, providing an entirely new orgasm.
5. There Are Nerve Endings in the Anus
You know that the penis and vagina are packed with nerves, but what's in the butt? "The skin and tissue there are different from the vulva, but there are nerve endings," Van Kirk says. "A lot of people who are experimenting with anal play require very little stimulation on the outside to get a pleasurable reaction."
6. There Is No Lubrication
Your vagina is prepared for sex just about all day, every day for most of your life, and it prepares you more by smoothing penetration. Not so much for the anus. Just about any anal play would benefit from a lubricant, says Van Kirk. (We got you covered with our list of The Best Lube for Any Sex Scenario.)
7. His Penis Might Hit Your Intestine
When a man's penis is incredibly long or going incredibly deep, you might feel the sensation that he's hitting your cervix. For anal sex, there is an anatomical equivalent. "In theory, you can continue going up the intestine the higher up you go," Van Kirk. "That's one reason you shouldn't insert things that will perforate the [delicate skin of the] intestines." Like you needed to be convinced.
8. It's Possible to Poop on Him—But Only In Extreme Circumstances
Um, can you say biggest fear realized? But it would take a strange series of events (and poor judgment) to wind up pooping on him, says Van Kirk. "Typically, as long as you're a healthy person, you're not going to lose control of your bowels." If you have a gastrointestinal illness, food poisoning, or you're intoxcated, you may have more reason to fear.
9. Still, You Might Feel the Urge to Go
Many women who experiment with anal sex may feel that (terrifying) urge to take a bowel movement during the act, but "it typically goes away," says Van Kirk, who likens it to feeling the urge to pee when a sex position is pressing on you at an odd angle. "It depends on what is in your bowel system." So it's not a bad idea to go to the bathroom within the hour before having this type of sex.
10. You Can Get a UTI from Anal Sex
A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria enters your urethra and adheres to its inner wall. Anal play of any kind might leave more bacteria on the fingers or penis, so if he switches to touching your labia or clitoris, it could then be transferred. "Wash your hands or use a wipe," between acts, advises Van Kirk. You also need to switch condoms if you go from anal sex to vaginal sex. (And now that we're on the subject, watch out for these 4 Surprising Causes of Urinary Tract Infections.)
11. You Can Get Pregnant from Anal Sex
Sex Ed 101, but always worth mentioning! "Yes, it's possible that if someone ejaculates into your anus, semen could migrate to the outer third of your vagina." And any time there is semen near your vagina, it's possible for those little swimmers to reach an egg. Use a condom, kids! (Speaking of crazy sex myths, here are 5 Sex Rumors to Stop Believing.)
12. Anal Play Won't Stretch Out Your Butt Hole
If women worry about their vaginas stretching out from use (thanks a bunch, slut-shamers), it follows they'd worry about the same thing with their anuses. Put it this way: "It would take a lot to stretch it to the point where it couldn't come back," says Van Kirk, such as regular use of extremely large toys. Though, "You might just relax after the first time having anal sex, which makes it feel ike it's gotten bigger." You haven't wrecked it—you're just starting to enjoy it!