I’ve never been into it, but I know tons of people are. Through first-hand research and anal-ysis, I tried to find out why.Alison Lim, 35
For some, the words “anal sex” incite feelings of euphoria and excitement. For others, it makes them immediately clench their butt cheeks in panic. No matter how sexually adventurous you are, it’s normal to feel some trepidation at the thought of letting a guy knock on your back door. But here’s the thing—if you’re not involving your derriere in the bedroom, you might be missing out on the chance for a serious sex life upgrade.
Anal play is sometimes taboo, and you may have hang-ups about it for several reasonsTammy Nelson, Ph.D., author of Getting the Sex You Want: Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together.
Your clitoris isn’t the only thing below the belt that’s packed with nerves. While some women find anything near the anus to be too uncomfortable psychologically or physically, there’s a very rich nerve and vascular supply in that area.
Ideally, your first experiment with anal play will happen after you two have talked it through. Don’t worry that it isn’t sexy—making sure you’re ready will help you fully focus on the pleasure to come and give you the best chance at a mind-blowing session.
Here, sex experts share what you need to know if you’re interested in trying it out.
Does Anal Sex hurt?
Anal is never supposed to be painful! Seriously, n-e-v-e-r.
It may feel like an odd sensation, but done correctly, anal sex should not be painful.says Alyssa Dweck, an assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
If anal sex feels painful, it’s a symptom that you’re doing too much too quickly, says Evan Goldstein, DO, anal surgeon and founder of Future Method, an anal wellness company. In general, pain is the body’s way of letting you know that something ain’t right—so, unless that’s a sensation you are actively seeking out during sex, press pause or stop altogether.
Make sure both of you actually want to try butt play.
Before your clothes are off, ask for consent. You should make sure you’re comfortable talking openly and honestly with your partner, since communication is the most important thing when having anal sex. This might take a bit longer, but it’s well worth it, as it establishes trust, safety, and connection for both to have an enjoyable experience.
Expectations should not be what you see on TV or read about, it’s what you and your partner discuss as expectations and fulfillment during intercourseShon Cooper, University of Connecticut
Considering having a safe word—a code word that has nothing to do with sex that brings everything to a halt, fast. Your partner may not be able to tell if you’re making moans of pleasure or pain, so having a code word in place can make you both confident you’re on the same page during the act.
Fingering – A good place to start with Anal Sex
Often, couples try to do too much too soon with anal sex — immediately penetrating the anus with a penis or something of similar size. If you’re going to penetrate with something the size of a penis, you really need to graduate to those sizes. Anal fingering is the process of using your finger to stimulate your partner in and around the anus.
When anything wet first touches the anus, it will generally tense up, because it’s only used to wet things coming out of it, not going in.
Take it easy and introduce a dry finger to the outside of the anus first. Set one finger against your partner’s anus. Then, when the anus starts to have “reflexive contraction,” it’s time for the lube.
You likely introduce fingers to your vulva before inserting a penis or toy during foreplay, right? Why treat your butt any differently?
Do you need a lot of lube?
Work through your butt play anxiety together, and exploring some uncharted sexual territory can turn it into a real bonding experience. Once you’re both on the same page, it’s time to stock up!
First thing on your sexy shopping list: Tons of Lubes.
Unlike the vagina, the anus doesn’t create its own lubrication during arousal. Generally, a silicone lube is good for anal sex. Silicone-based lube is thicker and won’t dry out the way water-based lubes can.
It’s way more high-maintenance than other sex acts since the anus doesn’t self-lubricate like the vagina. This means you need lube — and lots of it, as well as plenty of foreplay and preparation to have good anal sex.
Check out more lubes here at Playful2Night.
Heat things up with a toy.
Toys can be a great way to explore anal sex. Make sure you find a toy suited for anal sex that has a base that flares out.
When it comes to anal toys, a removal method is a must. You have to make sure there’s a way to retrieve the toy, like a string or a flared base.
If you use a toy that doesn’t have a surefire removal method, you run the risk of winding up in a seriously uncomfortable situation. Avoid turning your life into an episode of Sex Sent Me to the E.R. by making sure there’s an easy way to slip the toy out once you’re done playing.
Trying a small anal plug can get your body used to the sensation of fullness and let you determine whether or not it’s pleasurable for you. Consider trying a warming toy that heats up to just above your body temperature. It’ll help relax your muscles and get the blood flowing for what’s to come.
Should you be worried about hygiene?
If you and your partner are planning to have anal sex, the person receiving might want to make sure the anal canal is clear. This means having a bowel movement about 45 minutes before sex.
If you’re planning to transition from anal to vaginal sex, be sure to thoroughly clean yourself in between, especially if you’re not using a condom you can change. There’s a big increased risk of STIs when you’re transitioning from anal sex to vaginal sex because of the transfer of fecal bacteria into the vagina.
Taking a break to deal with practical stuff, like preventing STIs, can present a challenge when you’re trying to build up arousal for a round two of vaginal or oral sex. Showering with your partner to keep the sexy time going during the transition. It’ll get you both clean and ~prepped~ for the second act.
If something doesn’t feel right, get that checked out.
If you find yourself feeling tender or uncomfortable after engaging in anal sex, you should consult your doctor
Don’t be embarrassed! It might also be a good time to reflect on your technique. Anything you tried could be the cause of your discomfort, like not enough lube or not taking enough time to relax and get into the moment. Anal sex is not dangerous if it’s practiced in a safe and responsible way. Anal sex requires time and relaxation and some prep work. If you’re focusing on your pleasure and being safe and clean, you should be fine.
Although plenty of people find anal sex is pleasurable, it’s not an essential to cross off your sex bucket list. Sex is supposed to be fun, and if the idea doesn’t turn you on, it’s totally fine to stick to your repertoire of what works.
Not into it? Don’t do it.