Love + Sex Love

Here’s exactly what many women really feel about butt stuff

Pleasurable sex is subjective, which means that not everything “daring” is enjoyable for everyone.

That goes for any type of sex: oral, vaginal, or anal. Although I still contend that oral pleasure is a two-way street, maybe that discussion should be reserved for another time. Anal sex, on the other hand, comes with a whole different host of thoughts, taboos, and reservations.

Like any type of sex, anal sex requires precautions and safety. I do not personally advocate for or against it, but a couple is no less sexually adventurous for not wanting to go for it. I personally can’t stand the idea of potential fecal matter, and I just want to keep that part of my body for one function – though I completely understand that vaginal sex is messy too and comes with plenty of bacteria.
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But that is just me.

Of course, I’m not concerned about what people decide to do in their bedrooms, but I am concerned about whether or not people have access to factual safe sex information.

I recently read a forum for women here in Pakistan where this topic came up in the form of an anonymous question. The responses (as I expected) did not necessarily seem receptive, and many women expressed their discomfort with the idea of anal sex. This was no surprise in a country like Pakistan where the conversation about sex, in general, remains almost non-existent.

What did surprise me though was when a few other women who made some of the uncomfortable women feel less educated or somehow dumber for not sharing the same enthusiasm for anal sex. While I do not go around screaming, ‘eww poop’ or ‘eww buttholes’ when the topic comes up, I found it strange that women were chiding other women for not necessarily giving a shit (no pun intended).

I always considered myself a very open-minded person. Am I really looking at this so wrong? Have I also been conditioned by a conservative undertone and taboo around the topic? I spent years in the realm of public health, and have always been an advocate for safe sex. It was in my professional description to always make sure that anyone, heterosexual or not made informed choices about the ways they had sex.

Whether that safe sex is vaginal, anal, or oral. Period.

I then realized the answer was no. I realized that my own own feelings towards anal sex were very similar to how I felt about period sex.

Sex is an expression of the self, which automatically reminds us how different things are enjoyable to different people.

The topic of anal sex remains understudied, especially when it comes to heterosexual women. However, in the research that is out there, it is a mixed bag, especially because it was once (and still is in many parts of the world) a major taboo. Growing up in a Muslim household, while we never talked about sex in the family, my little bits of reading Islamic texts always reminded me that anal sex was a no-no.

I never understood why, but it was all I knew.

However, as I got older, I realized that regardless of what I understood from religious texts, I still never liked the idea of anal sex for myself. In graduate school, I learned about anal sex from a public health perspective, which included a whole different set of risks I never knew about. We learned that the increase of young heterosexual couples having anal sex was becoming more popular than once expected and that women were not always aware of the risks, nor are doing it because they find it pleasurable.

And that is problematic given that heterosexual women are almost always the receiving partner in anal sex. 

Anal sex tends to now be associated with sexually adventurous heterosexual women. However, being a sexually adventurous woman does not equate to wanting or enjoying anal sex. 

You can be sexually adventurous and open-minded without liking anal sex. And using porn as a guide – rather than seeking facts about sexual health – makes the situation even more precarious.

This has only recently been explored in the research world. For example, a study conducted in the UK consisted of interviews of 130 men and women between the ages of 16-18. From these interviews, researchers concluded that anal heterosex often appeared to be “painful, risky and coercive, particularly for women”. Other findings within this study showed a level of normalizing it, the attribution to pornography, and assuming that people “like anal sex if they do it.”

In other words, just because anal sex may seem more acceptable now does not mean it is always mutual, painless, or even safe. This emphasizes the need for safe sex education that goes beyond vaginal sex. It also shows that some women feel like they have to consent to anal sex even when they don’t like it or when they’re unsure of it. More on that another time, though.

Anal sex is not for everyone.

Nobody should be shamed for liking it, but nobody should be shamed for disliking it, either. And for those who are interested in it, information is key to making the decision of whether to have anal sex or continue having it. The anus, like the vagina, is a sensitive place, and nobody should ever feel the need to have to open it if they do not want to.

Love + Sex Love Life Stories

Men need to stop being crybabies when we’re on our periods

I don’t shy away from talking about periods. They’re a part of life for most people with vaginas. They aren’t gross. They aren’t dirty. And it’s completely normal to have sex while you’re bleeding, despite what many whiny little baby-men will have you believe.

I’ve heard guys express concern or flat-out disgust at the idea of having sex with a woman on her period so many times it’s alarming. A fuck buddy once looked incredulous when I told him that yes, women having sex on their periods is a thing.

It was my turn to look dumbfounded when he informed me that he had never slept with a woman while she was having her period. His tone and the strange wording of his response made his message clear: he didn’t want anything to do with “period sex” because it’s disgusting.

