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Reality Check: Anal Sex

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First it was shocking, then it was having a cultural moment, now it’s practically standard in the modern bedroom repertoire—or so a quick scan of any media, from porn to HBO, will tell you. But the reality about anal is not, actually, that everyone’s doing it, says research psychoanalyst and author Paul Joannides, Psy.D., whose comprehensive book on sexuality, The Guide to Getting it On!, is used in college and medical school sex-ed courses across the US and Canada. The book is amazing not just for its straight-up factual information on practically any aspect of sex you can think of, but also for its easy, nonjudgmental, at-times humorous tone.

The CDC reports that the number of heterosexual men and women who’ve tried it vacillates between 30 and 40 percent (oddly, the CDC doesn’t report on how many homosexual men have tried it, except in a statistic that weirdly combines it with oral). If anal turns you on, you are definitely not alone, but its prevalence doesn’t change the fact that it’s the riskiest sexual behavior in terms of HIV and other STDs. Here, Joannides talks us through the realities of making anal both as safe and as pleasurable as possible.


A Q&A with Paul Joannides, Psy.D.

Q

When did heterosexual anal start to become a thing?

A

In the 80’s, I remember hearing from a friend that he had a videotape of anal porn. This seemed shocking at the time. (This was pre-Netflix: Everything was on videotape, from porn to Disney movies to highlights from the Olympics. Video rental stores were everywhere.) I’m not sure there are too many middle schoolers today who would be shocked or even surprised to watch anal sex on Pornhub or Xhamster.

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.


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.

As for gay men, statistics vary widely, and studies aren’t always consistent in how they collect data—some might be looking at different levels of frequency, i.e. have you had anal once in the past year, or do you have it regularly? I’ve seen studies suggesting that 65 percent of men have anal sex, and others that suggest the figure is less than 50 percent. So, I don’t have exact figures for hetero or homosexual couples, but there is data suggesting that a good percentage of gay men would rather give and receive blowjobs than have anal sex.


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.

Also, unlike the vagina, the anus provides no lubrication. So in addition to teaching the sphincters to relax, and in addition to getting the angle right so you don’t poke the receiver in the wall of the rectum, you need to use lots of lube.

They show none of this in porn. Nor do they show communication, feedback, or trust. Couples who do not have excellent sexual communication, who don’t freely give and receive feedback about what feels good and what doesn’t, and who don’t have a high level of trust should not be having anal sex.


Q

What are the health risks of anal?

A

A woman has a 17-times-greater risk of getting HIV and AIDS from receiving anal intercourse than from having vaginal intercourse. So your partner needs to be wearing a condom and using lots of lube, unless both of you are true-blue monogamous, with no sexual diseases. Any sexually transmitted infection can be transmitted and received in the anus. Because of the amount of trauma the anus and rectum receive during anal intercourse, the likelihood of getting a sexually transmitted infection is higher than with vaginal intercourse.

Unprotected anal sex, regardless of whether it is practiced by straight or gay couples, is considered the riskiest activity for sexually transmitted diseases because of the physical design of the anus: It is narrow, it does not self-lubricate, and the skin is more fragile and likely to tear, allowing STDs such as HIV and hepatitis easy passage into the bloodstream.


Q

Are those risks all mitigated by the use of condoms and lube, or are there still issues, even beyond that?

A

The risks are substantially reduced by the use of condoms and lube as long as they are used correctly, but you won’t find too many condoms that say “safe for anal sex” because the FDA has not cleared condoms for use in anal sex. That said, research indicates that regular condoms hold up as well as thicker condoms for anal sex, so there’s nothing to be gained from getting heavy-duty condoms.

As for using the female condom for anal sex—studies report more slippage and more pain than with regular condoms.

Do not use numbing lube, and do not have anal sex while drunk or stoned. Pain is an important indicator that damage can occur if you don’t make the necessary adjustments, including stopping. If there is pain, perhaps try replacing a penis with a well lubed and gloved finger. The glove will help your finger glide more easily, and might be more pleasurable for the person on the receiving end. Also, this allows a woman to do anal play on a male partner. (When it comes to anal sex, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.)


