Gwyneth Paltrow has finally weighed in about anal sex. As you no doubt know, the Academy Award-winning actress publishes GOOP, a quasi-newsletter and website about food, sex, style, and other general lifestyle topics. One of the most recent articles is about anal sex.
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“First it was shocking, then it was having a cultural moment, now it’s practically standard in the modern bedroom repertoire—or so a quick scan of any media, from porn to HBO, will tell you,” the article—which may have been written by Paltrow herself—begins. It leads into an interview with Paul Joannides, Psy.D., who published the influential The Guide to Getting it On!, but first Paltrow—or one of her employees—notes that “[i]f anal turns you on, you are definitely not alone.”
In the interview, Joannides explains his theory behind the rise of anal sex (“This wasn’t because women were begging their lovers for anal, it’s because porn producers were afraid you’d click on someone else’s porn if they weren’t upping the ante in terms of shock value.”) and the risks involved even with use of a condom and lube.
The risks are substantially reduced by the use of condoms and lube as long as they are used correctly, but you won’t find too many condoms that say “safe for anal sex” because the FDA has not cleared condoms for use in anal sex,” he said. “That said, research indicates that regular condoms hold up as well as thicker condoms for anal sex, so there’s nothing to be gained from getting heavy-duty condoms.
Joannides also gives advice on how to try anal sex for the first time:
Both of you should read all you can about it first. Spend a few weeks helping the receiving partner train her anal sphincters to relax. Make sure you and your partner have great sexual communication, trust, and that you both want to do it, as opposed to one trying to pressure the other, or not wanting to do it but doing it because you are afraid your partner will find someone else who will. Do not do it drunk or stoned, and do not use lube that numbs your anus. If it doesn’t feel good when it’s happening, stop.
Check out the rest of the interview on GOOP’s website.
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