Women and Anal: Things to know about “back door” play
The global perception of all-things booty has made huge strides over the past few years. We’ve got twerking, Kim Kardashian's bum on the covers of magazines and cosmetics just for your rear. Anal play and intercourse are becoming increasingly popular for hetero couples. According to a National health statistics report published in 2011, 44% of men and 36% of women in the US have had hetero anal sex.
Hetero anal play is by no means new – there is evidence Ancient cultures were into it too!
To ensure we are on the same page, let’s cover some basic definitions… hetero anal sex is when the male partner inserts his penis into the female partner's anus. Pegging is when a female partner wears or holds a dildo and inserts it into the male partner's anus. Anal play is anything that involves the butt – it could be a vibrator, finger, or oral.
Women and Anal Sex
To put it bluntly, the research on women and hetero anal sex sucks. Most research on the topic is centered around gay men. In 2019 the first significant study was published in Sexual Medicine. The study found that for most women who tried anal, their experience was less than pleasurable due to physical pain or feeling coerced into it by their partner. The study found the major reasons women engaged in anal sex were maintaining virginity status, avoiding vaginal intercourse during their period, and preventing pregnancy.
With so many women doing it for “practical” reasons and not enjoying it, you may be asking yourself - can I feel pleasure from anal sex or anal play?
The answer is yes. All the butt stuff can feel really good if done right.
A Women’s Guide to Anal Sex
The clitoris is kind of like an iceberg. You just see the tip of it, but it actually extends all the way down to the anus. This means that through anal penetration, you can stimulate the clitoris, which has over 9000 nerve endings! We also have a lot of sensation at the opening of our anus. It’s a hot erogenous zone. Some women can also orgasm from anal sex because of the proximity to the vaginal wall and pelvic floor.
Just like vaginal sex, if you are not ready for it, it’s going to hurt. So if you want to have anal sex, you need to work up to this main event. According to Alicia Sinclair, host of Anal Sex 101 at NYC’s Museum of Sex, “pleasurable anal sex is 90% preparation, and that includes getting mentally prepared. That’s even truer if you’ve had uncomfortable or painful experiences in the past because your body will expect the same thing again, which makes the anus tighten up”.
When your anus tightens, it becomes more painful. The thing is, when you feel pain, your anus tightens even more. It’s a vicious circle, really. There are ways you can prevent this and it starts with mental prep. You must feel very comfortable with your partner. You need to trust that they will listen to you, go slow, and not pressure you into doing more than you are comfortable with. Have this discussion with them before you head to the back door.
Part of your mental prep should include some one-on-one exploration. With a toy like an anal plug or vibrator and lots of lube, get to know your anus and what penetration feels like. Doing it on your own makes it very stress-free, and you can stop whenever you want. This form of anal masturbation will help you feel mentally comfortable when you begin anal play with a partner.
Once communication is solid and you feel comfortable with your partner, you can move on to the physical prep. You need to prepare your anus before coming in hot with a penis. Don’t go 0 to 100. Instead, using lots of lube and a finger (nails trimmed, please!) or a vibrator, start by massaging the outside of the anus. Your booty doesn’t self-lubricate, so keep the lube nearby. You will need to make sure you are constantly lubin’ up.
Start by inserting something small before building your way up to a penis or dildo. Anal plugs are perfect for this! This vibrator anal plug will help “train” your anus for something bigger – like your man’s package, and the vibration sensation can help relax muscles and keep you aroused. If you and your partner want to try pegging, this works for that too!
You should get really comfortable using your anal plug and with anal play before moving on anal sex. If you skip it, you could end up in a lot of pain and cause injury like tearing or bleeding.
Keeping it clean
There is a whole other set of hygiene practices when it comes to anal sex. Before engaging in masturbation, anal play, or sex, you should have a shower and clean up the area. Always, always, always remember the following – never double dip. This means you can’t go from anus to vagina.
I am willing to bet you have heard of a story, maybe in high school or college, of anal sex with a lot of *ahem* poop. We’ve all heard them, and truthfully, these stories are likely exaggerated. That said, if you are afraid of this and it causes you stress, you can try a warm water enema a couple of hours before the main event. Water will leak out for a while, so keep this in mind and do this 2 to 3 hours before, if you wish.
I think the best way I have heard hetero anal sex described was by comparing it to cilantro. Some people despise it, and others love it in moderation. Women can experience pleasure and increased intimacy when engaging in some back door shenanigans. With research and education and as the act becomes increasingly less taboo, more women will learn how to have anal sex so that it is enjoyable for them. There is no shame in wanting to expand your sexual horizons and tap into new forms of pleasure! If you have been toying with the idea, start with lube, an anal plug, and enjoy some well-deserved “me time” as you explore your body in new ways.