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The title of this article didn’t scare you, did it?

We hope not because it will put to rest all of your fears about anal penetration. Yes, all of them?

As huge supporters of anal sex play, the last thing we want to do is instill fear in you or exacerbate any that you already have. The point of this article is to inform you about some things that may, or may not, happen to you, or your sex partners from stuffing things up your butt. Don’t worry though. The average occurrence is either very easily solved, might involve a bit of embarrassment, or at worse, require some minor surgery to correct. None of this should keep you from enjoy your anus to the fullest. All sex comes with risk, and anal sex is no different. So, calm down, relax and learn about some things you might experience and how to deal with it.

We are going to stay focused on things that you put inside your rectum. This includes objects designed to fit in comfortably, like dicks, butt plugs and dildos as well as things that were never designed or intended to be placed anywhere inside of your body, like light bulbs, glass bottles, baseball bats and/or oversized vegetables. Finally, we will discuss fisting as it is the most common activity which can cause damage inside of your rectum.

For the record, anal sex is amazing, when done properly. When done incorrectly, it can be painful and cause long lasting physical complications. Be smart about what, and who, you cram up your crack.

Anal anatomy 101

As stated by the San Francisco AIDS Society (SFAF),

“Being informed about your anatomy—knowing where things are located in your body—is an important first step for anyone having anal sex.”

“During anal sex, the penis (or dildo, or whatever) is inserted into the anus, past the external and internal sphincter muscles, and into the rectum. The rectum is connected to the sigmoid colon, which is where poop is collected and stored by your body before you are ready to take a poop.”

“The external and internal sphincters (your butt hole) need to stretch open, or relax, to allow entry. You can control your external sphincter (skeletal muscle) consciously, while the internal sphincter (smooth muscle) is not under voluntary control, and may need some additional coaxing to relax. This is one difference between smooth muscle versus a skeletal muscle.”

“When people experience pain during anal sex, a simplified reason may be that the external sphincter is not relaxed before their partner’s penis goes in.”

Getting familiar with your body, and learning how and even why, it works can make a world of difference in your sex life. Because gay male sex education is mostly non-existent, we must rely upon ourselves to learn and grow in knowledge. Anal sex, just like any skill, takes practice and patience to execute well and safely.

The rectosigmoid junction

The rectosigmoid junction’s main job is to keep feces inside of your colon. It resides between six to nine inches inside of the rectum and remains closed until our body is ready to have a bowel movement. 

The sigmoid colon lays horizontal in the body (at a near 90-degree angle) and is the final resting place for feces before it turns the corner at the rectosigmoid junction and exits the body through the rectum. 

Stigmoid colon/anal fold is the collection place for feces before it passes through the rectum into the anal canal and on into the world. The nerve endings here are similar to those in the rectum, responding only to sensations of pressure. It’s also able to expand to larger than its normal size. When a cock, or something similar, is put up your arse, usually only the anal canal and the rectum are involved.”

However dicks, dildos or anything longer than nine or ten inches may easily pass through the rectum into the lower colon. This usually occurs without difficulty, as the muscles tend to relax at the same time as the other anal and rectal muscles.

Penile (shaped) penetration

Once again, when it comes to getting to the bottom of some of the most intimate and even embarrassing sexual situations gay men seem to constantly find themselves in, we look to our friend Alexander Cheves for his sage wisdom and advice. In this case, this is a shout out to all of those that love big boys and even bigger toys in the gaybourhood. As your grandmother always said, “don’t let your eyes write a check your ass can’t cash.”

Mr. Cheves cuts straight to the quick, in his article for The Advocate, titled “17 Safety Tips for Size Queens“. The beauty here is in his frank discussion on how to train your hole to accept larger, and even larger objects. This is a learned technique that does take work and practice to do correctly and safely.

The male rectum is quite elastic and will stretch and contract with practice and training. But it will not happen over night. If you attempt to go too far, too fast, too deep, you can cause your body serious, and unnecessary harm.

