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It’s been the year of the butt since at least 2014, by my conservative estimate, and yet we are no closer to actually understanding our own asses. Society is good at visually appreciating buttsand writing catchy songsabout butts, but still not so great at understanding how we might derive physical pleasure from our own butts—especially when it comes to the prostate.

There’s a reason why some trans womencall the prostate their G-spot. Much like the G-spot, the prostate is an internal pleasure point that, if located and stimulated well, can dial your partner’s orgasm up to 11. “Obviously, sometimes you can have a great penis orgasm,” says sex toy inventor and Hot Octopussfounder Adam Lewis, “But I would say on average [a prostate orgasm] is a much more intense experience, lasts longer, and would be more heightened than your traditional orgasm.”

What is the prostate?

“The prostate is a gland that sits inside the anus, just below the bladder,” Lewis says. “It’s not that deep in, but it’s a good two to four inches deep. It’s not a ‘little finger’ deep—you have to go a little further than that, but you can reach it easily with your fingers.”

Medically speaking, the prostate produces a fluid that mixes with sperm to create semen. “This is,” Young adds, “the pre-stage of ejaculation. So if you stimulate the prostate gland, it kind of speeds up that process and makes it more pleasurable.”

Who has a prostate?

Technically, everyone! If you’ve got a vagina, you will have Skene’s glands (occasionally known as the “female prostate“) that are located near the lower end of your urethra. This group of glands is roughly similar to the prostate, although it doesn’t serve any sperm-related function. For the purposes of this article, however, we’re talking about stimulating the type of prostate that’s buried in you or your partner’s asshole.

How to give a prostate massage

“Start with fingers,” Young advises, “but also put a glove on.” (FYI: Young recommends using gloves and condoms on all toys and digits for maximum cleanliness—safe sex, people!) Lewis says that if your partner is feeling anxious about cleanliness, you can also use a small prostate toy to begin with. “Prostate toys are crafted specifically for that purpose so they’re very streamlined,” he says. “It minimizes the second party’s issues around dirt or it not being so hygenic.”

“The prostate is connected to the penis, which is why it’s so sensitive,” Young says. “If you feel the base of a penis, if you go up inside to the end of it, you will end up near the prostate.”

That’s why you can indirectly stimulate the prostate by massaging the perineum, the region between the asshole and the testicles (a.k.a the “taint”), although as one man previously informedBroadly: “It’s significantly more mild from the outside. It’s like if you have a knot in your shoulder and you press that knot. Or if you pop your knuckles. It’s satisfying [but not amazing].”

Having said that, perineum massage is a good starter point if your partner wants a preview of prostate play or just needs to feel a little relaxed before you dive in. Think of it as the anal equivalent of visiting IKEA and kicking back on a sofa before you put down the deposit down on moving it into your own home.

Why does prostate massage feel good?

If you’re not in possession of a prostate, it can be hard to visualize why massaging a marble-sized gland in your asshole might be pleasurable. But the prostate has a ton of nerve endings and largely sits unloved and untouched for most adults’ lives.

 

“Unlike the rest of the body, like the gland of your penis which is constantly touched and brushed against and stimulated—either accidentally or on purpose—the prostate doesn’t,” Lewis says. “It is unstimulated with all these nerve endings, so if you do make physical contact, it’s quite raw… and it’s very sensitive to touch and pressure.”

Raw in a good way, obviously. When Young asks men what a prostate orgasm feels like, the word “ecstacy” has been mentioned. “It’s absolutely meant to be the most magical thing ever,” she says.

How to assuage first-time nerves

It’s understandable if your partner is a little nervous, especially if the only encounter they’ve had with their prostate is with a GP doing a very unsexy rectal exam. (Unless they’re into doctor and nurse play, in which case—get your white lab coat out.) If they’ve told you that they’d like you to play with their prostate but grow increasingly anxious once the clothes come off, don’t force the issue. “Obviously,” Young says, “you leave it. You can go back to the conversation, you can go back another night.”

But if their concerns are dirt or hygiene-related, there’s almost certainly nothing to worry about. “You can either douche, which some people do,” Young says, “but I don’t advise douching to everybody because they don’t know how to do it properly. You can wait until your bowels are empty and always clean the outside.” Lewis agrees: “That risk is going to be seriously minimized by having that person go to the toilet in the last few hours, and after that you just gotta wash your hands.”

And what if you’re the one who’s anxious? “It’s like anything new,” Lewis says, “like before you set up the TV, you read the instructions—it’s the same with prostate massage. Read up on it! If your partner asks you to do a prostate massage and you understand what it is, that knowledge will give you great comfort in knowing you’re doing the right thing.

By Zing Tsjeng for Vice

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