by Jack Morin, PhD.
from a Sexuality Conference, Los Angeles, CA - Nov.11, 1998
As Masters and Johnson showed, of
course, and anyone who paid
attention to what's going on with their body during an orgasm knows,
anal musculature is totally involved in the orgasmic contractions,
you can feel in your anus. They're exactly the same: the same rate and
everything. All orgasms are to some degree anal orgasms; you can't
them. That's because the musculature in the pelvic region
is all intertwined.
The anal sphincter muscles are directly connected to the pelvic floor
which goes throughout the pelvis.
plug has a flared base, a narrow area where the sphincter
muscles would be, and then it widens out and
narrows again. It's flexible - rigid but flexible - and it's basically
for anal stimulation. "Butt plug" refers to the
shape where it goes in, near the base, so the sphincter muscles can
kind of hold it in place. Some people like
to just leave them sit there - during sex or sometimes even when
not having sex overtly. And there are plenty of other anally insertable
toys on the market. Oh, and don't share toys.
There are two anal sphincter muscles: the
internal sphincter, which is on
the inside, and the external sphincter, which is on the outside. Now,
important to know this distinction for anyone who's going to be an anal
explorer. Because the external sphincter is under central nervous
control, most of us (unless we're totally out of touch with the area)
by tuning in and sort of deciding to release can learn to relax the
sphincter quite easily. The internal sphincter is controlled by the
nervous system, so you may be able to relax the external sphincter and
not be able to relax the internal one. It also seems to be the internal
sphincter that stores up tension and stress on a cumulative basis; the
anus often becomes what I call a tension zone - very similar to those
us who get the neck and shoulder thing, or the back thing, or the
thing, or wherever our tension zone may be. That mainly shows up in the
internal sphincter. It really is the chronic internal sphincter tension
that is a major, major cause of hemorrhoids!
The external sphincter does have layers to it,
and kind of wraps around
the internal sphincter; they're very closely linked together. The
sphincter is connected to the PC muscle, the pubococcygeus, the one we
exercise in Kegel exercises. It's directly connected. And so if these
are tense, then what is it doing to our ability to enjoy orgasm when
those muscles that are supposed to let go are chronically constricted?
If there's going to be intercourse or insertion
of objects or a hand
or whatever, then we're getting into the rectum. The rectum is not a
tube. It's not the same in everyone - obviously, everyone's a little
on everything - but generally it takes two major curves along its
the descending colon, then there's that S-shaped sigmoid colon just up
above the rectum, and then the anal opening. A muscle called the
sling anchors to the pubic bone on one side, goes around and wraps
the back of the rectum, and comes back and anchors on the pubic bone in
the front and the other side. It supports the rectum, and its other
is that it's responsible for the majority of our ability to hold back
a bowel movement even if we need to. It's not mainly the sphincters
do that job; it's mainly the job of the pubo-rectal sling, but the
sling can also become chronically tense.
Pubo-Rectal Sling (female)
As far as inserting an object or a penis into
the rectum, if done so
at a wrong angle it will run into the wall just before the first rectal
curve, and you're going to get a lot of pain. Some people try anal sex
experimentally without learning about it first; they'll identify the
of trying to go through the constricted sphincters (and that's pretty
but some will say that after they learned how to relax the sphincters
still feel a pain deeper inside - and that's it. That's what it is in
every case, and this problem is exaggerated when you have excess
in that pubo-rectal sling.
Pubo-Rectal Sling (male)
For anal play in
general just try this basic approach: awareness, breathing,
touch, looking, gentle finger insertion, and self-exploration, is a
process for those who are recovering or even trying to recover from
medical problems or surgeries, start with gentle external massage in
tubs of water.
An indirect effect of anal spasm that may have
nothing to do with sex
is anxiety. One of the things to keep in
mind is that anal muscle tension is very primitive. It operates on
the survival level, very much part of the
fight-or-flight response. A lot of people who have various anxiety
disorders are keeping themselves on a hair-trigger where anything can
them off into anxiety, and are partly maintaining it by having their
chronically tied up. Combined with the other things you would do, this
is a major adjunct to effective work with anxiety disorders.
Also be aware that the rectum is not normally a
storage area for feces;
that's stored in the colon just above the rectum. When pressure builds
up there's another sphincter leading into the rectum (at the top) that
opens up, and then the feces start to descend thus creating the
to defecate. As we hold back the feces, by squeezing the pubo-rectal
and sphincter muscles, sometimes this will leave traces of it in the
(even after the bowel movement), but it is not the storage area.
refers to the insertion of several fingers, sometimes
the whole hand, and sometimes even the forearm as well, into the rectum.
If it involves the forearm, then the fingers are making their way
the lower colon; they're going beyond the rectum. This activity has
a strong popularity.