Anal sexual trauma

The simple introduction and insertion of a penis or any object inside of the rectum can cause some level of trauma to a few of the rectal areas, if not done with care. “Anal injuries can be caused by sexual activity involving insertion of objects, fingers or a penis through the anus and into the rectum. Friction, sharp edges, or rough behaviour can tear the sensitive skin and lining of the rectum, causing pain, inflammation and bleeding.”

Rough sex, entry without any or enough lubrication, sharp fingernails and objects not specifically designed for anal insertion are the major causes of anal sexual trauma. These sorts of activities can also cause tears and anal fissures, which can bleed.

Piercings

When some guys see that a dude has a pierced cock, immediately fear and terror enter his mind. He believes that not only will the bejeweled member be painful but that it will also “get stuck on something”.

If we start at the top, there are three types of genital piercings that could be of some legitimate concern.

The traditional Prince Albert is the most common male genital piercing, and the one you are most likely to encounter. It is very popular with men inside of the leather and fetish communities.

Frenum piercings are located along the shaft of the penis, starting just under the head. Some guys have one, and some have what is known as a frenum (Jacob’s) ladder, which can travel any length of the shaft.

Less common, but possible to encounter, are piercings located through the penile head, facing differing directions. This includes the Reverse Prince Albert, the Ampalling which travels horizontally, the Apadrayva is located vertically through the head, and finally, the Dydoe is through the ridges of the head.

Solutions

The pierced penis is exactly the same as one without jewelry, so it reacts inside of the anal cavity the exact same way. But jewelry can be an issue if it is too large or wide for the bottom to take. Discomfort may occur but piercings do not “get stuck” inside of the rectum. Just make sure that if you do not use condoms, to be confident that the jewelry is properly secured before penetration to ensure it does not slip off during intercourse.

For those who use condoms, yes, they do work for pierced cocks, but you might need to use a larger one to accommodate the size of the jewelry. This is another “trial and error” activity, to find the right condom type, size and elasticity to get the job done.

The Chain Gang, makers of “quality piercings”, has a few words on making penile piercings more comfortable and safer for anal sex.

Here are certain things that will make sex, particularly anal sex, more comfortable for the receiving partner. None of them is a magical cure, though: sometimes, they need to be combined to achieve the desired effect and sometimes it will simply not work completely. But they are helpful and can be used to make sex more relaxing and enjoyable:

Use quality anal lube – and use plenty of it.

As you probably know, good lube is a must-have for anal sex. If your man has a pierced penis, this is even more important. It is vital to use more lube than normally – jewelry and added girth to a penis will make penetration more difficult. In order to stay on the safe size, everything has to be lubed properly: the penis, jewelry and the receiving partner.

Use anal toys before you go.

It is often helpful to use large butt plugs or other anal toys before sex. It will make your body prepared and ready, so it will be easier for you to take your partner’s pierced penis. When using anal toys, make sure they are big enough to make a difference. Also, don’t forget to use plenty of lube!

Be aroused.

Probably the easiest way to overcome pain and discomfort is to be really aroused. Your partner and you should take enough time for you to be ready. Use toys, masturbate, touch each other – the opportunities are endless. Once you are completely excited and craving for more let him penetrate you.

Go slowly.

Your partner needs to understand that it’s impossible to simply shove his penis inside you. In the case of multiple penis piercings, such as Jacob’s Ladder, it may not even be physically possible for him to go fast. Take your time and go one piercing or one piercing pair at a time. Take some rest between piercings so your body is used to the feeling. After you are relaxed enough, he can go further and insert the new piercing pair. Do it like this until his whole penis is inside. It is vital to take your time – your body simply needs some time to stretch and accommodate these piercings. This is the only way to prevent discomfort.

Use smaller jewelry. 

This one is for your partner. Make him use the smoothest jewelry he has. Ideally, the balls on the jewelry should be small enough not to hurt the receiving partner and also smooth enough not to cause discomfort. Also, it is important that the jewelry he wears is of a good size – it should not be too long or else the bars will stick out and make the jewelry move, which can cause further discomfort.

