Anal sex isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally okay! But if you do want to give it a go, it’s important to have the right expectations.
First, talk it out with your partner. Making sure that both of you are excited and comfortable with the idea will help everything flow smoothly.
Anal sex is becoming more common for people of all genders and sexual orientations. But before anal play starts, there are a few things to consider to keep you and your partner safe.
For example, it’s important to use condoms during anal sex, as anal sex can spread infection from the anus to other parts of the body. You should also wash all of your sex toys and hands after anal play to avoid spreading bacteria that can cause UTIs.
The anus does not self-lubricate, so you will need to have plenty of lube on hand during anal play. You should also have some wet wipes handy for any messy situations that may arise. A towel on the bed can help protect the sheets from the lube and bodily fluids that may drip during anal play.
Having a diet high in fiber can also help reduce mess during anal sex. Foods rich in fiber include legumes, fruits (like avocado and berries), vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed bran.
The anus and rectum aren’t self-lubricating, so lube is an absolute necessity for anal play. Make sure to have plenty of anal lube on hand and apply it liberally, both inside the rectum and on whatever implement is being used — whether it’s a finger, a toy, or your penis. A water-based lube is best for anal, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the rectum can be sensitive to things like warm or cooling lubes and silicone lubes.
You should also be prepared for some bleeding, which is completely normal the first time or two. It will probably stop once the anal is used a bit, so don’t let it deter you from exploring this erogenous zone.
And while you’re at it, be ready to shed some of the stigma and embarrassment around fecal matter. You might be surprised to find that anal lubricant can actually taste good. Just don’t expect it to be as flavorful as your TikTok favorite.
If you’re a first-time anal user, it’s important to take things slow. “You’ll get better results if you warm up the anus with foreplay like rimming and a light lube massage,” explains Matatas. “This will help the sphincter muscles relax so that penetration feels comfortable and not painful.”
She adds that, as with all sexual activity, you should communicate your needs to your partner—anal masturbation is especially helpful for couples that struggle to talk about their sexual pleasure and desires. That way, you’re both on the same page about what kind of pressure, depth and speed is comfortable.
And don’t be afraid to try different positions, toy sizes and breathing/relaxation techniques until you find what works for you. Just remember that anal isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally fine (there are tons of other types of kink to explore that *don’t* involve the butt). Besides, it’s always good to know your STI status to reduce your risk of infection and to be able to speak up if you start seeing dark blood in your stool.
While anal play can be a lot of fun, it can also cause pain and discomfort if it’s rushed or done too quickly. To avoid this, both partners should ease into anal sex with non-penetrative play (using fingers or a small sex toy). “Then they can move at their own pace once they feel comfortable with it,” says Dr. Jess.
It’s a good idea for the receptive partner to have a bowel movement about an hour before sex and wash their anal area with soap and water, too. They should also consider using a condom during anal sex to reduce the risk of STIs, including HIV.
Remember that the anus doesn’t self-lubricate like the vagina, so it’s important to have lots of lube handy when experimenting with anal play. Put lube inside your anal opening, as well as on whatever you’ll be penetrating with — whether it’s fingers, a toy, or the tip of your penis. Lube can prevent tears in your anal tissue and make penetration a more pleasurable experience. But don’t be afraid to give up anal sex altogether if it doesn’t feel right for you. There are plenty of other kinky sexual activities that don’t involve your butt.
It takes time and patience to prepare for an anal sex session. Because the anus doesn’t self-lubricate, anal play requires lots of lube and plenty of foreplay to achieve maximum pleasure. It also helps to have a good conversation with your partner about anal exploration beforehand, says Matatas. It’s a great time to discuss what kinds of positions and toys are arousing, as well as any fears or concerns you have.
Then, once you’re ready to prick that P-spot, make sure your hands are clean and use a lot of lube to reduce friction. It’s important to avoid double-dipping, as this can transfer germs from the anus into the vagina or vice versa. And don’t be afraid to stop anal sex at any point if it stops feeling pleasurable.
Anal sex is an A+ play option for people of all genders, sexual orientations, and genitalia types. But, as sexologists remind us, it’s not for everyone. And that’s totally fine! There are plenty of other kinky ways to get down with your partner that don’t involve the butt.