02 Sep

We Need to Talk More in Relationships

That also means regularly talking about sex.

Communication is key. 

It might sound cliché, but it’s true. All relationships, be that platonic or romantic, require frequent and honest communication. Some things are easy to talk to your partner about, but talking to your partner about sex can be hard. It can be even harder to tell your partner that you aren’t satisfied with your relationship. 

Through August 2020, we ran a survey asking our users about communication in their relationships. In this blog post, we’re going to break down our findings and discuss ways to improve communication in your relationships. 

When asked about how satisfied our customers are with their relationships, most of those surveyed said they are satisfied with the level of communication in their relationships, but more than 40% mention they could use tips for improvement. 

A great first step to improving communication is to share your emotions with your partner.

A majority of those surveyed infrequently share their emotions. 34% said they rarely talk about their emotions, but will open up to a trusted partner. 24.3% said they only share sometimes, and only when they need to. 

Emotions are deeply personal, and sharing them can feel incredibly intimate. And it’s exactly for this reason we’d like to encourage you to start sharing your emotional state with your partner. Emotional availability is one of the strongest foundations you can build your relationship on. Understanding what your partner is feeling, and allowing your partner into your own headspace, will help them to better understand you. Practicing emotional availability will increase trust in your relationship, which will grow your sexual chemistry. 

You don’t have to overload your partner with your feelings (that’s it’s own problem), but let them in on if you’re struggling mentally or are feeling frustrated about something. It’s also important to let them know when you’re feeling excited about something or you’re really happy with the way an aspect of your relationship is going. Your partner should be there for you for both the good and the bad. 

Now speaking of the bad. . . While most of those surveyed have talked through an intimate conversation with a partner or trusted friend, a little less than 30% say they have attempted, and it did not go well. 

Dissecting the successes and shortcomings of your relationship is certainly a sensitive topic that could cause emotions to flare. If this happens, it's totally normal, and something to be aware of before you even have this conversation. In order to keep things productive, be calm and be kind. No one wants to feel like they’re being criticized. 

When initiating this kind of talk, Healthline recommends beginning by focusing on both being heard and listening. It shouldn’t be a contest of who can debate better. The goal should be to improve the relationship you both share, which requires collaboration on both parts. Active listening and honesty will take you far. Avoid yelling, sarcasm, or anything that could give your partner the impression that you aren’t taking them seriously. You are responsible for your behavior and your actions. Be aware of how you might sound to your partner. 

You don’t have to solve all your problems in one go, but you should walk away from the conversation feeling like it’s been productive. There should be some kind of resolution. 

If your partner is not open to communicating with you, be that expressing their own needs or listening to your’s, and that feels like a problem to you, it might be time to evaluate if you want to continue the relationship. Of course, we suggest letting your partner know your concerns. Tell them that you feel that their emotional unavailability is causing problems in your relationship. This might be the wakeup call they needed. And if not, this might be a red flag you need to be aware of. 

One could argue that no matter the outcome, talking with your partner is better than not talking at all. Participants in our survey infrequently talk to their partner, family, or friends about their wants and needs. What does this mean for communication? Would sharing wants and needs improve communication in relationships? 

30% of participants said they rarely talk to a partner or friends/family about sex and intimacy, but will open up to a trusted partner. 22% said they only share sometimes when they feel that they need to. It seems like people wait until the mood strikes to discuss their feelings on sex and and intimacy, but it’s best to have these conversations beforehand. 

Online Mental Health service BetterHelp recommends that you communicate with your partner on a regular basis. Everyone’s rhythm will be different, but make sure it’s consistent. The sooner you can address an issue or bring up something on your mind, the better. 

It’s also interesting to note that of those surveyed, 19% will only talk about sex and intimacy if their partner or trusted friend asks. And while it’s good to not want to overburden your partner, you are important. Your partner can’t read your mind, so if there’s something you want to talk about, it is up to you to bring it up. 

Maybe you don’t want to cause trouble or you feel embarrassed to bring something up. You’re totally not alone in feeling like that. What we heard from 42.2% of our participants is that they didn’t want to rock the boat. Another 42% said they fear they will be unable to relate to what they are saying.

Sex is a big part of life, but society often makes it out to be something hidden or to be ashamed of. Unlearning religious or purity culture trauma takes time (and might be something to unpack with your therapist), it’s so worth it. The more comfortable you feel in your sexuality, the more you can enjoy your sexual relationships—both with your partner and with yourself. You can only be known as well as you know yourself. Be gentle with yourself, and learn to feel comfortable expressing your needs. 

Being comfortable with yourself is important, but being comfortable in your partnership is important, too. You’re both in the relationship, so keep that in mind when you want to bring something up. Protect your own feelings, but remember that “we” might take you further than “I.” If you want to address something, try framing the conversation around the two of you.

  • There’s something I think would be fun for us to try.

  • I feel like we aren’t connecting well lately. 

But don’t be afraid to be direct. You know your body and desires best. If you’d prefer your partner adjust their technique, whether it be for sex or snuggling, be clear but be kind. You don’t want to put-down or criticize them, so try bringing it up as “What if we tried X?” or “I think it would be better if you Y.” Keep things upbeat. 

Taking responsibility for your own pleasure is empowering, and will translate to other parts of your life. 

Include your kids in the conversation, too. It’s easy to forget, but kids are also people. And they’re never too young to learn how to clearly express their needs. It’s important to have open, honest conversations with your children about sexual health and consent early on. Forewarned is forearmed. The more information they have, the better equipped they are to make smart, fully-informed choices. 

Understanding sex is only going to make them feel more comfortable in their own skin and keep them safer. 

When you open a line of communication and make your child feel like they can come to you for help without risk of angering you or being judged, they’ll be more likely to communicate back. This way, you’ve become an avenue of information that they can bring their questions to, rather than learning from the internet and opening themselves to content meant exclusively for adults or to predators. 

Sexual education can be lifesaving. It will better equip your child to recognize when they are being groomed or exploited. They will also learn good habits, like using protection and understanding consent. You have to understand what the danger is in order to see it and avoid it. 

Open communication can only help all of your relationships.

30 Aug

The skin is the largest organ of the body, so it's important to take care of it. If you’re someone who shaves and has sensitive skin (or even if you don’t), Coochy Shave Cream might be just the thing you’re looking for. 

Coochy’s shave cream is suitable for even the most sensitive, dry skin. As someone who has keratosis pilaris, I’ve got to be selective about the kinds of products I put on my skin because anything can irritate it. The shave cream by Coochy doesn’t aggravate my skin whatsoever. It’s beyond soothing, and leaves my skin feeling nurtured and soft every time. Every time I use it, I get out of the shower feeling like I’ve already applied a rich moisturizer. 

