Professor Foxy: Anal, Woman on Top and Teaching

As I move into my third week of Professor Foxying, I realize I’ve been doing some pretty heavy, relationship-type stuff. Since lord knows sex is not all about relationships, I’m going to do a couple of pure sex questions. And FYI – I always change the names. Hope you enjoy!
Professor Foxy,
I feel sort of silly asking this. I have heard so often how the woman on top position, in male/female sex is often the best way for the woman to reach orgasm through intercourse. I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. Do I move up and down? Rock? I feel like I can’t relax into it up there because I’m working so hard. It also feels a bit uncomfortable when I sit all the way up or lean back. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong, or if it’s just not for me.
Thanks so much!
-Girl usually on bottom

Hello Girl –
There is no one best position. Some women like on top, some like on bottom, and most will never orgasm with penetration alone. For the overwhelming majority of women, it is all about clitoral stimulation. There is also not one best way to move. A third will move this way, a third that, and a third another way all together. What I can say is this, climb on top, close your eyes, touch your clitoris and try moving in different ways. Try not to focus on how you are moving, but really how it feels. Penetration is like fudge on ice cream, it makes ice cream taste better, but rarely works alone.

Dear Professor Foxy,
Though I’ve never been tempted to write for sex advice before, I trust feministing enough to try!
I’m in college, and have a relatively new boyfriend. He’s great, and we’re very open about things with each other, but he doesn’t have very much experience in the bedroom. In fact, I’m not sure he knows where all the lady parts are. He’s willing to learn, but I’m not sure how to go about “teaching” subjects like sex or oral sex. Perhaps you could offer some advice?

Hi Gertrude –
I really like both your teaching instinct and your desire to improve your sex life. Make it a game and phrase it about you. “Baby, I want to learn how to please you more. Can you show me how you like to be touched, stroked, sucked?” Get naked and touch yourself in front of each other. Then try it in with each other. The other part is to use positive encouragement: “I love it when you. . …” “Honey, yes that is it.” Just plain moaning. This makes it easier to then say “a little faster” “A little to the left”

Dear Dr. Foxy,
I am a married, heterosexual woman. I really love receiving anal sex – we’ve done it only a few times, but I loved it each time and fantasize about it all the time. What prevents me from asking for it more often is the fear that frequent anal sex can “stretch out” the anal sphincter, leading to incontinence or other health problems. Is that just a silly (and possibly homophobic) urban legend? Or is that a real risk? And if it is a risk, if there anything that can be done to prevent it? I avoid putting sex toys in my anus too often for the same reason.

Hey Anonymous –
I searched for some good studies on this issue and could not find any. So I did the next best thing, I went to happy hour with a few of my favorite gay boy bottoms (often used for shorthand for the receptive partner when men have sex with other men). And after several martinis, we agreed that this is just a silly, definitely homophobic urban legend.
No really, anal penetration is fine for you or him. There are some steps you should definitely take to keep it safe. Water-based lube is a necessity. Both on the outside of your anus and on the implement or penis. I also suggest your husband use a condom, even if you don’t use condoms for vaginal penetration. Three words: feces in urethra. I would also do post anal sex clean up with a moist towelette (Tucks is a good idea) versus rougher toilet paper. If you are using fingers, either use latex gloves or make sure fingernails are clean and short. A good test is to run the nails across your palm.
During my searching, I also found this great advice from Duke University. It is great for novices and experts alike.
If you start to worry about anal incontinence or general tightness/control, try anal Kegels.

Join the Conversation

  • whatsername

    Girl Usually On Bottom; try putting pillows underneath your knees. I could rarely get comfortable on top either, and it’s because hubby is just plain bigger than me. It was actually good feeling once we compensated a bit for that. :)

  • lilacsigil

    Use of probes to measure anal tightness in men who had anal sex found that these men had looser sphincters than men who did not have anal sex. However, the advent of MRI technology proved that there was in fact little or no difference – the men who were used to anal sex were just better at relaxing their muscles to allow the probe! So that particular worry is now considered outdated.

  • Okra

    I like your column, Dr. Foxy.
    My partner always has Dr. Drew (Loveline) on the radio when I get in the car, and Dr. Drew is adament that anal sex is bad news for the anatomy of the person receiving the penetration. (Interestingly, the callers asking are always hetero). I always wonder “is he just not going to address the fact that this is a very popular way gay men have sex? Are longtime sexually active gay men in their seventies walking around with health problems in this arena?”
    I haven’t heard him address this topic in several months, though, so maybe he’s changed his opinion since then based on the lack of medical evidence you pointed out?

  • bifemmefatale

    I really, really dislike Dr. Drew. He’s homophobic, biphobic and seems to think most kinky people were abused as kids or something. He’s not a very sex-positive adviser in my opinion at all. And don’t get me started on Dan Savage. I’m really glad Prof. Foxy has stepped up to be a sex adviser.