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.


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.


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.


Q

Probably more people try anal today than in the past—are there ways to make a first experience a good one?

A

Both of you should read all you can about it first. 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.


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.


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.


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.

Paul Joannides, Psy.D. is a psychoanalyst, researcher, and author of the acclaimed Guide to Getting it On!, which is now in its ninth edition and is used in college courses across the country. He’s also written for Psychology Today Magazine and authors his own sex-focused blog, Guide2Getting.com. Dr. Joannides has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Sexual Medicine and the American Journal of Sexuality Education, and was granted the Professional Standard of Excellence Award from The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Joannides also lectures widely about sex and sexuality on college campuses.

Complete Article HERE!

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I need a break

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Hey sex fans,

I’m gonna take a little break.  It’s beastly hot here in the Emerald City, and I just don’t feel like working.  And since I’m the boss of this whole operation, I say screw it!  I’ll be back next week with more of my scintillating sex advice.  In the meantime, you won’t have to go without.  Use either the Search Function or the CATEGORY pull-down menu, in the sidebar to your right, and look for some cool and smutty shit.  And don’t forget there’s always the PODCAST ARCHIVE where you will find a variety of extraordinarily informative, enriching and entertaining shows — interesting interviews, enlightening Q&A and even some fun product reviews.

See ya at the beach.

at the beach

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My Oh My

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Q&A with an international flare!

Name: Devin
Gender: Male
Age: 25
Location: India
My foreskin cannot be drawn back the dick head, is it normal? Does it in anyway hinder the growth in length of the penis?

Nope, your tight foreskin will not hamper the growth, in the length, of your cock. In fact, darlin’, by age 25 you have all the dick you’re gonna have. You’re well past puberty, Devin, so there’s no more dick-growin’ in your future. I can assure you of that.foreskin

As to the tight foreskin issue, I am of the mind that uncut men need to pay particular attention to cleaning their cock. If you’re not careful to completely retract your foreskin over your dickhead when you shower or bathe; you will have a problem with smegma buildup (that’s that cheesy lookin’ stuff under your hood) and its accompanying odor.

Poor hygiene can also contribute to other, more serious concerns, like phimosis. The popular wisdom about cleaning under your foreskin is that soap is unnecessary. A full rinsing with warm water should be sufficient. If soap is desired, one ought use a very mild, hypoallergenic soap for this delicate area. Ether way, fully retracting your foreskin is essential. I’d also encourage you to retract your foreskin fully when you take a leak. That way you won’t have that unpleasant pissy smell about you.

If you need information on how to stretch your foreskin, use the search function at the top of the sidebar to your right. Type in the key words: “stretching my foreskin,” and Presto! You’ll be presented with all my posting and podcasts in which I address this important issue.

Good luck

Name: Louise
Gender: Female
Age: 18
Location: Bristol, UK
Why do guys get such a thrill by “cumming” on their partner? Several times I’ve ended up with sperm on my stomach, boobs, or face because a guy decided that would be fun to do and pulled out at the last second. Is that meant to degrade me?

Louise, let’s talk turkey. Or gravy, as it were. Boys are like any other haired beast instinctively programmed to smear their bodily fluids all up and down their territory.

moneyshotYa see, us boys think all the world is as enamored with our spunk as we are. And so we think we’re doing everyone a big favor by spreading our baby batter all around. We’re particularly fond of getting as much of our joy-juice on our partners as humanly possible; and the messier we are doin’ it the better. We’ll tell you that we do this because we love you and we just whipped up this tasty little batch of seed just for you. But of course, that’s simply bullshit.

What we’re really doing is marking you as part of our territory, just like I said above. Did you ever notice how pleased with himself a male dog is when he’s blissfully lifting his leg to pee on everything in sight? I’d be willing to bet you’ll see a similar shit-eatin’ grin on your BF face as he merrily pops a nut on your tits.

