This was originally posted on a previous iteration of this site on June 15th, 2014. It has been reposted here for posterity.
You should never, ever, ever use Anal Eaze or other such products. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Anal Eaze is a cherry flavored cream or gel that is used to numb the anal sphincter to make anal sex “easier.” Anal Eaze relies on two ideas to sell as often as it does: the idea that anal sex hurts, and the idea that even though you think it’s going to hurt you should suck it up and deal with it, you big sissy.
When I worked in retail, I dealt with innumerable customers that wanted to “go through” anal sex because they felt like their partner wanted it, or had even been pressured into it by their partners. This is presumably for a few reasons- the idea that they could ejaculate inside of their partner without risking pregnancy1 and because of the taboo nature of the act― because of the common misconception that anal sex hurts, it is considered a sort of accomplishment to convince your partner to subject themselves to it. Though I could easily go into an examination of how harmful and unfortunately prevalent this sort of thinking is, I’ll spare you.
The fact of the matter is that, anal sex? It shouldn’t hurt. It even has a great potential to be outright pleasurable in ways you couldn’t imagine- but it can take research, trial and error, and more than one successful try to get there. The reason for this is that unlocking any pleasure zone you’re unacquainted with can take a couple attempts before your nerve endings get over the “what’s going on?!” signals and get firmly into the “oh. I remember this. This is nice!” territory, and because the anal sphincters have taken it upon themselves to make sure you don’t have anal sex if you’re not into it.
The anal sphincters are two donut-shaped bands of muscle stacked on top of each other. If you press your finger against the anus2 you can feel the first one, which is right on the surface, and if you’re able to slowly press beyond- slow and steady is key, don’t try to force yourself in- you’re able to feel the second. The first sphincter is controlled consciously- you can tense and relax it at will. The second, however, is subconscious like breathing or your heartbeat. If you’re feeling stressed out, anxious, having a bad day, or really just not into anything penetrating you, it will know and it will clamp shut.
The attempts to lay siege to this near-impenetrable fortress are what results in painful tears in the anal sphincter and rectum that can take time to heal, and this is where the idea that anal sex is painful comes from: because people do not take the time to warm up with smaller objects (one finger, two finger, three finger, four), who are only doing it because their partner wants them to and not because they’re into it, and who are not in a calm and clear state of mind try to have anal sex anyway, even though their body is saying slow down! or I’m not ready for this or even no, no, No, NO!
Worried about cleanliness? These are for you:
- Gloves make you more at ease- a common stigma about anal play is that it’s messy, and although this is not normally true, having a barrier can help ease the anxiety. Wearing gloves can also help reduce the chances of damaging delicate anal tissues and creates a more frictionless surface. I linked to nitrile gloves so you don’t have to worry about allergies. They’re also great for some light- or heavy- medical-themed play.
- Enemas are another great way to ease anxiety about cleanliness. Although going to the bathroom within a couple hours before your sexual encounter should clear anything out, there can still be some traces left behind. An enema is used to shoot water into the rectum and rinse it out, and it can also feel pretty good. One reusable option is the silicone Booty Blaster, a sleek, unthreatening, and easily sterilizable option that’s great for beginners. If you want to get more intense, you can try theStreemMaster Shower Enema Kit which has a silicone bucket that attaches to a standard shower head and silicone hose, an two nozzles as well as adjustable pressure and a system which means it won’t suddenly change pressures on you. This is a great alternative to systems that hook up to the actual shower nozzle, as it is easier to set up, take down, and can be boiled for sterilization. Many people fetishize enema use, and the book Intimate Invasions explores this taboo act, exploring the exciting foreplay opportunities as well as discussing safety and psychology.
- Another grew invention for any kind of sex is the throw- a waterproof blanket that can go underneath you during intercourse of any sort and keeps bodily fluids from reaching your carpet, mattress, couch… wherever you lay it down. After your play is over, you can pop it in the wash and it’ll come out good as new. Check out the H2OHHH Blanket for all your throe needs.
- Dental Dams – Latex and Non Latex- are a thin sheet of latex or nitrile that can be flavored which are a great way to get comfortable going tongue-to-ass.
Which brings us to a big point that applies to any of your sexual escapades: if you’re not feeling it― even if you like the idea, want to try it, and even if you’ve done it before― listen to your body!
With all of the shame and stigma surrounding sex and sexuality, it’s no wonder we shut down our receptors during sex. In the process of trying to shut out all that shame we shut out all feelings, and we lose touch with our body. We forget that sex is about having fun.
How Anal Eaze comes into this equation is that as a numbing agent, people use it to even further distance themselves from their body and the shame they associate with their sexuality. Anal Eaze is the ultimate expression of this shame-driven disconnect that plagues so many people’s sexual experience.
It’s bad for reasons well beyond that, though- numbing means you have even less control over your sphincters and are unable to feel anything. Not feeling anything sucks from a pleasure point of view, but can also be dangerous with these very delicate tissues: not being able to feel any pain means you can’t tell your partner when to slow down or stop, which can mean worse tearing and damage done. Using the Eaze also makes people think they don’t have to use a lubricant. PSA: Anal Eaze is not lube and you need lube for any sort of anal play or penetration. Besides the fact that lube enhances pretty much any sexual encounter, the rectum doesn’t supply its own slippery stuff. If you’re just starting out? Get some lube!
There are also a large variety of “anal relaxing” sprays or gels, and depending on the ingredients used they may just have a less numbing effect, or they may actually help with muscle relaxation― but either way, I highly highly recommend skipping them. You deserve to take the time to learn about a kind of pleasure that is unlike any other, and in the process learn to work with and communicate with your body to achieve an awesome goal: unlocking a new way to feel good and play with yourself or your partner(s).
The takeaway? Ditch the Anal Eaze, don’t do what you’re not ready to do, and learn about something if you want to try it, but never have before― the payoff is worth it.
Or, you can try these movies, which show you how it’s done in a fun and sexy way:
- Tristan Taormino has a wide array of educational videos, and some pertaining to this subject include The Expert Guide to Pegging, the updated version of the famed original, Bend Over Boyfriend, The Expert Guide to Anal Pleasure for Men, The Expert Guide to Advanced Anal Sex, and The Expert Guide to Anal Sex. Tristan has a knack for presenting a large variety of sexual experiences in a way that helps you connect with them, understand them, and gives you the tools to be able to try them for yourselves.
Lube I recommend for your anal forays:
- A Great water based lubricant is Sliquid Sassy- no harmful glycerin or paragons and only natural ingredients.
- Silicone is great because it lasts a looooong time. It’s the lubricant most commonly found in condoms as it doesn’t dry up and keeps the latex from getting brittle; it’s great for anal play because of this- you don’t need as much as water based lube because it doesn’t dry up, and it stays thin and slick for a long time. You can even use it in the shower! However, you do need soap and water to clean it off, or it’ll be around for a good long time. My favorite silicone is Uberlube.
- Oil based lube is tricky because it can cause micro tears in condoms, eventually leading to them breaking, and is not vagina safe unless it’s plant based (though I’ve never been able to get a straight answer on this, I’ve never had any problems. If you use oil based lube of any sort vaginally and get a bacterial infection or UTI, I’d suggest discontinuing use), but it’s really luxurious and long lasting. A great plant oil based lube isCoconu.