Tabuu Wrap-up: Pain is not a welcome part of anal sex. If it’s present, it means you need to stop. However, you can move past the pain to find the pleasure.

There’s a very common myth about bottoming as a gay man that’s also the reason many gay couples don’t engage in this. That myth is that bottoming is very painful. And yes, some men do experience pain and that keeps them away from bottoming. In some relationships, this decision can lead to frustration and even ruin the relationship.

However, that doesn’t have to be the rule. There are many ways to get into anal sex without experiencing any pain or discomfort. If you and your partner really want to bottom, there’s a way to work around the issue that doesn’t involve sacrificing your relationship in the process.

If you want to be a bottom but you can’t handle the pain, it can be a very shameful thing. Wanting to engage with something at a sexual level and not being able to do it can make some men feel like there’s something wrong with them. Like they’re failing their relationship. Not to mention is very easy to compare yourself to people you see in movies, porn, and even to couples you know in real life who don’t have a problem with this.

Unfortunately, porn is a part of the problem because it makes bottoming look extremely easy and carefree. When that’s not always the case for many gay couples out there. Bottoming can take a ton of effort for it to become something enjoyable for both partners. If you’re with someone who wants to bottom but is unable to or is struggling with anxiety about being penetrated, don’t shame them.

These are valid feelings and the best thing you can do is help your partner discuss them and hash things out. Communication will make things a lot easier and it will make your trust as a couple a lot stronger. And trust is not only essential in a relationship, but it’s also essential for anal sex.

The good news is that much of the fear and anxiety that people often have about anal sex stems from misconceptions and myths. This means that a little education can go a long way when it comes to putting your mind at ease about giving bottoming a try. Once the myths are debunked, you can learn to move past the pain.

1. Learn to Recognize the Misconceptions

If you want to break free from the negative feelings that stem from misconceptions, you need to be able to recognize them. The most common myth involves the use of labels for gay men, who are often categorized as “top” or “bottom”. What these labels suggest is that gay men can only find pleasure in one position or another. It leaves no room for flexibility.

If you’re labeled a certain way as a gay man, then your only option is to find a partner who’s compatible with that label. This is what heteronormative ideas dictate for gay relationships. But I hope you can see how easy this one is to debunk. Sure, men can enjoy being either a top or a bottom, but they can also enjoy both, or feel nothing special about either position whatsoever but still engage in both of them. For some gay men, this realization can come easily, but for others, it can take some work.

The second most common myth involves pain. When it comes to anal sex, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of misinformation about pain. Many people think pain comes naturally in anal sex. However, we still know that there are people who don’t experience any pain during anal penetration. This is because their bodies are more open to anal penetration.

If anal penetration intimidates you, then you have a long way to go. It’s definitely a process and you’ll need to practice, not only to get used to the sensation, but also to settle your psyche. The more you understand anal sex, the more you realize pain is not a part of it and anal sex is actually pleasurable.

There are ways to help your body associate anal stimulation with pleasure instead of anxiety, stress, fear, or pain. If you want anal penetration to be a part of your sex life, you need to practice, go through the process at your own pace, have patience, and essentially change your view of anal sex altogether.

2. Accept That This Isn’t for Everyone

This is a fact: bottoming is not for everyone and that’s perfectly fine. The fact is that many gay partners can live without anal penetration because there are plenty of other things to enjoy. Such as mutual masturbation, oral sex, and other kinds of stimulation. Anal sex might be considered the primary sexual activity among gay partners, but that’s not the case for everyone.

In deciding whether you want to bottom it’s important you’re aware of your own reasons for wanting it. Heteronormative ideas are insidious and they may pressure you into thinking anal penetration is a requirement for a happy and fulfilling sex life. Gay culture can also make you feel like you’re not normal if you don’t have anal sex.

That kind of pressure can cause a lot of issues in your relationship. It can lead you to try something you don’t really want, and it can lead your partner to pressure you without being responsible for their own pleasure. It’s perfectly possible to have a healthy, loving, intimate gay relationship without anal sex. Understand your perspective as well as that of your partners and communicate with each other.

3. Don’t Ignore Your Body, Listen Instead!

Forget everything you’ve learned from porn, when it comes down to it, you need to listen to your body. How many porn films have you watched where the bottom looks in pain and then switches to absolute pleasure? Though some pain is normal when penetration occurs, it’s not like in porn. It shouldn’t be. Pain is not a part of anal sex and it’s not something you should tolerate because you’re waiting for it to magically turn into pleasure. If there’s pain, that’s your body telling you to stop. Listen and comply! That’s what good anal sex is about.

If you want to integrate anal penetration into your sexual relationship, pain is not the way to do it, especially if you were already on the fence about it. If you’ve experienced pain in the past and you’ve kept going, you’ve essentially taught your body to associate pain with anal penetration. And that’s not the way to bottoming! As a partner, if your bottom experiences pain and you ignore it, they’re not going to be receptive to it in the future.

4. Trust Is Very Important

Trust is a very important aspect of anal sex, not only mentally, but also physically. When you don’t trust what you’re doing or your partner, your body will tense up and your muscles will contract. That’s the easiest way to experience pain during anal sex. The muscles in the sphincter are not always receptive to penetration. Combine this with stress and shame, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Your body should associate anal stimulation and penetration with pleasure and safety. As a bottom, it’s important you’re patient with yourself and your body. As I’ve said before, bottoming is a process of teaching your body to associate good feelings with anal stimulation. As a bottom’s partner, it’s important that you’re also patient with them and you show them that patience. Go through the learning process with them, respect their body and their limits. Don’t judge or be too critical. Remember this is about connecting, not just about anal penetration.

5. Work Towards Anal Penetration

Being patient with each other means you don’t jump into anal penetration; you work towards it. Everything happens in stages, and if you’re with a partner who’s uncertain or nervous, you need to pay attention to foreplay before anything else. Touching, kissing, massaging, etc., these things will allow your partner to relax and be more open to things.

You can’t go straight into anal sex without first exploring anal stimulation in easier, more beginner-friendly ways. First, experiment with touch and sensation, then you can start working towards penetration, but it needs to happen gradually. It can’t be all in, all at once.

6. Breathe and Look at Each Other

Breathe together and look at each other. This is another way to help your partner relax and help them associate anal play with positive things. Not to mention it’s a great way to connect as a couple and to experience pleasure together without being so focused on orgasms or sexual stimulation. When you make sure there’s no pain, you can gently and slowly begin the process of complete and deep penetration. But only when they’re ready, when their bodies are ready.

For the bottom, focusing on your breathing is key to help you maintain your body relaxed as new sensations are brought to the table. Your partner may start by inserting a finger or a toy to the fullest and then go from there. As long as there’s no pain, everything you and your partner want to do is valid. Bottoming definitely requires some getting used to, but that doesn’t have to feel like a nuisance. In fact, it’s what can make the experience better, as long as you do it right.

Gentle and constant practice will lead the way to anal penetration. The first few times it’s good to start with your fingers or a toy, but soon you’ll be ready for your partner’s penis. Just remember to ease into every stage of the process and take as much time with it as you need. This is what will prepare your body for the next stage, after all, so don’t rush through anything.

If there’s pain, just stop and try again another day. But if pain continues after you’ve given penetration a try, make sure you see a doctor about this because it could be a sign of fissures or hemorrhoids. And if you feel like you need even more help, you can always talk to a sex therapist so they can provide techniques and strategies to have an easier time with anal sex. There’s no shame in asking for help. After all, it can only lead to a better sex life, whatever that may look like for you!

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