Wednesday, February 02, 2005

the new anal

in a staff meeting today, we were discussing the inclusion of anal sex in outercourse, our definition being sex play that does not involve penile vaginal penetrative intercourse. a colleague suggested we promote anal sex as birth control.

and I had to laugh.

and groan.

my earliest awareness of anal sex was in the context of catholics, Africans, and other “primitive cultures” (dude, I’m not saying they’re primitive, just the connotation of my original exposures) doing it “the back way” to avoid pregnancy and preserve virginity. this seemed and still seems absurd to me.

I love anal, but it’s not an every day of the week thing. it takes more preparation and trust and lube than vaginal or oral intercourse. although I may not be able to count the exact number of folks to whom I have granted ass-cess (hee hee), it is far fewer than overall sexual partners (probably about ten percent). I am much more comfortable shoving a plug up my ass and having a partner pounding my cunt than vice verse (meaning toy in cunt and partner in ass) or strictly partner in ass and lonely vagina play.

anal is wonderful because there are more nerves and deeper sensations. i come exceptionally strongly from butt play. it makes me happy. but it is not casual.

which is why I cocked my head when the thought of anal sex as birth control and or pre-vaginal sex play (meaning having anal sex in a hetero-relationship before having anal sex, not having anal sex then having vaginal sex immediately afterwards which has some gnarly repercussions). then I realized that this is like my mom and oral sex. when my mom came of age, oral sex is something you saved for a very special partner, often post-marriage, always post-vaginal intercourse. oral was bigger than vaginal sex. now, oral is foreplay or less-than vaginal intercourse. I was sucking cock in junior high but didn’t have penile-vaginal penetrative intercourse until a month after my high school graduation.

now that oral sex has been demystified and is no longer a taboo, anal sex has become a forbidden pleasure to strive for. it is one of the most frequent topics of questions I receive. it’s popularity is jumping. which is great, but makes me a little nervous. most likely, you will not cause pain from sucking a cock “the wrong way”. however, pain is a frequent consequence of bad anal sex.

jane’s short and sweet guide to great anal sex:

1) warm up. play with fingers, tongues, toys, etc. let your ass relax. also stimulate the rest of the body. the ass is part of the sexual response system (believe it or not) and reacts to arousal. play with clits and cocks and nipples and balls and ears and that little shallow of the collar bone. get turned on.

2) lube. lots of it. you can never have too much (on the outside of a condom, only one or two drops inside the condom, please). and you can keep adding more throughout the play. love it. yeah, lube!

3) listen to your body. start slow if it’s your first time. if it hurts, stop or at least pause. pain is not a part of anal sex (unless you like it like that). many people believe that it has to hurt. this is just plain wrong. (and as an educator, I don’t often tell people they are wrong). and don’t even think about buying some butt-number product like anal-ease or whatever. those are bad and can lead to someone getting hurt (not just a little tear hurt but ruptured rectum hurt).

4) communicate. with you partner and your self (see above). have signals or safe words or a system set up. I like the slow down, pause, stop system myself. some people use traffic lights green (go), yellow (slow down or not this), red (stop everything).

If you want to learn more about anal, check out Tristan Taormino’s The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women book and videos and Jack Morin’s Anal Pleasure and Health. The Bend-Over Boyfriend video series also has some fun butt facts. Other people please chime in with references in the comments. Thank you


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Most folks that read your blog probably have a favorite lube. If they are not already doing anal, they may not realize that great vaginal or handjob lube isn't always great anal lube.

Everyone has their preferences -- I'm an Astroglide loyalist for vaginal and handjobs, but it's too thin for anal, IME, and I use KY.

The silicone lubes have fans for anal, but I've only ever met gay men that like them. Hmmm.

Got a view?


2/02/2005 6:14 PM  
Blogger Jane Vincent said...

excellent point, thomas.
personally, although sliquid h2o is my general favorite, i prefer maximus for anal. it's thicker and is slippery as opposed to slick (there's a difference between slippery and slick in my head, really). it is also water-based and glycerin free. the only down-side is the grimmace-inducing taste. not exactly palatable.

