| dove l'informazione diventa benessere
May 2017
Print this
You are here: / Sexology / Various articles / Varied / Anal sex




Despite taboos and prejudices regarding morals (but not only these) about anal sex, many people decide to try out this experience and this is quite often the result of curiosity or a voluntary ‘violation’ between partners that privately stimulates the sex between them.
Although individual experiences seem to steer men towards a more flexible and less stereotypical idea about anal sex, it is necessary to go over some concepts that are useful in order to have good and healthy sexual relations.
Through an initial cross-section into the functional anatomy of the anal area, and then by analysing those myths that sexual taboos are founded on, we can see that there are some basic and necessary rules that let us understand and experience anal pleasure.

Elements of anatomy

A clear and precise vision of the anorectal anatomy helps us take a step forward when trying to understand, not only more about our body, but also more about the function of this part of our body, and this will let us understand and psychologically improve our feelings towards our bodies: knowing how the system works lets us localise different areas related to pleasure and other areas that are difficult to accept.
This clear awareness becomes the first important step towards a healthy sexual and emotional experience and it allows people to free themselves of false social and cultural myths and foolish stereotypes.
By looking at the external anatomy, the first thing to analyse is the anus. This orifice is the opening of the anal canal and it is usually made up of soft, pink folded tissue which looks similar to a ‘corrugated slot’. The location of this orifice is about halfway between the coccyx and the scrotum (for men) and the vaginal opening (for women) after the muscles of the perineum. This area is full of nerves and blood vessels therefore it is very sensitive to stimulation. Before understanding what the anal canal is made up of, we need to focus on a small muscular area that is positioned just behind the anus: the anal sphincter. This ring shaped muscle, which is divided into two parts (the internal and external sphincter), controls the opening and closing of the anal canal. The external sphincter is controlled by the central nervous system, therefore movement of it is voluntary and controlled by the individual and it is closely linked to thoughts, ideas and fears. The internal anal sphincter muscle is dependent on the sympathetic nervous system which creates automatic and reflex movements, like breathing and the heart beat. It is possible to have slight control over this muscle, however, tension, stress and fear can accumulate in this area making it almost impossible to relax this muscle.
As underlined by Brent, it is possible that tension in the anal area can cause proctologic problems (such as haemorrhoids), thus learning how to relax the sphincter muscle can only improve, prevent and reduce these types of problems. For example, a relaxed sphincter muscle can easily release faeces, unlike a tensed sphincter muscle that has to work harder to get the same result, and this is also why some people feel pain when trying anal sex: the tension in the sphincter muscle can make penetration complicated and almost impossible.
Two other muscles are also involved in relaxing the anal zone which are located near the spincter area: the muscles of the perineum. In men, the bulbospongiosus muscle is responsible for evacuation of urine from the urethra after urination and left over sperm fluid after ejaculation. In women, this muscle covers the vestibular bulbs which lies deep in the vagina between the small and large lips. During arousal, these lips fill with blood and this pushes the lips to the side to allow for penetration.
The other muscle is the pubococcygeus muscle which is responsible for controlling urination. This muscle contracts in an arbitrary way during foreplay and then rhythmically during orgasm. Being able to control this muscle means an added bonus in terms of sexual pleasure and this is possible through Kegel exercises which are useful for strengthening and re-educating (especially after giving birth) the pelvic floor muscles.

Trying to interrupt and then resuming urination will let you concentrate on these muscles.

