Editor’s note: Sex and relationship advice columnist Yana Tallon-Hicks is currently on maternity leave. While she’s gone, we’re reprinting some of her best columns of the past several years, and are looking forward to her return in September. This column was originally published Sept. 2, 2010

Everyone’s always looking for the G-spot. With its reputation, who wouldn’t? So, how would you feel if I told you that there’s a G-spot equivalent — the P-spot, which can lead to longer, stronger, and multiple orgasms? Now what if I told you that it’s only accessible via your booty? That “P” actually stands for “prostate”? Still with me?

Think about your reactions to the idea of discovering the P-spot through anal play. Well, wall-pounding orgasms sound good. But other keywords may include “painful,” “dirty,” and unfortunately for many men, the fear that enjoying anal play will “make them gay.” These three common fears are often enough to keep many from the orgasmic world hidden up your back alley. Let’s get them out of the way of some mind-blowing sex, shall we?

The prostate is a soft, walnut-shaped orgasm turbo-switch surrounding your urethra just below the bladder, where urine passes through. When turned on, it swells with fluid which it expels during ejaculation. As folks age, it can enlarge, making urination difficult, and is directly affected by prostate cancer, which everyone who has a prostate and is over 50 should be checked for annually.

Though our often homophobic, bootyphobic culture hates to actually research it, prostate massage has been known to ease the discomfort and risk of prostate enlargement. Though it’s not a preventive or treatment tool for cancer, prostate massage has been linked to prostate health. So, if you need an excuse, having anal sex “for your health” is a great one.

“But I’m not gay!” you might say. Well, you still have a prostate. And it’ll probably feel damn good when it’s massaged. The idea that only gay men enjoy or know how to have anal sex is an unfortunate myth that relies heavily on stereotypes and misinformation. Physical sex acts aren’t completely based on your gender or sexuality, but are about what feels good to your body. If you were born with a penis, you probably have a pleasurable prostate. You can still be a truck-driving ladies’ man and take it in the yoo-know. Only you get to choose your own pleasure adventure so don’t let others stand in the way of prostate exploration is something you want!

“But, that’s where poop comes from! Dirty!” Sure, shit happens. However, it doesn’t happen often during anal sex. If you’re worried, take precautionary steps. Wash a little extra in the shower. If you feel the need to go, go. Anal douches are also an option. But the rectum usually takes good care of itself, so this step isn’t always necessary — personally, I’d recommend letting your butt fend for itself.

As far as safer sex goes, anal sex requires many of the same safety precautions as vaginal sex. Safety is important. Rectal tissues are sensitive, don’t self-lubricate, and so can tear easily. Using a lot of a good lube and barriers are anally essential. Make sure to change your glove and condom or wash your toy, hands or other body part before moving onto other things (especially the vagina!) after anal play to prevent infections.

“Rectal tears? Anal sex is gonna hurt!” With communication, relaxation, education and lubrication, anal sex shouldn’t hurt. If you spend your anal playtime worrying about pain, it will manifest itself in your body — including your anus — which, constricts when we’re afraid, making things difficult. Educating yourself about anal sex is the first step to anal pleasure, as it will disband stigmas and fears that prevent many from being okay with enjoying their butts for more than just sitting.

Before you bend over, take this week to do some homework. Read Anal Pleasure and Health for Men by Bill Brent and Luscious, a collection of anal-centric erotica edited by Alison Tyler. Then watch Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Anal Sex, an educational porn involving explicit derriere debauchery with pop-up factoids. And if you still need more, my website yanatallonhicks.com has an entire backlog of sex columns to peruse — plenty of which are about anal sex!

Yana Tallon-Hicks is a relationship therapist, sex educator, and writer living in the Pioneer Valley. You can find her work and her professional contact information on her website, yanatallonhicks.com.