It can feel like anal sex for women is the final frontier. Once you’ve gone anal, it can feel like you’ve covered everything “taboo” that you can possibly cover, sexually speaking. Of course, that isn’t true. But still, for some, anal is a big deal. It’s also the type of big deal that some people would rather not discuss. Trying to get most of my friends to admit that they’ve even tried anal sex once is like trying to get my friends to admit to masturbation when we were 13 — it’s not just happening. But the fact remains that not only have many women tried it, but many women like anal sex.
"There’s a popular perception that anal sex is not for 'good girls', that they don’t do it, or at least never initiate it," Alicia Sinclair, founder and CEO of COTR, Inc, which makes the anal play brand b-Vibe, tells Bustle. "The common narrative goes like this: women don’t like anal sex, it’s something that men want of them, and if it ever ends up happening, women are often coerced into it, or agree to do it just for the sake of fulfilling that 'male fantasy'."
As Sinclair explains, not only is this narrative false, but it's also problematic in more than one way.
"At the outset, it raises huge issues about consent, and feeds into the toxic model of masculinity. For instance: that men have a bigger libido than women, that men coerce women into engaging in certain activities in the bedroom, etc.," Sinclair says. Such a narrative isn't just disingenuous, but puts limitations on what women are "allowed" to find pleasurable.
"The idea that women don’t enjoy anal sex also disempowers them and takes away their sexual agency as beings with their own sexual desires and complex sexuality," Sinclair says.
While there's still that a taboo attached to it, the anal sex conversation is being had more and more. During the heyday of Sex and the City, it was addressed a couple times with Samantha Jones saying it felt good (with lots of lube!), and since then it’s also been on episodes of The Mindy Project and Broad City. It might be safe to say that we've — finally! — embraced anal sex as a regular part of our sexual repertoire or, at the very least, we're well on our way there.
So do women like anal sex? Short answer: yes, some do. Although it was like pulling teeth, I managed to find nine women willing to tell us how anal sex feels, whether they like it or not. Here’s what those women had to say.
1. Madison, 28
"Anal sex feels more intense to me and just activates all my pleasure inducing nerve endings. I feel closer to my partner while at the same time I feel like I'm sucking my partner in to me, engulfing them. If I'm having penetrative sex, I orgasm more easily through anal penetration than vaginal penetration and when I'm receiving anal in a doggie position or standing and bent over with a slight angle I'm able to receive really orgasmic G-spot stimulation from anal penetration. The taboo nature of anal sex also feels exciting and is this huge turn on. I love opening myself up and exposing myself in this way that feels really good and really empowering. Anal sex feels sexy and slippery (so much lube!) and decadent."
2. Kate, 33
"Anal sex? It feels like reverse pooping."
3. Lynne, 27
"Anal sex feel like sensory overload. As long as I'm really relaxed, as in I've had a ton of wine and there's lots of lube, it can feel good. But it also took a while to get here. The first few times I did it, it felt awful, but I've realized I was doing it wrong. If you want to enjoy anal, you need to have lube and lots of it."
4. Colleen, 30
"You know when you really have to poop, and you're in a public place and there's no place for you to go, so you have to wait, and you're really, really uncomfortable? Like, you almost don't even want to breathe or sneeze because you're afraid of what might happen and you're just this huge ball of unhappiness and tension? You can't enjoy anything in the world and you can't concentrate? Yup. No, thank you on the anal sex."
5. Jen, 35
"Anal sex alone is 'eh, OK,' but when it's coupled with clitoral stimulation or clitoral/vaginal ... WOW. Every movement, rub, climax feels 10 times stronger. How it actually feels on it's own is just like something is sliding along the sphincter. Not amazing, not horrible, not painful."
6. Ryanne, 31
"I haven't had a colonoscopy before, but I bet it's the same feeling. The first and only time I did it just felt awful, like I had to take a shit and I was doing everything I could to not shit on him. Afterward, it took days to poop normal again."
7. Monica, 28
"The first time it felt like some was trying to file my insides, like with a nail file. The second time, because we used lube, it felt less like a filing, but still like someone was trying to do something in there that probably shouldn't be done. I have friends who love the sensation of it, but for me it never feels like anything more than a horrible friction that needs to stop."
8. Courtney, 30
"I've never had anything but good experiences with anal sex. It feels slippery and pressure on other parts of my body than if it were vaginal, but in a good way. I still prefer vaginal sex though."
9. Chelsea, 29
“It feels really intense. I haven’t decided if it’s a good intense, or a bad intense, but it’s definitely intense. During anal, I can feel every inch of him sliding in and out, but I can’t say the say for vaginal sex. I actually think it’s too intense sometimes so I rarely do it. I feel like I don’t have enough control over that part of my body to avoid an accident ... obviously that's everyone's biggest fear when it comes to anal."
Ultimately, no one is under any obligation to like anal sex. But, for those who do, there's no shame in it. As Sinclair points out, sexuality is complex and different things work for different people. And, for some of those people, anal sex is fantastically enjoyable.
Alicia Sinclair, Founder and CEO of COTR, Inc.