An Honest Overview of Our Rear Ends
Going Greek. Kobe style. Going off-road. Back door. Playing the back nines. Whatever you want to call it, anal sex is the final frontier for many couples. As Doula and sexual wellness expert, Natasha Weiss writes, some women may feel aroused about the idea. Others may feel repulsed. Perhaps many women are between these two extremes.
Weiss provides advice to women as to how they can explore this area of intimacy openly, honestly, and with an abundance of information. There are several important factors that Weiss and other experts note must be part of such exploration.
Trust is important in any sex act, but Weiss says that this is especially important for back door sex. Weiss notes there are actually two anal sphincters, not one, and the outer one is under voluntary control. It will only open when the woman is feeling comfortable.
Another issue is that, unlike the vagina, anal tissue does not produce mucus secretions that act as natural lubrication. In this vein, sex therapist and DoctorClimax.com founder Angela Watson suggests setting up a “resting station” of lubricants, handkerchiefs, toys and other items, so as to ensure that all is ready beforehand.
Watson also suggests at least 15-20 minutes of sacral massage (the lower back just above the actual buttocks) to further ease any tension and add to a general mood of relaxation. Weiss adds that once that state of relaxation is reached, positive overall psychological effects emerge, apart from the pleasurable act itself.
“When the body is in a state of relaxation and trust, it surrenders to being in the present moment,” says Weiss. “It allows you to listen to the subtle voice of your body and fall into a sensual rhythm with your partner. Think of it as a wildly pleasurable meditation….[anal] sex has the capacity to be powerful medicine.”
“Medically there are no reasons not to have anal sex. Just follow safer sex practices”—Michael Krychman, M.D.
Weiss points out that special care must be taken with safety and health before considering anal acts. Anal bacteria, if not guarded against, can cause vaginal infections and urinary tract infections. Since the anus naturally has a wider variety of microbes, the risk of such infections is higher than in vaginal sex.
“Thanks to the sensitive nature of these (anal) tissues, and because they don’t produce their own lubrication, friction from back door sex can cause micro tears, making it easier to transmit STI’s.”
Weiss suggests talking openly with your partner about sexual health status before proceeding. Doctors also recommend lubricants as a way to minimize the risk of tissue microtears, and condoms to generally protect against infections.
Biologically and emotionally, most women require a period of foreplay before they are ready for sex, and this is especially true for back door sex. As Isharna Walsh, founder of sexual wellness app Coral, says, “Foreplay is so important because you have to ‘ring the doorbell’ before entering.”
Walsh recommends special attention be paid to the anal area prior to any penetrative activity. “Massage and warm up the anus before entering anything inside,” she says. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has a large body of research which supports this conclusion.
Start Easy, and Go as Far (or as Short) as you want to:
Weiss suggests that couples first “start small” by exploring with fingers or beads. Anal wellness brand b-Vibe CEO Alicia Sinclair agrees, suggesting that couples “work your (their) way up, starting with a finger or two, and then moving on to toys like anal beads or butt plugs.”
As comfort levels increase, couples could eventually work up to a dildo or penis. At the same time, some couples may feel this back door foreplay is as far as they want to travel. As Womanizer sexpert Gigi Engle explains, “Having your back door be a part of sexual play does not mean you need to have anal sex.”
Benefits of Using the Back Door
Weiss says that the overall deep relaxation necessary to prepare for and then experience satisfactory back door sex gives a woman a positive psychological boost which can be deployed elsewhere.
As she puts it, “When we find healing in one area, such as anal sex, it carries over into other areas of our lives, like work and creativity. Not to mention, the confidence-building powers of orgasms.”
Weiss’s analysis is supported by studies done by Womenshealthmag.com, which discovered that women found back door sex “emotionally positive and even more intimate” than vaginal sex.
Meet Your Anal Orgasm
There are several types of orgasms that women can achieve, anal orgasm being one of them. In fact, anal sex has a much higher chance of helping a woman achieve either vaginal or anal orgasm.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study of women aged 20-39, and found that 94% achieved orgasm during anal sex, while only 25% of women did so with vaginal sex.
According to Vanessa Cullins, M.D., “Anal sex is so pleasurable to many women because our bodies really do have a very, very rich cluster of nerves surrounding the anus.”
If the idea of anal sex intrigues you, take the first steps by finding out more and having open talks with your partner. Compared with other types of intimacy, anal sex may require a bit more care and preparation. However, the health benefits—and pleasure—can be enormous.