Advice for an Anal Virgin: Take it slow (and slippery)

Q: I'm an anal virgin, so to speak. Can you really lose muscle control if you have lots of anal sex? It would be embarrassing to have "accidents" if you had no control. Also, is it recommended to have an enema before you engage in it? The idea of a feces covered penis isn't too arousing to me.

anal sex for beginners
Both good questions … First off, if you're careful not to damage the anal sphincter muscle, you shouldn't experience any loss of bowel control no matter how much anal sex you have. Like any other muscle, the anal sphincter can be stretched and exercised to accommodate and compensate for quite a lot of activity. ;-) However, it is possible to damage the muscle if you're not taking reasonable precautions, and if the sphincter is damaged, it can lose a degree of function. So, to avoid that, just keep the following things in mind:

1. Lube is your friend. Oh yes, yes it is. You'll want to use a fairly thick lubricant that doesn't lose its "slip" too quickly (forget KY jelly … it's not fit to be used for anything but medical exams). If you're using a latex condom or latex toy, don't use an oil-based lubricant. If you're using any other sort of toy, make sure your lube is compatible with the toy material. You can test a small amount of your lube on the base of the toy, and see if there's a reaction (low grade silicone toys, for instance, can degrade when used with silicone lubricant). I personally use glycerin-based lube, but some women find glycerin can trigger yeast infections … ick! A lot of lube companies make sample-size packets, so try a few different brands out until you find one you like.

2. Take it slow. If you try to penetrate quickly, especially your first few times, it will be really uncomfortable. Stretching the sphincter muscle too fast will cause a truly unbearable burning sensation. This is actually why you should NOT use a "numbing" lube, even though they're commonly marketed for anal play … pain is a warning sign of potential muscle or tissue damage, so you definitely want to be fully aware of it.

I'd actually recommend buying a small dildo or butt plug, and trying it on yourself a few times before trying full anal penetration with your partner. Or, if your partner is game, practicing with a lubed-up finger is also a good way to "ease" into things, without risking pain or muscle damage … and it's a great enhancement to oral sex, for both male and female recipients!

3. Relax. Learning to relax the anal sphincter at will is the biggest thing to master at first. It can help if you "push" against the toy (or finger, or what have you) as it penetrates, because pushing encourages the sphincter muscle to open. Once a small toy or finger is no longer a challenge, relaxing enough to enjoy regular anal sex or larger anal toys shouldn't be any problem at all.

If you're still at all concerned about loss of muscle tone or control, the Kegel exercise is not only a great way for women to build greater vaginal muscle control, but it also tones your anal sphincter muscle as well. If you're not familiar with how to do a Kegel, just squeeze your pelvic muscles as though you're trying to "hold it" when you really have to pee … you'll notice your anus tightens along with everything else. A few Kegels a day, and any lingering worries about bowel control are history.

Now … as for enemas. Personally, I prefer using a small enema (also known as an anal douche) beforehand, for exactly the reason you mention. I also recommend using a condom for convenience as well as disease prevention. I even use condoms on my toys for anal play. Clean up afterward? Toss the condom, give everything a good once-over with a genital-friendly anti-bacterial cleaning wipe (Regular hand cleaning wipes might be too harsh for sensitive areas, and baby wipes smell like … well … baby wipes. Not too sexy, IMO.), and you're done. Unless you're playing in the shower (or you are turned on by the mess), I think "preventative hygiene" is definitely the way to go.

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