I saw a client the other day for a tantric massage, which included some anal massage work. When she had got dressed afterwards, she told me that when she was tightening her trouser belt, she realised that her belt tightened 2 notches more than it had that morning. She attributed this to the effect of our work. And speculated how much tension must have been holding in her pelvis and stomach, which had been released.
If you mention anal massage, you’re likely to be met with silence, or embarrassed humour, and I think the reasons for this, which are most probably unconscious are:
-the anus is dirty
-interest in the anus is perverted
-anal contact is painful
None of this is true. Also, when we think of the anus in a sexual context, a lot of people are going to think of anal sex, or extreme sexuality, of one kind or another. So habitually, if we think of the anus in an intimate way at all, we’ll think in terms of something you do, or something that is done to you [often incompetently and painfully] rather than a means of helping you feel, and feel in a very rich way: in terms of sensation, emotion and memory.
One of the innovations of sexological bodywork is working with the anus. And there’s at least 2 very distinct benefits: regulation of the nervous system, and pleasure.
For sexological bodyworkers and sex therapists like myself, direct touching of the anal sphincters is one of the few ways to get direct access to the nervous system. And it acts as a major down-regulator (relaxant). If someone is very stressed, relaxation of these sphincters has a major effect on the level of tension they feel in their bodies. Indeed, people very often fall into a deep sleep.
Landscape of different sensations
So far as pleasure is concerned, there are a phenomenal amount of nerve endings in the anus. More than almost any other area of the body. Because of this, the anus is an extraordinary landscape of different sensations. Move the finger a tiny amount, and the sensation is entirely different. And it very often comes with a huge and liberating emotional charge too, because it brings back our earliest feelings, which are usually repressed.
So there’s an irony: delicate, thoughtful and minuscule touching around the entrance of the anus is exquisitely pleasurable, and also emotionally very moving. It takes us back to our youngest self. Yet when people think of anal pleasure, they tend to think of anal sex, which often is far from pleasurable, indeed often painful, due to people’s selfishness and ignorance. But I don’t think this is an accident: one of the curses of patriarchy is that it splits our pleasure giving organs artificially into Male and Female. And because we all have anuses, our common humanity is kept at bay by thinking of the anus only in terms of penetration, not capacity for feeling, which is part of our common humanity.
In the introduction to the 4th edition of his groundbreaking ‘Anal Pleasure & Health, the late Jack Morin noted:
“It was never one of my career goals to be known as ‘Dr Anal’, as I am in some circles. Although I’ve accepted the nickname as a playful compliment, it’s only been during the last decade that my embarrassment has faded away completely. Like almost everyone else, my earliest attitudes toward the anal area were shaped -warped, more accurately – by the incredibly powerful anal taboo. Obediently, I thought about it as little as possible. The vast network of nerves that makes this area so sensitive was, for all practical purposes, out of commission. Once, when I was obviously upset, a perceptive therapist asked what I was feeling in my anus. The revealing answer was “Absolutely nothing”.
Please read his book. It clears up so many misconceptions.
So how would a session potentially including anal touch work? Well, firstly we would agree the boundaries for what I would do, which I would not go beyond. Second, we would start with a long, slow, relaxing and connecting whole body massage, accompanied by suitable music, which would enable you to completely attend, without worry, to what you were actually experiencing, to drop into a slightly trance like state, where you are very awake yet very relaxed, just attending to what you are feeling, and the outside world can drop away. When it comes to contact with the anus, it’s really important to be led by the body, and not to force anything, or proceed along a prearranged plan. What you want next should always be the result of what your body is feeling now, and where it wants to go next. And perhaps I should stop there, because there isn’t a standard way to experience this, only the unique way of each person, but if you want to know more, please get in touch.
If you’re interested but aren’t located in Scotland or are within easy reach of me here in Glasgow, please see my linkspage. This predominantly covers the U.K. only, although there are some European and American practitioners there, so if you are further afield and want a comprehensive list, you might want to try:
The Worldwide Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers
The World Association Of Sex Coaches