I can sum up the first time I ever had anal sex in four words: messy, awkward, dry, and uncomfortable. I remember feeling completely preoccupied with worry about whether my partner had enough lube on hand (he didn’t) and what would happen if it ran out (unnecessary amounts of friction and suffering, apparently). Yet, I also know exactly where I went wrong.

I Was Young & Inexperienced

My boyfriend at that time and I were young and not nearly as experienced as we thought. Although we discussed the possibility of trying anal sex on more than a few occasions, we hadn’t sufficiently taken steps to ensure that when the time was right, we were ready to have anal sex in a way that was comfortable and enjoyable.

So, instead of planning ahead and choosing a specific night to try anal sex, we instead spontaneously decided to impulsively give it a go because there was nothing good on TV (hey, it was the early 2000s, guys). I’ll spare you too much graphic detail, but we quickly realized that laying some towels beneath us might have been a good idea, and that ensuring that there’s plenty of lube on hand (like a whole fresh tube of it) is pretty much essential. Using the final tiny squirts of an old tube before having to rely on spit is simply not an option. The dryer the act got, the less relaxed my whole body became. Before long my ass became a self-enforced no access zone. Neither one of us even came close to enjoying an orgasm.

Anal Sex Isn't for Everyone

Obviously, I understand that this isn’t the universal experience of anal sex. In fact, I have a ton of friends who've preached its erotic gospel to me over the years. Although I’ve taken their advice on how to improve the overall experience and actually enjoy it, I still don’t. Following my first initial blundered attempt at anal sex, I’ve returned to the act a handful of times over the years to try again. I thought that maybe the experience could be different with the right person or that relaxing with a few glasses of wine or ensuring that I orgasm prior to anal sex would help to give me the toe curling, mind blowing experience that I’d heard about. It didn’t. Not once. Not even close.

Instead, I discovered that anal sex gives me the same distressing feeling every time I try it. As ridiculous as it may sound, it makes me feel sexually claustrophobic, as though I’m being crushed within my very own walls. Furthermore, as much as I wished it otherwise, there’s something deeply unsettling to me about using an area that I consider to be an exit as an entrance instead. And for me, that’s a no entry zone now. It’s just not happening.

Vaginal Sex Gets Me Off

There was also one final, contributing reason towards my eventual decision to abstain from anal sex, though. No matter how much I loved, respected, and trusted the guy thrusting himself into my derriere, I still found myself feeling bad for my poor, neglected vagina. Because vaginal sex gets me off. It makes me feel in control, sexy and aroused. It provides me with the sort of opportunity for orgasms which truly do blow every cell of my body into cosmic bliss.

But anal sex? It does the opposite. It doesn’t make me feel in control or even vaguely aroused. It definitely doesn’t make me feel sexy. If anything, it makes me feel self-conscious and distracted. It sends every neurotic thought in my head off into overdrive at a time when I should be able to just let go and enjoy myself.

Am I Missing Out?

Even though I've never enjoyed anal sex, I also feel like I’m missing out on something by having this attitude. I consider myself to be sex positive, experimental, and even adventurous. My decision to abstain from anal sex makes me feel like a total bore. I hate feeling like a disappointment to my boyfriend over the fact that, no, my opinion on anal sex hasn’t changed since last time you asked. I am what I am. Anal sex, for me, is all hard work and no play.

I’m currently abstaining from anal sex, but there’s every possibility that I might change my mind about it at some point in the future. Perhaps I’ll even be advocating it to someone who shares my current distaste.

That seems highly unlikely, though. I’ve given it my best attempts and simply don’t share the love for it that so many others do. For the most part, I'm fine with that. In its own way, my decision to abstain from anal sex, and to maintain autonomy over my body and sexuality, is a liberating turn-on in and of itself.