Of course it's a minority activity and I suspect
will be, because even most of us who are relaxed still can't do the
thing nor would most of us probably want to. But, a lot of people find
that fisting is the most intense erotic experience they've ever
in their lives, that it brings them an incredible sense of oneness with
whoever is doing it to then, and that it's a form of meditation.
and postillioning (using the fingers for anal insertion) takes
patience, slow methodical movements and lots of lubrication. Many
feel they get into altered states of consciousness and just have
experiences, sometimes without any genital involvement whatsoever -
Handballing is another term for fisting. Most
people are fooling around
with multiple fingers, and not getting the forearm in there. These are
the real fisting enthusiasts, who want to just get bigger and further.
Also, a lot of people really enjoy fingering:
either their own finger
on the external anal opening, usually as part of
masturbation, or inserting the finger as part of masturbation. Many
couples and partners enjoy doing this - they
do it with each other, or one way. There's also oral-anal contact,
which is popularly called "rimming" (referring to "around the rim" of
anal opening). The concern with anal-oral contact is not HIV,
We're really concerned about parasites and Hepatitis A. This is a major
route of transmission. The risk can be reduced pretty drastically by
the area, but a lot of people who like rimming like the natural smells
of the area. They don't want it squeaky-soapy clean; that's a
It's not recommended to do casually, certainly! However, rimming with
of whom you've known long enough to have some idea about their health
But, in reality, it's hard to know who's carrying parasites around, or
Talk First: Be Gentle and Take It Slowly!
If you haven't had an opportunity to discuss
anal sexuality, whether
or not you're interested in it personally, with
other people make a point of it, because it's going to make you more
comfortable discussing it and putting it into words, even if you're
comfortable in your head. So we really need to know exactly how we feel
about it. Sometimes anal discussions and experiments can be a very nice
part of a larger process of erotic self-discovery. Once you open the
of anal touch, and if the client picks up your comfort level and it
seems to flow pretty well, they'll go wherever they need to go with
There's a big distinction between performance
goals. When people say, "I'd really like to be able to have anal
because my partner wants it so much; I want to be able to please
him [or her]," that's performance. Pleasure, on the other hand, means,
"I think there's something in this for
me, I've gotten hints that this stimulation can feel good, I want to
enjoy it more, and I don't want to be blocked in
the ways that I am." The difference between the motivations of pleasure
vs. performance strongly
correlates with the outcome of success, the effectiveness and enjoyment
of the entire process.
For those wanting anal intercourse, is to
experiment with a butt plug,
which come in a whole range of sizes. If the person is tense and/or new
to all this, and uncomfortable, then obviously start with a small butt
plug. They're a great way to begin, and should be inserted very gently
and lubrication (Surgi-lube,
is one of the best) is a must! For easy cleanup
the water soluble lubes are good; for prolonged insertion of an object
or a penis or whatever, usually a greasy, oily lube (WET, I-D, or one
the many others available) is need for long lasting lubrication. As
as "Crisco" or butter/margarine (Did anyone see the movie, Last
in Paris?) are in many BDSM heavy fisting and anal sex play
they're not highly recommended as they may cause bacterial infections
allergic skin reactions from their food-based chemical
Meet Nurse Vivienne
Nurse Vivienne is passionate, vivacious and absolutely loves to study
anatomy... the anatomy of sex, that is! She joined
us this year, coming out of a completely different field of science:
Her academic and practical background for investigating the
habitats and habits of watery beasts of rivers and streams, made it a
natural transition for her to apply her work to the two legged
creatures, especially the males of that species, known as homo Sapiens.
Every day, as new toys,
medical devices and bondage gear arrive from their respective factories
or suppliers, Vivienne runs with the box opener in hand, armed and
ready to study the potential usage of whatever may be in the box! She
lets us know of her plans for the "practical application" or
"testing" of the device or toy, as we pity the poor (ha!) boy that must
endure her procedures.
Growing up in
Southern California, she is often teased about her cute "Valley Girl"
pronunciations, and her sweet giggles are just so contagious. She is of
Italian decent, and her hot, sexy attitudes about life and love prove
Along with her full
time work with us, she also heads up a local sex-positive support group
that holds monthly themed parties that rival any big city kink events.
We are so fortunate
to have her talents, her understanding of sexuality in all of its
guises and most of all, her warmth and beautiful presence, each and
every day! It is no wonder that she is always surrounded by friends who
have become family... we welcome her home!
p.s. She has a Twitter page...
Anal Play (cont'd.)
for cleaning (or stimulation!)
Before playing, fisting or even fucking, the
ass should be "cleaned"!
