Hi ,Yana.

First I want to say I think your column rocks. Initially I was like, “Gasp! Where is Ask Isadora?” Then I read what you had to say, and I was like, “Hey, that was actually pretty good and informative.”

I read this week’s P-Spot [Part I, August 26, 2010], and I, being a backdoor virgin, have a question pertaining to my fear of anal sex. (I am a woman.) Though I am quite interested, I am afraid of hemorrhoids. I know of at least two friends who have experienced hemorrhoids after anal sex. Should a large amount of good lube prevent this? Is that the trick? I also heard from a gay male friend that the bigger the cock the better. What do you have to say?

Thanks for you time!

Looking to Open Up the Back


Well, hey, there, good-looking—

I’m so glad your brief post-Isadora depression hasn’t prevented you from falling in like with the V-Spot and being its first official question-asker (and what a good question it is!). I’d be honored to open up your back…

Hemmies (do you mind if I call them hemmies?) are a real bummer (heh heh). They’re painful and hard to beat and can complicate your sweet booty lovin’.

Though I’m no doctor, the Harvard Medical School’s health publications (health.harvard.edu) tell me that hemorrhoids occur when clusters of veins under the membranes lining the rectum and anus become swollen and distended from too much pressure or tired from fighting gravity. Though many publications say hemmies are caused primarily by straining too much during things like “number two” and pregnancy, they can also result from pressure from the kind of backdoor attention you’re seeking.

While smaller hemorrhoids can go away on their own, they can also reappear. To get rid of the extra stubborn or painful ones, check with your doctor about “rubber band litigation,” which involves “tying [them] off” until they shrink and fall off, or the more painful “hemorrhoidectomy” (yikes!). These procedures are worth it for anal lovers, as hemorrhoids can make anal quite painful and increase the risk of HIV transmission as they often bleed or have open sores. Bring on the rubber bands!

Common tips to preventing hemorrhoids include eating more fiber, using softer wiping material and not straining too much on the toilet, which all seem to assume you’re having issues pooping, not that you’re an eager anal-sex virgin looking to open up the back!

In your case, Looking, “the bigger the cock” is not going to be the better for you in the hemorrhoid department. I would (gladly) imagine that your gay boyfriend may have more experience than you. And while I would (more than gladly) imagine that bigger may be better for him, beginners are well advised to start small and work up. As hemmies can pop up under pressure and friction from anal penetration, trying to fit more through the backdoor than can comfortably fit is a sure way to invite the pesky protrusions.

Yes, a good lube is an excellent start, but relaxing and taking your time will help you more in your prevention efforts. Penile (or dildo-esque) anal sex is hardly a wham-bam, one-night stand kind of scenario. Especially for first-timers, even a finger can be challenging, let alone a “big cock.” Read past column The P-Spot (Part II): Exploring the great backdoor (September 2, 2010) for suggestions on technique, toys and lube for your first anal exploration.

For you in particular, Looking, start with very well lubed fingers and/or a small anal plug (check out The Bootie and Pandora at Goodvibes.com), which are designed to stay put for pleasurable posterior pressure while you enjoy other sex acts, instead of jumping into the extra pressure and friction that can come with a penis. For more detailed information, read The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women by Tristan Taormino and Anal Pleasure and Health by Jack Morin which includes coverage of anal sex and hemorrhoids.

Good luck, Looking and send a saucy wink to your size-queen friend for me.