Weed has long had a special place in the bedroom, and for the first time, it’s possible to use a cannabis-based anal suppository for more relaxed and pleasurable butt play. This news may be a boon for people on various points of the sexual spectrum who may be open-minded but still hesitant about getting touched or penetrated back there. By taking things slow, I learned that anal sex doesn’t have to hurt. There can be some discomfort, but there can also be deep pleasure—the notion of using weed to help ease things sounds both helpful and intriguing.
It’s worth noting that a 2015 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that more than a third of female respondents (36.3 percent) said they had tried anal sex. For men, the Telegraph reported that stimulating the walnut-sized gland known as the prostate or P-spot potentially leads to “mind-blowing, leg-shaking, eye-rolling, neighbour-panicking pleasure.” The article itself was a call for guys to lighten up and let go of the stigmas surrounding butt stuff.
Sexual health and wellness company Foria gained popularity with Foria Pleasure, a cannabis-infused sexual lubricant for women meant to enhance sensations and induce longer, stronger, and even multiple orgasms. Foria’s new cannabis-based suppository is called Explore and designed for anal play; it releases 60mg of THC and 10mg of CBD after being inserted into the anus, thus allowing the surrounding muscles and pelvic region to relax. THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana with psychoactive qualities that give users a buzz. CBD is short for Cannabidiol, the compound in cannabis with anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities that doesn’t contribute to one’s buzz.
Within 15 to 20 minutes of insertion, Explore’s desired effects will begin, according to Ashley Manta, a cannabis sexual health educator. Because Explore is taken in suppository form instead of being inhaled or taken orally, the dose is absorbed with higher bioavailability, meaning that your body will get to feel the effects quicker.
“The effects will kick in after 15 to 20 minutes. How long Explore lasts depends on one’s tolerance,” Manta explains. “If you are a regular cannabis user like I am, it will be around an hour. Insert it, let it do it’s magic, then move to whatever kind of anal stimulation you’re looking for.” Foria does posit that users can have different experiences, noting: “Explore is known to produce little to no psychoactivity, however, psychoactive effects can vary based on the individual user.”
Before Explore was on the market, Manta says she used a DIY approach to make suppositories, and coconut oil was a key ingredient. She welcomes this new product because it incorporates cannabis: “CBD slows down electrical signaling to muscles, causing relaxation, thereby allowing Explore to reduce discomfort without numbing or desensitizing the anal area or surrounding tissues. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can go a long way for the person being penetrated (both during and after).”
Explore stands out from other anal products because it doesn’t numb the area. Numbing the area can be dangerous during butt play, since your body needs to send your brain signals of pain in case there's serious harm. Manta explained, “People think ‘anal sex is going to hurt, so I need to just get through it.” But anal isn’t supposed to be painful if you do it right. “Anal sex should not hurt. If it hurts you are doing something wrong. You can feel discomfort without pain, and Explore helps alleviate discomfort. Then you also get anal pleasure because of the effects of the THC.”
Anal sex should not hurt. If it hurts you are doing something wrong.
Although not exactly sexy, Manta said that sex educators often evoke the imagery of a snail to emphasize that slowness is critical during butt play. “With anal the keys are: ton of lube and lots of breathing, along with going really, really slow,” she explained. “Snails go really slow and leave lots of goo. You want to go even more slowly than you think you should go.” Explore works because the area around your anus has a high number of mucus membranes, and absorption can happen because it’s a moist and wet environment, making the snail reference even more legit.
When asked if a finger or penis would feel pleasant vibes from Explore, Manta explained that since they don’t have mucus membranes, there would be little absorption. “The only thing you would notice is more ease with the muscles, and that your partner would probably be more receptive,” she explained.
Explore is marketed as a gay-friendly product, but anal play can be fun for people of every sexual orientation. Manta said she’s tried bringing up butt exploration to male partners in the past and found that some thought it a fraught topic—even though butts shouldn’t be so taboo.
“At the end of the day everyone has an ass. All asses are capable of producing pleasure,” she said. “Cis guys, trans and non binary folks have a prostate. There are so many stigmas about hetero guys receiving anal stimulation. When I ask guys about anal stimulation they gasp and tell me, 'I’m not letting you put a finger in my ass!’ It doesn’t matter what’s giving you pleasure, it can just be what it is and be pleasure. Anal play doesn’t have to affect your sexual identity.”