This obviously, reduces the chances of encountering fecal matter during
a hot and heavy intimate scene! Anal douching
is a quick and relatively
easy method, but cleans only the lower rectum area near the opening,
a small nozzled bulb reservoir for flushing the anus with warm water.
clean the rectum further up, by using the rubber enema-bag hot
bottles with the hose and nozzle on it, and just hang it up let gravity
move the water. They offer a higher volume of water and better
For those who really get into it, there are devices that attach to the
shower. You have to be careful about the water pressure. If you just
warm water it doesn't seem to upset the natural balance of bacteria nor
does it irritate the lining.
Him... For Her!
There are many sources of pleasure when it comes
to anal and rectal
stimulation; there's lots to be stimulated.
There's an incredibly rich supply of nerve endings all around the anal
opening. The rectum is a little bit like the
inner part of the vagina: more responding to pressure and not quite
as surface sensitive. In males you have the
bulb of the penis terminating in the perennial area right next to the
anus, and it is actually anchored to the same
muscle that the external sphincter is anchored to. I think that guys
often get a lot of indirect stimulation on the
inner part of their penis; things are getting moved around. Women are
talking more about just what the boundaries are of the whole clitoral
body; it's much bigger than most
of us think, and there's lots of indirect
stimulation there, too.
Lots of guys love prostate massage and stimulation and say it
their ejaculation; many love the feel of
it and some don't. Keep in mind that women who like anal stimulation
are every bit as enthusiastic about it as men who like anal
The prostate may be a factor for men, as may that prostatic-like tissue
in the G-spot zone for women. But a lot of other things are in terms of
nerve endings, and interaction with all the musculature there. So
lots to get stimulated, but the prostate is one area that a lot of men
really focus on. I think it's become a thing among some men, where "prostate
stimulation" becomes kind of a code word for "feels good to be
Men can "tune into" their prostate by
it with their longest finger, inserting it all the way, moving it
the front of the body, and then gently rubbing. Especially
if they do that during masturbation in the sustained plateau phase
where they're highly aroused, the prostate is
going to be enlarged and kind of hard and lumpy. You can feel it very
easily, and then you can rub it to see if you
like that feeling, whether it affects your ejaculation, or whatever.
More exploration of anal sexuality recommends
doing Kegel exercises;
we're not only toning up the
whole pelvic floor (and the vaginal muscles in women), we're toning
up the rectal muscles, and we're toning up
the sphincters, and I think that is really going to eliminate any
of getting too loose. When the big stuff
is inserted without pain, the insertion is not accomplished through
stretching; it's accomplished through
relaxation. So you just go back to your normal toxicity after you're
done relaxing. People who want to enjoy anal
sex should be regularly doing their Kegels.
Obviously with all anal play and anal
experimentation, it's necessary
to be safe-sex-conscious and to follow the safe, sane and consensual
so that it carries over in, during, and through the moments of highest
passion. It's vital to your pleasure, health and life!
from Audience to Dr. Morin:
don't want to open up the whole issues of fissures, but
what about the health issues - the chances
of getting torn by long fingernails?
Oh, I'm really glad you brought this up. It's
not a sidetrack at all;
I just neglected to mention it. Any time a finger is
going in there (one's own, or one's partner's), there has to be
about trimming the fingernail, and
smoothing them to be sure there are no rough edges. This is especially
important in fisting.
Shouldn't fisters be wearing gloves anyway?
Well, that's what they say, but as a practical
matter most fisters don't
Actually, I think fisting - in and
of itself - is a very low-risk activity if it's done via relaxation.
The problem is when people are fisted and then
someone fucks them, which you're not supposed to do, because you're
really going to the max in terms of
expanding the tissue. There's a chance of microscopic tears you might
not know about, or surface abrasions,
that would provide entry points for semen, and HIV that might be in
semen, if you got fucked afterwards.
Wouldn't you be using a condom?
That would help, of course. In general, the
fisting enthusiasts who
are really thoughtful about it also recommend
that after a fisting session you give your anus and rectum a break
for a few days; just take really good care of it. <smile>
What kind of injuries happen, and what can you do about them?
The injuries, fundamentally, that happen are
fissures: scrapes or tears.
I don't know what the frequency is, it's not
as great as you might think, but they do happen. Mostly they happen
with rough, vigorous, intercourse where the
receiver is ignoring strong pain signals. For people who have the
commitment and don't let
anything happen that hurts, injury is very rare.
When injuries occur, they tend not to occur in
the rectum. Generally
they occur in the anal canal or around the
anal opening - the entryway, which is about an inch long - or at the
juncture between the anal canal and the rectal
tissue. There's a seam there, and that can tear. Or, if they have
it can irritate their hemorrhoids.
But if people do it without pain, and gently, it can actually help
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