Should I try anal sex? (I am a woman).

Miss Cassandra is always in favor of trying new things, but you seem a little hesitant. You should never feel forced into something you don’t want to do. A lot of guys think that getting a girl to do anal is some kind of magic butt trophy. I blame porn. This being said a lot of people like anal, do it regularly, and even prefer it. (Yes, this includes straight couples).

The choice is really up to you, but I can offer some helpful tips and, as usual, some real talk. First, make sure you know and trust your partner. Anal can hurt if not done correctly or if you try to do too much, too fast. Make sure you feel comfortable enough with your partner to ask him to stop and rely on him enough to actually stop. There are some misconceptions about anal and it has to do with your anatomy back there. First, it is not really the “butt,” it’s the rectum. The rectum has no poop in it. The rectum is the same in men and women. The rectum has two parts: the butthole (okay, I know you guys are 5th graders, don’t laugh) and the inner sphincter. The butthole is a voluntary muscle. You should be able to open it on command, but the inner is not. This one has to be gently opened up in anal sex.

To open the inner, there are a few good hints. Please, please, please if you take nothing else from this, use lubrication. I cannot stress this enough. The rectum does not generate as much fluid as the vagina. Also, try to start small. Use a finger, a small massager, etc. See how it feels and work up to the whole 9 yards (yeah… he wishes, am I right?) If you are feeling up to it, even try to insert a finger in him. He’ll be better at it after he knows how it feels.


Can you tell me more about herpes? I'm kind of freaking out!

Herpes are no laughing matter. They are often painful and there are several different types or “strains” of herpes. Some are more problematic than others, but none are fun. You’re probably referring to HSV-I and HSV-II. Both have similar side affects, although they can differ in location. HSV-II is a type of genital-to-genital STI. HSV-I is more broadly defined. It can cause genital sores from genital contact or can cause oral sores as well.

Both types are sneaky diseases. Some people seem to think that herpes is only spread when someone is having an outbreak. While the rate of infection is higher when one partner is having an outbreak, it can happen even without one. This is not meant to scare you further. If you are worried about herpes, remember to always wear a condom, even during oral (or dental dam with a female partner). This is your best defense against infection. This being said the traditional male condom does not cover the whole genital area. If you really are worried or know your partner has been infected, you might want to try a female condom. It covers more area than a male condom and is particularly good for anal sex as well no matter your gender (see the question above).

Herpes blisters are not fun. They can be painful, especially in the first year since there are initially more breakouts. But herpes is manageable and less dangerous than many other STIs. It is important to be careful, especially when it comes to partners with HIV (sores are known to often bleed during sex) or pregnancy, but it should not scare you away from sex, only make you more cautious.

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