I got fucked in the ass for the first time on my 31st birthday.
It wasn’t my first time trying. Throughout my twenties I felt pressured to try anal by a number of male partners. I even had men try it without consent. The idea of a whole cock in my ass scared me. I imagined that it would be painful, and the few attempts I made proved that to be true. When guys pressed their cocks against my asshole I felt tense and scared and pressured. I knew that anal sex was desirable for them and I wanted to give the guys I was fucking what they wanted. I wanted to be into anal sex but my body said no.
Eventually I started to let guys put fingers in my ass and I found that it felt good. When I was really turned on I was able to take a small amount of penetration. Rubbing my clit while they fingered my ass was exciting and hot. But as soon as we moved up in size from a finger to a cock, my body couldn’t take it. I couldn’t relax enough to open myself wide enough for a cock. I decided that I would never be able to.
The base of the rectum has two muscles enclosing it, called sphincters. There’s an external sphincter, closer to the opening, and an internal sphincter just beyond that. The external sphincter is a muscle we have control over; we can relax or tighten it intentionally. The internal sphincter is involuntary and controlled by the body rather than the conscious mind. The internal sphincter was where I was running into trouble. A finger is not asking the sphincters to relax very far, a cock is asking them to relax a lot, and I felt tense and stressed out, so my internal sphincter would not relax, no matter how much I consciously willed it to do so.
Relaxing enough to open that second sphincter is hard for most people; this is part of the reason why anal sex has a reputation for being difficult and painful. On top of this, I experience an added barrier to totally relaxing during sex. I am a survivor of a lot of violence, including a lot of sexual violence, and I live with Complex-PTSD. This means that sex, even under the safest circumstances with the most trusted partner, is tricky terrain to navigate. I can easily become triggered or feel stressed out. This additional stress and tension makes receiving anal penetration even harder.
My C-PTSD also makes it difficult for me to communicate during sex. My trauma often makes me go nonverbal. Working on the safety and trust I need with partners in order to speak during sex is an ongoing process. I have to get creative and find ways to communicate non-verbally, and I need to do a lot of communication before having sex. Anal sex, in particular, requires a lot of communication from the receptive partner. The receptive partner is the one who knows when to push a little more, when to slow down, and when to stop. The receptive partner is the one who knows when it hurts and when it feels good. Because I have difficulty communicating verbally during sex, I face another barrier to having good anal sex.
It is hard to find information on how to have good anal sex and it isn’t easy to find situations in which I can freely and openly talk about my experiences trying anal. Like any experience or skill, I am enriched by talking about it with others and learning from their experiences. Yet it can feel shameful or inappropriate to talk about anal sex even in contexts where I feel comfortable talking about other kinds of sex. Even now, as someone who writes about sex and is known for my consistent transparency, I feel more hesitation to write about anal sex. It somehow feels more x-rated than writing about blowjobs or even kink. I anticipate making other people uncomfortable by talking so openly about taking it in the ass.
It’s hard to publicly name that I love taking it in the ass. But I’m a total butt slut—that’s the truth. These days anal sex is a regular and extremely pleasurable part of my sex life. I take it like a champ and I love it. My partner even calls me the patron saint of bottoms. It’s fun and hot and it feels really good. I have also discovered that anal sex is particularly helpful for me in the work of learning to stay present with my body during sex and communicating with my partner. Something that used to be scary and unpleasant has transformed into a hot and healing experience.
How did I get here? How did I go from being someone who believed I would never be able to take a cock in my ass to a self-identified butt slut? How did I go from someone whose trauma provided additional barriers to having good anal sex to someone who experiences anal sex as a healing practice for my trauma? It was a process. I’ve had years of therapy and do a lot of work to heal. My sexuality was profoundly harmed by the violence I experienced, and healing my sexuality is a huge priority in my life. Learning to stay present in my body and to have good, communicative sex is an ongoing process for me. It is easy for me to lose the connection between my body and my brain and it is easy for me to lose my voice. Finding ways to connect to what I am feeling and to speak aloud my desires and needs is some of the hardest work of recovery.
In order to get to the place where I could enjoy anal sex, I needed to own my right and ability to say no to anal. It is only in the absence of pressure and coercion that we can truly say yes; yes only becomes possible when no is equally possible. Having a partner who never tries to pressure me into any kind of sex, who respects and encourages my ‘no’, and who is a responsible lover, creates the conditions for me to consider my own desire. For the first time I started to think about what I might like about anal sex, why I might desire it, not for my partner, but for me. I started to think about the pleasure of having fingers in my ass, how good my orgasms are when I’m experiencing a bit of anal penetration, and how hot it would be if I could take even more.