Some moisturizing shave creams leave behind a film or can clog your razor, but the Coochy Shave Cream melts into the skin and lays a foundation for a fantastical close shave with no risk of razor bumps. 

The different creams are emollient and packed with good-for-skin ingredients like different nurturing oils such as Jojoba and Grapeseed Oil, and cetyl alcohol. You can use it anywhere on the body from feet, legs, bikini area, and the face. Since I’ve started using it, I’ve noticed that it’s cut down dramatically on razor bumps and ingrown hairs. It can also make it easier to shave hard-to-reach areas by cutting down on knicks and cuts. 

Another great feature of Coochy’s creams is that they can be used as conditioner in your hair. It works as a shaving cream because it softens the hair and conditions the skin, so it works just as well when applied to your hair. 

For when you’re between shaves, or if you don’t shave your body, you can apply some of the cream to your skin and let it sit while you shower. It acts like a conditioner for your skin if you need an extra boost of moisture. 

The line offers a variety of scents so there’s something for everyone, ranging from feminine florals to gender neutral tones. For people who don’t care for scents, the Au Natural is fragrance free, but is just as gentle and moisturizing as the scented creams. The Be Original scent is a great option for someone looking for a gender neutral scent. It’s a light, clean smelling scent that only lingers as a clean scent. 

For people who like more fragranced products, Island Paradise, Peachy Keen, and Floral Haze are wonderful for people who want something with a little pizzazz. Coochy’s products are never overpowering or overly sweet. They’re subtle, but they linger and mingle with your own body chemistry to give you a fresh smell that will last for quite a while after use. 

If you want to boost the moisturizing factor, try the Body Oil Mist. It’s formulated with botanical extracts and oils to improve skin texture and lock in moisture. Try using it on your body after shaving. The Body Oil Mist applies evenly and leaves behind a satiny finish that isn’t greasy or irritating. 

Coochy also offers Sweat Defense, a deodorant/anti-chafing cream-to-powder product. Once rubbed in, it’s velvety soft and will last for hours. It’s suitable for use in the underwear area, under the arms, under the boobs, or anywhere you might get sweaty. It’s also great between the thighs if you’re prone to chafing. 

Whoever you are and whatever your needs might be, there’s a Coochy product right for you. It’s suitable for people of all genders and all skin types. It can be used anywhere on the body without causing any irritation.

Hurry now, because in the month of August, Coochy Shave Creams are 20% OFF in-store and online. 


27 Aug

So, You Want to Buy Your First Toy

Vulva Edition

Heading into a sex toy store for the first time can be intimidating. It can be challenging going into an environment where you don’t know what to expect or even what you’re looking for. There are hundreds of items available and you have only a viral TikTok to go off of for product recommendations... So, where do you start?

Welcome to Lion’s Den!

There’s no need to be afraid! While there is an abundance of information out there and a lot of different things to try, it is easy to get overwhelmed. At the Lion’s Den, we take pride in offering a diverse collection of products designed to supply pleasure, passion, and romance to all. 

We also want to make your shopping experience as seamless as possible, so we’ve provided some tips for our first time shoppers! (Psst: this edition is for people with vulvas. Stay tuned for other editions that may be more suitable to your needs.)

Take a tour! 

There is lots to see so take 5-10 minutes to stroll around and get your bearings. All of our locations will have items sectioned off for easy shopping. Vulva centeric toys, penis centric toys, and anal centric toys are generally grouped together so if you have an idea of what you’re looking for, it should be pretty easy to find. We also carry lingerie, lotions/potions, and BDSM gear so don’t be surprised if you happen to see some spanking implements here and there.

Types of Stimulation

First thing first, determine what kind of stimulation you want. Since most vulva owners need to experience some kind of clitoral stimulation to orgasm, a bullet is a great place to start. 

Clitoral Stimulation

Bullets and compact vibes are about 2-4 inches long and are intended primarily for clitoris play. Like most vibes, they will have a low, medium, and high setting to adjust the level of intensity. This is not your mom’s vibe either; due to the advancement in technology, toys today are quite sophisticated and designed for maximum pleasure, so don’t be surprised if there are more than a few functions available. 

Vaginal Stimulation

Vaginal stimulation can best be achieved through penetration, either from fingers, a penis, or toys - like a dildo. Dildos come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. They can look phallic, or like a piece of fruit, others look like nothing at all. There are an unbelievable number of dildos you can choose from at Lion’s Den, but do not fear! We are here to help. 

We understand that some may thrive and feel more comfortable in a purchase decision if they have all the information available to them, here is a blog we’ve shared where we describe every detail of dildos to make an informed decision.

Dual Stimulation 

If you feel like clitoral or vaginal stimulation alone isn’t going to cut it for you, fear not! One of the most iconic sex toys called the “rabbit” might be more what you had in mind. These toys can range in size and features, but will always have an insertable part and a vibrator on top that sits against the clitoris. 

Rabbits can vary widely, but the main differences with them will be the size/shape of the internal shaft and a few functions.

Anal Stimulation

Before you go shoving things up there, it’s best to understand your butthole and how it works. The anus is one of the most densely nerve packed areas of the body. Stimulating this area (regardless of your genitalia) will produce pretty intense sensations. 

Anal sex can be daunting, which is why we’ve provided a beginners guide to anal stimulation on our blog. No matter how you start incorporating anal play, ALWAYS USE LUBE.

If you’re wanting to try anal sex with a partner, start with a small toy or finger. You’re not going to be able to properly accommodate most penis sizes if you’ve never inserted anything before. Anal kits with a graduated plug size can be a great way to slowly work your booty up to something more substantial.

Set a Budget

Since this may be your first time buying a toy, a question you might be asking is “how much should I be spending?” 

A beginner model typically costs about $40-50 on a quality, rechargeable vibrator. You can absolutely find less expensive options if you’re more budget conscious, however, they may require batteries for power or might not come with some of the bells and whistles the rechargeable options may have. You can definitely opt for something on the less expensive side, like a bullet, if you’re unsure how your body might react to toy stimulation.

Rabbit style vibes tend to be more expensive and can range anywhere from $40-$200. If you want to ensure your rabbit will last and is a good introductory option, you should expect to invest around $60-$70. The rabbits are more expensive because of the number of features, quality, and durability.

It may seem like a lot to invest when you’ve never tried them before, especially when you consider that when it comes to sexual pleasure, everyone likes something a little different. That certainly can be true when it comes to more niche toys, but the toys we recommend for first-time users are just that: introductory toys. They will be tried and true designs and function in a way that is simple, but effective. The toys we carry have been curated based on 50 years of experience in the adult industry, so believe us when we say we know what we’re talking about! 