A boyfriend of mine said he didn’t mind having sex with me on my period as long as we used a condom. As if he was doing me a favor. No thanks. Period blood isn’t something you need to protect yourself from.

A lot of my friends have told me similar stories. Guys freak out or become lukewarm when we tell them we’re cramping, bloating, or tired.

Period symptoms! Oh no!

But men seem to really lose their shit when you straight up tell them that you’re on your period. Suddenly, they have 100 excuses for why they don’t want to have sex.

Hey dumbasses: my vagina doesn’t suddenly become a toxic wasteland just because there’s a bit of blood coming out of it. Your dick isn’t going to wither away. Having sex isn’t going to result in some gladiator-like bloodbath.

Get over it. My body isn’t disgusting simply because I’m on my period.

And actually, having sex during that time of the month will probably help me out. I’ll probably experience lighter cramps and feel better overall, so you really need to stop throwing your man-tantrum, and think of someone other than yourself, mostly, me.

The narrative that periods are dirty is ignorant and has been used to police women’s bodies and lives for centuries. When men balk at intercourse because a woman is experiencing a normal, natural bodily occurrence, they are assuming that sex is an activity that exists solely for men’s pleasure and gratification. This reaction removes women’s sexuality from the picture and instead forces men’s desires and ideas about cleanliness on to the female body.

If men refuse to have sex with me because I’m on my period, I have no time for them. It’s a stance that I’ve only recently adopted after years of doing the emotional labor of explaining how periods and sex work. It’s infuriating to see just how little men actually know about periods and how they use their privilege to dictate when bodies are acceptable and when they are not. It’s belittling to feel unworthy of someone’s attention or intimacy because my body is perceived as “gross.” Especially when that perception is as a result of a totally natural process.

Guys, you can easily erase your own ignorance by doing your own research. You don’t have to be a genius to understand that periods aren’t harmful, and that a woman wanting sex while she’s having hers isn’t unusual. And it would help if y’all could find yourself a little empathy too. Sex isn’t all about you and your preferences. Your partner has a say as well, and you should be honoring that.

Ladies, you deserve to enjoy sex whenever and however you want it, including when you’re on your period. Don’t let crybaby men tell you any different.

Love + Sex Love Advice

How do I start things off during my first time, without freaking out or clamming up?

Dear Madame Lestrange,

What’s the best method of foreplay for someone who’s literally never had sex before?


Newly Sexy


Dear New,

This is a tough question! Mostly because the “best” foreplay is going to depend on whatever works best for you and your partner. Foreplay is all about getting yourself ready for sex – it’s basically all the fun stuff before the fun stuff – but it’s WAY important. And different women prefer different methods. Maybe you respond best to fingering, or maybe it’s oral sex, both at the same time, breast squeezes – who knows! Well… soon, you shall.

  1. Start experimenting. Try just with yourself first. Masturbation is great for this because you are in control of everything you’re doing and can really play around with pressure, timing, whatever. Use fingers, dildos, vibrators – anything you want. Try it all! This will help you get an understanding of what your body responds best to you; what makes you most wet and ready; what you most like to experience as foreplay. Start with using your fingers and work your way up. Figure out what turns you on.
  2. Experiment with your partner. Maybe the foreplay you enjoy best involves oral sex, or making out and breast squeezing, or breast sucking and fingering. You’ll find out as you start experimenting with these different methods and learning what works for you. You might like some dirty talk, but you won’t know until you try! It’s important that both you and your partner are getting increasingly sexually excited as the foreplay continues. So try not to get all into your head about what’s going on or how you look or if you’re doing something right, because…
  3. Foreplay’s intimacy is obviously sexual, but there’s definitely some emotional aspect to it as well. You’re getting yourself ready mentally, physically, emotionally for sex! Have faith in yourself and your body, enjoy the touching and sensations and intimacy, and be confident in what’s happening. Confidence coupled with the right type of touching/kissing/sucking/et is MAGICAL. Don’t get too caught up in your head – trust what you’re doing.
  4. Remember not to just focus on the main areas – involve the whole body. Kiss and touch different parts of each other.
  5. Start off slow and work your way up. This may seem obvious but it is so hard when you’re in the moment to not just, like, immediately start having sex. Especially if you’re super attracted to the person. Even the act of undressing each other is sensual and foreplay, so don’t neglect the little things. It’s all part of the uphill climb! Plus, going slow ensures that your body is ready for sex by the time you get to it. Again: this part can be hard. I believe in you. But don’t over do it. You’ll know when to proceed to the next step. Not too soon, not too late.
  6. As the two of you continue to experiment with foreplay, you’ll want to try new things. Don’t stick to the same routine. Spice it up! Start foreplay outside the bedroom. Use toys. Whatever y’all discuss and imagine – try it out! Whenever that happens, check out my piece on spicing up your sex life. 


