This column originally appeared at the Barbershop Notebooks where Sex with Timaree runs every Monday. Check back here Monday, Wednesday and Fridays for fresh content!
Question to the Sexpert:
“I had this experience a few years back and wanted to know if I was over-reacting. I was in bed with a guy I had been dating casually for about a month. We were in the middle of a hot session. I was on my back, legs in the air when he all of a sudden went for the back door. He did this completely without my permission and just assumed it was OK with me. Now maybe I over-reacted but it took me by surprise and I yelped (it hurt!!) and jumped up and off the bed. I started yelling at him that you just don’t do that to a girl without warning. In a way, I felt violated. Years later, I still ponder if I was wrong. Maybe he misread how much I was into the sex and deemed it ok to just ‘go for it.’
Even though I occasionally participate in anal sex, there was no way he could have known that because we had never done it. So my question is, are there rules of Anal Etiquette? Was I wrong to react the way I did? Have other women experience anything similar?”
When I referenced your tale to a friend at lunch today, he responded, “I hate to answer a question with a question, but did the guy have a moustache?”
Ummm… That was supposed to be funny. You may have not been able to tell.
My friend’s point, though, was that the type of guy who would randomly insert his member into an unsuspecting butthole without seeking permission or even a damn heads up, is a skeazeball.
You hit the nail on the head about feeling violated. Yes, lots of people enjoy anal sex. Lots of people also enjoy dominance, submission or even faux rape play with elements of surprise and danger. Yes, there are couples for whom an unexpected anal entry would be delightful and thrilling.
But the behavior of this dude is not that of an adventurous lothario who wanted to open up new worlds of sexual exploration and sensual excitement to you, it’s the actions of a dude who has watched too much of that low budget anal spelunking porn that pervades the interweb. The odds of him mistakenly picking that moment to arouse the masochistic sub slut in you are infinitely smaller than the odds he fundamentally misunderstands women, sex and anuses.
Imagine, for instance, you and the gent had been making out passionately, you kissing down his neck and shoulders, evoking a heat and fervor as you move down his back with your lips and tongue. And then suddenly, you whip out the strap-on you’d been sporting under your clothes and ram it in his ass. You think he would have just melted with pleasure? Or do you think he would have dropped a string of expletives maybe even taken a swing at you? Women’s asses are not fundamentally more receptive to penetration than men’s are or anything, so there’s no arguing that women should somehow be more open to the notion.
There are definitely rules of etiquette in anal sex, the first of which is: don’t go where you’re not wanted. That means asking first and obtaining permission, especially especially especially the very first time you do it. Anal sex is fine, if you’re into it, but it’s also fine if you go your whole life without ever dabbling, too.
Rule two would be: prepare the cabin for landing. Unlike vaginas, which create their own lubrication, anuses require a heapin helping of external sources of wetness. Never attempt to force objects into the butt without enough lube. Vaginas also expand and contract, as they are designed to withstand the exiting of something as large as a baby head while anuses do not stretch nearly as easily and need a lot more warming up. He should have tried some digital manipulation around the opening before even trying to insert something as slender as a finger.
Anal penetration is also a higher risk activity, as far as HIV transmission goes, for the same reasons. Condoms are therefore a super important consideration. And anything you put in the butt that’s not attached to a human directly (penis, finger, etc) should have either a flared base (think butt plugs) or some other way to retrieve it (think a long string of anal beads) since, unlike the vagina, there’s not the same space limitations. Stuff can get lost.
As you said you have enjoyed some anal play before, you can probably attest that in order for the activity to be fun, it requires way more preparation than a lot of sexual acts. This guy, demonstrating what is clearly a lack of experience, thought he didn’t need to put in the advance work.
This guy is either stupid or a jerk, possibly both. His behavior is in error of basic rules of human interaction and you were entirely right to be angry with him. Hopefully the following things can be learned from this otherwise unfortunate incident:
1. Communication!! For Fuck’s Sake!
2. If something freaks you out, and makes you feel violated, don’t question yourself. Know that feeling has a purpose: to alert you to danger. Don’t apologize for reacting negatively when someone disregards your boundaries.
3. Anal play, in reality, is not nearly as spontaneous (or as necessary) as a lot of porn seems to indicate. Indulge in it, if it brings you pleasure, but it requires a lot of foreplay and isn’t meant for everybody.
Questions? Comments? Violent Reactions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org