Ass And You Shall Receive: Anal Sex and Lubrication

Q. “I’ve always been all about preaching the joys of lubricant in anal sex. However… I have a partner I see maybe once a month, depending on if my work schedule takes me to his area. He’s fabulous. We aren’t romantic – I think we have different ideas about how to raise families or I’d venture giving that a try based on how easy our friendship and sexual connections are. But yes, it’s very good.

Lately, we’ve been really big on the anal sex. But it’s been a lot different than it has been with other partners. For one thing, it’s been amazing. For another, I seem to be naturally moist enough that it’s not painful? We do a lot of foreplay, and I’m generally on top receiving. I’m Just not sure what to think about not really having a need for lube. This all seems quite, IDK, odd to me to not need it. What is going on with my body???”

A.  Sweetness, first, may I personally say congratulations on finding this set up! It seems to bring a whole lotta sexual pleasure and confidence to you, and I will also assume for your partner. It’s those types of sexual relationships where we can really bring in all the things we have learned (mostly from not-so-great experiences) and create a give and take that works for both partners. Kudos, love.

Now, what’s going on with that booty of yours? Well, I blame the amazing relationship. If you are relishing in the moment – relaxing, enjoying, not having to worry about getting pregnant or if you “look good” in a certain position or one of the hundred other thoughts our minds can go during sex, your body is going to follow suit, and be equally relaxed, in this case, relaxed enough to be having anal sex. This is a resume worthy skill. Anal sex is one of those tough spots where even when we are gung ho about having it, the idea of the discomfort or pain, or even the multiple anxieties around the thought of the experience can create, oh, how shall we put this delicately? A clench so tight, one could turn a piece of coal into a diamond. Yes, the sphincter muscles are something fierce and are not to be trifled with lightly.  And you, my love? Girl, your butt just seems to be enjoying this ride, whether through relaxation and pleasure, or through the possibility that your vaginal “wetness” from being turned on, is riding down to your butt area, pooling, and making a semi-lube for when your partner enters. Sounds delightful.

Now, let’s talk about lubes.

Oh you thought you were gonna get away with that, huh? Not in my house, bb. Look, I’m not trying to knock a good thing going on, but I am going to expound on the benefits of lube, only because: first, this specific situation of easy anal probably won’t last. Yes, I hate to crash the party, but while it works now, once there is a bit more sexual regularity in your lives, the anal might not be as easy for whatever reason, be it familiarity, habit. or how your sexual response is at that moment. Second: when you have anal sex, sans lube, you run the very real risk of tearing either your anal cavity or your rectum, or both. This is a doozy, because not only will it keep you from having anal sex till the boo boo heals, you run the risk of anal fissures, which will definitely keep you from having anal for a while. Plus, all anal injuries aside, anal sex is one of the most vulnerable sex positions because there are no direct barriers to the inside of you (much like your cervix is sort of the door to Narnia in your vagina), but also unlike the vagina, it is not technically self-cleaning, even though it is where waste goes out. Furthermore, because it is such delicate tissue, if your partner and you aren’t wearing condoms (which you should be), a very likely small tear in your anal cavity, even on the best of days, holds the potential to transmit STIs, bacterial infection, and HIV. As one of my favorite sexual column-in-laws, Go Ask Alice, likes to say:

Friction, the enemy of pleasure and safety during sex, is produced during anal sex, much as it is during vaginal sex. However, friction may be more of an issue during anal sex because the lining of the anus is more delicate and produces less natural lubricant than the vagina… Anal sex may make a person more susceptible to bacterial infection around the anus and rectum. This is because the lining of the rectum is not as heavy as the lining of the vagina, so it is more susceptible to tears. If the anus or rectum does get torn, it does not heal as quickly. Because feces that pass through the rectum contain bacteria, any tear in the lining is at risk of getting infected. Lining tears may lead to other problems such as an anal abscess, which can make transmission of STIs and HIV more likely. This is why unprotected anal sex is often considered riskier than unprotected oral or vaginal sex.

So the third and final point? Number 3, lube just makes things more fun. Seriously. Have you ever been on a water slide? It’s like that. Especially if you are going from one of those dinky playground slides that are hot from being in the sun and you have to scooch your butt down. Not fun, huh?

Which reminds me of this conversation with a friend very recently, and she was telling me the sad story of her pretty silicone vibe that had basically, well, melted. We will call my friend Pickles, to protect the innocent. Or Cheesecake. She is definitely more of a Cheesecake, but Pickles just seems to flow more in this sentence structure, so pick your own damn name. Anyway, my lovely friend  was mourning the loss of this particular vibe, which had turned into the texture of a melted Twizzlers in July. After we had mourned the piece, I asked, “What lube were you using,” to which she replied, “silicone”. Oy vey.

I’m all about the lube, but you have to make sure you are using the right one for your circumstance, especially if you are using toys, especially if it is going inside you, especially for all the reasons you can come up with. Think of it like baking a cake with salt, instead of sugar. Sure, they look the same, but the future of the situation will turn out to be less than desired. I’ll paraphrase the  major list I wrote back a few months ago, which you can find here, that explains not only what lubes are good for the front and back, but also what you can use with a certain type of lube, and vice versa, what type of sex toy goes with a certain lube. I won’t go off on a whole spiel on lubes and bore everyone here, but what happened to Pickles is a long, sad story that is more common than first thought. See, silicone is all made of tiny, tiny, tiny, glass balls, which is great for slippage, except that silicone’s nature is to bond to silicone. This is what makes it expand and turn gummy, which is what happened to Pickles’ toy. As for other lubes, 0il-based lube is tricky because it should really only be used for external masturbation or strictly anal play only and with non-jelly, non-plastic, non-silicone toys (so basically stainless steel). Oil-based lubes can also eat through latex. Water-based is like, awesome sauce, but can suck for butt toys, because your butt absorbs it quicker since it isn’t self-lubricating in general. It also works with condoms and doesn’t eat through them, which makes it ideal for penis in rectum activities. Water-based also offers more “organic,” “vegan,” or “natural” options if, say, you have a glycerin allergy or if you want your lube animal product-free. Personally speaking, if you are going down anal sex lane, I like recommending Boy Butter, because that is exactly what it is intended for, plus I mean, it’s called Boy Butter. The options range from all the aforementioned lubes, which is great, depending on how your relationship goes and what you decide to experiment with in the future as far as toys or condom-less anal. Also, have you seen their ad photos?

Last but not least, a fact you may already know very well, never take anything that has been in the butt and put it in the vagina. You are asking for a world of pain and no one wants a world of pain. If you do want to switch from anal to vaginal, wash, wash, wash. Wash yourself like it is going out of style. E. coli is not to be messed with. While it may require a touch more cleanup, it will save you, and your urethra a whole lotta trouble. Trust me, sweet pea.

In the meantime, enjoy some sweet lube advertising by the delightful Hedda Lettuce. And happy anal adventures! Write us a postcard about it all!

 

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