Slowly but surely, we’re coming out of the sexual dark ages. Old stigmas are fading away, and we’re now way more free to enjoy our bodies however we want. For many of us, that means we’re doing butt stuff now, which is awesome.
Anal pleasure is a big, beautiful, fascinating topic that’s new to many, so we have a lot of territory to cover! We’ve got information for anyone with any type of body interested in anal adventures — including positions, porn, prep, poop (and how to avoid it), and the best ways to help make anal sex truly fun and liberating for everyone.
For a long time, the idea of anal came with a deep, unfair taboo — the last frontier for straight people (especially for heterosexual people with penises who want to be on the receiving end). Viewed as the exclusive province of gay men (even though plenty of gay men prefer to express their sexuality in other ways) or a “poophole loophole” to technically avoid “losing one’s virginity,” anal sex lived on the fringes until fairly recently.
Now, anal play is everywhere. This explosion of popularity is primarily due to porn and a newfound cultural liberation surrounding sex and sexuality in general. More and more people of all genders and sexual orientations are discarding the old taboos and saying “yes, please” to anal sex.
If you want to try it for the first time — or even if you’re an anal veteran — you should know there’s a learning curve. Managing expectations is crucial. Maintaining open communication and healthy boundaries is even morecritical.
But if you’ve decided anal is for you, the taboo aspect may be a real turn-on. It can also be deeply intimate — when done correctly, anal can just feel fantastic. (Anal orgasms? Real. Enough said.)
Whether you’re planning on pitching or catching, let’s get started!
A Note On Porn
We’re starting here because porn is many people’s entry point, so to speak, to the idea of anal. In porn, anal can look super hot. There’s often an element of degradation and dominance/submission, as that’s a very common kink among otherwise “vanilla” people. Basically, from the outside, anal can look like tons of fun.
However, if you and your partner aren’t porn actors, good anal will likely be very different from what you’ve seen in porn. Porn performers are professionals who do a great deal of prep for anal scenes. They often fast and douche before they have anal sex to keep everything clean.
They apply lots of lube between takes. They work up to the scene using sex toys and dilators (and sometimes each other), so they’re loose enough to handle the fast insertions and no-holds-barred pounding that look good on camera. Porno anal may look easy, but it actually takes a lot of hard work (pun intended).
So attempting a porn-style anal session without experience, patience, and preparation is kinda like watching a Steve McQueen car chase in a movie and trying to drive like Steve McQueen — a great way to hurt yourself and possibly others and maybe make a huge mess.
Leave the rough stuff to the pros, and if your partner is trying to talk you into reproducing their favorite scene, have a frank conversation about whether it’s realistic for you.
What’s the Best Lube for Anal?
Lube is great for all kinds of sex but absolutely mandatory for anal. Mandatory. Generously and frequently applied. (“But you never see lube in porn!” See above — it’s there, just off-camera.)
Unlike vaginas, anuses don’t self-lubricate — at all. The rectum produces a small amount of mucus but not nearly enough to accommodate penetration. Also, anuses don’t stretch easily. For anal, you needplenty of lube to avoid pain and tearing. “Brokeback Mountain” notwithstanding, spit won’t cut it.
So what kind of lube to use? We are, of course, big fans of our Intimacy Sex Oil — with broad-spectrum CBD to help soothe any discomfort, providing a botanical assist to the slickness of MCT coconut oil. When using an oil-based lubricant, always check to make sure your toys and condoms are oil-safe.
And if you’re not sure whether your toys and condoms are oil-safe, many anal enthusiasts swear by thick, durable silicone-based lube. However, while It’s safe to use with regular condoms, it’s not safe to use with silicone toys.
When in doubt, you can always fall back on water-based lube, as long as it’s not the “flavored” variety (which can lead to bacterial or yeast infections, especially in people already prone to developing them). As with all things anal, planning is essential!
How Do I Have Safe Anal Sex?
When most of us say “safe sex,” we mean avoiding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like HIV/AIDS — as a blood-borne virus, HIV is especially communicable via anal due to the possibility of microtears. But you can also get other STIs, like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, via anal. You also risk being exposed to hepatitis B through fecal matter, as well as urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bacterial vaginosis if poop particles end up on or in someone’s vulva or vagina. Not fun.
