Q: I've scoured the internet and have been unable to find tips for bottoming pain besides "just relax", or "amyl nitrate aka 'poppers'" and I really am not sure if those are safe or legal. What are some natural ways I can relax the inner sphincter muscles of the anus for a less-painful sex?
A: It’s true that it’s key to relax and some practices that can help with that is to take things really slow at first and use lots of lube. I suggest having anal play become a regular part of masturbation, so that your body can learn to associate anal stimulation with sexual arousal and orgasm. It can take a while for some people to get used to anal stimulation. Also, you could purchase anal “trainers,” which are basically a set of small to moderately sized dildos or butt-plugs that can be used to “train” the anus to tolerate penetration.
If all of this fails to help you have painless and enjoyable anal sex, then anal sex may just not be right for you. There are some people who have particularly sensitive nerves in the anus and no amount of preparation and relaxation will make it painless. If this is, then you may want to look toward other ways of enjoying sex.
Also, the use of amyl nitrate (poppers) is not safe. They can cause dangerous drops in blood pressure, which can lead to symptoms ranging from headaches and erectile dysfunction all the way to fainting, stroke and heart attacks. While they are not strictly illegal, they tend to only be sold in the U.S. in sex shops and at extremely low doses of the active chemical (to avoid law-suits). Even though they are available to the public, pretty much all health associations recommend not using them.
For more tips on having painless and enjoyable anal sex, check out the link here: http://www.spicesexup.com/does-anal-sex-hurt.html
For more information about “poppers,” check out the link here: http://lgbt.foundation/news-articles/get-informed-poppers/
For a link to inexpensive anal trainers sold on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Trinity-Vibes-VE801-Anal-Trainer/dp/B003JI4Q50
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.