What Else Do I Need?

So you’ve made your selection. Hurray! Before you head up to the register, you might be wondering what kinds of additional things you may need to take care of your toy and body. Two things we consider an absolute must: Toy Cleaner and Lube.

Toy Cleaner

Here’s the basic run down: before and after play, rinse the toy in warm water, apply cleaner on the toy’s surface, and rinse again. The water will rinse off any particles and the cleaner will ensure there's no bacteria lingering. Make sure you avoid water in the electrical component (unless your toy is specifically water submersible.) After it's clean, give it a shake and let it air dry on a clean towel. 

When it comes to cleaners, you’ll typically have two choices: a spray option or foaming option. Foaming cleaner is easier to see, but it works the same as the spray. Lion’s Den carries a variety of toy cleaners, but we’d miss the opportunity if we didn’t recommend ours ;).

Toy cleaner is strongly recommended by both us and the manufacturer to extend the life of your toy and keep it bacteria-free. You made an investment, so protect it! 

For specific instructions on how to care for your toys, check out our previous blog on toy maintenance and storage

Lube

Using lubricant can not only make sex more enjoyable, but it increases the chances of reaching an orgasm. Lube can (and should!) be used by anyone and for any sexual activity because of the many benefits it has for partner or solo play.

If you’re gearing up for a play session apply a small amount of water based lube. Standard water based lube works well for most people, but if you have skin sensitivity, you may want to consider getting something specifically for sensitive skin. 

Water based lube also comes in warming or cooling sensations as well as a number of different sizes. If you don’t want to commit to the full bottle, most stores will have a 1oz or 2oz bottle to get you started. 

Take it Home!

Once you’ve got your new toy home, give it a charge! Most manufacturers recommend a full charge before use (if you can wait that long!) 

We also recommend hanging on to the receipt and box for at least 10 days. Should anything happen to your toy, most manufacturers will cover mechanical defects from 30 days to 5 years (depending on the manufacturer.)

If you have questions about your toy’s specific warranty coverage, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team for links to register your product. We’re also here to help if you have any questions or concerns about your new toy.

1.800.345.3308 | customer_service@lionsden.com | LIVE Chat on Website



Buying a toy for the first time can be daunting or maybe even feel embarrassing. You should know, you have nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. Pleasure and sex are key components of a happy, healthy life. Buying a toy is a form of self-care and that is something to celebrate!

Our stores are bright, open, and have a very knowledgeable staff who want you to be as comfortable as possible while you’re shopping with us. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!



Psst: Not everyone is lucky enough to live within driving distance of the Lion’s Den. No worries! Our online store is curated much like our in-store shopping experience. Everything is laid out in easy to find categories and we have filtering options on the left side of the page which will allow you to get as granular as you like.

23 Aug

Outercourse: Non-Penetrative Play

It seems like a lot of times, conversations about sex revolve around penetration. But what if you or your partner don’t have a penis? Or what if you or your partner have a penis but don’t want to utilize it? If that’s the case, we’d like to introduce you to outercourse. 

What is Outercourse?

Yes, it’s a real thing. Healthline explains that outercourse can mean, “everything except penis-in-vagina (PIV) penetration” or it could mean “no penetration of any kind, including fingers, sex toys, and anal sex.”

Outercourse, as we are choosing to explain and explore in this post, is sexual contact that intentionally involves no penetration between people who would otherwise incorporate penetration into their sexual activity. 

We’d also like to give the disclaimer that sex looks different for everyone. Sex is subjective, and something that can be tailored to your and your partner’s needs. There does not have to be penetration with a phallic object or penetration of any kind in order to make sex between you and your partner valid.

Who Can Participate in Outercourse?

If you’re not totally ready to have penetrative sex or want to have direct genital stimulation, but still want to find a way to be intimate with your partner, this is a great option. Outercourse is an excellent launch point for people who are new to sex. 

It’s also a great way to reconnect intimately with your partner. Sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees. Sex is just as much a mental act as it is a physical act. Outercourse can help you not only become more introspective of your own sexuality, but also more in tune with your partner’s particular quirks. 

We always recommend that you discuss your partner’s sexual health and history before becoming intimate, but sometimes there isn’t a right time to have that conversation. Outercourse is a reliable way to avoid pregnancy or the spread of STIs as long as you don’t come into contact with sexual fluids or engage in genital-to-genital contact. You can eat your cake and have it, too, pregnancy and STI free.

(Psst: always clean your sex toys before and after all uses even if you are not directly in contact your partner's genitals and/or fluid during outercourse play because bacteria can remain on your toys long after use, potentially transmitting an infection.)

How Do You Have Outercourse?

There is no wrong way to go about outercourse. We’ve outlined some ways you and your partner can have fun with each other, without penetrating each other, below. 

When you decide you want to try outercourse for yourself, lay out your expectations and some ground rules with your partner beforehand. Like we’ve said before, not everyone’s idea o sex is the same so you want to be on the same page as your partner when you decide to take penetration out of the equation.

Try Mutual Masterbation:

Like we explain in this blog post, mutual masterbation is when you and your partner both perform the act of masterbation while in each other’s presence. You can do this simultaneously, or take turns with one watching while the other performs. 

Aside from the physical pleasure you will receive, you’re also part of a voyeuristic act. Knowing that you’re being watched, that someone is viewing you with sexual desire, can increase your own enjoyment of the act.

Try Non-Penetrative Sex Toys:

External stimulation with the fingers out tongue are great contact options for outercourse. But if you want to spice up your handjob, try incorporating a masturbator. A masturbaotr is a sex toy inteded to be used by a penis owner, meant to mimic the act of mastubating. Using one during a handjob will create more complex sensations for your partner to enjoy.

We recommend something like the Tenga Hard Gel Egg. It’s inside is textured to add an extra layer of pleasure. Add some lube, and use it paired with your bare hand. 

For vulva owners, some styles of vibrators provide wonderful sensations exclusively to the exterior gential area. We recommend clit-specific vibrators, like wand, bullet, or clitorial-stimmulator styles. 

Satisfyer is a pioneer in clitoral stimulation toys. Using air-current technology, their unique products stimulate the clit with intense pulsations. The Satisfyer Pro 2 also comes with a vibrating feature for some extra oomph. 

A bullet vibe like the Rose 2 by Vush can be enjoyed by anyone, either as a warm up or some auxiliary support for the main act. This tiny but mighty vibrator packs a powerful punch that can be incorporated into any activity. Try stimulating your partner with it, either by itself or in addition to something else. 