However, all those issues are also avoidable when you’re cautious and mindful— use condoms, which also make cleanup much easier, and never ever switch from anal to vaginal penetration with the same penis or toy in the same bedroom romp (there’s a reason you rarely see this even in the most extreme porn).
In addition to keeping your body healthy, there are other dimensions of safety to consider — including your feelings. If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of doing anal, mentally or physically, turn it down! Communication and consentare non-negotiable in anal sex, just like with any other form of intimacy.
And, if you’re going for it and it hurts, stop immediately.Pain, especially sharp pain, is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Slow down, use more lube, start with foreplay or a small toy, or stop altogether and try anal again another day.
Be patient with yourself, and insist on patience from your partner. And never, ever push through pain or accept it as normal — you may end up causing tearing or injury and ruining your interest in anal play before you’ve actually experienced how fun and pleasurable it can be.
Before sticking something in there, you have to know how it works, right? The gateway to anal sex is through the anus, obviously. But did you know that the anus actually has two layers of muscle designed to keep you out?
Well, technically, the internal and external sphincters were designed to keep everything in (until you’re able to find a bathroom), but it’s basically the same idea. The first anal sphincter you’ll encounter is the external layer.
The external anal sphincter is made of voluntary muscle, which means you have at least some control over when and how it opens and closes. If you’ve ever made a last-minute dash to the bathroom, you’ve definitely used your external anal sphincter.
After you’ve made it through the external anal sphincter, you’ll run up against the internal anal sphincter. Unfortunately, even with all of the focus in the world, you can’t control what this layer of muscles does.
Luckily, although you can’t think it open, you can coax it with a little internal pressure — which is why prep work and foreplay are so important! Try a fingertip, a full finger, or even a sex toy or dilation set to get used to the sensation and help loosen yourself up before jumping to full penetration.
Pleasure and Your Unique Anatomy
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, on to the fun stuff! Anal pleasure can be out of this world, regardless of what kind of genitalia you have. Everyone’s body is different; some lucky bodies can even experience earth-shattering orgasms from anal penetration.
The reasons a person can get off from anal will differ, depending on whether they have a clitoris or a prostate. It’s helpful to understand a little bit about the relevant anatomy before you lube up and dive in.
If You Have a Clitoris
Your clit is so much more than the little nub at the top of your inner labia. It’s actually a surprisingly large, complex organ with sensitive tendrils woven throughout your pelvic bow.
For some people, the clit is in direct communication with the abundant nerve endings in the anus. Like G-spot orgasms, think of anal orgasms as clitoral orgasms, just accessed through the back door.
Also, depending on the angle of your vagina, anal penetration can actually hit your G-spot dead-on through the wall of tissue separating your vagina and rectum. Even if you can’t access G-spot orgasms via vaginal penetration, you might be able to via anal. Amazing!
If You Have a Prostate
We’ll get right down to it — your prostate gland, which is roughly walnut-sized and can be accessed by pressing a few inches inside your rectum towards your belly button, is a hidden jewel that can produce rocket-ride orgasms. People who’ve had P-spot orgasms describe them as a mind-bending whole-body experience.
For heterosexual-identified people with prostates who may associate receptive anal sex with homosexuality, prostate play can represent a bit of a mental hurdle — but it’s a hurdle worth leaping, we think.
If you’re curious but still feel self-conscious about trying it with a partner, grab a buttplug or prostate massager and try working some anal self-love into your masturbation routine – and enjoy the fireworks.
You also may have heard of pegging. You might think, “what is pegging, and should I try it?” Simply put, pegging is heterosexual anal sex with the woman as the “pitcher” and the man as the “catcher.” It’s also gaining in popularity.
All the Anal Rules about lube, patience, trust, and wide-open communication — especially respecting the “catcher”’s limits — apply to pegging as well. If you follow them carefully, femme-on-masc anal sex can be wildly intimate and great fun.
How Do I Prepare for Anal Sex?
When considering anal prep, you’re probably trying to avoid two things: poop and pain. And we’ll be frank about this: both can factor into butt play. But, with a good pre-anal prep routine, you can take a lot of the pressure off and minimize the amount you have to deal with them.
As for avoiding unwanted encounters with feces – well, you’re going where it lives. A little acceptance and flexibility on everyone’s part are necessary. However, if you’re on the receiving end, in good digestive health, and have had solid bowel movements recently, you’ll probably be fine without intervention.