The upside of this is that our little nut concoction is heavily laden with protein, so you’ll not find a better skin emolument. Just make sure he doesn’t get any of his spooge in your eyes, cuz that shit burns!

Good luck

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SEX WISDOM With Katie Querna — Podcast #426 — 09/03/14

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Hello sex fans! Welcome back.

I have an important announcement before we begin. We are coming to an end of an era. This week and next marks the end of my career as a podcaster. I’m just a couple months short of my 8th anniversary of podcasting and I’ve decided that enough is enough.

The truth is, I have a bunch of other projects that I want to spend time on and I have only so much time to allocate; thus something had to give. I am exceptionally proud of the quality programming I’ve brought to you, my international audience. Over the last seven plus years I’ve presented a variety of extraordinarily informative, enriching and entertaining shows—interesting interviews, enlightening Q&A and even some fun adult product reviews. And, I’m happy to report, all my podcasts are archived here on my site and they will remain so for the foreseeable feature. So I hope you will visit often.

photo 4

Alrighty then; I want to go out with a bang, so to speak, so I’d like to introduce you to a remarkable woman who is just beginning her career in the field of human sexuality. And as you probably can guess, this is the SEX WISDOM show. This series has generally involved chats with learned colleagues well established in our field, but every now and again I had a hankerin’ to check in with those people who are just starting out in this field. I tell you, it reassures me no end to know that brilliant young folks are picking up the sex-positive banner and carrying it forward. And I am delighted to welcome one such person to my show today. I am delighted to introduce you to my good friend, colleague, and real life neighbor, Katie Querna.

Katie and I discuss:

  • The nature of our relationship;
  • The Columbia School of Social Work and The University of Washington School of Social Work;
  • Gender and sexuality studies;
  • Lifelong AIDS Alliance;
  • Designer vaginas;
  • Plastic surgery and self-worth;
  • Sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy;
  • Masculinity, intimacy, and the fear of the feminine;
  • Intuition, sensation, and perception vs. science.

Katie invites you to visit her on her site HERE!

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

drdickvod.jpg

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Bottoms UP!

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Name: Chris
Gender: Male
Age: 23
Location: San Francisco
Dr. Dick- Wow, may I say this is a fantastic site. It is good to see sex as an open topic and that its not only an allowable activity, it is a good activity to take part in. I’m 23, gay, and living in beautiful San Francisco (the perfect place for a 23 year old gay boy to be!), and your tutorials have taken my blowjob and power bottoming skills from that was good to wow lets do that again!

If I may make one suggestion: in the Liberating the Big Old Bottom Within guide, I personally recommend that anyone who wants to bottom get to know the fiber aisle at the grocery/drug store. I find that it helps to keep things squeaky clean longer.

But the question I had was about orgasms while bottoming. Is there any technique that you know of that would help me reach orgasm while bottoming without having to touch myself. I almost reached that point last night while experimenting with some new moves in the sac … but I was wondering if there were any, er, exercises I could do on my own to reach there with my partners (playing safely of course).

Yes, you may say this is a fantastic site. You can say that over and over if you like. All kidding aside, thank you for your very kind words.

grab assAnd I’m hoping you are enjoying the site’s new look. While our logo remains the same, I recently reconfigured the pages. Of particular note, is the Podcast Archive drop-down menu. Now you can go directly to each of my four podcast series: The Erotic Mind, SEX WISDOM, Sex EDGE-U-cation, Play With It shows. The Q&A shows are lumped under the general heading, Podcast.

As before, the toy reviews tab takes you to adult product review site. The Video Library tab takes you to Dr Dick How To Video Library, just as it always has. And the About Dr Dick page is also a drop-down menu, which contains the contact page, the Got A Sex Question page, the Therapy Available page and The Buzz page.

Sadly, I had to deactivate the Lick-A-Dee-Split sex advice podcast VOICEMAIL HOTLINE. It was underused and it was very expensive.

You will also notice that the site’s sidebar has been cleaned up considerably. The clutter is gone and I think it looks really nice as is. So ya’ll, go take a look and see what you think. Send me your comments after you’ve had an opportunity to look around.