I decided to try anal sex on my 31st birthday with a partner who I love and trust, who works with me to navigate my C-PTSD in our sex life. I decided to try anal sex with this partner because I felt safe doing so. I knew they would listen to me, go slow, be patient, and absolutely accept it if I changed my mind. I knew there would be no pressure and that it wouldn’t be a disappointment if I couldn’t go through with it. I was excited and driven by my own curiosity and desire, and I had a partner who would move through the experience with me, with presence and care. I texted my partner and said “Babe, I want you to fuck me in my ass on my birthday” and on my birthday they brought me lube along with my birthday present.
I wasn’t scared but I was a bit nervous. I still didn’t know if I would be able to take a whole cock in my ass. But I had desire, trust, and safety — all the requirements for good sex — and I was ready to try. We waited until we were both really turned on, we used lots of lube, and we went slow. I looked into my partner’s eyes and breathed deeply, feeling my body and allowing myself to relax. When I felt a bit of pain I said “Wait” and my partner waited. My ability to speak was the result of the work I’ve done on myself, the trust I have with my partner, and also the fact that I knew anal sex especially requires this of me. I breathed down in my body and felt myself let go. I told them “Okay” and we continued, slowly and carefully. I relaxed and, amazingly, took their whole cock inside of me. They fucked me in the ass and it was incredible. It felt intimate and safe and hot and loving and healthy and good. I felt my body and I used my voice. I came like crazy.
Anal sex shows me how to listen deeply to what my body is saying, and how to communicate that to my partner. For me, anal sex is a practice of sexual mindfulness. It creates the conditions for me to really connect and listen to my body and it helps me to relax and let go of tension. Vaginal sex does not require of me the same level of close attention to every sensation in my body. While all sex would benefit from this level of attention, anal sex requires it, and therefore I am pushed to carefully and attentively notice what I am feeling. I also need to relax, or it simply won’t work. My internal sphincter will not budge unless my body is thoroughly relaxed. As a person living with C-PTSD, I carry a ton of tension in my body. It is hard for me to slow down and breathe. Again, all sex would benefit from this practice of breathing deep and relaxing, but anal sex requires it. It demands that I slow down, release, and let go.
As a bottom and a receptive partner, anal sex puts me in the driver’s seat more than any other sex act. While all sex would benefit from this careful communication, anal sex again requires this of me. If I don’t communicate with my partner, it will hurt. I need to be able to tell them when to slow down, when to stop, when to keep going. Having anal sex regularly and practicing this communication with my partner has made sexual communication easier for me generally. The skills I’m learning through anal sex: paying attention to my body, relaxing, and communicating, are skills that benefit my overall sex life and my trauma recovery. They are important, transferable skills.
Anal sex requires that I really listen to my body, that I let go of tension, and that I find and use my voice. All of these things are good for me as a person recovering from C-PTSD. In the context of trusting myself and my partner I discovered that anal sex allows me to drop down into my body, out of the heady dissociation I’m so used to, and to feel what my body is telling me. Anal sex has helped me learn how to say “Yes”, “No”, and “Slow down”: huge accomplishments for me as a survivor of sexual trauma. Getting fucked in the ass has opened doors to all kinds of pleasures, but most importantly, it helps me to connect with my body in a way that trauma took from me. Far from being a painful or unpleasant act that I endure for my partner’s pleasure, anal sex teaches me how to deeply feel my own pleasure, how to ask for what I want and say no to what I don’t, and how to relax and surrender to the incredible sensations my body is capable of.
Anal sex gets a bad rep and while there’s nothing wrong with liking anal because it feels slutty or taboo, it’s also important to liberate all sexual practices from limited meanings. Yeah I love the feeling of walking home in a slutty dress knowing that I just took it in the ass like a champ, but I also love the safety and intimacy and healing I experience through anal sex. Anal sex can be slutty, it can definitely be hot and queer and focused on pleasure. Anal sex can also be intimate, loving, sweet, ecstatically pleasurable, and profoundly healing. It doesn’t need to be painful and it shouldn’t be shamed. For me, anal sex is a practice of sexual mindfulness that connects me with my body and my voice. I’m a butt slut and I love it.