Talk With Your Partner.

Paint them a picture of your favorite fantasy with your words. Homegrown, personalized erotica can be very hot. Discuss in vivid detail something you’ve always wanted to try, or something you want to try again.

Not only is this titillating for you and your partner both, but it’s also a great way to start a conversation about something you would enjoy trying. By framing it as not only a fantasy, but also making it part of something they are currently enjoying will only make both experiences more appealing. 

Get Your Grind On.

Grinding. . . dry humping. . . whatever you want to call it, it’s fun. It’s a great way to take your make out sesh to the next level without proceeding to all out sex.

Try an At-Home Couple’s Massage.

Skin on skin contact meant to elicit physical pleasure. . . that doesn’t involve the genitals. Give your partner a thorough, full-body rub down. You can do this with just your bare hands, but we recommend some kind of massage oil for a little extra lubrication, which is always a good thing. 

This one by Exsens of Paris also has warming technology that’s activated by skin to skin (or skin to mouth!) contact, so things are certain to heat up once you get going. 

Get Kinky!

Kink doesn’t always involve sex. Kink runs the gamut from sexual restraints to power-exchanges. Explore any kinks you have, be that a humiliation kink or an objectification kink. Anything is on the table. 

However, if you want to get physical, activities like spanking can also be very sexual without involving any kind of sex. 

Whatever you do, or whatever you want to try, feel free to get creative. Other than practicing safe sex and always having consent, sex doesn’t have any rules. It can be whatever you want it to be. Experiment as much as you like, and you’re guaranteed to find something that rubs you the right way.



19 Aug

Let's Get Serious about the Butt

Pain is like cinnamon: you might want to add a little to spice things up, but too much can ruin the dish. While a little pain or discomfort is a totally normal part of sex, watch out for the intensity. Intense pain or discomfort is the red flag signalling that something has gone wrong. You should never push through extreme feelings because it could mean that you’re damaging your body or that damage has already been done. 

Sexual discomfort, especially discomfort in the anal area, can be awkward to talk about. Despite that, it’s something you should take seriously and feel empowered to talk to your doctor about. You’ve got to live in your body for a long time, so you want to keep it in working order. Being aware of and open about pain you’re experiencing could keep you from getting hurt and keep your body in working order so you can have more fun for longer. 

Quick disclaimer: Here at Lion’s Den, we’re here to help. We like to provide useful information and advice to our readers, but we aren’t here to provide medical advice. If you think you’re experiencing a serious problem, as always, we recommend speaking to your doctor about anything you’re experiencing

But if you need help detecting warning signs that your discomfort is a serious issue or advice on initiating a conversation with your doctor, we can give some insight into how to initiate a conversation about your health with your primary health care provider. 

Knowing the Risks:

Sex, espeically anal sex, is not without risks. Of course, there are the risks associated with all sexual acts such as pregnancy or STIs. But the anus is a unique area with its own unique risks. 

The anal canal produces no natural lubricant which increases the risk of tearing. Additionally, the skin and muscle of the anus is less accommodating of sexual activity than other orifices, and is more absorbent than other skin of the body. The skin of the anal canal is also more absorbant than other skin on the body. This leads to a greater risk of STIs than other forms of sex. The National Institute of Health warns that anal sex is associated with a higher risk of acquiring an STI or other infections. 

Anal sex can still be performed safely. According to Planned Parenthood, anal sex is safe for both the short and long-term. However, it can irritate existing hemorrhoids if that’s something you experience. It also comes with an elevated risk of anal or vaginal prolapse. This is when the muscles of the pelvic floor weaken, which causes organs to slip further down. 

For all these reasons, it’s important to always, always use lube and protection. Not only does it dramatically increase pleasure, but it reduces risk of injury and spreading STIs. 

Recognizing an Issue:

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to recognize when something has gone awry. If your anal play feels intensely painful, we advise you to stop and consult your doctor. A little pain is to be expected, but if it’s a lot, this could indicate some trauma in the anus. 

Another warning sign is blood, which usually accompanies a feeling of pain. Bright red blood means the trauma has come from the anus, anal canal, or lowet part of the colon. This could be from something like an aggravated hemorrhoid or an anal fissure. An anal fissure is a small tear in the anal canal caused by trauma, which could be anything from straining or rough anal sex. Cedar Sinai writes that some of the most common causes of anal fissures are anal sex or objects inserted into the rectum. 

But if it’s dark blood, that means the injury is further up and probably more serious, so go to the emergency room immediately. 

What to Expect When Consulting a Health Care Provider:

If you’re worried about talking to your doctor because you want to keep your issue private, let us assure you that you’re totally safe speaking to your doctor. Doctors are legally bound to keep any information you share with them private. Also, your health care provider’s job is to listen to your health-related concerns and help solve them, not to judge. Odds are, whatever you’re going through is something a ton of other people have also experienced and that your doctor has seen numerous times. 

Planned Parenthood outlines some questions your doctor will probably ask you when you go in to speak with them about sexual discomfort: 

                  - Are you sexually active? (this means anal, oral, and vaginal sex.)
                  - Have you ever had an STD, or think you have an STD?
                  - Are you using birth control, and what kind?
                  - Do you have any pain or bleeding during sex?
                  - Have you ever had sex without a condom or dental dam?
                  - Have you ever used drugs or alcohol? If so, how often?

Depending on the type of body you have, your doctor will have different questions. If you are biologically female, they will ask you about your menstrual cycle and any abnormalities you might be experiencing in your cycle. They will also ask if you have noticed a change in your discharge.

Penis owners will be asked if they have any abnormalities in getting or maintaining an erection, or if they have noticed abnormal discharge. Your doctor might also ask if you have noticed any abnormal lumps in your testicles or in your genital area. 

Whatever you are experiencing, it is important to be totally transparent with your doctor. They’ve spent years acquiring medical expertise, and will only be able to accurately diagnose the source of your problem if they’ve been made aware of the full scope of your symptoms. 

However, if you feel that your doctor is not listening to you or is brushing aside your symptoms, always feel free to seek a second opinion. Someone who is a great healthcare provider for others might not be the best fit for you, so shop around for a healthcare provider that best fits your needs.


16 Aug

How to Talk to Your Partner about Anal Sex

So, you’ve decided that you’re open to the idea of anal pleasure. 

There are a number of ways you can achieve anal pleasure all by yourself, but if you have a partner you’d like to try anal sex with, you have to get them on board as well. 

