Q. My wife and I of nine years have been experiencing trouble for some time in our relationship. Upon my search to get a new fire rolling, I sought out new ways to please her, which in turn brought us to the world of BDSM. We are both intrigued by anal play (giving and receiving), but she is a little concerned. I think it might be too painful for her. Is it the same for men and women? I know about the prostate gland, but aside from that, what are the differences? I myself believe we are well on our way to restoring and incorporating this new volcano of sexual energy, but I want to make it happen safely. Also, what are your thoughts on switching?
It makes perfect sense to me when people want to combine anal sex and BDSM. Anal play can be very emotionally and psychologically charged, and it can be a perfect activity in which to explore the erotic dynamics of power and control. We learn early on that our assholes are a source of embarrassment and shame or that our buttholes are private, dirty, and shouldn't be thought of in a sexual way. Anal sex is taboo, forbidden, shrouded in mystery and misinformation. Our asses are also very delicate, sensitive areas that require an extra level of communication, trust, and skill. In other words, you can hurt someone if you don't do it correctly. When I say hurt, I mean not in a good way.
When I teach anal sex workshops to people who aren't into BDSM, I try to help them overcome all those negative feelings so they can move on and have pleasurable anal sex. But if you are into BDSM, it's a different story. As tops, we can take advantage of all these elements of anal eroticism in a scene. We can play on all these different psychological angles to make anal sex a hot BDSM experience. You can taunt a bottom, telling her that she's nasty and perverted for getting fucked in the ass. You can take a level of control and comfort away from your bottom. When I bottom, I find that giving up my ass to my top can be the ultimate act of submission. Giving over such a delicate part of my body to another person magnifies the inherent power in penetration.
In a non-BDSM context, I recommend lots of communication, but the kinds of things I recommend people say don't necessarily translate while you're in role. A top can't ask "How does that feel honey, am I hurting you?" A bottom can't say "Go slower, I don't like it so fast; Okay, I'm ready for more now." That kind of banter could throw off the dynamic. So I recommend prior communication and negotiation. You can also incorporate different ways to warm up your bottom's ass into your scene—for example, if you develop a system where the bottom needs to tell you when she wants something bigger in her ass, you'll know she's ready without having to ask her (she'll be the one who has to ask!).
As for my thoughts on switching, contrary to some popular thinking, switches are not just wishy-washy folks who can't make up their minds. Switches are people who like to see things from both sides and take different positions depending on the particular situation. You may start out wanting to experience different aspects of BDSM from both ends, doling it out and taking it, then find you come to see you really do fit into one or the other. But don't feel like you have to choose right away or identify yourself to the world at large. Focus on what you want rather than what label applies to you.