You’re welcome,

Madame Lestrange


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Send all of your burning questions to or fill out our anonymous form here.

Love Advice

Do I actually have to try this out in bed, especially if I’m not wild about it?

Dear Madame Lestrange,


WHAT ARE GUYS’ OBSESSIONS WITH IT. WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM. I’m with a man who’s the love of my life but he keeps pushing me to do anal. I am *tentatively* open to it but also TERRIFIED OUT OF MY MIND because hello.

In the words of Amy Schumer, that’s where my poop comes out.

Do I have to go through with it? And what if I do want to go through with it – what then? I just want to make him happy – but I’m curious, too.


Maysa, 29



Hi Maysa,

Great question. Guys and anal…hah! I’ve heard plenty of my friends talk about their partners requesting to have anal sex, in which they have absolutely no interest. I also know tons of women who loooove anal sex. But do you have to go through with it? NOPE. Absolutely nope. You don’t have to go through with anything that makes you uncomfortable or that you’re not totally into or that you’re even just “meh” about. It doesn’t matter if your partner really wants to – if you don’t, that’s that, right?

Why should what he wants come before what you want?

He shouldn’t be pushing you into it either… I have no issues with a partner asking, suggesting, wondering, but then respectfully dropping the subject at any apprehensive response.

Pushing? Nah—unacceptable. Ask him to leave it alone until you come to your decision!

[bctt tweet=”I get it – anal can be scary, it seems gross and painful, etc.”]

Now, let’s try to alleviate this fear and uncertainty. I get it – anal can be scary, it seems gross and painful, etc. You’ve probably heard a lot of horror stories from people about their mishaps with anal.

But, honestly—if done right, anal sex can be a really enjoyable and intimate experience for you and your partner. I would suggest some anal play to help you decide if it’s something you’re remotely into.

If y’all haven’t done this yet, start with anal sex that doesn’t include a penis: get him to finger you anally or perform analingus. Buy some smaller dildos or vibrators to test how they feel when he puts them in (warning: don’t forget lube with this!). These smaller steps will not only help you figure out if you enjoy anal action, but they’ll also help you put aside some of the fear related to anal sex.

You’ll start feeling much more comfortable with and excited at the idea of putting a full-size dick in there if you end up liking the smaller things!

Here are some tips if you decide you like the play and want to start having full-blown anal:

  1. LOTS of foreplay and some vaginal sex first. Get yourself really wet and really turned on. Especially for your first time, you’ll probably feel a bit nervous! But if you and your partner start out with stuff you’re already comfortable with, you’ll also feel more comfortable once he puts it in your ass.
  2. LOTS of lube. You know this: your vagina creates natural lubricant, especially as you get more turned on, to allow for a penis (or whatever else you’re sticking in there). Your anus and rectum do not. If you don’t use lube, you run the risk of pain, tearing, infection, etc. But with proper lubrication, you should be good. Make sure to take it nice and slow. And if you think you need more lube, reapply it!
  3. Once he’s in there and doing his thing, I suggest one of you manually stimulates your clitoris. Let him finger you or do it yourself. It’ll help you enjoy the experience so much more. This is one of the perks of anal sex! So much stimulation is possible for you.
  4. Let him know beforehand that you might ask him to stop. And know that just because you decided to go for it, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind right before or even during. Lay down your rules for what is or isn’t okay. Do you want him to ejaculate inside you? Do you want him to use a condom (tip: safe sex is the best sex)? It’s all up to you, girl.
  5. If you’re worried about the whole poop thing, some suggestions: if you feel like you have to poop, don’t have anal sex. You’ll probably freak out and think you’re gonna poop on him (when you first get anally penetrated, it kinda feels like you have to poop. This freak out is real.). Take a shower before you think you’re gonna do it and clean your ass out a little. Honestly, he knows what the anus is for and what it does. Also if he gets grossed out by anything poop-related, that’s on him!
  6. Have fun. Like I said before, many women love anal sex and it can be a really intimate experience. But if you don’t like it, there’s no problem with that either. Just remember that sex (all types) is about two people sharing and enjoying an experience together. And each person has her/his likes and dislikes. So, don’t get too lost in the worries of making him happy with this. A good sex life comes from both partners being happy, not just one!


You’re welcome,

Madame Lestrange


Do you have any questions for Madame Lestrange? She’ll answer your questions on love, sex, and relationships.  Send all of your burning questions to or fill out our anonymous form here.