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Ask Dr. K

Hi Dr K. I always read your column and appreciate what I learn. Now I have a problem. I have been a sexually active gay man for ten years now. As a child of the eighties, I had a morbid fear of HIV and it postponed my coming out and also resulted in my choosing to not practice anal sex for years. I recently decided that I now want to try bottoming, and therein lies the problem. In foreplay, my sexual partner has been patient and used lots of lube and fingers. But, my inner ring (is that the right term?) is tight and impassible no matter what. How can I overcome this? A friend suggested poppers/rush to relax my muscles or drugs to redirect my mind... but drugs aren't for me. I have tried with several different experienced partners over the last year and all say they have never experienced this degree of tightness before. Please help me. I feel really stupid as a 38-year-old gay virgin.

That's a tough issue since most anuses will slowly expand with lots of lubrication, use of lubricated condoms and increasing size from fingers to penis. It may be an issue of relaxation and your continued efforts to find a way to relax -- massage, warmth, etc. -- that is not dependent on drugs. It also may be that you are trying to have anal sex, an intimate physical activity, before you feel intimate enough with your partners to fully relax. What intimate enough means is up to you, but time can definitely bring people closer. Many people have also said that having an orgasm first, before being penetrated anally, helps them relax enough so that their partners can get all the way in.

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Tuesday, June 03, 2008.
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