The Act of Penetration
Penetration feels good, but it could be said that the urge to penetrate or be penetrated stems from the desire to energetically merge with another. Many people feel penetration gives you a sense of closeness that you don't get from other sex acts, which can emotionally intensify the experience of orgasm. And, of course, being penetrated allows for certain internal parts that would otherwise go untouched to be stimulated, creating what many consider to be a much fuller, richer, and more satisfying physical experience. For many men, the act of penetration is the preferred route to orgasm. Women, on the other hand, are not as inclined to orgasm through penetration alone, and therefore penetration ranks lower for many women as a preferred path to orgasm. However, women who manage to receive clitoral stimulation and thus achieve orgasm during penetration rate their experience of penetration much higher.
The Various Forms of Penetration
Penetrating and being penetrated can happen in a variety of ways, with a variety of implements. In this day and age, you can't just assume that when someone refers to penetration, they are referring to penis-vagina intercourse. There are many ways in which people like to penetrate and be penetrated, and some relationships allow for certain kinds of penetration and not others. Two men together naturally can't have vaginal intercourse, but they can have anal intercourse or anal penetration with an object. Two women can't have penis-vagina intercourse, but they can engage in intercourse with a dildo or penetration with an object. If a man wants to receive anal penetration from his female lover, she can use a strap-on dildo to penetrate him anally—this is known as “pegging.” A couple in which the man has difficulty with an erection may choose to use an object for penetration. These are just a few scenarios that call for varied forms of penetration.
Vaginal penetration can happen in several ways—with a penis, with the use of another body part, or with the use of an object. While all of these involve stimulating the vagina, each has the potential to create very unique sensations and overall experiences. In general, women who like penetration like the feeling of having their vaginas filled. They like the pressure that is created from having something inside of them. A woman's preferred kind of vaginal penetration could be based on a variety of factors, including past experiences, relationship choices, and her body's response to the sensations created by the different forms of penetration.
Intercourse can refer to penetration of the vagina with a penis or with a strap-on dildo. Penis-vagina intercourse requires, of course, a biological man and a biological woman. It is the only procreative sex and what many people think of when they hear the word “sex.” However, it is more than just a path to procreation, and it is only one of many paths to orgasm. For many, penis-vagina intercourse is truly the primary route to ecstasy. With penis-vagina intercourse, both parties are simultaneously genitally stimulated, and the pleasure is shared, which has certain advantages and disadvantages.
Intercourse can also refer to penetration with a strap-on dildo. Although the dildo itself does not experience any stimulation, the person wearing it can get turned on and stimulated enough to achieve orgasm, aided by various attachments, and by her own bumping and grinding motion that can stimulate the clitoris.
Using a body part, such as fingers, known as “digital penetration,” or a whole hand, known as “fisting,” to penetrate the vagina, is another option. Some women prefer the use of fingers to stimulate the inside of their vagina because of the dexterity of fingers and their ability to focus or direct their stimulation on the G-spot in just the right way. Using the whole hand can give a woman a sense of really being filled vaginally, which is highly erotic and pleasurable for some women. When your lover is using her fingers or hand to penetrate you, the primary focus is your pleasure, which can render some amazing orgasms.
Some women find the use of objects, such as dildos, to be just the right thing to penetrate them. There are many objects that can provide wonderful stimulation for the vagina, which will be discussed in depth in Chapter 12. Again, when using an object for penetration, the focus is all on the recipient's pleasure, giving her a feeling of being catered to or pampered.
Anal penetration, like vaginal penetration, can happen in several ways—with a penis, other body parts such as fingers or the whole hand, or with an object such as a butt plug or dildo. More and more people are discovering the pleasures of anal penetration and intercourse. Once a highly taboo sexual activity, anal stimulation is now becoming more accepted and mainstream. While it is still an activity that makes a lot of people squirm with discomfort, many bold and curious pioneers are setting out to discover this new frontier of pleasure for themselves.
For some people, anal sex is erotic partially because of its taboo status, but for others it is erotic solely because of the sensations that are created when the anus is stimulated. The anus has many nerve endings that can create tremendous arousal when stimulated. For men, anal sex stimulates the prostate gland, or the P-spot, which is the male version of the G-spot.
The main things to keep in mind with any kind of anal play are adequate lubrication and relaxation of the anal sphincter muscle. You will need a tremendous amount of lube when engaging in anal intercourse or penetration. This is because the rectum and anus do not have any natural lubrication, and the tissue is very sensitive and vulnerable to tearing and soreness. Also, because the anal sphincter muscle is very strong, you will need to spend a fair amount of time focusing on relaxing it. This can take a fair amount of patience.
Safety is a real concern with anal intercourse in particular. The tissues of the anus and rectum are very delicate and tear easily, making the presence of blood more likely, and therefore infection more probable. Make sure that you know the risks involved and take necessary precautions. To stay on the safe side, always use condoms.
Who's in Charge?
Because of the inherent vulnerability of being penetrated, the one who is being penetrated is ultimately in charge. In other words, you take responsibility for what feels good to you, and communicate with your lover how to direct the penetration so that it adds to your pleasure and arousal and does not cause any discomfort or pain. This is particularly important to remember when engaging in forms of penetration that involve a penis. That is because the person penetrating is also being genitally stimulated, and may therefore be distracted by, and focusing on, his own pleasure so much so that he loses his awareness of your experience.
Active or Passive?
In nearly every position with any kind of penetration, it is possible for either or both partners to be the active one, although it is typically the person who is providing the penetration. Being the active partner requires more work, but it has the benefit of allowing you to be in control of the movement in a way that satisfies you. You can give yourself the angle and the depth of penetration that feels good to you. Because one needs to be fairly relaxed in order to open and receive penetration, it is usually the recipient of penetration who is the passive partner. But some people like to be active as they are being penetrated, at least some of the time. Regardless of what your preference is for being active or passive during penetration, there are benefits to sharing that role. You can give the active partner a break and you can also demonstrate how you like penetration, showing your partner what feels good to you.