Dr. GeorgeHealthSexuality

Loosen Up! Dr. George’s Tips for pain-free anal

How to safely dilate your hole so you can take it to the hilt!

We continue our discussion about anal sex and health with Dr. George Forgan-Smith, the Healthy Bear Doctor.

Last time we spoke with Dr. George he filled us in on the proper way to douche. This time we take things a step further with tips on how to safely dilate your hole with toys, what lube to use, and the best way to engage in anal play with a partner if you’re a newbie or if it’s been a while.

John: Ok Dr. George, now that we’ve theoretically ‘cleaned out’ its time for the main event! What are the best practices for opening up your hole for a pain free and pleasurable experience, especially if its been a while?

Dr. George: Heaps and heaps of lube! You can never have too much lube, but more on that in a bit.

The ass has got two muscles in it. It’s got the external anal sphincter, and the internal anal sphincter. The external sphincter is a voluntary muscle, which means that we ‘officially’ have the ability to open and close it, though in reality we only have the ability to close it. It’s responsible for 20% of continence. We’re really good at keeping it closed, but we’re not so good at opening it. Then there’s the internal sphincter, which is not under our voluntary control, and naturally, it stays shut. That’s its job because 80% of its job is continence. It’s actually a very smart muscle that is able to differentiate between liquid, solid and gas.

There are a lot of different pressure receptors in the internal anal sphincter which will open with gentle stretch, and the keyword here is gentle. One of the reasons that young bottoms get fissures is because the top is worried they’re going to lose their erection and will just force their way into the arse to prevent losing their hard on.

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

The better way, of course, is to dilate that muscle slowly. Basically, it just needs a little bit of gentle pressure or gentle tapping. With that very gentle pressure, the muscle will open in between 30 to 90 seconds. If you’re a bottom, it’s about you being able to control the rate of penetration; choosing positions where you can choose how deep and how rapid the penetration goes, such as laying the top on their back and riding them cowboy style.

For the top the key is, if you’re worried about losing your erection, all you need to do is put lube onto the head of your cock, if using a condom put heaps of lube on the inside of the condom and the outside of the condom, and you put the head of the penis against the anal muscles and then gently tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. You will feel the muscles slowly start to relax. When they first start to relax, just keep on tapping and then slowly you’ll find that the penetration happens. Tops, you master this skill, you will have bottoms lined up all the way down the street and bottoms, if you master this skill, you will help prevent fissures.

John: Knock knock, knocking on heaven’s door – amiright Doc?!

Ahem… Sorry Doc…And what about lube? Which is better? Water-based or silicone?

Dr. George: It all comes down to personal preference, but if you’re using a water-based lube, you have to replace it. Water based lube was designed for vaginas because vaginas are self-sourcing; they make their own lube. Asses do as well – to a degree. Once you get deep into the anus, it does make a mucosal sort of secretion, but that secretion doesn’t necessarily reach the sphincter. So, if you’re using water-based lube, you have to keep on replacing it because the water gets absorbed, otherwise it gets all goopy and globby.

If you don’t have allergies and if you’re not using condoms then I usually recommend something other than water-based lube, like a silicon-based one. I think silicon is generally the best bet. There are oil-based lubes that people might use for fisting, say Crisco, but short of making your crusts extra crisp, I think Crisco can be a little bit irritating for people who aren’t used to it.

If you have allergies to preservatives, J Lube is fantastic because it’s literally just a sugar molecule and you mix it up with water on the day that you want to use it. However, be sure to throw it out after each batch (because of the lack of preservatives).

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

John: I’m definitely with you on the silicone lube. So, let’s talk sex toys. Again, let’s say it’s either been a while or I’m looking to branch out into anal play. Before I start riding that cowboy would you recommend maybe butt plugs to start training the anus for sex?

Dr. George: Absolutely! But the key here is to start with a tapered butt plug. We’re not looking for doorknobs here. We’re actually talking something that’s more of a carrot shape, long and thin. Without getting all into the physics of it, suffice it to say it’s all about the Law of Laplace.

The Law of Laplace states that when a circular structure is being stretched, that its harder to stretch it when it’s small than it is when it’s big. What that means for anal sex is that when we’re using a butt plug, we want it to go from very, very narrow to slightly less narrow over a ‘long’ period of time. Using something like this would mean that the opening of the hole is gradual.

I would recommend beginners get a really long tapered butt plug. Colt sells a box of three different butt plugs that are very well tapered that’s a really good starting kit. That’s what I recommend to my patients. There’s also an anal dilating kit from Perfect Fit that they sell at sex stores like Mr-S-Leather that I think is very good.  

Once you have the proper the toys, however, don’t just go shoving them in! Take your time. Start with a finger, gently massage the anus. Then replace your finger with the butt plug and massage the outside of the arse. And then as you feel the muscles start to relax, maybe put the tip just inside the hole and then massage that a little bit.

I want people to explore so they can feel the difference between external sphincter and internal sphincter because once the outside opens up a bit and you insert the tip, you will hit an area of restriction. That area of restriction is the internal sphincter. So, you stop there and start the massage up again and that massage is going to be giving a gentle stretch stimulus and allowing it to slowly open up, just like we talked about earlier.

If at any point it’s painful, then you need to back away, because once there’s pain, the muscle will clamp down and you’re then getting the opposite of what you want. You want to reinforce good behavior, and the good behavior we’re wanting to reinforce is that it’s safe to open up.

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

John: Are there any types of toys you recommend avoiding?

Dr. George: Whatever you do, don’t buy the vinyl ones! Vinyl is nasty as fuck and chemicals leach out from them. If you’re using any vinyl toys, put a condom on it. Remember, the lining of the butt absorbs stuff, so it will also absorb the toxic chemicals from the vinyl. If the toy smells nasty, it probably is. Put a condom on it. Get the silicon version. They’re easier to clean and they’re compatible with silicon-based lubes.

John Hernandez: Great advice as always. Thanks Doc!

Dr. George Forgan- Smith is an expert in gay men’s health dedicated to the bear, leather and kink communities which he serves faithfully in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to working at the Collins Street Medical Centre and creating tons of educational content for his social media accounts (links below), he is the creator of The Healthy Bear website which he uses to share vital health information pertaining to and about our community.

Stay in touch with Dr George and up to date on the latest in gay men’s health by signing up to his mailing list HERE.

Follow Dr. George on social media: Twitter I  Instagram I  YouTube

***Disclaimer: You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Latest Articles

John Hernandez

John Hernandez is the Editor in Chief of Bear World Magazine. In addition to bear culture, he specializes in entertainment writing with a special focus on horror and genre films. He resides in New York City with his husband.