Letting Down the Rear Guard

Like all good
birthday wishes, his came as a wistful fantasy at 3 a.m.

“You know you’re
a little bit curious…” 

Freshly 20, my
then-boyfriend had played smart with his strategy. We were both
more than buzzed and covered in the salty remnants of our dip in the ocean, snuggled between the sheets and blissfully happy. It was mid-August, and we were approaching our final, surreal weeks of summer together after nine months of playing the long distance game. In that time apart, we’d developed an equally tireless sex drive; I’d been anticipating this night with giddy anticipation, anxious to try something out of the norm, as birthday sex inevitably entails. 

So, as our bodies began to move with heightened urgency, it caught me off guard when he suggested we try having anal sex. 

It
didn’t come as a complete surprise. He’d brought it up just earlier that week,
somewhat jokingly, and I had firmly turned it down as something I would never
do. Ever. The idea absolutely terrified me and seemed
altogether unnecessary when we had the endless bounds and pleasures of vaginal
sex. Call me boring, but I was perfectly satisfied with the sex we knew and
loved in all its different forms. 

Frankly, though,
I’d grown a little too used to the enjoyable but routine moves we’d developed with each other’s bodies in our year together. I was hungry for everything and
anything new, but(t) anal sex? I’d long asked my
boyfriend about trying new things, and to my dismay, he was unable to
put his finger on anything too far out of the norm: except for this. With his interest in
mind, I’d wondered about anal sex, but I was still uncertain.

Don’t get me
wrong; I appreciate a nice booty, some jiggle and the things a good pair of
jeans can do as much as the next person (if not more). Still, I’d never found
myself thinking consciously about the trunk as a body
part begging for sexual attention. I didn’t see the appeal, nor did the act seem
particularly sensual to me. I’d heard mixed reviews through the grapevine, but I had no idea what the experience would be like beyond that.

When it came down
to it, venturing into this unknown territory petrified me. Somehow,
though, rejecting the idea wasn’t the first thing that came to mind that night as
we whispered in between removing articles of each other’s clothing. 

Perhaps it was
the promise of birthday sex, our combined lack of inhibitions at the time or a
combination of both, but the urgency of our kisses and moans made my stomach
tighten in a deliciously curious way. As we continued with our highly
anticipated birthday plans, I realized a part of me was undeniably interested
in exploring unknown territory. A prickling sense of curiosity for the area I’d
always labeled a no-go was insatiable. 

Then, in a
moment that took both of us by surprise, I told him I was in. 

I don’t think my boyfriend had gone into the night with the hopes of this novel birthday “celebration”; in fact, we spent time talking long before we began. We agreed to go slowly, to tell one another if we wanted to stop, to be careful. 

As we began, a small part of me couldn’t believe that I had chosen to do this. Truthfully, we were utterly unprepared. We didn’t have any lube, so, being drunk and knowing no better, relied solely on saliva (please don’t try this at home, kids). Despite the consistent voice in my head quietly protesting whatareyoudoingwhatareyoudoing, I found myself adjusting to the sensations. 

And here’s the
thing: I liked it.

The experience
itself certainly wasn’t what I expected, nor was it expected at all: I was shocked by my decision to do it. Even though I was
comfortable and had wholly decided I wanted to try anal, the act seemed surreal: Was it really me, the person who had been so against anything in that region, who had just done this? 

I had no idea what it might feel like, and went into it thinking I might hate it. Still, I trusted my
boyfriend as we navigated new territory that night, and in doing so, let go of
my previous reservations of anal sex as a painful act. I grew to enjoy
the new feelings: They were different and surprising when they came,
certainly, but still lent to similar feelings of satisfaction. 

The next day, I
went through a mini-crisis in which I stalked the Cosmopolitan website and wondered if my spontaneous decision would
lead to my backside being scarred forever. While I’m here to tell you that yes,
my derrière is still around and well, it turns out that anal sex isn’t as unnatural
as many assume it to be. (Though for your own sake, please use lube.) 

We decided together that day that we didn’t regret the experience at all. In fact, we had both enjoyed it, to his delight and my surprise. 

 I hadn’t
expected anal sex to be good, so when I shed any expectations in the name of juicy hormones that night, I shocked myself. But then, perhaps that’s the whole delightful mystery of sex itself: You won’t know where your preferences lie on the spectrum until you try. When you think you might fall asleep if you do missionary one more time or that the whole doggie style thing is losing its luster, think again and allow yourself to move outside of boundaries. 

We never experimented with sex of the posterior variety again. Still, in those final few weeks of our time together, we were suddenly able to talk about what we wanted and cross boundaries with more ease than ever before. 

While I do advise that you read up on tips and techniques before you try something new between the sheets, approach everything with an open mind. You might just surprise yourself. 

—Wanda Dick

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