THE SEX FILES


My name is Lizxnn and I spend a lot of time thinking about desire and bodies and ways to get weird. I teach adult sex-ed classes in person all around New Orleans. I’m excited to be joining the pages of ANTIGRAVITY and the long tradition of smut-in-print!


Is it true that if I use my vibrator every day I will lose sensitivity in my clit?

No and yes. You will not do permanent damage to your genitals by using a vibrator regularly, no matter how strong the vibrator is. It is possible to temporarily be affected by repeated vibrator use, but not because your nerve endings are being damaged. It is because your body is acclimating to the stimulation provided by the vibrator and you are setting a new baseline for sensation. A vibrator is like coffee in that you can drink it every now and then and get a buzz; but if you drink multiple cups every day you develop a new baseline for the effect the caffeine has on you. Just as you can take a break from coffee every few days to ensure that you still get an energy jolt when you do drink it, you can take a break every few days from your vibrator to be able to feel the full effect the toy has to offer.

Another way to combat vibrator fatigue is to have two (or more) vibrator toys that you can rotate in use, so that your body doesn’t get acclimated to only one type of vibration. Or, buy a vibrator that has several “pulse” options in the settings. Pulsing vibration is great for people who get easily overwhelmed or numbed out by a steady vibration. The pulse patterns activate the nerve endings and literally help the blood pulse around the targeted area.

In addition to these options that toys give you, remember that your body and the way it responds changes over time, so listen to what it wants on any given day. If you are someone who menstruates, there may be particular times during your cycle that you feel more overwhelmed by the vibration, or perhaps you don’t feel any response to the vibration at all. Also, as you age your hormones fluctuate. This will also affect the way that you experience touch and sensation. That’s normal.

So don’t be afraid to use that vibe as often as you want to, but also pay attention to your body and trust your gut if you think you need to take a breather for a day or two to recalibrate.

My boyfriend really wants to eat my ass. I’m kind of into the idea, but I’m also a little grossed out. How safe is it to lick someone’s asshole?

First I want to commend you and your boyfriend for communicating about a desire for anal play before doing the deed. Communication is always important, but especially around anything involving the ass. There are tons of nerve endings in and around the anus, so it is a potential pleasure zone for just about anyone. This area is also a spot where a lot of people hold stress, and making a move without a clear “GO” signal can shut it down completely. The best way to prepare for any type of anal play is to talk it out. Get real specific about what you want, and then figure out ways to feel more relaxed in your body so that you’ll be able to focus on the pleasing sensations and not your worries about what might go wrong.

Seeking information about the risks involved is one way to prepare and help yourself get relaxed! Look at that—you’re already a third of the way there. Some risks that are present in oral-to-anal contact include STIs, specifically syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Louisiana has one of the highest infection rates for syphilis and chlamydia in the United States. An STI infection is a very real possibility for any sexually active person, regardless of their gender or sexuality. A way to approach this head-on is to get tested regularly, either at a clinic or through your primary care provider and to know your own status. We are living in the golden age of medicine, meaning if caught early enough, with many infections you can just take some pills and be good to go in a week or two. If you do have an STI, wait until you’ve taken medicine and the infection has been cleared completely from your system before having sex again.

No point in buying the special cherry lube for your analingus date if you discover in the moment that it tastes way too much like cough syrup

Hepatitis can also be contracted through contact with the butt. There are five main strains of hepatitis, and hep A is the most common type transmitted through sexual activity including via the fecal-oral route. Lucky for you, there is a combo vaccine for hep A and hep B that is widely available. Another risk is that bacteria and other intestinal parasites (such as E. coli) live in and around the anus. Something cool to know is that if you are in a long-term partnership with someone, there is a very good chance that your bodies have acclimated to each other and share the same anal flora. This means that if you’ve been with the same person for a few years, your risk for contracting a harmful bacteria from them is significantly lowered. You can also reduce your risk for sharing butt bacteria by cleaning your ass with a soapy finger (just the fingertip inside your asshole and run it along your crack) or wiping yourself down with a baby wipe or two right before getting rimmed.

OK, so you’ve been vaccinated, you’ve been screened for STIs and all tests came back negative, and you always wash your butt in the morning shower. Is there anything more you can do? Sure! Get yourself some good lube (and spit does not equal lube). Because the anus does not self-lubricate, you’re going to want to add something slippery to the area to reduce friction. Just a dab will do you, in case you are worried that you might end up turning your bed into a Slip ‘N Slide. The lube has several functions: it protects your sensitive tissue from getting fissures or micro-tears in it, which in turn reduces the risk for STI transmission. It also makes it more comfortable for the ass-eater to roll their tongue over the area and not have to continually produce saliva.

When choosing a lube, you can go with a flavored or non-flavored variety, but I would suggest going to a sex shop where they have testers out so that you can put a tiny bit on your finger and smell it and taste it before you buy it. No point in buying the special cherry lube for your analingus date if you discover in the moment that it tastes way too much like cough syrup to really enjoy the ass. In addition, try to choose a lube that doesn’t have glycerine or other sugars in it, because that can attract yeasty bacterias that may end up being really itchy and uncomfortable.

To top everything off, don’t be afraid to whip out a dental dam (a thin, flexible piece of latex) or even some plastic wrap. Make sure that you put lube down first and then the barrier on top of the lube. This will ensure that the recipient of the ass-eating will feel the pressure and movement of your tongue and lips without the barrier clinging or adding extra unwanted friction to the area. If you don’t have a dental dam or Saran wrap, you can cut a condom length-wise and open it up to make a small, rectangular barrier, or you could take a latex or nitrile glove and cut the fingers off and cut a seam down the outer edge of the glove to open it up for a somewhat larger flat barrier. A latex, nitrile, or plastic barrier will protect against anal flora, bacterias, and STIs, making it the ultimate risk prevention for analingus. Just remember that these barriers are single use only!

Of course, the wiping rule applies to sex as well: never go from back to front. At least not without a swish of mouthwash and barrier change in between. You don’t want to introduce any anal bacteria into the urethra or vagina, because that is a UTI just waiting to happen.

With just a little preparation and communication you can figure out what you want and where your boundaries are when getting your salad tossed. Armed with this knowledge, I hope that you feel good getting down and dirty with your boyfriend in whatever form that takes.


Send your sex questions to TheSexFiles@protonmail.com.
illustrations RUTH MASCELLI