I'll be real here–I get pleasure from a little pain. As a result of that, I can be a bit of a masochist in how I approach things of the sexual nature. I enjoy lovemaking, but rough sex has always been a personal preference.
Anal, or butt sex, kind of nestles on a line in between those two things. Where pain meets pleasure, pleasure meets pain. Anal sex isn't ordinarily a go-to for many couples, mainly because the nature of it is not the seamless penatration and frenzied motions we see porn stars encapsulate so well on film. That kind of pacing is something that has to be worked toward.
Yet, anal sex is increasingly becoming more and more of a facet in our day to day sexual experiences, whether it is an option you want to engage in during that time of the month, in lieu of period sex, or if you're just looking for something a little different than vaginal penetration or oral sex.
The anus is a very erogenous zone of the body and is very sensitive to touch, and thus offers a very pleasurable experience when stimulated. For women, anal sex can promote the stimulation of the g-spot, the clitoral legs, and the cervix due to those nerves being in close proximity to some of our bodies' most pleasurable areas. Some women who might struggle with obtaining an orgasm might find that anal provides a whole new set of sensations that lead to that illustrious vaginal orgasm (in tandem with other forms of stimulation, of course).
However, as previously mentioned, despite what you see play out on your favorite PornHub vid, entering an ass is not the same as entering a vagina.
While the vagina stretches to accommodate the penis naturally, the anus needs a lot more help to become pliable. I refer to the anus as a “ring of fire" because initially when your partner penetrates you, the hardest part is to get the head of his penis past that ring, and a lot of women get thrown off by that feeling of strong discomfort and pressure that they experience and stop altogether.
During my first couple of attempts at anal, I underestimated just how much help my ass needed to accommodate a penis, and even an average sized penis felt gargantuan knocking at that door, so I gave up on anal very easily. I didn't take into account the level of preparation you need before anal to make the ride as smooth as possible. And I mean that literally.
What To Do Before Anal Sex
Having a proper diet and good hygiene practices helps with overall cleanliness down there. I've heard some people go to the extremes of douching as a means to act as an enema, but I can honestly say that if you're eating a good diet, your body does its work enough throughout the day to keep the bowels clean. If you are planning to have anal sex, say “no" to eating at least a few hours prior to intercourse to avoid any unnecessary messiness. Strengthen your muscle control through Kegel exercises to further increase pleasure down there.
Also, consider investing in butt plugs. Some adult novelty stores sell them in a three per pack variety with the small, medium, and large options to train your anus. I had great success using them and gradually increasing in size throughout the week leading up to my first true anal sex experience. The small was about the size of the finger and of course, the large is at least the width of a penis, which made anal easier. Practice makes perfect. It's something you can invite your partner to do with you as well. I use them sometimes during vaginal sex, which makes for a new, more intense experience for the both of us as well.
Foreplay is not a luxury; it's a necessity, and even more so one when partaking in anal. It's important that your partner makes you feel like you're in heaven on earth. He should be catering to your every whim and desire as he crosses deserts to bury his head in the water that is that valley in between your thighs. Also a sensual butt massage does wonders in opening up your body to the pleasure it is about to receive.
"Foreplay is not a luxury; it's a necessity."
During Anal Sex
Lubrication is undoubtedly THE most important part of anal sex. Again, the anus is not the vagina, so it needs a little help. In terms of lubrication, it needs a lot of help. My golden rule with lubrication and anal sex is that there is never too much. Spread it very generously on the penis, even if a condom is being used. Spread it very generously on your ass and anus, spread it very generously on your plug, and have a few practice strokes. There's no such thing as too much lube because the anus does not produce secretions like the vagina does when aroused, and those secretions are important to protect your body while producing the friction that sex creates.
Relaxation is also incredibly important. Breathe and focus on the relaxation of the anal area opening for your partner. He must enter you as slowly as possible. Remember that ring of fire I mentioned above? My favorite way to be entered anally is in the spooning position, with his arm around me and his lips at the back of my neck. Focusing on his breathing and how delirious those kisses feel at the base of my neck (that's my spot!) help me to relax enough to let him into my body. Some women find distractions in the form of other stimulants work best for them. For example, using a vibrator or having his/her hands find your clit and play with it.
Communication is the last big thing that comes into play with anal sex. My partner knows to always start slow and to allow my ass to adjust to the size of him. He instinctively asks me, “You okay?" I moan my answer. “Can I go a little deeper?" "Can I go a little faster?" Those questions enter the room after how into it I am becomes more obvious. My hips are meeting his thrusts, my moans are echoing off our walls. In other words, hell yes, daddy. We both are on the same page when it comes to what feels good to us and that allows the experience to be all the more pleasurable.
Comfort, arousal, and pleasure should be three of your biggest priorities when engaging in anal sex. It takes time and patience to have anal. Anal sex can be quite an intense and satisfying experience for both parties involved, and is definitely something I think everyone should try at least once.
Featured image by Getty Images
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports