Ashley Ross Illustrated by: Natalia Spotts Anal sex can be one of three things: Somebody will get hurt. All you need is this step-by-step guide to having comfortable, communicative, and mutually satisfying anal sex, which we'll be updating regularly. Click through, then go forth without fear — and have fun! The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once.
Check out more here. We already love Kegel exercises for how they can impact your vaginal sex life , so why not try them for anal prep? Doing so can relax your anus before penetration. Emphasizing both the contraction and release can help you recognize when you are holding unconscious tension in the pelvic floor, which may occur when you are feeling nervous, and give you techniques to relax that tension by choice," says tantric sex coach Devi Ward. Sex and relationship coach Charlie Glickman, PhD, agrees.
If you only practice squeezing, you can actually cause muscle spasms. So after each squeeze, bear down a little bit to help the muscles relax. One of the best ways to prepare for partnered penetrative anal sex is to first explore anal play by yourself. Ward suggests starting out by inserting one finger into your anus using plenty of lube. When you've become comfortable with a small finger, move on to toys. Rimming refers to performing oral sex on your partner's butthole.
You might have also heard it referred to as salad-tossing or analingus. While rimming is delightful on its own, it's also an excellent form of foreplay to warm up for penetrative anal sex. If you're looking for a rimming technique, Jessica O'Reilly , PhD, a Toronto-based sexologist told Refinery29 about a move called "tongue twister," in which you spread apart your partner's butt cheeks using your hands and twirl your tongue in circles around their anus.
As with any form of anal play, since the rectum harbors bacteria from the GI tract, just make sure that the receiver washes up with water before rimming. Sex expert Kenneth Play says that an optimal position for first-timers is spooning. Traditionally, the person doing the penetrating is in the big spoon position, but they can also be up on their knees while the little spoon stays down that way, you can maintain eye contact. If you have a vagina, adding clitoral stimulation can help you relax and reach orgasm during anal sex.
You can incorporate this into foreplay or during penetrative anal sex, and either you or your partner can take the lead on this one ain't no shame in taking matters into your own hands. Not sure how to stimulate your clit for maximum pleasure? Try the DJ method, in which you flatten a few fingers and rub your clit in circular motions, or try moving your hands in a more diagonal motion if that feels better.
And don't forget to check out our handy guide on clitoral stimulation if you're still unsure about how to go about it. If you're someone who lives in a legal state and enjoys using cannabis, consider adding it to your anal sex routine.
Studies suggest that cannabis can increase physical sensation , which could heighten the pleasure butt play already provides. If you're uninterested in getting high but curious about the benefits of combining cannabis with anal sex, you can try a cannabis-based anal suppository like Foria Explore.
The makers of Foria Explore claim that it promotes relaxation and increases blood flow without getting you stoned. Since the receiver has good control over depth and speed of penetration when on top, sex and relationship coach Charlie Glickman, PhD, author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure , says that position is a good way to get started. Just as with other kinds of sex, make anal sex an experience that addresses the whole body, not just the anus.
Anal play as just one part of lovemaking. The receiver, rather than the giver, sets the pace. If anyone is experiencing discomfort, slow it down! It could be that half is the perfect amount. According to Kyla Black, a sex therapist and clinical social worker, there's really no right amount of lube: Avoid lubes that contain parabens, phthalates, or propylene glycol, and keep in mind that silicone-based lubes generally last longer than water-based lube: There are a ton of ways to prepare for anal penetration, including using vibrators, rimming plugs, anal beads, and even dildos.
These will not only open the anus but also arouse you before penetration. Sex and relationship coach Charlie Glickman, PhD, author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure recommends using a vibrator to learn to relax the anus; be sure to use one made with a body-safe, non-porous material and a smooth, flared base to prevent it from going too far into the anus.
But the shame surrounding anal sex "assumes that anal sex is unhealthy and should be rare," Ley says. This way, you can talk about it without feeling pressure to do things too soon or in a way that feels rushed. Advertisement 13 of 26 Illustrated by Natalia Spotts. With new sexual territory, boundaries are key. Ley suggests broaching the subject by discussing anal play as part of your sex life. He suggests broadening the conversation so you and your partner can avoid anything that could hinder the pleasure of anal.
If you think anal sex is going to hurt, you prepare for that, tighten up in fear, and it does. If you prepare to enjoy it, negotiate it, prepare your body for it, and discuss ways to manage the experience, then discomfort is absent or greatly lessened. Whether anal sex is new for you or not, every partner will be aroused differently and will have different levels of experience.
Talking to your partner about how you want to warm things up for both of you will help you both relax. Make sure you both are aware that the person on the receiving end of anal sex might have a bowel movement, or that fecal matter might otherwise make some sort of cameo in your sex.
Pooping is normal, and no one can control what comes out of the anus, says Bogdonoff. Some research has suggested that giving unprotected anal intercourse with a penis can increase the risk of a prostate infection from bacteria getting into the urethra, Glickman says.
And of course, unprotected anal intercourse is much riskier for STIs because of how delicate the rectum is. Advertisement 18 of 26 Illustrated by Natalia Spotts.
If your bowel movements are generally solid, you should be fine. If you have loose stools or are really concerned about fecal matter, consider avoiding lots of fiber before anal in order firm up your stool. Tensing up the entire body, including squeezing the anus, is directly linked to stress, so Glickman suggests trying breath work to quell anxiety.
Partners should try to breathe together, which will not only make things easier but more pleasurable, too. Remember the cardinal rule of anal sex hygiene: Never ever go from anal to vaginal intercourse without washing up first. Anal sex in porn is often depicted as hardcore banging from behind, but it can actually be slow, sweet, and filled with love. If rough anal is making you anxious, know that it only has to be as fast or slow as you want — you set the pace.
Especially in positions that allow for eye contact, such as missionary, when done properly, anal sex can be a very romantic sex position. Yes, you can come from anal. The anus happens to hold the second highest concentration of nerve endings in your body. Vagina-possessing receivers also have a perennial sponge, which sits between the anus and the vaginal opening, and is part of the "internal network of erectile tissue" that contributes to your sexual pleasure, Ward says.
All of this means that anal penetration stimulates your G-spot from new, highly sensitive angles, making an orgasm much more plausible than you might think. Advertisement 23 of 26 Illustrated by Natalia Spotts. Adding dirty talk to anal sex, like all sex, can help turn on both you and your partner.
Adding dirty talk can heighten the sense of eroticism associated with breaking a taboo," Ward says. But keep in mind: As with any sexual act, bodily fluids and substances are inevitably involved.
Even after ensuring proper hygiene and preparation, remember that a bowel movement or other unexpected issues still may occur, and they're a natural bodily response. Don't feel ashamed or freaked out and you might want to check that your partner feels comfortable, too. If something feels off or painful, or if you just get anxious and want to stop: It may take a few tries to get comfortable with anal, or it just might not be happening for you at that moment — listen to your body.
Anal sex is not for everyone.