A Transcript of the talk given at The Sex Lectures Manchester July 23rd 2019
Watch the video here (14 minutes)
Hello, I am Sian Johnson a Bodyworker, Sex Coach, Tantric Masseuse and Pleasure Educator
I run Creative Sexuality based in Leeds and my passion is supporting people to explore sensation, pleasure and (re)discover joy
My Invitation to you, is to get really comfortable in your seat
To put down whatever you are holding for the next few minutes
To uncross your legs and place them on the floor
To lean back in your chair
To notice your breath
Maybe even to slow and deepen your breath
To close your eyes
And bring your awareness to your lips
You might like to open your mouth, feel the air brushing over your lips as you gently inhale and exhale
Notice how it feels to move your lips, to gently press your lips together and open them again
And notice your breath
You may want to moisten your lips to bring your tongue there to play a little… softly… gently
And notice how this feels.
What sensations are there, are they everyday functional or are you feeling a little more alive than before?
And as you begin to bring your awareness back into the room, I invite you to take another breath and share with us any single words of what you are noticing in your body right now?
(contributions from the audience: calm, sensual, present, pleasure)
Great, thank you.
And I invite you to stay curious about these sensations, while I talk a little more
So, the muscles and the nerve endings of the mouth, the lips, and the tongue contain some of the highest concentration of nerve endings in the body
Another set of muscles that has a similar number of nerve endings and therefore the same capacity for sensation, is at the other end of the digestive system: the anus. And we will get to that in a just a moment.
So tonight I will be talking about anal sensation and the possibility for pleasure that this area of the body holds for us.
So, if I asked you at this point whether you have an interest in having a good sex life, I’m sure some of you would be willing to put up your hands. If I asked you the same question about anal sex you’d probably be a little more reluctant to respond
And I know from the clients that I see and the conversations I have, (yes I am the person who talks about anal sex at dinner parties.) That there is much confusion and misunderstanding and even fear about the anus. And yet we all have one
So, let me bring some light to this area by starting with two of the clearest distractions and barriers that most people have around the anal area, one of them is pain and the other is poo.
Yes poo. We learned, as babies that exploring the contents of our nappy was NOT OK. And so began our socialisation of this part of the body as smelly, dirty and unclean. And certainly it is wise to take care here and I’ll come back to anal hygiene later
And fears around pain relate very much to the idea of penetration as the only form of anal pleasure and so when people have tried it, it’s often been without the helpful hints on offer here tonight
Everyone has a story to tell. The story of my bum is that it’s had a lot of trouble: from nappy rash, to unwanted intrusions, to its role in bladder infections, to prolapse and surgery. So it’s fair to say that my bum has had a pretty poor time of it.
So much so, that when I was training, I was perfectly open to working with other people’s anuses but quite honestly I was pretty much, in every way, hysterical about having mine touched at all.
Now, with the right circumstances, I love it.
What changed? Well, I got a guy in to help me with that, not just any guy, a bodyworker guy
I knew the techniques from my training – how to relax the area, how to breathe, how to stimulate the nerves, how much pressure, where and when, how to titillate and tease the area so the muscles would relax and open to sensation, much as we did at the beginning here, with the lips. I just couldn’t do it for myself.
First, I allowed myself to be honored by him through a body massage, I allowed my nervous systems to relax into sensuality. And from this place of being in my body, of being in arousal, I was able to guide him in the touch techniques. He was patient and honoring. He was responsive to what I needed in each moment. I could ask for what I wanted, to slow down, to pause, to hold, to move. And so
I was able to experience sensation, pleasure and eroticism. I had my first orgasm from anal touch. It was a beautiful experience. And who would have thought that this journey - from hysteria to ecstasy - was possible in just two short hours.
And so, I’m a convert, I believe that this area of the body can be just as beautiful and erotic an experience for most of us as our genitals and our lips.
And for some people, this is all a bit outrageous, edgy and pretty radical and that’s OK
Naturally there are some precautions: (and solutions) We all know, or can guess, the limitations of pornography. Most anuses cannot and should not be expected to perform the way we see them in porn. So here, especially for you is a quick fire anal 101
Sound like a passion killer? Fair enough, I mean by the time you’ve douched, put out a row of condoms, chosen your lube, found out what a dental dam is, selected a range of condom covered toys, mail ordered your gloves, discussed boundaries, made your agreements … you might well be exhausted!
OK maybe it’s not for your average evening, but this preparation can be part of the anticipation, part of the caring for yourself, caring for your partner and an honouring of each other. And maybe you could add in some soft lighting, rose petals and a Namaste while you are there?
If you are new to anal touch, it may be some time before you feel relaxed enough to allow touch there at all. And it’s useful to know that not all anal touch, and anal pleasure is about penetration. The Rosebud massage focusses on external touch and stimulation of the perineum and anal area. It can bring pleasure in a quite wonderful way without anyone feeling the pressure to open to internal touch – your friendly local bodyworker should be able to help you with that
If penetration is something you’d like to explore then slowly and gently is the key here. And if you think you are going slowly then halve that speed again. Allow yourself time to notice the sensations so that you can make choices about how to go forward. And…
Oh my god!
Not at all thank you
Are all valid responses to any intimate touch
The are two rings of muscles at the entrance of the anus. The outer ring is voluntary; which means we have choice over when to open and close it. The inner ring however is involuntary, which means we have no conscious control over this muscle. ‘Training’ this muscle to relax is possible over a period of time and is as much to do with creating a sense of safety and relaxation of the whole body as it is about opening to penetration. It is NOT about pushing through and trying to override the body’s natural reflexes
So start with one finger and lots of lube and explore. For people with a prostate gland see if you can discover the walnut textured gland just tucked inside the body. It’s accessible by pressing on the membranes of the anal wall. Gentle circles and strokes with tips of fingers can bring immense pleasure for some and for others it may be more of a ‘whatever’. The same area of the anal wall can be used for people with vulvas to stimulate the urethral crest area at the roof of the vagina where, for some people, the G spot resides.
If there is pain or resistance, stop, gently withdraw, hold the area, honor the body
In time you might want to explore with specially designed toys that stimulate different areas including the muscles on entry and exit. Again, slow everything down, give yourself a chance to really notice the sensations so that you have choice.
And if penis penetration is desired then ensure you have agreements in place, that you can communicate easily, that you have condoms, lube and again,
slow – everything - down!
For some people anal pleasure is off the agenda, never to be broached and that is OK. It is perfectly valid for anyone to make that choice at any time, and if that’s true for you then I urge you to respect your boundaries and not be persuaded by real or perceived peer or partner pressure.
For others, anal pleasure might be something you’d like to tick off your list of sexual exploits. Maybe it’s an area of deep curiosity for you or a part of your fantasy.
Whatever your reasons, and whether you are exploring anal pleasure with yourself, with a partner or with a bodyworker, I wish for it to be for you, as deeply an intimate and transformative experience, as it has been for me.