Whatever you do, it’s important to talk to your partner. You don’t have to mention pain and discomfort if you don’t want to, but you should be able to communicate your wishes. At the end of the day, both of you will enjoy sex more if you are relaxed and enjoying the experience, so taking these precautions should be beneficial for both of you.

What does all of this mean?

In the most basic terms, your rectum and anal cavity are designed to accept cocks and man made items, like butt plugs and dildos, perfecty. The average American penis size is a bit larger than 5.5 inches. This means, as long as you stay within this range with your anal insertions, you should inspire no major issues or physical complications. But, once you get into larger sizes like 8 inches and above, trauma is a possibility if you have not prepared your body for the invasion.

Once an object, or person, has surpassed mid-range penis sizes, it is easy for them to reach the lower colon. This is where a great deal of sexual anal trauma may occur. But not the only place. If you would like to see diagrams of your entire inner plumbing and how they work, take a look at The Gay Men’s Health Project (GMFA) for more information.

What to do if something gets stuck up there?

To be clear, dicks don’t get permanently stuck inside of a guy’s rectum. This is an urban myth. What can happen is that the girth of the penile invader, as it swells, can meet the resistance of the bottom’s anal walls as they spasm and or contract due to stress and/or anxiety. With time and patience, the top’s cock should reduce in swelling, especially as the bottom relaxes his anal muscles. Sometimes, the fastest way to entice the top’s exit, is to induce ejaculation.

Man made sexual objects like butt plugs and dildos are specifically designed for ease of anal entry as well as exit. This is assisted by the creation of a solid base, that should not be inserted into your anus. Sometimes, as we all know, our rubber friend could accidentally slip inside further than we intended. Usually, your rectal muscle can dislodge the item, with little or no discomfort.

If you can not remove the object with a few simple pushes of your anal muscles, DO NOT SEEK HELP FROM A FRIEND WHO IS NOT MEDICALLY TRAINED. Their interference can cause more damage and the object to retreat further inside your rectum.

If the lost object can not be seen or felt inside of your ass, medical attention will be needed for relief. This advice should also be applied if you suffer excessive bleeding, abdominal pain and/or inflammation. One of the problems with trying to remove rectal foreign bodies is that there is a strong degree of suction between the object and the walls of the rectum. When this happens, doctors have a few options:

Sometimes a tube is passed between the object and the wall of the rectum to try to equalize the pressure as the object is removed. This is uncomfortable, and the patient will be sedated for the procedure.

If the object is far into the rectum, it may be necessary for the patient to undergo surgery in order to have a general anesthetic to enable the object to be removed.

If the patient has evidence of infection in the abdomen, a hole in the bowel, or heavy bleeding from the anus, they may need emergency surgery. In this case the patient would be admitted to the hospital.

Fisting & Large toys

If basic anal sex is a skill that needs to be developed over time, then using large toys and graduating to fisting, requires a level of devotion and effort that most guys are not willing to invest. Because of this, sexual aids like party drugs are used to circumvent years of practice to achieve the same results. But this increases risks in over-indulgence, and a numbing of pain receptors in the rectum that are meant to let you know that something is wrong are turned off. And let’s face it, guys high as a kite are not worried, at that moment, about these things.

Fisting is an art, just as much as a series of skills. This is true for both the fister and the fistee. Of all of the sexual activities two, or more, guys can engage in, fisting requires the most concentration, communication and awareness of your partner’s body. And a bottle of J Lube won’t hurt.

We approached MenRUs in the UK to get some advice about fisting and some things practitioners need to know.

Be extremely gentle and cautious and take all movement slowly. Sudden movements can be painful, can tear the rectal wall and cause serious injury. The more you go in, the more you will find yourself pressing against your partner’s organs, so take great care. If the fistee wants you to be up there, he will encourage you.

If you fist beyond the rectum you may encounter several problems. There are no receptors to register pain above the rectum. Perforations and subsequent bleeding can go unnoticed for several hours. You’re more inclined to press against and bruise other body organs. You may damage the upper sphincter muscle so that it doesn’t close properly (but still has to regulate shit passing between the sigmoid colon and rectum) which can result in leaks or shitting yourself.”

