Sex Column: Overcoming a sexual taboo

Let’s talk about anal sex. It’s the topic of vast amounts of pop culture humor, and until 2003, it was illegal in 14 states. I feel like no one ever wants to seriously talk about it, but it’s something that enough people have thought about that it warrants a conversation.

That being said, how should you bring up anal sex to a partner? I feel like this is the most important part. I asked a friendly couple, Franklin and Sally, what they thought about going in through the out door.

“We had a direct conversation about it, and we decided it was ultimately something we didn’t want to do,” Franklin told me. Although they ultimately decided it wasn’t for them, some couples may have never even considered it. Even when one half of the couple wants to try it, they may have no idea how to talk to their partner about it.

The key is to approach the subject of anal sex (or any other kinky activity) as something you can enjoy together – not as if you’re informing your partner of a family emergency.

It seems that people refrain from anal sex for a variety of reasons. Clare Jacky, education coordinator at The Smitten Kitten, an adult boutique in Minneapolis, recently gave me some insight into why anal sex is often seen as taboo.

“I think people are discouraged from trying anal sex because of the social stigma surrounding it,” she said. “They are concerned that it is dirty, an indication that they are gay and or they are worried that it has to be painful. All of these concerns are pretty unfounded and once one gets past them, anal sex can be an amazing part of anyone’s sex life. In some cases, the taboo nature of anal sex can add to its appeal.”

Clare also offered some great tips on the mechanics and how-to of anal sex. A lot of problems can be prevented by being prepared and educated, so she recommends gradually adding it to other types of play, like oral sex.

“Most negative experiences with anal play develop out of rushing anal sex,” she said, adding that it is advisable to start with something small, like a finger.

Lubrication, of course, is absolutely essential to anal sex. Unlike vaginal sex, there is no natural lubrication involved, so it’s a good idea to use a thicker silicone lubricant that won’t easily dry up.

If there’s no penis in your anal sex equation, you have no reason to feel left out. Stores like The Smitten Kitten sell a plethora of toys designed specifically for anal play, made of anything from medical-grade silicon to glass to metal. Just make sure whatever you’re using has a flared base so it won’t get lost in there. You probably don’t want to make that trip to the emergency room.

I’m not trying to get every single person who reads this column to run out and start having anal sex, but if you’ve ever fantasized about doing it, you should know that it’s a safe and fun way to explore your body.

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