Gwyneth Paltrow just went there.
The actress regularly shares her expertise on her blog, Goop, on all things lifestyle: beauty, health, and fashion. Sometimes that includes sex, and her second annual Sex Issue isn't pulling any punches. It includes an in-depth guide to all things pertaining to anal sex, providing information and insight from psychoanalyst and author Paul Joannides.
While many find it difficult to talk about such intimate topics, Joannides' Q&A tackles the sensitive subject head-on.
“If anal turns you on, you are definitely not alone,” the article begins.
“First it was shocking, then it was having a cultural moment, now it’s practically standard in the modern bedroom repertoire — or so a quick scan of any media, from porn to HBO, will tell you,” Joannides continued.
In order for couples to add anal sex to their bedroom repertoire in a positive way it is vital to have open lines of trust and communication. It is also necessary to set aside any preconceived notions one partner or another may have about the new deed.
“Understand that the way you see anal sex portrayed in porn is about as real as how they drive cars in the The Fast and the Furious,” Joannides explained. “[They don’t] show communication, feedback, or trust. Couples who do not have excellent sexual communication, who don’t freely give and receive feedback about what feels good and what doesn’t, and who don’t have a high level of trust should not be having anal sex.”
Not to mention, just because partners have a solid sexual relationship doesn't mean they have to have a desire to try it. According to Joannides, only 10 to 15 percent of heterosexual couples are regularly practicing anal sex.
Those who are interested, especially those couples who are new to the experience, should arm themselves with as much information as possible before partaking, in order to make sure it's a safe and pleasurable experience.
“Both of you should read all you can about it first,” he said. “Spend a few weeks helping the receiving partner…relax. Make sure you and your partner have great sexual communication, trust, and that you both want to do it, as opposed to one trying to pressure the other, or not wanting to do it but doing it because you are afraid your partner will find someone else who will. Do not do it drunk or stoned… If it doesn’t feel good when it’s happening, stop.”
It is also important to note that anal sex is considered the riskiest sexual behavior due to the high risk of HIV and STDs.
"The risks are substantially reduced by the use of condoms and lube as long as they are used correctly," Joannides shared, which means that couples should make a shopping list before getting busy.
For those who are curious about anal sex or already practicing it, with the right information and preparation and a whole lot of trust, it can be an exciting way to add something new in the boudoir.