Gwyneth Paltrow is a lot of things. An actress. A blogger. A big ole c-word (from what the Hollywood rumors imply). And now she can add “anal sex guru” to her resume. I’m not sure how or why, but her pretentious and unnecessary blog Goop just recently added a guide to anal sex to its archives, in which Gwyn herself answers some questions about the ~revolutionary~ sex act. I’m not quite sure who is asking these questions or why Paltrow thought she was the best person to answer them, but I’m just as eager as the rest of you to break it down.
Q: When did heterosexual anal start to become a thing?
A: Since porn became as easy to access as YouTube, porn producers have had to fight for clicks, and so porn has become more extreme. I’d say that by 2005, porn had totally blurred the distinction between a woman’s anus and vagina. This wasn’t because women were begging their lovers for anal, it’s because porn producers were afraid you’d click on someone else’s porn if they weren’t upping the ante in terms of shock value.
Okay, that may be true, but I believe the hashtag #ButtStuff2012 is what really kicked it into motion. I know this because I graduated college in 2011, and not a single person tried to put his penis into my rear. In either case, I feel like this guide to anal is a little late, as everyone knows girl-on-girl is the new butt stuff.
Q: Does the popularity of anal in porn reflect reality in both homosexual and heterosexual couples?
A: No. There are some couples who enjoy anal sex a lot, maybe 10 percent to 15 percent of all straight couples. But if you ask them how often they have anal vs. vaginal intercourse, they’ll say maybe they have anal one time for every five or ten times they have vaginal intercourse. We occasionally, as in once a year, hear from women who say they have anal as often as vaginal, but that’s unusual.
Is this really a question that people are asking? Like most heterosexual couples are genuinely wondering if every woman is out here getting her ass pounded as often as Bottom Ben? Have they no girlfriends to tell them that ass play is a sometimes activity, and only if your boyfriend is better-looking than you are? I mean, shit.
Q: How should we modify the anal sex we see modeled in porn to best suit an in-real-life couple?
A: The way the rectum curves shortly after the opening tells us we need to make a lot of adjustments for anal to feel good. Also, the two sets of sphincter muscles that nature placed around the opening of the anus to help humans maintain their dignity when in crowded spaces (to keep poop from dropping out) mean there’s an automatic reflex if you push against them from the outside.
So one of the first things a woman or man needs to do if they want to be on the receiving end of anal sex is to teach their sphincter muscles to relax enough that a penis can get past their gates. This takes a lot of practice.
Honestly, I’m not comfortable with how many times you just used the word “sphincter.”
Q: Are there known health consequences of anal practiced over the long-term? Can you do it too much?
A: One of the urology consultants for my book believes that unprotected anal sex can be a way for bacteria to get into the man’s prostate gland. He prefers the person with the penis that’s going into the other person’s butt use a condom.
Also, small chunks of fecal matter can lodge into the man’s urethra. So if the couple has vaginal intercourse following anal intercourse without a condom, the male partner should pee first in addition to washing his penis with soap and water.
One hundred percent referring any man who ever tries to do anal with me to this passage. You’ll get poop dick!
Q: Do pre-anal enemas make a difference in terms of health safety? What about preventing accidents?
A: I know of no studies on the relationship between pre-anal enemas and health outcomes. As for its general wisdom, people seem as divided on that as on politics in Washington. So I would say, to each her own. Also, some people use a “short shot,” which is a quick enema with one of those bulb devices instead of using a bag and going the full nine yards. In any case, accidents are likely to happen at one time or another.
They are AS divided on pre-anal enemas as on politics in Washington. Like you thought people went crazy on Facebook during the elections, but just WAIT to see what happens if you post a Facebook status about taking a suppository before letting your boyfriend stick it in your loophole. Hilary, Trump, fucking Jill Stein be damned. If you don’t force yourself to take a trip to the shitter before you have anal sex, just unfriend me right now. I have no time those kinds of disgusting people in my life, honestly, and I will fight you right here in the comments section of my profile for God and my grandma to see if you think otherwise.
Q: What tests should people be getting if they practice anal?
A: There’s “should” and there’s reality. If I were on the receiving end of anal sex, I would want to be sure my partner did not have HIV before I’d even let him get close to my bum with his penis.
Uhh, yeah. I think “doesn’t have a fatal, contagious disease that slowly chips away at your immune system until you eventually die” is pretty high up on all of our lists when looking for a romantic and/or sexual partner, regardless of the type of sex we’re having. But thank you for the advice. I will take it under advisement.
Q: Probably more people try anal today than in the past—are there ways to make a first experience a good one?
A: Spend a few weeks helping the receiving partner train her/his anal sphincters to relax. Make sure you and your partner have great sexual communication, trust, and that you both want to do it, as opposed to one trying to pressure the other, or not wanting to do it but doing it because you are afraid your partner will find someone else who will. Do not do it drunk or stoned, and do not use lube that numbs your anus. If it doesn’t feel good when it’s happening, stop.
What exactly does “sphincter training” consist of? I think out in the wild, it just means that you agree to let a dude eat your booty like groceries — which in his mind, serves as a month-long foreplay to get you ready for the big shebang — until one day he tries to toss you a finger without asking. You’ll get into a fight about it, but it wasn’t really that bad, so after some back and forth, you agree to let him do that too. And then eventually, he works his way up to asking you to let him put his dick in, and you don’t even know how you got here. You know. Hypothetically.
Q: Do people orgasm from anal stimulation? Is it common or uncommon?
A: Some women say they have amazing orgasms from anal, but usually they will be stimulating their clitoris at the same time.
Some women say a lot of things. Some women say they love blow jobs. Some women say they prefer salads to cheeseburgers. Some women say they don’t stalk their boyfriend’s ex back to her prom. I don’t believe a damn word these women say. Assgasms, be damned.
Q: Does it usually take a few tries to enjoy anal? Are there positions that make it easiest?
A: It depends on how much you are willing to work on training the receptive partner’s anal sphincters to relax, how good your communication is, how much trust there is, and probably on the width or girth of the dude’s penis. Common sense would tell you it should go way better if a guy is normal-sized as opposed to porn-sized.
Remember how much sex hurt the first time you did it the normal way? It will be like that, except the hole is smaller, drier, and technically an “exit only.” You do the math.
Q: What should we be telling our kids about anal?
A: We don’t tell them about the clitoris, about women’s orgasms, about masturbation, about the importance of exploring a partner’s body, and learning from each other. We don’t tell them that much of what they see in porn is unreal, and we don’t talk to them about the importance of mutual consent. So I don’t see anal being at the top of most parents’ “should talk to our kids about” lists. There are more important things we need to be talking about first.
Honestly, this question is irrelevant. Because if you’re doing a ton of anal, no one is going to want you to be the mother of their children anyway. But thanks for stopping by..
Image via Andrea Raffin | Shutterstock