Continuing along the anatomical and functional route, we come across the rectum which is about 15cm long and which opens directly into the anal canal (which is about 3cm long). This is very flexible area and it is easy to introduce objects or the penis into it. The rectum is not straight, rather it is S shaped. It must be remembered that a rich and complex network of nerve endings is situated around the opening of the anus therefore it can be stimulated through gentile caresses, unlike the rectum which, like the vaginal walls, responds to pressure rather than any other type of stimulation.
The colon, a part of the intestine, lies behind the rectum and when faeces pass from the colon to the rectum, the reflex of defecation starts and the internal sphincter automatically relaxes. Therefore, if the person being anally penetrated can focus his/her attention on this feeling by relaxing the sphincter muscle, this sexual act can happen properly.
The final anatomical part is the large intestine. This is a canal that is about 2 metres long and it is divided into five sections: the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon and redundant colon. Its role is to absorb substances (vitamins, minerals and water) and push faecal material towards the anus for evacuation.
However, we also need to refer to two other anatomical and functional areas of both males and females with reference to anal sex since they are closely linked to orgasmic pleasure. The prostate in men is a gland situated under the bladder and in front of the rectum and it is responsible for the production of prostate fluid which, together with seminal vesicle fluid, makes up the fluid part of sperm. As well as being largely responsible for the correct functioning of sperm, the prostate also seems to be quite sensitive and, in fact, many men experience spontaneous ejaculation (even when the penis is flaccid) if the anus is stimulated or the prostate is massaged. Furthermore, an important study carried out on 30,000 men aged 46-81 showed that there is a correlation between the number of ejaculations a man has (through sex and masturbation) and prostate cancer: increased ejaculation can prevent the formation of cancerous cells in the prostate gland. As far as massaging the prostate gland is concerned, this can be done during the plateau phase of sex but it can also be done as a way to keep healthy physically and in terms of orgasms.
The G spot in women is the other area to stimulate in order to intensify female orgasms. It is a mass of tissue, similar to a sponge, located 1-3 inches up the front (anterior) vaginal wall. Its nerve endings seem to be particularly sensitive because they are close to the root of the clitoris  and stimulating the G spot with anal penetration can lead on to an intense orgasm, or even a multiple orgasm.

Stereotypes that are hard to get rid of

Even today it is not easy to find acceptance regarding this sexual act that is free from fears and strong prejudices. Although speaking about sexuality is much easier nowadays, there are still many taboos that are created by society and culture. Therefore, if this is the case for ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ sexuality, it is easy to imagine how many taboos there are related to anal sex. Here we will identify some of the lies that are hard to get rid of regarding anal sex, some of which are quite interesting.
One of the first social and cultural dogmas concerns the fact that having anal sex is not natural and immoral. In terms of this idea, it is useful to remember that this notion has often changed from era to era and has also concerned other erotic, sexual experiences such as masturbation, pre-marital sex, oral sex, homosexuality, and so on. As Brent underlines, the only real practice that goes against nature is trying to control or guide sexual expression. Having healthy experiences essentially means leaving room for one’s desires and fantasies as an integral part of one’s life. From clinical experience, it is clear to see that people are curious about anal sex and this is probably due to taboos and the mystery of it. Therefore, it is a good idea to remember that the only unnatural thing about sex is...not having sex!
What can be said to those who constantly underline the idea that there is no reason to put something into the anus? These are the people who maintain the myth about penetration only being acceptable if it is vaginal penetration, but, as mentioned before, if the anus and rectum can be relaxed, a finger, a penis, a hand or even a gadget can be inserted. What is more, it is important to remember that anal activity can create strong feelings of pleasure which increase orgasmic pleasure. Desire is the key to success and, with anal sex, you cannot get it wrong! Anal sex can be practised by anyone who enjoys life, therefore people who do not agree with it should learn how to be happy first, then decide about anal sex!
Another study carried out by Jack Morin on some people who wanted to have fun by trying out anal sex is also very interesting regarding this topic. During this study, Morin found that motivation strongly affected success and that those who had attended courses about concepts of pleasure and healthy anal sex in order to please his/her partner were successful in doing this activity in 66% of cases. The percentage was even higher, however, for those who decided to do this course simply for themselves.
Another lie regarding anal sex is the fact that, for some people, the anus was not created to be eroticised. As we have already seen, this is quite wrong in so much as the anal region, not just the clitoral and vaginal region and glans, is rich in nerve endings; in fact, all of the perianal area is rather sensitive to caresses and stimulation. Furthermore, just like the genital organs, the anus experiences strong vascularisation during arousal and intense and pleasurable contractions during orgasm.
The biggest taboo is definitely about religion: God said it is not good! In the book of Levicitus, the third book of the Bible (the Old Testament), the cities Sodom and Gomorrah were reduced to dust by God because of sexual activities that occurred that went ‘against nature’, and this also tells us were the word ‘sodomy’ comes from. However, as Brent reminds us, in reality, these cities were not destroyed because of the offense of sodomy but rather because they did not have any rules regarding hosting foreigners, thus, when foreigners were settled, the inhabitants refused to give them any food, water or other elements needed to survive, condemning them.
There is also a taboo regarding dirtiness. It is certainly true that the anal orifice is used for defecation but careful and proper hygiene is enough to keep things safe and clean. Furthermore, a condom should always be used so as to avoid unpleasant inconveniences regarding left over faecal matter, as well as sexually transmitted diseases.
Another taboo is that anal sex is dangerous. There are many people who think that anal sex is extreme and violent and that it causes the anus and sphincter muscles to lose muscular tone and elasticity which, in the long run, can lead on to faecal incontinence. This could not be more wrong. In fact, stretching the sphincter and rectal mucosa properly and prudently leads on to them getting stronger, and properly performed anal sex can even be similar to a workout for these muscles, just like contracting and relaxing any other muscle in the body would be.
The biggest danger for the anorectal area is uncontrollably inserting an object or item that should not be inserted. You must not insert things too quickly or too violently (a hand, penis, gadget or whatever it is) and remember to always use a water based lubricating gel and to avoid irritating or desensitising products. Furthermore, it is a good idea to keep in mind that if you feel pain during anal penetration, you need to stop!
Another reason to stop is when something is being inserted that could break inside the anus, cut the anus or is pointy, which is often the case when fantasies involve the use of household objects.
As well as being a stereotype, the idea that all homosexuals have anal sex and that men who like this feeling are definitely gay is also a prejudice. In reality, anal sex is just one erotic and sexual act that is done during intercourse and since it is what homosexuals call ‘complete’ intercourse, partners need to know each other well and trust one another and be intimate.
As far as the idea that a woman can stimulate the perineal and anal zone of her male partner is concerned, this can only result in further pleasuring him. The thought that this area of the body can create homosexual feelings it just a sort of fear and sometimes the most hidden expression of repressed pleasure.

