Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

How to Be a Better Bottom: Shame-Free Tips on Increasing Your Sexual Health and Pleasure

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

How to Be a Better Bottom: Shame-Free Tips on Increasing Your Sexual Health and Pleasure

Article excerpt

While this is advice for those who identify as "bottoms," anyone who has anal sex should have an understanding of the process involved in successful bottoming. It will help you be a better "top" and positively affect overall sexual experiences.

The act of bottoming is a true art, and whether it's your first attempt or you've been experimenting with it for quite some time, analyzing your readiness and the proper techniques not only allow you to reach heightened sexual pleasure, but also enable safe and enduring practices.

If you've never tried bottoming, but you're curious, let's just address straight away that it won't always just happen right then and there. Successful and pleasurable bottoming takes time and practice through dilation exercises, training of your self-awareness, and control of the pelvic floor.

The good news? Bottoming shouldn't hurt. Of course, it may be uncomfortable at first and you might initially question how there could ever be pleasure in it--something that happens with vaginal sex the first time as well--but like anything it takes practice, patience, and following a few simple guidelines to enhance this sexual practice. I often tell patients that great bottoms have been doing it for quite some time, with many first experiencing it in their youth. Unfortunately, no one showed us the right way to bottom in our high school sexual education class. Still, it's never too late to learn, and we all enjoy new and positive sexual experiences. Here's my 101 guide to bottoming:

BEGIN WITH DILATION Get yourself an anal trainer kit, and start training for dilation two to three times a week (for as little as five minutes each time). Use a water-based lubricant and start with the smallest plug. Insert just to the point of pressure. Hold it there for a few seconds, then try to engage the muscles. Allow yourself to relax before removing the plug, then re-lubricate and re-insert to the point of pressure. Repeating this process will prove successful over time, so don't get discouraged if the first time you only get a small portion of the tip in. Repeat the process three to five times. The key is to remember there are three sets of muscles that need to relax for a successful entry. Think of it as a tunnel, and the entire tunnel needs to be a well-lubed cylinder. We don't advise inserting the entire length of the plug and leaving it in on the first try, because removal may be difficult, which could cause tearing. If after four to five sessions you can insert that size without any issues, you're ready to graduate to the next size. Don't forget to enjoy it. If you become stimulated during the process, go for it! Not only is it a pleasurable side effect to your dilation training, but you can start to channel your orgasm anally and begin to gain control over time.

READY FOR THE REAL THING When you've successfully mastered a medium size plug, you're ready to graduate to the real thing. Congratulations! It's always best to start off with you in total control and a partner you trust to be patient in letting you decide the level you're comfortable with. Some people use dilators first, either with or without a sexual partner, to "warm up" and remind themselves of the practiced techniques. Once the engines have been started, the bottom needs to sit on the tip of the penis, allowing control of entry. …

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