Anal sex remains a taboo topic, despite the fact that approximately one-third of heterosexual couples have experimented with this type of play. Engaging in anal play requires that we become familiar and comfortable with a part of ourselves that we’ve been taught is inherently dirty and “off limits.” Society teaches men that being on the receiving end of anal play calls their masculinity and sexual orientation into question. Women are taught that only porn stars do such things, and that if done at all, anal play should be reserved for marriage. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to decide that anal play is not for you, but before doing so, be sure that it is truly a personal belief and not one passed down by society, family members, or religious figures.
Those curious about trying anal play will find most guides to be lacking in depth and generally geared towards the male perspective. Modern-day tantra practitioners rarely mention it, as both ancient Chinese and Indian Tantric traditions condemn anal play as perverse and regressive. It’s important to recognize that these beliefs were rooted in homophobia, and that we can still practice and honor the traditions of tantra while leaving behind the lessons that no longer serve our collective evolution.
In truth, anal play can be an effective tool for healing the root chakra and inviting exponential pleasure into our lives. Because of its more controversial associations, it can also be ideal for working with our shadow side.
Depending on your experiences (or lack thereof), you might want to begin your journey alone. Get a handheld mirror and spend some time admiring your anus. When you’re ready, you might try lubricating one of your fingers and beginning to explore inside. Pay attention to any feelings that arise, and once you’re comfortable, you might set the mirror down and use your other hand to masturbate. This will help your mind associate anal play with pleasure, and warm you up to the experience of trying it with a partner.
Prior to beginning anal play with your partner, try this modification of mula bandha, or the “root lock.” As the lowest lock in the body, mula bandha cuts through the energetic knot of our resistance to change, which lies in the muladhara or root chakra. Practicing it can help remove energetic blocks, increase awareness and stability in the pelvis, and create a safe environment for spinal movement. Practice repetitive contractions of the pelvic control muscles and as you relax your muscles, take a deep breath and visualize energy moving into and up the anus, through the body and into the head.
Due to its sensitive nature, anal play requires that we be fully present and engaged with our bodies as well as our partner’s. Communicate openly and honestly and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable. Anal play is a great excuse to prolong foreplay to make sure you and your partner are both adequately aroused and relaxed.
Two key things to remember about anal play: take it slow and use plenty of lubricant. If you’re anxious about things getting messy, eat light the day before and make sure to empty your bowels. If you’re interested in practicing anal play regularly, it might be worth re-examining your diet. A balanced diet and active lifestyle have far-extending benefits, including a healthy sexual appetite and reduced stress.
Work your way up from one finger to larger toys or a penis. Most importantly, listen to the wisdom in your body. You might want to create a safe word to quickly alert your partner if and when you need to take a break.
As mentioned, anal play can be helpful for shadow work and confronting the dark side of our sexuality. We can use it to get in touch with our more primal desires and begin to see what we once thought of as perverse, as sacred. The Rokh and The Root in Chakrubs’ Shadow Line will be especially useful for this purpose. Both tools are made from obsidian, which is ideal for releasing shame.
Whether practiced alone or with a partner, anal play can open us up to new types of pleasure and help us heal past sexual wounds.
*It is very important to note that nothing should be inserted into the anus that does not have a tapered end. The sphincter muscles in the anus can “pull” items up, so always make sure to do research and toys recommended for anal play.
Feature Image by Mika Lovely