However, if you don’t quite trust your colon, many anal enthusiasts insist on douching ahead of time. Unlike vaginal douching, which is always a terrible idea, anal douching can help make both parties to anal sex more comfortable.
You can buy douche bulbs at sex stores or purchase saline-only Fleet enemas at drugstores or online. Douche about an hour or so in advance, follow the package instructionsand finish with a little external cleanup in the shower. If you’re a real anal devotee, you can even buy douching attachments for your shower or toilet.
Now, on to the comfort part. Our Intimacy Melts with CBD, designed to help relax and soothe from the inside out, have helped many members of our community achieve fantastic anal orgasms. Insert up to half an hour ahead of time.
And always, always keep in mind that for most people, anal penetration takes a lot of patience. Start with stimulating the anus on the outside with tons of lube (there are tons of pleasurable nerve endings located here alone).
Once the receiving partner is used to that sensation, slowly insert a pinky finger or a small toy and make sure the receptive partner is comfortable and enjoying themselves before introducing more — or stop there!
When (or if; no pressure!) adding a penis or a larger sex toy (like a dildo or a butt plug), go very very very slowly,using as much lube as you need, while paying attention to all the sensations. This process will likely take a while, and that’s okay! Enjoy it and, whatever you do, don’t get impatient and rush it.
What Are the Best Positions for Anal Sex?
The best positions for anal sex aren’t all that different from those for vaginal sex — the entry point is pretty close, after all. But when considering different anal sex positions, you’ll want to keep two things in mind — the depth and angle of penetration and the amount of control the “catcher” has.
Especially if you’re new at this, having some amount of control as the person being penetrated is extremely important to ensure everyone has a good time. So here are some of our faves, in order from beginner to expert.
Cowgirl and Reverse Cowgirl
Or cowboy (we don’t judge); essentially, the receptive partner will be on top. We’d go so far as to say this is one of the best bets for anal virgins — the “catcher” has all the power and can have perfect control over what they’re willing and able to take.
However, cowgirl/reverse cowgirl does take reliable core and quad strength. If you have different physical needs, there may be other positions that work easier for you; however, “just lie still and let me do the work” can be extra-hot at the same time as you’re easing yourself into anal.
Don’t be afraid to have the receiving partner flip around and face their partner’s toes instead of their head.While reverse cowgirl may not always be the most enjoyable position for the person on top, it should definitely be on the list to try when it comes to anal, which can make shallow penetration at an oblique angle feel fantastic.
Side-by-Side or Spooning
A great one for receptive partners who may have difficulty supporting themselves upright, this position is also cozy and comforting and allows for easy, shallow penetration to start. (It’s also great if you’re worried about making weird faces without sacrificing intimacy.)
The receptive partner can pull their knees up a bit for ease of entry. If you’re looking for another excellent beginner position, give spooning a try.
The Booty Prone Bone
AKA sticking your butt up in the air. The receptive partner lays on their belly, perhaps with a pillow under their hips and one knee tucked up and to the side to really get that booty raised; then, the active partner crouches behind them.
The “catcher” sacrifices a little control here, but since the “pitcher’s” movement is more restricted than in regular doggy style, they can grind in as slowly as needed.
A classic for obvious reasons, doggy style is great if both partners are confident that they know how far to go, how hard, and how deep (hint — this requires a lot of really great, active communication).
Note that the most pleasurable angle for anal may be different than for vaginal sex; the receptive partner can arch their back up or down, and the active partner can (and should) experiment with their approach.
This is just a super hot, super intimateposition; your face is right in their face. The active partner has all the control, so it’s great for people who are down to explore power dynamics in the bedroom.
And if you want to go deep and hard — and feel safe and comfortable doing so (using plenty of lube, of course) — this is the one. If you love receiving anal, and you know you’re all the way ready, parking your knees by your ears and just going for it can be #goals.
More Anal Sex Tips
But wait, there’s more! Once you’ve got the basics down, there are plenty of ways to expand your anal repertoire and take the booty action to the next level.
Rimming is licking someone’s butthole. For some, it is a Bridge Too Far (which is fine — to each their own. Boundaries are important!) However, rimming is ecstatically enjoyable for many others and makes for a great way to warm up for full anal penetration.
