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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Numbing Lubricants: A Terrible Product, or the MOST Terrible Product?

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I have a question about using Anal Eaze to numb the anal region of my girlfriend and then proceed to have sex. I understand that Anal Eaze will numb everything that it is applied to, but are there any other consequences? My girlfriend enjoys it when I insert my tongue in the hole as well as lick around the hole and insert my finger or a small anal plug. I can usually make her squirt, so I presume that she is receiving pleasure from oral anal sex. My next step is to insert my penis; I have attempted insertion once and got the head in by using Vaseline, but it was painful.

My short answer is that you should never use Anal Eaze or any other numbing agent for anal sex. First, in order for sex to be pleasurable for both parties, you want to be able to feel things, not numb your most sensitive parts! And you are right that if numbing lubricant comes in contact with your penis, your sensation will be dulled as well. Second, if you numb the sensitive anal region so that your girlfriend cannot feel pain, then you risk causing serious physical damage. Pain is the body's signal that you need to stop what you're doing and slow down. If you can't feel pain, then you don't know when sensitive tissue is being torn.

It's much better to use regular lubricant, communicate with your girlfriend about what feels good and what doesn't, and go slow—use small toys or fingers as a warm-up before trying to insert your penis. Also, it may be that your girlfriend enjoys analingus (oral stimulation of the anus) or small butt plugs, but will not like anal penetration with a penis; just because a person gets off on one type of anal stimulation does not mean that she or he will necessarily enjoy other types.

Another thing to try if your girlfriend is up for experimenting: Sometimes inserting the head of the penis and then waiting a minute to give the body a chance to adjust will allow you to penetrate your partner further without pain. Also, some women do not enjoy anal penetration unless they are receiving clitoral stimulation at the same time; try adding a vibrator or finger stimulation on her clitoris during anal penetration. I recommend water-based gels (such as Maximus or Sliquid Sassy) or silicone gel lubricants (such as Pjur Gel) for anal play, as they provide a nice cushion and tend to stay in place better. Silicone lubricant cannot be used with silicone toys (like butt plugs), but it tends to last longer and not dry out as quickly as water-based lubricant.

Please check out the SEXpress archives for many more columns on the topic of anal sex (here's one to get you started). For comprehensive information on this topic, I would recommend Tristan Taormino's website (which includes a regular Anal Advisor column), her book The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women or her DVD The Expert Guide to Anal Sex. The more you know, the more pleasure you and your girlfriend are likely to have.

Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them to
laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.

Laura Anne Stuart has a master's degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than a decade. She owns the
Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee's East Side.