Bringing up anal sex can feel intimidating. Despite the large cult following of people who love anal sex, its still got a reputation for being taboo which makes people more hesitant to bring it up. 

Let us assure you that anal sex can be great for anyone, no matter who you are. Men, women, and people of all genders can get pleasure from pegging, rimming, or any other kind of penetrative play as either the receiver or performer. Like every other form of sex, it’s meant to be fun. 

And if you’d like some tips for pitching anal to your partner, keep reading. 

Talk With Your Partner Beforehand:

Be honest with your partner about what you want to try. Odds are that your partner can’t read your mind, and the only way they’re going to know that you want to try anal is if you tell them. 

Try catching your partner in a good mood when they have time to talk and let them know what you’re thinking. Approach this conversation with a collaborative attitude. Instead of just telling your partner you’d like them to do something to you or you’d like to do something to them, phrase your invitation to try anal as something you would like to try together

Kaitlyn Vanger writes for Bustle, “Remember that anal play is a mutual sex act, and your partner should be just as into it as you are before you head right in. Also, starting a sentence by stating your needs first can put pressure on your partner, which is never acceptable.” 

We totally agree. You're offering your partner a new aspect of your partnership. They have to be on board if you’re going to proceed. 

If you’re looking for another way to bring up the topic, you could try asking if they have any fantasies and begin a conversation about different things you’d like to explore with each other. Your partner might be thinking about anal too, and has just been waiting for the right opportunity to say something. Your partner might also have a totally different fantasy they’d like to explore with you. This conversation opens a line of communication about new things you’d both like to try, which is always a good thing. 

Give Them Something to Think About:

If you don’t want to immediately bring up anal sex, or you’d like to work your way up to it, you could suggest bringing anal toys into the bedroom. Fingering, or even the use of a butt plug, is a lot easier of a starting place than penetrative anal sex. 

Also, purchasing an anal safe toy and gifting it to your partner is another great way to bring up the fact that you’d like to try anal sex. Make it clear that they’re under no pressure to use it on themself or you (it all depends on what you’re going for). They might not be into it, or it might take them some time to warm up to the idea, but having a concrete first step on hand might bring you closer to anal sex.

Anal sex requires a fiar ammount of prep work, as the anus is less maleable than other sexual orifices. It takes time to build up the muscle strength and tolerance to find anal sex comfortable. 

Kaitlyn Vanger also writes, “You can make anal prep into a fun couples activity by heading to your local sex shop and picking out butt plugs and anal beads. Both of these toys will help relax your partner's anus before sex, which will put your partner's mind at ease and enhance the experience for both of you.” 

The B-Vibe Anal Training Set comes with three butt plugs of varying sizes with different vibrating functions. They’re discrete and comfortable, so you can keep them in for extended periods and wear them anywhere. Try them in the bedroom, or try wearing one around the house (or even out of the house) for an adventure you can go on all by yourself. 

Anal beads are also great for people looking to try anal stimualtion and work their way up to more intense forms of anal penetration. The beads increase in size, allowing you to stretch and build your flexibility. Curious Bottom Line Silicone Beads are a great starting place for your anal adventure. 

If you’re serious about trying anal sex, whether you want to be on the receiving end or want to give your partner a good time, we strongly recommend that whoever is going to be the recipient gets warmed up before you move on to actual sex. According to a survey on anal intercourse conducted by PubMed, “less than a third (27.7%) of participants who regularly engaged in anoreceptive intercourse in the past 12 months stated that they rarely or never experience pain/discomfort with the practice.” This does not have to mean actual anal sex. A buttplug, anal beads, or fingering are all great ways to build up your anal stamina. 

Be Willing to Try it Out Yourself:

One of the most memorable scenes on Keeping Up with the Kardashias was when Scott Disick, Kourtney’s former partner, continuously tried to convince Kourtney to “let him in through the backdoor.” In response, Kourtney jokingly bought a strapon, telling Disick that if he wanted to try anal sex he’d have to bottom first. And while this scene was certainly meant for comedy, somewhere in there is a good idea. 

First and foremost, don’t try anything you’re not comfortable with. However, it’s generally not good practice to try to talk someone into doing something you yourself won’t try. One of the best ways to learn what you’re doing is learn how it’s supposed to feel, or at least how it feels at all. 

Before initiating a conversation with your partner about anal sex, try some anal play out yourself and see what all the fuss is about for yourself. This way, you’ll understand what it feels like and be able to better talk your partner through what they might feel if they decide they want to try it out as well. Also, you might discover that you enjoy being on the receiving end. 

Knowledge, after all, is power. So learn as much as you can about anal sex beforehand. 

Be Alright With a NO:

We’ve laid out some great tips on how to bring up anal with your partner, but you’re still not guaranteed a go-ahead on anal sex. Some people just don’t have any desire to try anal sex, and that’s okay. It’s not for everyone. 

Consent is key in all aspects of sex, but if anything needs multi-factor authentication, it’s anal. While it can be an outstanding source of pleasure, it can also be uncomfortable and even painful. You absolutely must make sure that your partner is ready and willing to be penetrated. 

Your partner is free to retract their consent at any time, but they’re also free to decide that they would like to try anal after all. Never pressure your partner into anything. Give them space and time to think about if they’d lie to try anal. If it doesn’t sound appealing to them at the moment, it is possible that their “no” one day could turn into a “yes” the next. Whatever they say, respect it. 

12 Aug

Fear of the unknown is often what stops exploration in its tracks. “Here be dragons” was a common phrase used on maps of yesteryear to indicate uncharted—and uncertain—waters. For many people, their uncharted territory is anal sex. 

However, more and more people are overcoming their hesitancy and are trying anal sex for themselves. If you’re interested in seeing what all the fuss is about for yourself, you could be about to enter a new gateway to pleasure. 

The big question on everyone’s mind is: What does anal sex feel like?

And like every other form of sex, it depends. There are a variety of factors at play, from your body, your experience level, and how recently you’ve last indulge in anal sex—or if you’ve ever done it at all. 

In some ways, it’s exactly like other forms of penetrative sex. It’s different in that the real estate in the anus is typically much smaller and much tighter. Likely, if you’re on the receiving end, things might feel a bit more crowded than usual. Unlike the vagina or mouth, the anus is a vacuum that wants to draw objects in. Anal sex is less about thrusting than it is about enjoying the sensation for the sensations sake. It’s not the place to be quick and rough. Anal sex is like a liquor meant to be sipped slowly and savored.

