3 min

Is your backdoor closed?

Learning to flex and release your asshole easily

Dear Dr Ren,
Many, many years ago, I had hemorrhoid surgery, and whether the doctor screwed up or it was a necessary part of the procedure, I lost all elasticity and I cannot have anal intercourse. My lover told me he has heard of a procedure where elasticity can be restored through surgical implantation. Is this possible? Where can one get this procedure and what is involved?

Dear Tight,
There are several types of hemorrhoid removal surgeries, from the most common technique of snapping small rubber bands around the base of the swollen veins to suffocate them, to rarely used, more invasive approaches involving the sphincter muscle.

You say you had your hemorrhoid surgery a long time ago and that you can now not enjoy anal sex with your boyfriend. I wonder at what point you noticed this lack of elasticity. Once you recuperated from the surgery, you should have been even more comfortable with anal sex than when you were compromised with the offending piles.

Way back in the 1960s, proctologists began noticing that gay men, when touched in the anal area, relaxed and dilated their assholes spontaneously. A Pavlovian response, they had learned that touch in their perineal area signalled impending pleasure and consequently relaxed their sphincter muscles. Heterosexual men lacked what came to be known as this Positive D (dilation) response.

A brief anatomy lesson seems in order here. We all, males and females, carry a wide swath of muscle that slings from the top of our pubic bone all the way between our legs and then anchors to the tip of our coccyx or tailbone. It’s called our pubococcygeal (PC) muscle and supports our entire genital package. In men, it is interrupted by the penile shaft and the anus.

This PC muscle, like any other, can be toned or slack, flexible or rigid. If you are experiencing difficulty with anal sex, it may well have nothing to do with the ancient surgery you underwent, but could be caused by holding your PC muscle in constant tension.

Are you able to flex and release your asshole easily? Can your lover insert his finger(s) up your bum without causing you discomfort? When you pee, can you stop and start your flow of urine at will?

All of these relate to the contraction and relaxation of your PC muscle, and I suspect you are indeed Tight.

There are a number of DVDs available on the subject of anal massage and relaxation that you may find helpful in learning to establish a Positive D response.

As to the surgery you mentioned, I could find nothing that referred to restoration of elasticity following hemorrhoid surgery. In fact, I came up empty searching for any sort of related procedures.

Many people complain of pain with anal sex until they learn to relax and dilate their sphincter muscles. Once they’ve mastered that technique, they marvel at the sensations they receive from deep penetration and the feeling of intimacy that form of sex conveys.

This relaxation is not learned in one lesson or overnight. It requires trust in one’s lover to permit entry into a passage our society tells us is dirty and off-limits. We must rethink what we have been taught. We must overcome our embarrassment and shame about that no-go part of our body. Anal sex is definitely a crossover sexual activity.

It is also, even in heterosexual couples, common. One third practise it, and another third admit they are curious and would like to try it. These numbers swell in the gay community.

If you think you might be keeping your backdoor closed because you are fearful or disinterested in bum sex, talk to your lover about your concerns. Not everyone is interested in anal sex, and you don’t need to do anything you don’t want to do.

If you are keen but can’t get your body to cooperate, I urge you to learn relaxation techniques so you can participate in all the activities you long to enjoy.

As you learn to enjoy anal play, remember a few ground rules:

Some people enjoy playing with poop, but many do not. Before you play, give yourself an enema with warm water until the water runs clear.

The rectum produces no lubrication, so you must provide it. Use copious amounts.

Anal tissues are delicate. Put nothing sharp up your bum and ensure everything has a flange so it can’t slip inside (emergency room visits for extrication can be embarrassing and painful).

There are two anal sphincters, each of which needs to open. Take lots of time and never force anything. If it hurts, stop.

I hope I am correct that your surgery did not cause your inability to enjoy anal sex and that these tips lead you to the fulfillment you seek.