The deepest part of ourselves that we hold so much shame around, can unlock our nervous system, bring about deeper orgasms, and help release old stories that we have locked in our brains and body. The anus is connected to the root chakra, which responds to the coccygeal plexus of nerves. Anal can be a powerful way to explore these nerve responses, as well as the ideas of family patterning, feeling safe in our bodies, and primal responses. In tantra there is no abstraction. The physical body is the basis for consciousness. Anal sex requires deep, primal connection, communication and trust. Ass play, or “root chakra work” as I like to call it, can be extremely pleasurable, activating and healing.
There are thousands of chakras in the body. In Kundalini Tantra we focus on seven. The first is mooladhara, or our root chakra. We can directly stimulate it through our pelvic floor and the skin and nerve endings around our tailbone which our anal cavity can be a doorway to. From our tailbone to our heels all includes our first chakra. Our instincts and our intellect are developed within this chakra. It’s also our family patterns and our fight, flight or freeze response. For me, I needed to tap into the safety and trust that felt blocked in my life. Emotionally and mentally we can see blockages in our thoughts and behaviors of survival mode, lack of trust, lack of boundaries, or being in a constant state of fear.
The root has control over sexual function and our excretory, or waste system. When we are stressed our body releases the steroid hormone cortisol and our anal sphincter is one of the first places to contract. When we are in fight or flight mode, the blood flow to our intestines and excretory system is diverted to our extremities so we can run. Calming down our nervous systems to feel, to dilate and to orgasm can be incredibly healing and when done consciously and with regularity, can begin to reverse long term stress effects.
Orgasmic energy is also life force energy. So including our root, anus, and primal body in a practice of conscious pleasure can start to shift beliefs and patterns that we act out in everyday life.
I was raised religious. The word “butthole” wasn’t allowed to be used in the house, so I was already programmed to see anal sex as naughty or wrong. My first encounter with anal sex was pretty rough. My boyfriend and I were parked in his Toyota Tercel outside of my older sister’s house. One wrong angle and I felt a searing hot pain and could only yell “Wrong hole, wrong hole, wrong hole.” I limped into the house as fast as I could, leaving my teenage dream a little confused but also on the verge of laughter as I waddled away. I felt like I had shit my pants and was being ripped from the inside out. It wasn’t the best. I never wanted to talk about it again. So throughout my adult life, anal was just a no go for me. Exit only.
Fast forward over a decade and I am selling Chakrubs root plugs at a drag show in midtown. I had begun building a practice of meeting spirituality and sexuality, coaching men and women in New York City. In theory I knew all about the root chakra.
I knew that I couldn’t continue to teach these practices without knowing it deeply in my body. So I ordered an Indian Jade Root Plug for myself. My intention was to let go of the “good girl” stories I held in my body. To explore my asshole with pleasure, compassion and curiosity.
I set the scene with candles, incense, clean sheets and lots of coconut oil. I felt fear, a little shame and excitement as I found a position that felt right for me to explore anal masturbation.
What I found within myself changed my life. My teacher would talk about how our brains have associated certain things with pain, but we are actually feeling pleasure. We can decipher the difference between our brain blocking or a physical response through presence and breath. Seeing this exploration as a meditation without any judgement, but by remaining open and curious.
When I accepted my Indian Jade plug fully into my body, I noticed my legs began to shake. I allowed the shaking, understanding that it was a release within itself. Relaxing my body instead of clenching or holding my breath, I could feel waves of bliss from the tips of my toes, through my heart, to the follicles of my hair at the top of my head. The noises I made were deep, guttural, primal. I began moving my body in a sinuous way and relishing the new sensations.
This was the beginning of a new way of grounding for me. It has been a key practice now within my spirituality and another layer of intimacy and pleasure with my partners. I am no longer afraid of my own body. Even when I notice old patterns of fear, displacement, abandonment and agitation- I can now turn to my root in a new way and ground.
I have had the privilege of teaching this practice to many people. Seeing the changes physically, mentally and emotionally by claiming and feeling pleasure from our deepest places.
This 12 step process is a pleasurable and safe way to explore anal:
1. Make it sensual. The root chakra is connected to our sense of smell, so stimulating our nose with essential oils, candles or incense can begin to tap you into this part of your body. Our environment plays a huge factor in our ability to calm and open. Clean the space, make it enjoyable for you. Having rhythmic music on lightly in the background can also help to get you out of your head and into your body.
2. Breath. When we are trying new or uncomfortable things, we tend to hold our breath which can send us into fight or flight mode and lock down our anus. Breathwork for 3-5 minutes before starting can put you into a relaxed state.
