Let’s Talk About Sex Scenes! Part I: Anal Play

Any avid ManLove reader will tell you that scenes of anal play or stretching abound in erotic alternative romance—so much so, in fact, that the act has trademark tropes that are all its own.

In Search of Slick

“Lube,” Wolfram said. “Where?” – Two Mates for a Magistrate, Scarlet Hyacinth

Lube makes frequent appearances in ManLove, and it’s no secret why: the anal tissues are sensitive, and too much friction can make penetration painful or even increase the risk of STDs. While keeping things slick is no problem in the bedroom (many ManLove characters keep a bottle tucked in the drawer of their nightstand), finding lubrication for an impromptu romp away from home can lead to some interesting innovations. Some of the most memorable encounters I’ve read have shown characters using hand cream, olive oil, saliva, and even their own ejaculate as lube—there have even been paranormal and fantasy characters whose bodies were able to produce it! Barring any superpowers, however, real-life slick seekers will want to keep in mind these helpful considerations when choosing a lubricant: how long it’ll last, what the texture is like, how it tastes, and how it will react with water, toys, and condoms.

First Things First

“Getting you ready for it is half the fun.” Baptista, Joyee Flynn

One of the reasons stretching scenes are so popular in ManLove is because of the importance of preparing the way for bigger and bolder intrusions. In many scenes, characters use a single finger to start and then work their way up to multiple digits. But what happens when characters get frisky without the time for leisurely foreplay? A sneaky partner might reveal that he’s already prepped himself in the bathroom earlier, or he could surprise his lover with a cleverly placed butt plug—hopefully one as lavishly decorated as those highlighted in Jackie de la Garza’s recent Sex Toys Series article. 

The Self-Starter

Dante echoed his groan. Oh yeah. Someone hasn’t had his lovers perform for him before. – The Incubus Song, Jana Downs

Sometimes, ManLove characters are so eager for things to turn steamy that they’ll get started without their partner, or as in the above quote, put on a show for him! Self-starting isn’t just for the overly anxious, however: sometimes, a ManLove character will request that his partner prepare himself if he’s new to penetration, giving him control over the situation and letting him learn his likes and dislikes.

Getting Vocal

“Whatever you are doing, keep…it…up,” Adam choked out, his breath catching on every word. – The Count of Aragon, Alex Carreras

Dirty talk can serve all kinds of purposes in a spectacular sex scene, from increasing characters’ intimacy to amping up their arousal, not to mention helping characters to maintain communication with each other. There’s no shortage of ManLove sex scenes where characters tell their partner to speed up or slow down, and who doesn’t love a scene when just a simple touch gets a smitten hero so excited he has to call stop? Talking things through with a partner can be particularly adorable when a character is new to sex and experiencing sensations—or discussing them—for the first time. As for the strong, silent types, it’s always nice to see a guy who was once shy or laconic open up and get vocal as he learns to trust his partner.

The Grand Finale

“You gonna come for me, babe, or you gonna make me work for it?” – Lest We Forget, Gabrielle Evans

When it comes to sex scenes, it’s always a good idea to end on a high note. Even though many anal play scenes are used as foreplay, others can serve as the main event. Just how might ManLove characters bring their partners over the edge before intercourse even occurs? Some combine anal play with other carnal acts, while others use their verbal prowess to control their partner’s release. Most, however, make use of the prostate: a chestnut-sized gland located three inches up the front wall of a man’s anal canal. The prostate can be stimulated by the fingers with a simple come here gesture or by using a specially designed toy. Since the prostate contains muscles that aid in ejaculation, there’s a good chance that characters who find it will get their happy ending.

Writers, how have you addressed these topics when you write scenes of anal play? Readers, what would you like to see next?

By Jamie Beckett, Staff Contributor


photo credit: Podknox via photopin cc


  1. E.A. Reynolds /

    This is a great article.

  2. Agreed with the above poster, this is really helpful for anyone looking to mix things up in their writing. Thanks :)

  3. Alex Carreras /

    Love this article! Funny and insightful.