“Anal sex hurts. Everyone’s doing it. It’s no big deal. It means you’re gay.” As anal sex becomes more mainstream, so to do myths about it. Whether you’re interested in exploring the back door for the first time, want to go deeper, or have had a bad experience and want to do it right, here’s your beginners guide to anal sex.
What beginners need to know about anal sex
Anal play should never hurt
Many people have the expectation that anal has to hurt. Or they’ve tried it and it did hurt. This doesn’t have to be the case!
Pain is your body’s way of saying, “hey, boo—something isn’t right.” It means you need to pause, figure out if it’s something you can address right away, and either course correct or stop completely.
Despite its prevalence, pain during sex is neither normal nor necessary.
Anyone can enjoy anal play
In other words: who you’re attracted to and the sex acts you enjoy aren’t related. At all.
That being said, if you deal with issues like hemorrhoids, fissures, or inflammation you should touch base with a trusted healthcare provider. Even if anal penetration isn’t for you, there’s so many fun ways to play with the ass. Which leads us to…
Anal play is more than just penetration
There are so many fun things you can do with the butt, from massage to penetration. If you’re nervous about certain activities, take them off the table at first. This lets you explore the backdoor stress-free and figure out what you like and don’t like. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Sensual booty massage
- Tickle, massage, stroke, and touch the butt cheeks, perineum (t’aint), and anal opening
- Use a vibe on the perineum or anal opening
- Finger the butt hole
- Lick in and around the anal opening (rimming).
- Use toys like butt plugs, anal beads, dildos, and vibrators. Make sure these have a flared base so they don’t get stuck anywhere.
- Spanking, flogging, whipping, paddling
- Enjoy lots of sensual play
- Have another orgasm first
Another way to ease into anal play is to do it at the same time as something you already love. Massage your sweetie’s perineum while you go down on them. Or use a vibrator around the anal opening when you’re in doggy style. Mix and match whatever feels good to you.
Read more: Our Favourite External Vibrators
It can feel fucking amazing
The same nerve that goes to the clitoris and tip of the penis also runs through your anus! That’s what makes anal sex feel so pleasurable. The majority of these nerve endings are closer to the butt hole, meaning that you don’t need to go deep in order to find freedom in pleasure.
Beyond the nerves, anal sex makes you feel full in a way that’s different from other types of intercourse. Plus, if you have a prostate—often called the other g-spot—anal sex directly stimulates that. Prostate stimulation can lead to stronger orgasms and even multiples, with or without an erection or penis stimulation.
Now that you have a beginners’ understanding of anal sex, read on for tips to make it safer and more pleasurable.
Anal Sex Tips for Beginners and Beyond
Warm up is a must
Stress and nerves cause the muscles in an around the butt to tighten. Yes you can literally be a tight ass! This is why warm-up is so important.
Warm-up can involve things like
- gentle movement
- deep breathing
- getting excited about your anal adventures
- communicating what you are and aren’t willing to try
- eye gazing
- setting intentions for your anal adventure
- perineum massage
Ultimately, it’s about getting you and your muscles relaxed. This makes everything feel more pleasurable
Start slow and small
The tissues in your butt are less elastic than in the vagina. So you’ve got to work your way up to penetration.
Start by gently massaging the hips and ass. Then, begin massaging the perineum (t’aint) which is the area between the vaginal opening or scrotum and the butthole.
Then and only then, use a finger or a toy the size of one, to massage in and around the butthole. You might not get far but that’s OK! Most of the nerve endings in the anus are just inside the butthole. You can enjoy all the pleasure, without all the penetration.
Some of our favourite options for just starting out are:
Nudge – Designed with comfort in mind, Nudge has a slim, tapered tip and a base with just the right amount of flexiblity. It measures 1.3 in in girth by 4.25 in in insertable length.
Small Pure Plug – Made of stainless steel, this plug’s cool weight helps relax the anal sphincters. It also has an angled tip for easy insertion. It measures 3 in long x 3.1 inches at its widest point.
As you get more comfortable with anal penetration, you’ll be able to increase the length and girth of what’s going inside. That might mean adding another finger or using a bigger toy.
Use lots of lube
Lube is important for anal for so many reasons. Unlike the vagina, your anus doesn’t produce its own lubrication. Additionally, the tissues inside the anus are more fragile which means they can develop microtears more easily. Because poop comes out of the butt, this irritation can lead to further infection.
the booty doesn’t make its own lube the vagina can). Secondly, the tissues inside your ass are less elastic and more likely to get small tears. Lastly, lube makes sex feel better! Use more lube than you think you need, especially in the beginning as you figure out what feels good. Silicone lubes like this are perfect. Just don’t use them with a silicone sex toy.
The general rule for anal is to use more lube than you think you need. Think you added enough? Add some more!
Lastly, avoid desensitizing lubes. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to slow down. Numbing that increases your risk of issues like infections, irritation, or tears.
Read more: All About Lube
Sex toys can help IF you use the right ones
Toys can help you prep for anal sex (butt plugs are fab for this), go deeper (anal beads are great for this since they’re graduated), bring a double penetration fantasy to life (despite being in a monogamous relationship), and just plain feel good.
Unlike the vagina, which has the cervix to prevent anything from going into your body, the butt is a one-way highway. Things can, and will, get sucked into your body. You don’t want that. Nevermind any potential embarrassment, it also can cause serious damage to your rectum and internal organs.
Anything you stick in your butt must have a flange or flared base that’s wider than the widest part of the toy.
Please don’t sit on a mason jar, lightbulb, vase, regular dildo, or anything else that isn’t made for the butt, big or small!
Yes, there might be some poop
You aren’t likely to actually poop during anal sex, but real talk: you might come into contact with some. If this concerns you, you can try using
- an enema beforehand to clean your booty out
- condoms on penises and toys and finger cots on fingers
- black toys to minimize what you see
Because of the presence of fecal matter, you should never go between the back door and any other opening like the vagina or mouth. Don’t invite infection in! You can even make a rule like “left hand, ass!” so you don’t have to think too much about it in the moment.
… and it’s okay if you can’t get over that
Despite all the hype, a recent survey found that only “36% of millennials have female anal sex and 15% have male anal sex at least some of the time” (Source). So, no, not everyone is doing it.
In fact not everyone should do it. If you have hemorrhoids, active inflammation, a fissure, or other booty issues, avoid anal sex. You can still enjoy other forms of anal play like sensual booty massage, rimming (oral-anal stimulation), and spanking.
Ongoing communication is vital
As a general rule, whoever’s receiving anal play is in charge. What they say goes! Aim for frequent check-ins and honest feedback.
If you’re getting the pleasure, let your sweetie know to slow down, speed up, go back, shift positions, or stop. You can ask things like “Does that feel ok?” or “Are you ready for more?” or “Can I go deeper?”
If you’re giving the pleasure, ask how things feel, especially before and immediately after changing it up. Try saying “I’m still adjusting” or “Yes but take it slow” or “OMG YES!”
Read more: How to Talk about Sex
Anal sex is one of many ways to have more pleasure in the bedroom
If you’re totally into trying butt sex, go for it with these tips! If you’re not, that’s great, too! Whatever you decide, and however that may change over time, having the best info will help you have a more intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life.