*Ujjayi is a great yogic breath to connect to your body, stay present and tap into our orgasm. Begin to breathe through your nose only, keeping your mouth closed. Lightly constrict the back of your throat so that when you inhale and exhale, it makes a whispering sound like the waves of the ocean. Long and slow, in and out through the nose, making a whispering noise in the back of your throat. Inhale long, slow deep whispering sound. Exhale long, slow, deep whispering sound. With every inhale you receive, with every exhale you let go. Inhaling fresh new energy. Exhaling releasing stagnant energy. Continue this breath throughout your lovemaking.
3. Intention. Setting an intention with your practice can be powerful. To reclaim your body, to release old patterns, or maybe it’s to rewire your fear into pleasure. Create a simple statement of “I am ____” or “I have ____” and let it go. On a metaphysical level, you’re tapping into a lot of energy, if you’re not intentionally directing it, this can cause chaos. Intentions can be for your personal healing/development or even to manifest something external. See it as activating the magnet in your body with this practice.
4. No judgement. So much fear comes up around anal sex. Is my asshole attractive? What about a smell? What if I poop? What if it’s too painful? There is no wrong way to approach this practice. When we begin to judge, we shut down our experience. Calm your thoughts and continue to stay curious.
5. Lubrication. I love the smell of coconut oil and the viscosity. Know that oil lubricants will break down latex and can lead to rips and tears in a condom. For using latex condoms, use a water based lubricant. Many toys can be used with condoms that are pre-lubricated.
6. Slow down. There’s no rush for penetration, no rush in the strokes. Whether you’re with a partner or solo, go very slowly. It will allow room for adjusting, presence, sensuality and safety. It’s about pleasure, but there is no goal. You’re exploring. There is no pressure to perform, get it over with, or conquer.
7. Connect. With a partner, syncing your rhythms and nervous systems is important so that you are feeling each other on a deep level. This also creates empathy. Breath work, eye gazing and massage are great ways to calm down the nervous system, connect with a partner, and begin to bring presence into your experience. If it’s a solo practice, connect with yourself. Make sure you’re in your body and not escaping into your thoughts. It’s important to get out of your head. Touch your body, notice if there’s any numb spots or if your mind is fixated on external things. Return to your breath. Talk yourself through it.
8. Start small. You can begin your anal exploration with a pinky finger, then more than one digit. Slowly finding your pleasure and rhythm.
For penetration of larger objects (toy or penis) you may need to bear down pressure (pushing out with your muscles while accepting the object) to initially insert the phallus without too much pain/feeling a burning sensation. I know this sounds scary, but it’s the most pleasurable way to introduce something into your asshole. If you’re worried about defecating, eat light that day and wait until you’ve had a bowel movement before starting. Also know, shit happens. You may want to practice on a towel and have napkins available.
9. Experiment with positions. Cowgirl, reverse cowgirl, and doggie style are great for anal penetration, especially with a partner, because you can move your body and accept at your own comfort level. If you’re practicing by yourself and a plug, I like to be on my hands and knees or sitting upright on my heels/knees (imagine cowgirl without a partner) to insert my plug. On your back can be very intense. It is pleasurable in its own way, but very overwhelming if experiencing anal for the first time as you have less control and it’s a position for deeper penetration.
10. Start with what works. Bring yourself to a state of pleasure through massage, stimulation, dancing- whatever you know works for you to find your turn on and be able to connect.
For those with male reproductive organs, the prostate is located in the rectum about two inches inside and it is incredibly pleasurable. It doesn’t feel like an orgasm just in your genitals, it’s a deeper orgasm that spreads throughout your body. Massage of the shaft, testicles and perineum first will help this experience be open and pleasing.
For those with female reproductive organs, the anus can be pleasurable depending on the structure of your clitoris. All of the nerve endings connected to your anus also connect to your vulva. Don’t be afraid to create pleasure with what already works (nipple, clitoral or g-spot stimulation).
11. Make room for emotions. Sometimes your body will shake, releasing tension. If old shame comes up, breathe, pause if you need to. Acknowledge that it’s there. Many times if we keep breathing and stay present with sensation, pleasure will find us. If it’s something you need to stop and address (i.e. cry, be held or sit with), then you can always come back to anal at another time.
12. Be in the moment. In order for anal sex to be healing, it requires presence, adjusting to your partner or your own rhythm, and meeting your edge with grace. Let it build up and surprise you, every time will be different.
Ass play can be grounding, to feel pleasure in our anus we have to undeniably be in our body and present. There’s a reclamation to be had. Anal sex or anal stimulation connects us back to a primal and animal body. Prepare to make noise, move sinuously and just experience instead of perform. Maybe you’ll sweat, howl, or buck like an animal. There is no wrong way to orgasm or have anal sex. Slowing down to begin, communicating and paying attention to your body are great ways to start this journey.
Feature Image by David Lee Pereira