The ins and outs of penetrative sex:
For some people nothing else matters – you haven’t had sex until you’ve done it: Penetrative sex – but please don’t call it proper or normal sex!
Basically, penetrative sex involves putting a penis, or other object, such as a dildo/vibrator, inside a someone’s body. Therefore, penetrative sex can include both vaginal or anal sex.
To reiterate – what type of sex you may partake in has no correlation to whom you happen to be sharing a bed with. Whether you happen to be gay or not, you can still have penetrative sex, you might need to use something else like a dildo, but it can still happen.
We tend to think of penetrative sex as ‘normal’ sex – it’s what they teach you about at school, when they tell you about making babies – however, it can quite often be a bit of a disappointment.
Such a big deal is made about it that it creates a false sense of expectations. Girls especially can find penetrative sex does very little for them to begin with as it can take some practice to find a way for it to be fulfilling for both partners. Biologically speaking, the vaginal canal only has nerve endings inside the first couple of inches, the vulva outside is far more sensitive to touch and is more likely to give a girl pleasure.
Indeed, this is one of the main problems for young women, they and their partners rush into penetrative sex, which can sometimes be quite uncomfortable, painful even, if a girl’s body hasn’t had time to ready itself.
Arsing about … a bit more on penetrative sex…
There is another type of penetrative sex, anal sex. Again, anal sex is one of those acts which people seem to have very strong views about. It is always assumed that bum sex is what gay men do to each other. However, only around about 40-45% of gay men actually take part in anal sex. Indecently, around about 40% of straight couples have anal sex too – so it is nonsense that anal is a gay thing. Indeed, throughout history anal sex has been used in a variety of cultures as a means of having sex without the risk of pregnancy and preserving ‘virginity’ before marriage.
Recently, there has been a trend amongst young people to be interested in anal sex which many people blame on the prevalence of young people watching porn. The fact is people have been having anal sex since the start of time.
However, if young people are using pornography as a means of sex education – they will often be getting unrealistic and simply wrong information. The main problem with anal sex is that if not done correctly it can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful. Unlike the vagina, the bum doesn’t really self-lubricate, also if you are not completely relaxed, you muscles will tighten and close up making it painful. It is essential to relax when having anal sex, so if you don’t really fancy doing it, then it will not work and is likely to hurt.
Despite the fact that anal sex is only really seen in porn films and is considered by many to be dirty because it involves your bum, anal sex actually is a very intimate act, as it takes a lot of trust and patience for it to work properly.
Once you have decided to try anal sex, it is important to relax and take your time. Be sure to use plenty of lubricant, on both your bum hole and whatever you are going to insert . Make sure if you are having sex with a partner you talk to each other and take your time. Patience, communication and lots of lube are key as anal sex takes some getting used to.
In porn films, anal looks really easy, they just stick it in and everyone has a good time. In reality that isn’t how it is. You don’t often get to see the patience and trust involved – this is why it is essential that we talk to young people about anal sex too – and correct their misconceptions.
Indeed, there is also the question of guy’s sexuality to consider too… Some guys worry that because they like having their bum played with it must mean they are gay. Actually as I keep reiterating – just because you like a particular sexual act has no bearing on your sexual orientation – who you fancy and share a bed with does. Make sure when you talk about anal sex – you do not cloud the fact with misplaced attitudes.
A few words about lube. With sex the general rule is the wetter the better! This is especially true when thinking about anal sex. If you are going to explore anal play, make sure you use lots of lube, this is usually a clear gel like fluid that you can buy from supermarkets (next to the condoms) or get from most sexual health services. It helps everything slip and slide nicely, and stops you damaging the thin lining of your or your partner’s back passage.
However, lube is not just for anal sex – it feels great for manual sex, masturbating, and they even make flavoured ones for oral sex too.
Some people will try it and love it; others will find it’s not for them. When talking to young people about anal sex, or any other sexual act for that matter, remember the emphasis always needs to be on only do what you are comfortable with. Pressure, rarely makes sex pleasurable or fulfilling for anyone. It is essential to have trust, patience and both partner’s understanding they can stop or say no at any point.
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