Some rules which must not be forgotten

Having a healthy and fun sex life means allowing yourself to communicate with your partner in an efficient way. Even if a good part of interaction during erotic and sexual activities is non-verbal, everyone should still learn how to communicate verbally because it can help to clarify things as well as better understand emotions and expressions between yourself and your partner. The opportunities to speak during intense sexual moments are not isolated though, and they can even be repeated in the future, and communicating can become even more important when proposing to try anal sex. Taking time to discuss desires and describing your erotic fantasies will help you to have pleasurable and intense sexual experiences, and it can renew a couple’s love for each other. In this regard, remember to value the following: desire, limits and rules of the game, any possible past experiences that did or did not work, memories related to sexual education about anal sex and, the most important thing, erotic and sexual fantasies.
Another important rule to remember is to experience sex with respect for yourself and others. During sexual acts, including anal sex, you must always take the right to say no into consideration: it does not make sense to take part in a sexual act just because your partner has pressured you into it. Doing this can be considered as going against nature! Starting to have sex when one or neither of the couple want to makes no sense and means that intimacy is limited.
Remember too that sexual behaviour and interests change and evolve, especially if the couple is stable and has been together for a long time, and anal sex is no exception. Also bear in mind that you should not feel obliged or have to justify your desires or sexual abstinent to your partner, and remember to communicate openly and frankly about how you feel and what you are thinking. If this does not happen, or if it is difficult to implement, couples should go to a sexology expert rather than embark on a highly dysfunctional phase.
Another important rule to remember so that you can experience intense sexuality in a calm way in general, and specifically when trying anal sex, is preparing for it, not only physically but also getting to know the place where it will happen. Here are some elements which are essential to do this: make the situation highly intimate by closing the door so that you are not disturbed, take the phone off the hook and turn mobile phones off and draw the curtains; make your partner feel calm and at ease; create a nice atmosphere with soft lighting; choose some appropriate background music to make the experience and sexual act which you perform more pleasurable; if you and your partner like nice smells, burn some incense or intriguing essences; remember to prepare the accessories you will need for anal sex, such as condoms, latex gloves, lubricants, towels, cushions and sex toys if you want them. Furthermore, remember to take all the time you want without going straight to the anal zone. You will never stop learning about yourself!
If, though, when you get to the big moment, you get ‘first night nerves’, it is good to change the type of contact. Do not get worried about ‘performing’  and try to stay aroused and keep trying different types of penetration: let your partner caress you and enjoy different types of touching, encompassing all of your senses. Who knows, maybe the worry must just disappear and you could find that, gently, you are doing something you never thought you would: anal sex.


  • News of the month
    Discover all the latest news this month on

Copyright © 1999-2017 A.E.C. srl - ABOUT US