I went to an anal sex workshop and this is what I learned

I went to an anal sex workshop and this is what I learned

SexAugust 10, 2017 By Isabelle Kohn

What's that saying again? When life gives you lemons, go to an anal sex workshop?

I don't know. I forget. Either way, that's where I ended up last night.

Taking place at infamous L.A. sex shop The Pleasure Chest, the workshop covered all the basics of anal. Technique, anatomy, positioning, communication, toys and more all appeared on that night's syllabus and I nestled up to about 40 other people of all ages, genders and sexualities to hear about it. Together, we probed and together, we won.

Here's some shit I learned:

Sooo many women are into pegging ...

Pegging, for the uninitiated, is when a woman dons a strap-on and fucks her male or female partner in the ass with it.

I had no idea so many people were down — but I'd say this workshop was easily 80 percent women interested in pegging.

When I thought about why, it started to make sense. Pegging is revolutionary because it completely reverses traditional gender roles and power dynamics. What woman wouldn't jump at the chance to try on the role of penetrator, to experience what it's like to do the complete opposite of what both biology and society tells her to do in bed?

... Exactly. That's why pegging is having a bit of a cultural moment right now. With mentions on Broad City, Sense8 and Inside Amy Schumer, it's not only one of the most compelling new sex trends, but a way for women to experiment with their own sexuality in boundary-pushing ways they never have before.

Plus, every woman including your mom secretly dreams of having a dick for a day.

... and here's what you can say to a straight man who's not:

While the anal workshop was filled with enthusiastic, sexually adventurous women, it was also rife with very reluctant men who maybe wanted to get fucked in the ass, but maybe also didn't.

What a dilemma. There is so, so much unnecessary cultural weight placed on anal sex. Because of its association with homosexuality, many hetero men carry shame around anal and hold the mistaken belief that an interest in it somehow places them on the gay spectrum.

LOL at that. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What objects go in and out of your butt don't determine your sexuality in any way. You do. You make a conscious decision which sexuality, or combination of sexualities you identify with, not some insertable cylinder. So, the sort of physical stimulation you choose to get yourself off could not be more irrelevant in that regard.

It's sad that in our society, masculinity is necessarily tied into the role of penetrator, but if you think about it, taking something up the butt, or exploring your own anal pleasure yourself, is probably one of the most masculine things you can do.  What's even more masculine, is claiming your own pleasure and sexual expression regardless of the form, and feeling comfortable enough with yourself to know what you want.

After all, is part of pleasure not being able to have fun outside the boundaries society places on us? If you can't do that, you're missing out.

That being said, if you're not into it, you're not into it. A guy not wanting to get fucked in the ass is no different than a girl not wanting to; it's just not some people's thing, and that's respectable. It's just important to differentiate why he's not into it: is it because he's scared of the implication of anal sex and his own pleasure, or because it genuinely just doesn't turn him on?

There are three cardinal rules to anal sex, and they are ...

- Anal sex should feel good. If it doesn't, something is wrong and you have full license to stop.

- Lube lube lube lube lube lube lube lube lube. Coconut oil or this stuff called Slam Dunk is pretty awesome.

- Without a base, without a trace. Basically, this means that anything you put in your ass should have a base on it, or your internal anal sphincter will suck it up into your lower intestines like a pneumatic tube and you'll never see it again, at least until after the emergency surgery.

This is how to not shit on a dick:

You know the feeling when you have to poop. Don't fuck when you have that feeling.

That's pretty much it. There's no science or secret methodology here; it's basically just about listening to your body and knowing where it's at in your daily poop cycle.

Two other precautions you can take if you're really worried about poop-dick are to limit what you eat that day to bland, fibrous foods and to give yourself a little baby enema. Both will ensure your ass is as clean as it's gonna get.

At most sex stores, they sell enema kits. They're super simple to use; they basically look like a larger version of a turkey baster, but with a more comfortable design for insertion. All you have to do is squirt about a 1/4 cup of water up the first inch or so of your asshole and you're a golden god.

Anal after-care is just as important as all the other stuff

Because anal sex is both invasive and occasionally emotional for some people, it's really important you and your partner take some time to communicate and discuss how it went after the deed is done. Did it feel good? What exactly felt good? What was uncomfortable? What would you do next time time improve anything? How are each of you feeling? And so on.

Also, did you know they actually have Chapstick for your ass? It's called Backdoor Balm, and you put it on to soothe and heal any little microtears you may have experienced. Because you're worth it.

The receiver of butt sex always sets the pace and makes the rules

Because they're the ones who are physically vulnerable in this situation, the receivers of anal should have all the power (unless you're doing a pre-negotiated consensual non-consent thing, but that's a different story).

Even if you're playing with power dynamics or Dom/sub stuff, the taker always gets to dictate the pace, depth and intensity of the sex.

The best position for takers to do this in is on their backs, with a pillow under their butts, with their legs pointed upwards and resting on the chest or shoulders of their partner. That way, the receiver can use their arms or hands on the hips of the giver to pace their thrusts, and the giver has a visual of the receiver's face and eyes so they can tell whether or not they're in pain/pleasure.

Before you get to full-on anal, experiment with yourself and some toys first

Straight dick or strap-on to ass can be intimidating for anal beginners. So instead of going for the full monty the first time, work your way up to it.

You can start by playing with your own butt, on your own time, experimenting with different modes of touch, pressure and penetration levels to see what feels good to you. This'll warm you up to the sensation of having your anus be the star of the show.

Then, starting with a very small toy such as a butt plug, or a prostate stimulator if you're a man, begin to explore anal insertion. With butt plugs, you can wear them all the live long day if you want, which will lightly stretch you and help you acclimate to the sensation of having something in your ass, and with a prostate stimulator, you can find out real fast what it's like to have what's called a p-spot orgasm. These are supposedly highly intense, full-body orgasms that differ vastly in intensity and location than regular dick explosions.

Many anal training toys come in kits with graduated sizes so you can start out small and work your way up to something dick-sized or bigger. If you're pretty tight or nervous, try one of those.

Once you feel comfortable will the full-butt feeling and you've determined what kind of touch feels good on your anus, communicate this to your partner so they know how to not anally ream you.

The anus has the highest concentration of nerves in the male body (even more than the penis), and the second-highest in the female body (behind the clit).

So, if you do it right, anal should feel fucking incredible. If it doesn't, stop and reassess. Pain is valuable because it means something's not right, hence why it's so important to experiment on yourself first to figure out what feels good.

Kegel exercises can help make anal sex feel better

Your interior anal sphincter is connected to your Kegel muscles (aka PC muscles), so if you can strengthen and increase circulation in those, your butt will be much more primed for pleasure.

Stay hydrated

The rectum and anus are like any other mucus membrane; they'll dry out and become a bit painful if you're dehydrated. So, on the day you're planning to have anal, drink plenty of water before and it'll feel a million light-years better.

The most important thing is to relax

If you're stressed or nervous, your asshole will clench up and it will hurt. Anal is not a good thing to have when you're on edge.

That's why it's great for butt sex noobs to start out with a massage, candles, or any other calming ambiance-setting things that make both parties feel safe, turned-on and relaxed.

Move slowly, and if you think you're moving slowly, move slower. Butt stuff isn't a race, it's a journey. A really, really lube-filled journey.