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Thursday, March 7, 2013

We’re Both Turned On By Anal Sex, But Can’t Seem To Get It Right

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My husband and I have been married 27 years, and we have great sex. We have, just in the last few months, been doing anal. It's a big turn-on for both of us. He is big and hard at the start, but as soon as he gets near or in, he starts to go soft. He said he can't feel anything once he is in and only feels the entry hole around his penis. When he does get in, I also don't feel all of him. We’re not getting what we want out of this, but we both still want it. How and what can we do to keep him hard and both of us happy? During vaginal and oral, he stays hard, so I don't think it’s an erection problem—just can't [get it] in the back door.

The official motto for anal sex should be, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” It’s an activity that requires preparation, practice, time, experimentation and enthusiasm. It’s not unusual for people to experience some turbulence during takeoff before settling into a smooth anal flight. So, let’s think about some of the ways you might get where you want to go.

If your husband can maintain an erection during other types of sex but not during anal penetration, the cause may be psychological. Is he afraid of hurting you? Does he have some residual worries about anal sex being dirty or taboo? Is there any chance that he could feel pressured into trying anal sex? These can be difficult questions to discuss, but getting all possible issues out on the table and talking through them might be the best way of resolving the problem. It’s important to remember how profoundly our thoughts and feelings can affect our sexual performance.

Since a firm erection is necessary for anal penetration, you can also try cock rings to help him maintain his hardness. You can read a previous SEXPress column about how to use cock rings here. However, no sex toy is going to solve psychological issues, so cock rings aren’t a substitute for a discussion about why this might be happening.

You mention that neither of you are getting the erotic sensation you hoped for from anal penetration. It’s true that anal sex isn’t going to feel like vaginal or oral sex. For the person being penetrated, internal sensations are caused more by pressure than touch. The external anal opening has a lot of nerve endings and thus is responsive to light touches from fingers, tongues or vibrators, but internally, anal penetration might be experienced more as a sensation of pleasurable fullness. For the person doing the penetrating, it’s not uncommon for the area of greatest sensation to be right around the anal opening.

Simply recalibrating your expectations about what anal sex “should” feel like might help both of you get more pleasure out of this activity. You could also try different positions to see what feels best—anal sex guru Tristan Taormino offers many options in The Anal Sex Position Guide. If you enjoy G-spot stimulation, there are several anal sex positions where the penis is angled towards the front of a woman’s body that can feel very pleasurable.

It’s also important to remember that penis-in-anus intercourse isn’t the only form of anal play there is—far from it. If that particular type of anal sex isn’t working for you, trying other options might be more satisfying. Maybe you’d enjoy wearing a butt plug during vaginal penetration—and maybe your husband would too! Maybe you would both enjoy having your husband penetrate you anally with a dildo, and then having vaginal or oral sex afterwards. Maybe you’d like having your husband wear a men’s dildo harness that allows him to penetrate you vaginally with his penis and anally with a dildo at the same time. There are many, many possibilities to explore.

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