If you’re the fister

Firstly, if you’re into controlling others in sex or if your trip is power, then don’t fist unless it is part of an agreed scene. When you’re buried inside someone else, it’s the fistee that allows you the privilege of being there. They are putting trust in you that you will respect their vulnerability and together create a combined energy that neither of you could ever create on your own.

A good fister is totally focused on the needs of the fistee and is aware that each partner is different physically and mentally. There is no best way to do anything and using a particular technique on one person may not work on another. Before you start, choose which hand you’re going to use. A combination of fisting and then wanking with the same hand could increase the risk of infection both ways. Remove all rings, jewellery or sharp objects which may cause damage or just get lost!

If you’re the fistee

You can loosen up by using increasingly larger dildos and butt-plugs. A more effective way is to increase control of your sphincter muscles by exploring your arse with your own fingers, (clean and lubed of course). Once again – practice is the name of the game. Explore gently, see how this part of your body reacts to deep breathing or thoughts of fear and relaxation.

Remember: go slowly, take your time and don’t push. It’s not a race or competition. If your arse feels threatened or attacked it will react in fear and tighten up. (As mentioned earlier douching will help familiarise yourself with your arse – getting a sense of where things are and their dimensions). With greater control dildos and butt-plugs will be more pleasurable and give you experience in stretching and taking more and more inside you. A fistee needs to remain relaxed, which is helped by practice. Breathing deeply, rather than holding your breath, will often help. You should be pulling or willing your partner in so that there’s no need to push. Sometimes pushing out, as if shitting, then pulling in can make a difference.

As a fistee you have a responsibility to let your partner know if you’re okay. You should also be aware that your partner may need a break and has needs of his own which a considerate fistee will attempt to meet. If you sense or feel discomfort or have pain, tell your partner to slow down, take a break or stop. It’s your body – if it’s telling you something, listen.

Pain could mean that you’re going to be sore later. More importantly, if your partner isn’t listening or thinks he knows better, question whether he’s suitable and maybe suggest he takes his frustrations elsewhere. Ultimately, it is trust – the absence of fear – that not only makes taking a hand possible but makes it the great experience it can be. You also have a responsibility to let your partner know when it’s feeling good. Support them all you can: maybe talk, moan or groan, or if you can touch him respond to movements you can feel inside.

What could possibly go wrong?

Alcohol and drugs are as common to gay male sex as homosexuality itself. But fisting falls into a special category where more practitioners are users of party drugs to help relax and get in the mood. The problem with this is that not only can the drugs dull you pain receptors but they will most likely decrease your ability to properly communicate your needs, comfort and pleasure with your partner. This miscommunication can lead to a fister going to fast, too deep or to abrasive, thus causing damage to the fistee.

Beyond HIV and especially HEP B & C, fisting is known to be one of the most dangerous in terms of STD infection. But, because of the nature of the act itself, tears to the bowel are more common than guys suspect.

Capillary Bleeding

The colon is lined with millions of tiny capillaries,which are extremely close to the surface of the
intestine. They are extremely susceptible to bleeding during play. Overly rambunctious play, sharp fingernails or an
inexperienced top can and do increase the likelihood of bleeding.

Fissure/Fistula

In very rare instances, it is possible that a tear in the lining of the anus or rectum can grow larger. Doctors call this a fissure or large tear. Sometimes, this tear is so big that it extends beyond the bowel to other parts of the body. Doctors call this a fistula. A fistula can be an emergency medical situation because it allows stool from the bowel to go to other places in the body. Doctors usually suggest surgery to repair a fistula.

Bowel perforation

Symptoms of a rupture, or perforation of your bowels (meaning a hole in your colon and not just a scratch on the surface) include: upset stomach or queasiness, cold sweat, clamminess, an extended abdomen (similar to bloating) and lightheadedness or feeling faint. You might expect to see signs of rectal bleeding, but that doesn’t always happen and the absence of that should not put your mind at ease.