 

Images courtesy of Teen Vogue

But in terms of the overall anatomical structure, the entire anal area is full of nerves. For those who have one, the clitoris has deep roots that extend throughout the genitals and all the way to the anus. As the clitoris is key in achieving an orgasm for most women, the fact that it’s deep roots spread all the way to the anal ring should give you an idea that it’s got the potential to be a very pleasurable experience. 

Anal sex is also a great way to stimulate your a-spot. Healthline explains that the a-spot is short for the anterior fornix, a powerful erogenous organ located about five-to-six inches inside the vagina. The anterior fornix is the pleasure center responsible for causing the wet sensation during arousal, and can be stimulated from deep vaginal penetration or anal sex. 

Aside from indirect vaginal pleasure you might feel from anal sex, the anus itself is made up of specialized sensory nerve endings. Chief among these is the pudendal nerve, located in the perineum. This nerve also spreads to the labia and the clitoris. 

The anus can be “trained” to be accomodating to stretching and external stimulation, but it is not a malleable space the way a vagina is. If you’re looking to work your way up to anal play with a partner, we recommend trying out anal training kits like these ones from B-Vibe and They-ology from CalExotics.

   

It takes time to build up the muscle memory to accommodate anal sex. Anal training kits include wearable anal training probes meant to let you safely and comfortably increase pleasure with every use. PubMed reports that “Less than a third (27.7%) of participants who regularly engaged in anoreceptive intercourse in the past 12 months stated that they rarely or never experience pain/discomfort with the practice.”

If you’d like to get an idea what anal sex might feel like, we recommend trying out a butt plug. A butt plug is a toy of varying sizes meant to be inserted into the anus and then left for as long as you like. 

Women’s Health actually endorses personal prep work prior to anal sex as way to make the whole experience more pleasurable. Instead of starting your anal sex journey with penetration by your partner, begin by yourself with anal beads, fingers, or a butt plug. This will not only help to “train” the muscle to accept penetration, but it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with your body and your hard and soft limits. 

If you’re looking for a butt plug to try, the A-Play Rechargeable Silicone Anal Plug is a velvet-soft, flexibly vibrating butt plug. It comes with 10 different functions selected by a remote control. It’s a great toy for the uninitiated as well as the experienced. You can try out this easy to use butt plug and see how you’d feel about any kind of anal stimulation before getting a partner involved.

 

That is, if you want to get a partner involved. Anal pleasure can be achieved on your own with both the help of a butt plug as well as a dildo. 

Whatever you do, we recommend (read: insist on) lube. The stretching of the anal ring is something that should never be rushed. This small ring of muscle is one of the most delicate and important parts of the body so take care not to damage it. Also, the anus does not provide its own lubricant like the vagina or mouth, so it will need some help from you to be slick enough for comfortable and fun anal play. 

The Relax Desensitizing Anal Lubricant by Clean Stream is a great, condom-safe anal lubricant. In addition to providing much needed lubrication, it's also infused with lidocaine to gently numb the area it’s applied to. For people who are nervous or especially sensitive, this lube could cut down on uncomfortable sensations. 

However, you don’t want to be too numb during anal sex. Pain is an indicator that something's gone wrong and you don’t want to miss any warning signs that you might be damaging your body. Anal sex might be uncomfortable at first, but it should never been painful. If you feel like it’s hurting, feel free to stop at any time. You can always try again later if you’re feeling up to it. 

More so than vaginal or oral sex, anal sex is a learning curve. It can take some time and experimentation to find your GoldiLocks combination of factors that make anal an enjoyable experience. If you’re trying to engage in anal sex with a partner, always communicate to them what works and what doesn’t. Your partner can’t read your mind, so if something hurts or something feels great, let them know. It’s definitely a collaboration to find what feels just right

Anal sex is certainly not for everyone, but certainly anyone can try it. Who knows? It might just be your new favorite thing.


09 Aug

As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, anal play can be a thrilling experience enjoyed by anyone. We’ve also discussed how intimidating it can be. It goes without saying that anything anal is considered a taboo by many, but that’s part of the fun. 

If you’re curious about anal play, but aren’t sure how to go about it or if its for you, keep reading to learn more about the world of anal. 

What is Anal Play?

Anal play spans from fingering to pegging. Smart Sex Resources defines anal play as both external stimulation of the anus and penetrative play. You can do this orally, digitally (with fingers), or with a penis or with a toy. It’s whatever kind of stimulation you or your partner likes. 

It can be the opening act or the main event depending on what you like and what you want. Anal play can be performed by yourself to amazing effect, or with a partner as a way to spice things up. 

Who Can Enjoy Anal Play?

Everyone!

If you have an anus, you have the tools to engage in anal play. It is enjoyed by people of all genders and sexualities. And while you personally may or may not enjoy anal play, it can be enjoyed by anyone. It all comes down to what you like. 

For those who have a vulva, anal sex not only activates the deeply-rooted nerves around the anus, but it can also indirectly stimulate the a-spot, g-spot, and clitoris. 

For penis owners of any sexuality, anal play can be especially pleasurable because of the prostate. This small, chestnut-sized rubbery organ is responsible for creating seminal fluid and maintaining healthy erections. The prostate is also a powerful erogenous zone that when stimulated can result in powerful orgasms. It can be accessed fairly easily via the anus, making it a great benefit of anal play if you’re someone who has a prostate. 

Image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

It also bears repeating that if you have a prostate and like being the receiver of anal play, that does not make you gay. You are entitled to enjoy any kind of sexual activity that appeals to you physically or emotionally. 

Smart Sex Resources reports that “people of all sexual orientations and gender identities can explore giving and receiving anal play. The anal region is rich with nerve endings, so stimulation in this area can feel good.” It’s as simple as a pleasure preference. Anal is a great way to directly stimulate the prostate as well as the nerve-rich anterior fornix and clitoris. It holds a huge potential for pleasure for everyone who wants to try it. 

Sexuality is deeply personal, and also customizable. All the different types of sex are meant to serve you, rather than just be a predetermined series of acts to perform. Do what feels good, feels right for you. It’s all about pleasure. 

Why Try Anal Play?

This is a case where “because” is a perfectly good reason to try something new. Variety is the spice of life, and anal play is almost garunteed to spice up your sex life. Try it to add a  Anal play is a little variety into your routine. It’s becoming more common, but it still has the air of being taboo, like forbidden fruit. The psychological appeal might add to the physical appeal for you or your partner. The brain is a key part of sexual arousal, so feelings you might have about anal play could potentially add to the appeal. 

It’s a great way to experiment with your body. If you’re a novice at anal play, you’re about to tap into a previously unexplored pleasure center. The entire anal area is chock-full of nerves that will give you plenty of satisfaction, and might even result in an orgasm. Experimenting with different kinds of stimulation and sources of pleasure will help build your sexual repertoire. 

