“The truth is that our minds have this incredible way of making things less enjoyable for us, if it’s something that we’re not totally into,” Levkoff says. “If we’re nervous or uncomfortable our body shows it — our muscles tighten, we start to clench, we feel anxious, we’re not relaxed and ready anymore, and that means we’re less likely to feel pleasure.”
The distance between a woman’s anus and vaginal opening is very short, about an inch and a half. After the male ejaculates into his partner’s anus, his semen can easily drip out, travel across this very short space (known as the perineum), and enter his partner’s vagina. This trace amount of semen is all it takes to get some women pregnant. (Yes, really!)
Inadequately cleaned toys can serve as a reservoir for bacterial growth and even some viral sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using a condom with toys – even if you don’t share your toys – will reduce the risk of infections. Hepatitis C, furthermore, can survive as a miniscule drop of dried blood on a toy (or other object) for up to 3 months and become reactivated when wet. (If your eyes aren’t bulging, go back and re-read that last sentence.) (Side note: that’s why sharing cocaine straws is a very real method of Hep C transmission: cocaine causes micro-tears in the nose, leaving invisible specs of blood on the straw that harbor the virus for up to 3 months.) So instead of scrubbing your toys with a nail brush or boiling them compulsively, just use a condom and rinse them off in warm, soapy water afterwards.
In addition to nerve endings, pleasure from anal intercourse may be aided by the close proximity between the anus and the prostate for males, and vagina, clitoral legs and anal area for females. This is because of indirect stimulation of the prostate and vagina or clitoral legs. For a male insertive partner, the tightness of the anus can be a source of pleasure via the tactile pressure on the penis. Pleasure from the anus can also be achieved through anal masturbation, fingering, facesitting, anilingus, and other penetrative and non-penetrative acts. Anal stretching or fisting is pleasurable for some, but it poses a more serious threat of damage due to the deliberate stretching of the anal and rectal tissues; its injuries include anal sphincter lacerations and rectal and sigmoid colon (rectosigmoid) perforation, which might result in death. Lubricant and condoms are widely regarded as a necessity while performing anal sex as well as a slow and cautious penetration.
Reports regarding the prevalence of anal sex among gay men and other men who have sex with men vary. A survey in The Advocate in 1994 indicated that 46% of gay men preferred to penetrate their partners, while 43% preferred to be the receptive partner. Other sources suggest that roughly three-fourths of gay men have had anal sex at one time or another, with an equal percentage participating as tops and bottoms. A 2012 NSSHB sex survey in the U.S. suggests high lifetime participation in anal sex among gay men: 83.3% report ever taking part in anal sex in the insertive position and 90% in the receptive position, even if only between a third and a quarter self-report very recent engagement in the practice, defined as 30 days or less.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
Take things slowly, use plenty of lubrication, and stop if it becomes too painful. Don’t aim to have full penis penetration your first go-round. Try using a finger, and then upgrade to two or three fingers. A toy might be a good option, too, as you grow more comfortable with the sensation. After the first time or two, you and your partner will likely find that the pleasure trumps any initial discomforts.