  • pepper

    The advice to top girl is rather lacking. Do people have tips, favorite books, favorite toys, or any other advice to offer?

  • Okra

    I agree with you on both Dr. Drew and Dan Savage. Interesting how both come from such different perspectives and yet end up arriving at some of the same conclusions. I won’t even touch “Striker,” Drew’s sidekick…

  • simon

    awesome advice prof. foxy! i got 2 quick things:
    1. dr. drew is a total homophobe who pathologizes people who have butt sex and sexually active young women. he’s presented at independent women’s forum events. blech.
    2. to the anal sex enthusiast: i HIGHLY recommend Anal Pleasure and Health. when i started putting things in my butt it answered all my questions and assuaged all my fears.

  • nattles_thing

    I agree with you on Dr. Drew, but I actually think Dan Savage is pretty awesome. What’s your problem with him?

  • Daomadan

    Oh I love harping on Dan Savage!
    1. Biphobia. If I never hear one more disparaging remark about bi/pan/omni folks from Mr. Savage I will eat my shoes, my big, leather, bisexual-wearing shoes.
    2. Fatphobia.
    3. He’s a man and sometimes that means he’s sexist.
    While the majority of the time he offers sound advice, he still slips up on certain subjects over and over again, like dissing my bi brothers and sisters. I forgot we’re a species as rare as unicorns. /eyeroll

  • Kathleen6674

    As long as his penis isn’t too long, she can lean forward a little and rub her clit on his pubic bone while he’s inside her. She can do this without moving up and down.
    Alternately, if she wants to move up and down/in and out, she can lean forward a tad, and if he thrusts upward sharply, his pubic bone will hit her clit every time.
    I’ve also found that both the man and I like it when he lies back, and I squeeze my PC muscle while twisting my hips and slowly moving up along his penis, then back down while I release my musles, then twist, squeeze, move up again. Do this while he’s rubbing your clit and it feels pretty awesome. Because it’s slow, I don’t get tired doing it, and again, I do it while leaning forward a bit.
    The standard in and out/up and down stuff is fun, too, and I’ve found that men’s erections last longer when I’m on top, so I can take as long as I want and don’t have the ‘am I taking too long’? neurotic thoughts I sometimes have in other positions when I can tell the guy’s about to come (you can tell this because his balls will pull up into his body – rub his balls, most of them love it, and you’ll be able to tell when he’s about to have an orgasm. Just don’t have my neurotic thoughts about it!).
    But the overall bottom line about why many (but not all) women say they like it on top is because both he and you have four hands free to touch your breasts, clit, anus, ass, and his balls. So you and he can have multiple erogenous zones stimulated at once. But we all have different preferences, so there’s nothing wrong if you don’t like being on top.

  • Kathleen6674

    Whoops! I don’t mean both of you have four hands… you have a total of four hands, unless one of you is an octopus.

  • nattles_thing

    He’s gotten a lot better about the biphobia lately.
    I wouldn’t call him fatphobic. Did you read this column?
    Dan Savage prioritizes sex and sexual attraction in a way that makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and that’s where the accusation of fatphobia seems to come from. He frequently gets the “My SO just gained a bunch of weight” question, and he answers it pretty fairly. (“Not being shallow” is a great goal to work towards, but it won’t make you want to fuck your boyfriend.)
    That column also kind of explains some of the biphobia — it sounds like he had a fairly awful relationship with a “bisexual” guy who eventually came out as gay.
    I’m actually kind of offended by your third point. Does that mean men can’t give sex advice?

  • Kathleen6674

    Even if he did have a bad relationship with a guy whose internalized homophobia was so bad he didn’t want to admit it, that doesn’t excuse his biphobia. Bigotry is bigotry no matter how one justifies it.

  • Véronique

    You mean you’ve never spooned hot fudge straight from the jar? Or, say, Nutella? ;-)

  • nattles_thing

    It doesn’t excuse his biphobia, but it does explain where it comes from. Considering that he seems to have gotten much better about it, I don’t think it’s fair to lump him in with Dr. Drew.
    Dan Savage has probably done more for women than any other advice columnist or “sexpert” out there.

  • questioning?

    It’s a stretch to call Dan Savage a bigot. His comments about bisexuals, men in particular, are pretty accurate. Most bi guys call themselves straight, and many guys who identify as bi are really gay. I’m a bi guy myself, but I try to avoid the label because I’ve met so many guys who fit one of those two descriptions.
    A lot of gay people feel used by bisexuals. We have fun with them while we’re young, then move to the suburbs to settle down with our opposite-sex partners. However, this is changing as society becomes more accepting of homosexual relationships.