Some reasons, among others, to try anal play are spicing things up as a way to build intimacy. As it involves one of the most delicate parts of the body, anal play requires an increased level of intimacy and trust in your partner if you are the receiver. If you are the performer, anal play requires more precision and self control than other forms of sexual play. If you’re playing with a partner, you must place a lot of trust in them, and in turn your partner must be careful. It can be very fun, but it can also be a uniquely personal experience. 

Anal play is also a great canvas for any dominant/submission play you might like to explore. In the same way it requires a lot of trust between partners, it also creates a distinctive power dynamic. If this is a fantasy of yours, the very nature of anal play might lend itself perfectly to any power play scenario between you and your partner. 

Where to Start?

Start out slow. It might take some time before the anal ring will stretch enough to accomodate any kind of activity. Also, bear in mind that the anus does not produce its own lubricant so you’ll need to provide that on your own. The System JO H2O Anal Lubricant is specially designed for anal play. Water based lubricants are the best option for anal play, and this option from System JO will ensure that any kind of anal play is silky smooth. 

Fingering or oral are great ways to start. This kind of play is minimally invasive for those who don’t want too much pressure on or in the anus. If this is something you’re interested in (or if you plan on doing any kind of anal play), use lots and lots of lube. The more the merrier!

Butt plugs can be a great starter for anal play, or great in general if that’s as far as you’d like to go. Butt plugs are perfect for penetration play as well as helping to stretch out the anus, either just for the sensation of having something inserted or as prep for later. 

We recommend the Backdoor Adventure 3 Piece Butt Plug Kit. This kit has butt plugs of three different sizes so it’s accommodating to beginners and veterans alike, as well as those who want to build their personal stamina. They also come with a remote controlled vibrating feature to intensify the pleasure factor. 

Depending on who wants to be penetrated by their partner, the use of a toy might be required. If you need some assistance pegging your partner, a strapon might be an ideal tool. We recommend something like the Happy Rabbit Strapless Strapon, which has an attachment to penetrate your partner as well as attachments to stimulate you and your clit. 

However you decide to play, remember that consent is key. Go over your partner’s and your own hard and soft limits before you try anything anal. Proceed with caution, and know that you can stop any time. Anal play might be uncomfortable at first, but it should never be painful. 

If you are experiencing any kind of acute pain or notice any signs of trauma such as bleeding, seek medical care immediately.

05 Aug

Anal sex can seem intimidating. It’s not only an incredibly delicate place, but also one of the most intimate parts of the body. Many fail to see the appeal of anal at all, fearing it might be uncomfortable or painful. However, for many people the anus is an untapped pleasure epicenter that can lead to just as much satisfaction—if not more—than more typical forms of sex. 

The elusive anal orgasm is something you might be unfamiliar with, but this post will give you all the information you need on how to familairze yourself with anal pleasure. 

What is an Anal Orgasm?

It’s fairly self-explanatory, but the mechanics of it might be a bit confusing at first. The anal area is the gateway to many erogenous zones—hypersensetive areas of the body that cause intense sexual arrousal when stimulated. 

What Does it Feel Like?

The first few attempts at anal sex might be awkward or even uncomfortable. Nerves might be the culprit, but your anatomy is also something to be aware of. The anus is not meant to be widely expanded and it doesn’t produce any natural lubrication. 

For vulva-owners, anal orgasm will feel very similar to a blended orgasm. This is because of the overall anatomy of the area making it impossible to isolate the anal sensation from other sensations. Also, you might need stimulation in another place to help bring you over the edge during anal play.

For penis-owners, an anal orgasm will feel equally intense but will likely be a more pin-pointed experience. Once you find the prostate, an orgasm isn’t too far behind. The prostate is one of the most essential parts of the body for penis owners’ orgasm. It’s incredibly receptive to stimulation and it won’t take much to take it from zero to one-hundred when this part of the body is utilized. 

But for everyone, the anal orgasm will be an intense, full body feeling because it spreads throughout your pelvic floor. Also, it’s something that can be experienced multiple times during sex. 

Something to keep in mind about the anus is that it’s a vacuum. It wants to pull things in, unlike the throat which wants to reject anything being inserted. If you’re not careful, a toy could get “lost” down there, so opt for something with a flange that will make sure everything stays put. 

Anatomy of Anus

 

Images courtesy of Teen Vogue

How do You Achieve Anal Orgasm?

For people with vulvas, the clitoris is typically the most key component of achieving orgasm. However, what many people don’t know is just how much real estate the clitoris occupies. It’s external bud is only one of its components. It has deep roots that extend throughout the genitals and all the way to the anus.

For cisgender women and those assigned female at birth, the a-spot is your best friend if you’re wanting to achieve anal orgasm. Explained by Healthline, the a-spot is short for the anterior fornix, which is located about five-to-six inches into the vagina. The area is a pleasure center responsible for causing the wet sensation during arousal. You can access this area via the vagina, or stimulate it from deep penetration within the anus. 

The anus itself is made up of many, many nerve endings which can provide plenty of exciting sensations. One of the most exciting nerves in the neighborhood is the pudendal nerve, which is embedded in the perineum. It’s the area between the vulva and anus. You might’ve heard it called the taint. This nerve also spreads to the labia and the clitoris. 

You can reach this exciting southern destination from plenty of positions, with anything from fingering to doggy-style. This nerve-rich area is something everyone is born with and everyone can enjoy. If you’re trying to access it from the anus, the perineum will be the forward wall that’s parallel to the stomach. 

This whole area of your body is made up of hyper-receptive nerves and sensitive skin. The backdoor, as it were, is very much connected to the rest of the house. Try viewing the entire downstairs area more holistically. Stimulation in one place could lead to more powerful feelings in others. 

The perineum is found in people of all genders and can help anyone enjoy an anal orgasm. We recommend starting out just with fingers. Rubbing circles the area or making a beckoning, come here motion will send waves of pleasure throughout your whole pelvic floor. When you’re ready to move onto penetration, focus on stimulating the front wall rather than the back wall of the anus. It’s where most of the fun parts are located, and what is more likely to help you get to orgasm. 

If you’re solo or don’t want to get a partner involved, there are plenty of products to help you stimulate your own perineum. 

Anal orgasms might be easier for people with penises. Like we break down in this post on all the different types of orgasms and how you can have one, anal play offers plenty of pleasure possibilities for penis-owners. In addition to all the nerves present in the area that everyone has, penis-owners also have a prostate, one of the body’s most powerful erogenous zones. 