2/02/2005 6:24 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

The whole "anal sex as birth control" thing reminds be of this truly weird thing I saw in college. It was a parody of those PSA's where teens go on about how they've chosen abstinence to protect their bodies, only instead of "That's why I choose abstinence," it was "That's why I choose anal sex." At the end of 90 seconds of this, all purely deadpan, the girl turns around and walks away. And when I say "walks," what I really mean is "waddles in an exaggerated version of John Wayne's swagger, making every effort not to move the thighs or butt cheeks a single inch." Crude, but funny.

2/02/2005 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, Does this mean that the entire staff is under the age of 40 or what? 'Outercourse' used to imply less risky behaviors, anal penetration is more risky, I thought this was more widely known. Certainly it should have been known by any CDC trained staff, right? Sure you might not get pregnant, but the disease exposure risk is actually heightened.--VJ

2/03/2005 1:17 AM  
Blogger 00goddess said...

It's called "anal intercourse" for a reason.

I cannot believe that a responsible and informed sex educator would refer to anal intercourse" as "outercourse. I have been a safer sex educator and advocate for over a decade, and calling anal intercourse "outercourse" is ridiculous.

Defining "outercourse" as anything other than PIV sex is contrary to sex education standards. It will only serve to confuse people about risks.

2/03/2005 2:40 AM  
Blogger 00goddess said...

Michael- you might get a kick out of

2/03/2005 3:09 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

goddess- One of their "commericals" is actually the video I was talking about.

2/03/2005 11:22 AM  
Blogger Jane Vincent said...

"outercourse" just like "abstinence" has many definitions. personally, i think the outer of outercourse refers to a lack of penetration, including oral, anal, and digital (wiggle those fingers and toes).

while anal sex is higher risk for sti transmission, it is significantly lower risk for pregnancy (i think we can all agree on that). which is why some include it in the definition of outercourse as a means of safer sex when they define "safer sex" as reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy.

i don't like these definition, but they are part of the "institutional voice" of the organization i work for. in our literature, we state "For some people, outercourse is sex play without vaginal intercourse. For others, it is sex play with no penetration at all — oral, anal, or vaginal. Some people also believe that any kind of penetrative sex play is too risky to be called "safer sex." But many people do have oral and anal sex — sometimes to avoid pregnancy or to "preserve their virginity" — so we include them here."

also, we are a reproductive rights organization, not yet a sexual rights organization (although it frustrates me to no end) so our primary focus is pregnancy prevention.

2/03/2005 12:15 PM  
Blogger Jane Vincent said...

more advice from the super-secret livejournal, where i hide tidbits i wouldn't want google-ed.

5) be patient. it might take a couple of weeks or months of butt playing to be ready for a cock (especially if it's biggish). ten minutes of warm up is quite likely to be insufficient if you've never gone back there before.

6) practice on your own. there's less pressure if your partner isn't there, and you can get used to the sensation and figure out what works for you.

the best bits of advice i ever got about anal are

a) for your first time, choose a man who has had experience with his own anus. that way, he'll be more sensitive to what you're experiencing as well as not just being overjoyed that there's another hole to put his cock in.


b) vaginal and clitoral stimulation are the best ways to unclench those anal muscles.

2/03/2005 12:46 PM  
Blogger Garrison Steelle said...

Am I the only one who finds the mental image of a group of adults sitting around a conference table discussing anal sex with the same seriousness as others might approach monthly sales forecasts just a week bit humorous?

Yeah, that's what I was afraid of.



2/03/2005 4:45 PM  
Blogger Jane Vincent said...

we have great conversations here.

"hey, jane, have you got genital warts from the printer yet?"

"nope, but i left herpes on your desk."

2/03/2005 4:51 PM  
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10/02/2005 1:23 AM  

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