Perforation of the bowel due to anal sexual trauma is a rare but serious risk necessitating emergency surgery. Most patients need a temporary colostomy to divert faeces while the perforation heals but bowel continuity is usually restored about six weeks postoperatively.

Bowel perforation as a complication of fisting can be potentially fatal. The is most commonly performed by laparotomy. Procedures which can be performed in such patients are suturing of the perforation with or without formation of a protective colostomy, a Hartmann procedure or bowel resection with primary anastomosis.

More info on fisting

Like almost all gay sexual activities, not only do we not get any proper education but the lesson we are taught is that they are all bad and dirty. Fisting and other fetishes suffer from this stigma. Because of this, gaining proper and accurate information about this sexual skill is difficult. As you read from above, fisting isn’t something you should want to learn from the internet or jumping in on your own. Luckily for all of you that have an interest or just plain ole curiosity about sticking fingers and fists up you butt, there is Larry R. Shockey, the amazing Fister, activist and author of The Sacred Art of Fisting.

If you are the type of homosexual that enjoys taking classes, then maybe FISTFY has a course for you. They can take you from novice to grand master, if that is your desire. If you are already a handballer, maybe you would like to visit them to increase your skill sets. There is always something new to learn.

What if I need a trip to hospital?

As long as there have been guys sticking things up their butts and a hospital in the county, the two have been meeting up for uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing conversations. Fortunately for us, we are living in an era where homosexuality is much more common, and generally accepted, by members of the medical community. And these guys and gals have seen it all!

Maybe these stories from The Nursing TImes, will help you remain calm and remember that things could be worse, if you must attend hospital to get something removed from your crank.

According to Crass et al (1981), the only limitation to the variety of objects used is the capacity of the rectum to accommodate them, and a vast number of different items are reported to have been recovered from the rectum.” 

“Documented cases among males show a broad age range from a 14-year-old boy with a glass TV vacuum tube (Cohen and Sackier, 1996) to a 63-year-old man with a 12-inch long and 8-inch circumference salami (Shah et al, 2002). No generalisations can be made regarding sexuality as that information is not available – while one study suggests the ‘typical patient’ is a homosexual male (Crass et al, 1981), this was undertaken in an urban hospital with a large gay community.”

And here is what could happen once you arrive.

In most cases, after intravenous sedation and sphincter dilation manual extraction of the retained object is possible in the A&E department. If this fails the patient may need a general anaesthetic so that large objects can be extracted safely. It is usually possible to safely insert a whole hand into the rectum to retrieve the object from an anaesthetised patient (Crass et al, 1981). Enemas and laxatives should not be used to remove most foreign bodies, due to the risk of bowel perforation (Shah et al, 2002) – although they have been used successfully to remove bars of soap (Cohen and Sackier, 1996).

On some occasions the object cannot be removed manually as it cannot be gripped firmly enough. Other objects that have been used successfully in such situations include anoscopes, sigmoidoscopes, tenaculums and vaginal spatulas. Hollow foreign bodies such as bottles and cups can create a suction effect in the rectum, which can be broken by inserting a tube such as a Foley catheter proximal to the foreign body and instilling air (Cohen and Sackier, 1996).

Less commonly the patient may need to have a laparotomy and where possible the surgeon ‘milks’ the object through the bowel manually so it can be removed transanally (Shah et al, 2002). If this is unsuccessful a colotomy may be necessary, in which a small longitudinal incision is made in the bowel, the object is removed, and the incision closed (Busch and Starling, 1986). Objects that may need to be removed by colotomy include those that are too large or too fragile to be removed safely transanally. Patients usually recover from a laparotomy and/or colotomy uneventfully and require a very short hospital stay if any.

Before you go…

Anal sex is a great experience, thanks to the prostate, and muscles in and around the anus. But, like with every action you take, you should be aware of what could go wrong, and how to handle it if it does. Denying or ignoring it doesn’t make it go away, rather it makes it worse.

Don’t let any of the vital information in this article scare you away from sticking things up your butt, just make sure they were designed to go there.

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