The prostate can be stimulated manually by yourself or by someone else. Be sure to be gentle with the area. This should be pleasurable, not painful. If you need a little help reaching all the way back there, try the Anal Adventures Platinum - Silicone Vibrating Prostate Massager. It was designed with prostate-owners in mind, but the vibrating option and curved body can reach all the right places for anyone. 

If you’re the giver rather than the receiver, try stimulating your partner by massaging their prostate for them. Bonus points if you incorporate prostate massage during oral sex. 

Pegging your partner is another way to give your partner a thrilling anal orgasm. If you need one, choose a strapon that will pleasure you as well as your partner. The Estella Strapless Silicone Dildo by Temptasia is curved to rub your partner’s perineum and prostate, and features an attachment that will stimulate your g-spot and clitoris. 

If you incorporate only one product into your anal play, make sure it’s lube. The anus is not only a delicate part of the body, but incredibly important for your overall health. You don’t want to damage it in any way. Always exercise caution and try to be gentle, and use lots of lube. The slicker, the better. 

And remember, even if you can’t actually reach an orgasm, you can still experience loads of pleasure from anal play. A big part of the appeal of anal play is that hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-stands-up, chills-down-your-spine kind of feeling. It might not give you an orgasm, but it can certainly give you goosebumps. Relax and enjoy the sensations. You never know what might become your next favorite feeling. 

02 Aug

So You Wanna Do Butt Stuff

If you’re open to the idea of anal play, but aren’t quite sure where to start, check out this article to help get you started:

Understanding the anus

Before you go shoving things up there, it’s best to understand your butthole and how it works. The anus is one of the most densely nerve packed areas of the body. Stimulating this area (regardless of your genitalia) will produce pretty intense sensations. These nerves are shared with the genitals called the pudendal nerve.

The inside of the anus has two sphincters. These are muscular rings that act as guards for bodily waste and intrusion. The first ring which is closest to the anus is malleable and generally very cooperative when it comes to insertion. The internal ring cannot be controlled by sheer will as it is part of your autonomic nervous system (like your breathing or heartbeat). It will, however, relax for a bowel movement.

Maintenance and cleaning

One of the best ways to care for your butthole is to eat well. A poor diet can result in unpleasant excrement which can in turn cause tearing or odors. Making sure you’re well hydrated in also an important part of taking care of your body (and your butthole).

Before play, feel free to give yourself a quick wash to make sure there is no remaining debris. If you don’t have time for a shower, biodegradable baby wipes are great in a pinch and they fit in a backpack, purse, or glovebox.

Now onto anal douching. Douching is the act of squirting water up the anus to push out any fecal matter. There are a variety of types of anal douches you can purchase so it’s kind of up to you what you’d prefer. When using a douche, keep in mind that your anus has both good and bad bacterial so if you opt to douche, you’re flushing out both.

All this might seem like a lot of work, and in some instances it is. All the prep work and cleaning can take away some of the fun spontaneity, but often times when first starting out can help both parties feel more comfortable. Ultimately, it’s up to you (and your partner) to decide with what you are and are not comfortable.   

If you have any butt/intestinal related medical concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor to make sure anal is safe for you.

Getting started

Getting acquainted with your anus is best done in the shower. So hop in, lather up, and feel your butthole. Making sure to keep any soap out of it, move your finger around; get your body used to having your butthole touched. As you get used to this sensation, your body will relax which will make inserting a well-lubricated finger/object later much easier.

If you’re wanting to try anal sex with a partner, start with a small toy or finger. You’re not going to be able to properly accommodate most penis sizes if you’ve never inserted anything before. Anal kits with a graduated plug size can be a great way to slowly work your booty up to something more substantial.

Stretching/lubricant

The anus is not like the mouth or vagina meaning is does not have its own natural lubrication. Because it doesn’t get slick on its own, it’s up to the anus owner or partner to ensure it does. A thick, water based anal lubricant is a great place to start especially if you’re using it with toys. Keep in mind that a water based lubricant may require more than one application as it can get absorbed by the body.

If you’re wanting something that doesn’t require multiple applications, a silicone lubricant is the way to go. A word of warning; do not use silicone lubricant with non-glass/metal toys. The make-up of a silicone lubricant is often not compatible with toys and can ruin the material of your toy.

The best way to ensure the anus is fully lubricated is to purchase a lube shooter for the most seamless (and let’s face it, less messy) lubricant application.

*Penetration without proper lubrication can cause tearing which can lead to pain, bleeding, or a possible ER trip. Use lubrication.

Numbing creams

The use of numbing creams can help an anxious user be more relaxed when it comes to anal insertion, but use it sparingly. Pain is your body’s way of alerting you that something is wrong. As I mentioned above, penetration without proper lubricant can cause tearing so if you’re numb, you may not be able to feel it and can cause further damage.

As an alternative to numbing creams/gels, try freezing a small amount of water based lubricant and inserting it into the anus. The coldness will help numb the anal cavity slightly while the lubricant will help keep things slick. It also provides a fun sensation to the anus.

Types of toys

Anything that goes in your butt needs to have a taper or base. A taper is the widening of a toy so that the bottom is larger than the rest of it. This will prevent the toy from being completely inserted. The reason this is important is because the anus will contract which can result in a non-tapered toy getting sucked in with no way to retrieve it. Often times, this can result in a trip to the ER which is a major mood killer.

I generally recommend using only medical grade silicone toys when it comes to anal play. They’re less porous which makes clean up much easier. For more information on toy care and toy materials, see our other blog post: How To Clean Toys.

Wrap it up

Condoms, dental dams, and latex gloves are smart when it comes to anal play (whether with a partner or alone). They reduce the risk of STIs which is more likely to happen when engaging in anal intercourse. The reason for this increased risk is because the anus is more absorbent than the vagina and is also more susceptible to microscopic tearing. In order to guard against these infections, have your partner use a condom before play. Additionally, if you and your partner are switching from anal to vaginal sex, use a different condom.

Protective barriers also help keep your toys and hands tidy. When dealing with the anus, you may encounter fecal matter which can carry its own set of bacteria. Any preventative measures you can take to keep this bacteria from you partner or your toys should be taken.

Communication

One of the most important things about sex (not just butt stuff) is communication. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, speak up! Your partner is not a mind reader and can’t know if things don’t feel right for you. Remember, your partner wants you to enjoy this experience as much as they are, so if things aren’t going well, make sure to let them know.

If the penetration feels off, don’t hesitate to take a break and come back to it later. If, in the end, timing, positioning, or the general rhythm just isn’t working, don’t sweat it; you can try again another day.

 

Orignally posted April 2019.

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