  • Alethea

    I was thinking the exact same thing! (A cup of Carvel fudge is my weakness…)
    Also, on the same point, I’m pretty damn happy with vaginal only, and no clit, not the biggest fan of ice cream, and not the biggest fan of clit stimulation, so I guess that, while I seem a freak of nature, I’m at least a consistent freak of nature so far as that analogy goes. :P

  • danielle

    I’m betting there are plenty of bisexual adults who settle down with a same-sex partner. And if they do settle in the suburbs with someone of the opposite sex, it could very well be because that person, regardless of sex, is the best partner for them.

  • wax_ghost

    No kidding. That rubbed me the wrong way too (no pun intended, he he.) Can’t we just say things like “not everyone comes from PIV-only so try some other stuff too”?

  • Daomadan

    No, I’m not saying men can’t give advice on sex, but that they can still slip up because of their privilege as men.
    And no. Savage has said horrid things about fat folks before and about bisexuals in the past and it has nothing to do with making me “feel uncomfortable.” He just made a gaffe a few weeks ago about bisexuals. I enjoyed this reponse to it:
    So nope, I’m not sold on the man and will get my sex advice from elsewhere.

  • nattles_thing

    Wrong interpretation. He told her to either get Xanax to calm down in order to do the threesome, or date a lesbian who wouldn’t want the threesome. Could it have been phrased better? Of course.
    A woman who wants a threesome with a man when she’s in a lesbian relationship is probably going to want occasional sex with men for as long as she’s dating a woman, and that’s probably going to cause tension for as long as the two are together. It’s unfair to the bisexual girlfriend if she can’t get what she needs.
    Can you link to something bad he’s said about fat people?

  • annajcook

    tentacle!sex :)

  • Daomadan

    I’m not here trying to convince you to not like Dan Savage. I don’t like the guy and that’s that. He’s said enough bad stuff about bis and other folks that I’ve written him off. I mean, do I need to bring up when he blamed black people for Prop 8?
    Fatphobia? Here:
    You can say “wrong interpretation” all you want but I know me and some other bi folks are sick of him.

  • brooklyngeekboi

    Tristan Taormino has a lot of (hot) advice about anal sex (and more) at for all genders and orientations.
    Check her out, and have fun!
    Prof Foxy, I am shocked you didn’t refer to Tristan – author of The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women!!

  • Danyell

    It doesn’t occur to a lot of women, but a girl on top can be almost like regular missionary. Like, leaning all the way forward, laying on top of your partner, leaning on your hands (or possibly, folding your knees up under you a bit). There’s no rule that says being on top means you have to be sitting up for it.
    You can also try laying back to belly on top and having him enter you from behind, but not all guys are comfortable or can reach this way.
    Or if you’re into the quintessential cowgirl routine (sitting up, as in “ride ‘em, cowgirl), he can be touching you any other place you like. You can also try leaning forward so that your clit rubs against his pelvis (a variation on tribadism, which can also be enjoyed on its own, without penetration).
    Mostly it’s best to relax and listen to your body. If something doesn’t work, try something else.

  • Zardoz

    Maybe it’s hard to avoid it when commenting on sex advice columnists, but does every Prof Foxy column have to evolve into (the same stupid) debate about Dan Savage? Can we start letting the Professor develop her own thing here please?

  • riesling

    The “feces in urethra” rationale for using a condom is unconvincing. Firstly, anything that goes into the urethra during anal sex is going to be forcefully pushed out of the urethra during ejaculation, and the urethra continues to be full of semen (and dripping semen) as the penis is withdrawn. Secondly, females often suffer urinary tract infections because they have short urethras (the bacteria don’t have far to travel to make it up into the female bladder), but males do not because their urethras are several times longer – bacteria cannot travel all the way through the male urethra in time to escape being forcefully washed back out of the urethra when the male urinates.

  • FlyBy

    I’m sick to death of being tortured by clit-rubbing men. PLEASE, do not keep promoting this “all women get off the same way” myth and offering it up as sex advice. I hate having my clit poked and prodded like it’s some magic button. If a guy wants to turn me off, he will start rubbing my clit. Awful. It is uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Perhaps I’m not normal, but it takes less than a minute or two for a full-fledged vaginal-with-fireworks type of orgasm on any given night, even when I’m not really in the mood. The best advice is to LISTEN to your lover, not to follow some idiotic how-to procedure. If she likes it, she will generally let you know via nice sounds and positive body language. That said, I once knew a guy who argued with his girlfriend when she wanted him to change his oral sex technique to her liking. He insisted she didn’t know what she was talking about because he “knew” what women liked. For the record, I’ve had great orgasms in every major position and I still like the bottom best when it’s time to let go. For one thing, you can completely relax and go into a blissful, cosmic state immediately afterwards and your lover can also relax on top of you (if he isn’t too heavy) or fall off to the side. Just remember, not all women are the same.