I find it fascinating that some men do not understand the pleasure of anal play and prostate stimulation. The prostate gland plays a pivotal role in our enjoyment and in our ejaculation and orgasm process. The anus (actually the rectum) is full nerves and is the best way to stimulate the prostate.
In my practice I often field questions from men about anal sex. Some men discover the pleasures and joys of anal play and want to know if it is normal. (Yes!). While other men want to know if it is okay to want to play with their anus even though they are straight. (Again yes!)
One of the issues is the belief that only gay men enjoy or do anal sex/play. This is a myth. Not all gay men engage in anal sex/play. The anus (and rectum) has many nerves and it is through the anus the prostate can be manipulated/played with, so anal play can be enjoyed by any man. There are no data on (straight) men who engage in anal play or anal sex in Australia, with international research reports focusing on couples who engage in anal play. Anal sex in heterosexual couples is approximately 5% of couples surveyed1.
This month’s column will focus on anal play for men. I will discuss anal play for women in a future blog. To make anal play more fun and comfortable will first consider the anatomy.
Know Your Body
Understanding our anatomy is the first step to increasing pleasure. I have previously written about mindful masturbation and understanding the erogenous zones of the body. I suggested in that post men spend some time playing with their anus (or arse hole). Let’s expand this to include the anus and rectum.
The anus is a passage about 6 cm long and contains two muscles – the internal and external sphincter. This is what we commonly call the arse-hole. It the stretching of these muscles which often result in the first experience of discomfort. Learning to relax the external sphincter makes for easier penetration. (The internal sphincter is not so easy to learn to relax as it is part of the autonomic nervous system.)
Once through the anus there is the rectum. The rectum is around 20 cm and has an ‘S-shaped’ bend to it. The rectum and anus are able to stretch and therefore can accommodate small or medium size objects inserted.
It is through the rectum we are able to stimulate our prostate gland. This walnut-sized gland is located below the bladder in front of the rectum. It is possible for men to experience an array of sensations from prostate stimulation.
The final piece of anatomy to know about are the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are found in the lower part of torso and control such actions as bladder and bowel movements, as well as our erections and ejaculation. The external anal sphincter also forms part of these muscles.
Techniques for Increased Anal Pleasure
Learn to control your pelvic floor muscles for increased pleasure. To exercise these muscles there are two techniques. Pretend to urinate and then stop, you will feel the muscles contract and also feel your genitals move. A similar exercise more focused on the anal sphincter is to contract this muscle like you do when having a bowel movement.
To help relax the anus, I often recommend the use of the “anal breath”. This simple little breath helps relax the anus and makes penetration easier. Take a deep breath in through your nose and as you breathe out of your mouth imagine the breath travelling down through your body and out through your anus. You might have to practice a few times, yet you will feel the anus relaxing.
Clean n Go
Many men are concerned about faecal matter during anal sex. Faecal matter travels into the rectum just before it requires emptying. If the bowel has recently been emptied then the rectum is generally clean. There may be a small amount of faecal matter. If cleanliness is a concern use a latex glove or fingerdom, or a condom on a toy. Washing the anus will help clean away immediate faecal matter. It is possible to douche carefully to ensure you are completely clean.
Using a lubricant is the key to successful anal pleasure. A good water-based lubricant is ideal with condoms and toys. Some men may also like a silicon-based lubricant. Silicone-based lubes last longer and many men report greater pleasure with these lubes, but silicone lubes are not recommended for use with silicone toys.
Time to Explore
Spend some time exploring your anus. Sit in a warm bath, or in the shower, and let your fingers explore. Feel the anus and the pressure as you push against it. Use some lubricant and allow yourself to explore feel your rectum and find your prostate. Understanding how your body works only increase your opportunity for more pleasurable sex.
Toys for Anal Pleasure
I previous published an introduction to prostate and anal toys for men in the Choosing Sex Toys for Men blog. In this blog I will discuss some of the recommended toys. Using a toy which vibrates can be fun internal or external stimulation. Placing the vibrating toy against your perineum and anus will send gentle vibrations into the pelvic area of the body and stimulate the base of the penis and the prostate. Internal use of a vibrator will provide more direct stimulation to the prostate and the nerves of the rectum.
Choosing an adult toy designed for anal play is better. For beginners, Aphrodite’s Pleasure sells the Anal Beginners Collection from Pipedream. For the more advanced there is the Anal Deluxe Collection. These packs contain a selection of toys for anal play including butt plugs, anal beads and prostate stimulators.
For p-spot or prostate stimulation, the Duke from Fun Factory is purposefully designed for prostate fun with a perineum vibrating am for extra stimulation. Lelo also produces the Bob – a great prostate anal plug combo. Pipedream produces two vibrating prostate toys: The P-Spot Spiral and the Vibrating Reach Around. For non-vibrating p-spot stimulation the Icicles #54 is a good choice.
Butt plugs are designed to maximise anal pleasure for the wearer. Some men insert butt plugs while having sex with their partners to increase their enjoyment – stimulation at the anus and penis. Butt plugs can bring pleasure during masturbation due to the contractions of the pelvic floor muscles as well. The Boosty Black Anal Plug and the Bootie Anal Plug from Fun Factory are two butt plugs stocked by Aphrodite’s Pleasure. If you are a little more experienced with anal play or adventurous why not try the Ass Blaster – an inflatable and vibrating butt plug sure to stimulate any man.
If you wish to experience a more sublime anal play experience why not try anal beads. Anal beads vary in designed with some designs increasing in size while others are all the same size. All anal beads need to be a strong – not free balls. Anal beads are inserted with maximum stimulation occurring as the beads the pulled, or removed, from the anus. When the beads are removed at the point of orgasm, some men have reported increased orgasmic experience. Anal beads can be found in the anal packs at Aphrodite’s Pleasure. Individual products include Bendy Beads from Fun Factory and Pipedream’s Beginner Bead Set. Remember, a healthy life includes a healthy sex life. A healthy sex life is sane, safe and (con)sensual.
Dr Christopher Fox is a Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist at Sex Life Therapy in Melbourne. He has clinics in East Melbourne and Frankston.
References: 1 Heywood, W., & Smith, A.M.A. (2012). Anal sex practices in heterosexual and male homosexual populations: A review of population-based data. Sexual Health, 9, 517-526.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide an overview of the subject matter covered. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions.