Picasso of the posterior

Picasso of the posterior

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When I came out in 1994, there was no how-to guide for anal sex, and if there were, I would have read it from top to bottom, literally. I am an advocate for black LGBTQ folks getting to know their own bodies before “getting it on” with another person, especially when it comes to anal sex. I believe it can be empowering to know what your anus is capable of and to explore the greater pleasures with sex.

With that said, I am excited to share with you some of the wisdom I’ve encountered along the way, so that your anal experiences can be memorable in the best possible way. Please note I am speaking from a gay man’s point of view, and the tips I am about to share about anal sex are appropriate for any gender and sexual identity seeking to have a cleaner anal experience.

The point of anal “douching” is to prevent you from taking a shit on someone, and it helps you be more confident during the experience. I asked my doctor, “Is frequent douching bad for your body?” She informed me that it is not. When you use water, it only gets into the lower part of the anal canal and rectum, so it is not going to cause any major issues with the rest of the gut.

Making sure you have a good lubricant is really important to ensure comfortable anal sex. Having a silicone lubricant is better than a water-based one because it will not absorb into the skin. Therefore, reapplication is not necessary. Since you may need a lot of lube, I would highly recommend having some towels close by in case of emergency.

Anal sex can be a pleasurable experience, not a painful or anxiety-provoking one. This is why I always tell people that they need a supportive partner. It is imperative to have clear communication. A person can become extremely vulnerable when engaging in anal sex, sometimes experiencing intense feelings and emotions. Being able to know you can yell, “Take it out!” or “I’m done!” during the experience is key to making it more pleasurable. Safe spaces must exist in the bedroom, people!

If you are feeling pain, remember: This is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Please do not ignore these signs, because the results could be detrimental. Anal fissures, bleeding and difficulties going to the bathroom are just some of the issues that can happen from not paying attention to your body’s pain signals. It is perfectly normal to feel some discomfort in the beginning, but if it is not going away, take some time to slow it down or stop all together. Your booty will thank you later. 

Antar Bush is a public-health advocate, professor at West Chester University and executive producer of the online talk show OUTPour LGBTQ. He is committed to advocating for health equity in all communities. Follow him on Instagram @antarbushmswmph.

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