Ya know, Chris, I was just about your age when I moved to the Bay Area. I finished my undergraduate degree in the spring of 1972 in Washington, DC. Later that year I moved to Oakland to begin my graduate work in Berkeley. I remember thinking to myself back then, OMG, I’ve fallen into a pot of jam. Leaving a very conservative school in the nation’s capitol, I found myself, almost immediately, on the other end of the political spectrum on the other side of the country. The world began to open for me. Berkeley was magical and my life changed immediately for the better.

In 1978, at the age of 28, I moved to San Francisco to begin work on my doctorate. It was like a dream come true. While I was living in Oakland, I would cross the bay bridge several times a week just to soak up San Francisco’s uniqueness. I used to think as I crossed the bridge and approached the city. My god, what a beautiful site! While I thought Oakland was great, I was happy not to have to commute any longer. To finally reside in the city I loved so much felt like I had died and gone to heaven.pegging147

The 70’s and early 80’s were the halcyon days of my youth. Oh to be young and gay and to live in San Francisco at that time. I wouldn’t exchange that experience for all the tea in china. I decided way back then that I would open myself to as many life-expanding experiences as presented themselves. For the most part, I was served very well by this philosophy. Of course, there were plenty of unsavory experiences that I would never want to relive, but even they were full to the brim with helpful information about me, my sexuality, my growing eroticism, as well as and the rest of the world around me. As I look back I have no regrets and lots of very happy memories.

I thought I would reside in the jewel by the bay for as long as I lived. I had surely found home. But as fate would have it, that didn’t happen. I left San Francisco for Seattle in 1999, after nearly 30 years in that amazing place. Now I look back fondly on that transformative time. The life lessons I leaned there continue to serve me well even now. I am immeasurably richer for the time I lived and loved there.

Boy, that got me way off message, huh? Sorry about that. It’s just that your email got me to reminiscing about being young and gay and living in San Francisco.

OK, on to your concerns. First, let me ask you to add your thoughts on the importance of fiber intake for the aspiring BOB (Big Old Bottom) in the comments section of that very posting. Would you do that for me? As much as I appreciate you offering your pearls of wisdom to me, I think all of our audience would benefit. Don’t you agree? The beauty part of a site like this is the cumulative knowledge and insight of all who visit there. I can’t do this all on my own, don’t cha know!  And remember, butt fuckin’ ain’t just for the gays anymore.  Straight men are discovering the joys of their prostate too.

I have a lot to say to your question about prostate orgasms while bottoming. And I would like to begin by saying that, while prostate orgasms are possible for some of us, not all of us will ever experience one. I’m not sure one can actually train himself to have one of these illusive orgasms at will. But what I can say for sure is, that this will never happen unless one is fully prostate aware.

daddy's boysHow does a fella become fully prostate aware, you might ask. Good question. I suppose that would start with an intimate familiarity with your anatomy. Do you know how you are put together “down there?” You sound like a clever lad, so maybe you are. If you’re not, my site has lots of important information. Look for Male Reproductive System in the CATEGORY section of the sidebar.  It falls under the main category — Sex Therapy.

Knowing and loving your prostate is the next step in this process. Prostate massage is where you will begin. You can do this with your fingers, a dildo, or a specialized “tool” like one of the prostate massagers that you can find at drdicksextoyreviews.com. Use the CATEGORY drop-down menu in the sidebar that site. Look for Prostate Massage, and presto!

There’s one final thing you’ll need to master and that is Kegel exercises. If you are unfamiliar with these and/or why you need to practice these exercises, you can read and/or listen to all the posting — written and podcast, I’ve made about this very important regimen. Just look for Kegels in the CATEGORY drop-down menu in the sidebar of drdicksexadvice.com. You will find this subcategory under the main category — Sex Therapy.

I’d be very interested in hearing from you again. I’d like to know how you are cuming along in your quest for the illusive hands-free orgasm. And don’t forget to use the comments section on any of the postings. I want you to share your insights with all of us.

Good luck

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