Being scrupulously clean is important; many perfectly happy bacteria in the rectum will wreak havoc in the stomach. If the person being rimmed has a vulva, end your oral sex session with the rimming part — heading back up can bring those same bacteria to not-so-great places — hello, bacterial infection!
You should also consider using a dental dam — anuses are so sensitive that a layer of latex or polyurethane shouldn’t get in the way too much. A little less sensitivity is a more than fair trade-off for not being out of commission for a week or so while your antibiotics kick in.
There’s a whole world of anal toys out there — and the most important thing to keep in mind is that anal toys, and ONLY anal toys, are for anal. Do not anally penetrate someone with anything that isn’t specifically designed for the purpose.
Unlike vaginas, which end at the cervix, anuses may devour inappropriate objects and hide them so far out of reach that you risk becoming a funny emergency room story. All toys for anal — plugs, dildos, anal beads, whatever — must have flared bases.
If you’re using a strap-on, it must lock securely into its harness. Do not use fruits, vegetables, bullet vibrators, bottles, other common household items, or any object not specifically intended for anal penetration for anal penetration. Ever. Ever! While that ER story might be funny, you’re also risking infection or even serious injury — if it doesn’t say it’s for your butt, don’t put it in your butt.
(Quick side note — small bullet vibes can fit inside flared-base buttplugs. Those can be great, just not by themselves! Don’t be an ER statistic.)
Give That Penis or Clitoris Some Action
Anal sex can go from “eh, I’m not sure about this” to “please do not ever stop” if you focus on the receiver’s other erogenous zones — or have them do it! Anal penetration introduces a whole different dimension of sensation that, when combined with more familiar pleasure sensations, can turn a tentative newcomer into an anal addict.
Think of it like positive reinforcement or a Pavlov situation — if you got off every time you had anal, you’d probably want to do it a lot more, right? Make it a good experience for them, and they’ll be begging for more.
Try a vibrator, stroke them how they like, or have them stroke themselves – and don’t forget their nipples, neck, and other purr-spots. Whole-body arousal is key to a transcendent anal experience.
Plus, sex is about connection and pleasure, especially if your partner is trying something out of their comfort zone. Don’t make it all about you; mind-blowing sex is a two-way street. If you’re unsure how your partner likes to be touched — ask them or, better yet, have them show you.
Relax, Enjoy and Be Safe!
Before even attempting anal, it’s helpful to be as relaxed as possible in body and mind – breathwork can help, as can massage, or even a long, intimate conversation to start.
While it might not sound super hot to practice your deep breathing while getting busy, plenty of research shows how beneficial it can be. Some research has shown that the right type of breathing can even hack into your fight-of-flight response and reduce anxiety. If you’re new to breathwork, try this simple pattern — breathe in for a count of three, then out for a count of four.
Also, to be truly relaxed, we need to feel safe.
A Note on Safewords
Safewords are a must if you’re into kink. Anal isn’t necessarily kinky, but it helps to have a butt-stuff safeword anyway — or more than one. “Green” for “go,” “yellow” for “slow down,” and “red” for “stop” are simple classics that everyone understands. The active partner must understand and respect what those words mean.
Again, it all comes back to communication and consent! These two concepts really are the non-negotiable building blocks for any sexual encounter. Plus, you’d be amazed at how much you’re willing to try when you feel safe and respected — it’s a pretty hot feeling!
Another key to having a great time with anal is ensuring you and your partner haveenough time and patience. And we can’t say it often enough: those principles apply to all intimacy, whether the booty is involved or not.
Quickly banging it out can be fun, but it’s not a recipe for a long-term, sexually fulfilling relationship (if that’s your thing). It’s also a great idea to set low expectations for yourself and your partner, especially the first time.
Conclusion: Why Not Try?
Good anal sex takes practice, so get all those super hot porn scenes out of your mind and give your (or your partner’s) body a little time to adjust. Plus, as most of us know, if you’re feeling rushed or your head isn’t in the game, the likelihood of getting off is slim to none.
Basically, we’re saying that if you don’t feel safe, comfortable, or respected, don’t do it. But, if the vibe is right and you’re ready to go for it, let loose with an enthusiastic “yes.” After all, what isn’t there to be excited about — there’s a hole new world for you to explore.
Lube up and enjoy!
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