Psychology
04 Dec 2018

Extreme intimacy requires trust

In order to physically surrender to our partner during intercourse, we need to trust them completely. An interview with a sexologist and sex educator.

Wysokie Obcasy
Paulina Reiter Wysokie Obcasy, Global
Extreme intimacy requires trust - NewsMavens
Daisy, PixaBay

The following fragments from Paulina Reiter’s interview with Alicja Długołęcka first appeared in the Polish weekly “Wysokie Obcasy” in May 2012.

Paulina Reiter: I’ve been asked quite a few times whether I planned to talk to you about anal sex. I thought that perhaps I should.

Alicja Długołęcka: Were you asked by women or men?

PR: By men.

That’s a shame. I was hoping that maybe for once the curiosity about anal sex came from the ladies.

PR: Unfortunately not. I visited a few online forums dedicated to this subject. The majority are administered by men and they all revolve around one problem: “How to convince your stubborn partner to have anal sex?”.

Precisely! I should warn you that this conversation might be a bit of a challenge for me as I’m not a big fan of anal intercourse. Why? Because of the female perspective.

Most women I met openly admitted that their consent to anal sex was nothing  but the result of their partners’ long and persistent nagging. Women often pretend to be more sexually open that they truly are, because they believe it’s the best way to hold on to their partner. But truly, and from a sexiological point of view, people shouldn’t engage in anything against their will.

The main purpose of sexual intercourse -- apart from procreation -- is pleasure. So, if we don’t feel it and if we’re not enjoying it, there is absolutely no point in doing it. I guess my message to all women would be: “Don't force yourself to do things you don’t really want to do.”

PR: Let’s say that I do want to try anal sex. My first concern is pain. Is it justified?

It surely is! In order to avoid pain during anal penetration we need to fulfil a few important conditions such as: mutual inclination, excitement and relaxation. Couples who enjoy anal sex often mention that the beginning can incredibly difficult and rather unpleasant. The sphincter is a strong muscle and its forceful dilation can be very painful. It may damage the mucous membranes and cause bleeding.

If you really want to try anal sex, I would probably advise to prepare your body for this…experiment. Find some exercises involving the tightening and relaxation of sphincter muscles or try a delicate finger stimulation, for example, during a bath.

Apart from physical barriers, we also have to overcome psychological ones. Trust and feeling secure are probably the two most essential factors in anal sex.

In order to dedicate and physically “surrender” to our partner, we need to trust them completely. It’s not that easy.

Another thing we shouldn’t forget about when it comes to anal penetration is a good lubricant. Personally, I would suggest K-Y Jelly. It’s not expensive, it’s perfectly safe and you can find it in every pharmacy. I’ve also heard many people recommending ultrasound gel, which is also available in every drugstore without a prescription. When using  lube, one should always be generous, apply it on the penis and around the anus.

By the way, I would like to stress that during intercourse of this type, we must always use a condom!

Anal sex is considered the riskiest activity for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and it’s especially dangerous for the receiver -- in this case- - a woman. If we’re switching from anal penetration to a vaginal intercourse, we need to use a different condom -- on that note I would probably suggest a different order of sexual positions. The condom doesn’t only protect us from infections but it still functions as a form of birth control. Even during anal sex, semen can easily dribble out of the anus, reach woman’s vagina and lead to pregnancy.

PR: What about an enema?

Some people engaging in anal intercourse use enemas and douches. Laxatives can be pretty useful too.

PR: Is there anything else I should ask about or be afraid of?

A few more words about pain. Obviously, there are those who enjoy a bit of suffering, but that’s a whole different story. When it comes to anal penetration, pain indicates  tissue damage -- that means we’re hurting ourselves. We should either use more lubricant or ask our partner to be more gentle. We could also divide the intercourse into a few separate phases.

PR: What I find really repulsive about anal pornography is its brutality. Why does it always have to be  so violent?

It’s horrible and I’m glad you’ve mentioned it. From what I’ve watched on the Internet, it’s all about male power and female degredation. It makes me think of “virginity dealers” and sexual exploitation of young girls. Many people find it exciting, but in my opinion, brutal anal sex is the most humiliating form of rape.

PR: You mention violence and humiliation, but many people claim that the best aspect of anal sex is that narrow... hole that guarantees a uniquely intense stimulation.

That’s true and it sounds pretty reasonable, although I assure you that a few weeks of Kegel exercises would make a vaginal intercourse equally stimulating. Sometimes women whose partners start talking about anal sex suspect them of homosexual or bisexual tendencies. Personally, I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Very often men suggest anal sex because they they’ve run out of ideas in bed and it’s something they have never tried before.

PR: Can you find at least one positive aspect of anal sex?

I believe that anal intercourse might be a beautiful act of transition to a higher level of intimacy between the two partners. The fact that we choose that one particular man and allow him to access our body in the deepest and most private way signifies a great trust and unusual closeness.

All I’m saying is that the woman’s motivations in this kind of situation should always have both an emotional and sexual character. while the man’s must be highly empathic of both her feelings and her physical comfort. As long as she’s doing it of her own free will, everything’s fine. Some women I spoke to described their anal experience as an intense and passionate sensation that involved crossing firstly psychological and then physical boundaries. Once they had overcome these barriers, they fully enjoyed the sexual act.

A few of them mentioned that it made them psychologically stronger and braver - both in bed and in life.

I don’t think I need to remind you that these kind of positive feelings can only happen if a woman is treated with respect and is not objectified by her partner.

What’s really interesting is that nearly all these women admitted that they found it hard to talk and share about their anal intercourse not because the anus and anal penetration are still pretty taboo, but rather because they had never experienced anything that intimate before. For me, that’s probably the most positive aspect of anal sex.

***

Alicja Długołęcka is a Polish sexologist, and author of numerous books including: Seks na Wysokich Obcasach (Sex on High Heels) and a lecturer at the Department of Psychotherapy and Sexual Rehabilitation at Jósef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw.

Translated from Polish by Martyna Kardach

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