If you’re curious about anal sex, you’re far from alone. It may seem taboo, but behind closed doors, it turns out that more than 1 in 3 women ages 19 to 44 have tried anal sex at least once, according to a survey.
That said, it’s probably not a regular Saturday night thing. But a few things are clear: Before you try it, it’s worth taking time to discuss what to know, what to avoid, and how to prepare for anal sex to make the experience amazing. Learn what you need to know if you’re interested in trying it out.
It shouldn’t hurt.
It may feel like an odd sensation, but done correctly, anal sex should not be painful. Skip experimenting if you have hemorrhoids or are having digestive issues, and use plenty of lube. Unlike the vagina, the anus doesn’t create its own lubrication during arousal. Try silicone-based lube; it’s thicker and won’t dry out the way water-based lubes can.
It won’t “stretch you out.”
Some people worry that anal sex will lead to incontinence, which isn’t the case. The anus will stretch to accommodate a penis or sex toy that enters (much like it will stretch to allow a bowel movement to exit) and then will bounce back to normal.
It may cause an orgasm.
For some women, anal sex feels good. The anus has a rich nerve supply, which can make things feel very intense and, for some women, result in an orgasm. If you don’t orgasm from anal sex, though, there’s no reason to beat yourself up. Most women are able to achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation, but far fewer can reach the big O through vaginal or anal sex.
The first time you have anal sex, try it out after you’ve already climaxed—your body will already be relaxed and more receptive to this type of stimulation. Or you could take a shower together, and allow your partner to gently massage the area with a soapy finger. Experimenting in the tub or shower can also make you feel “clean,” a common concern among first-timers.
One thing you don’t need to worry about: If you’ve recently gone number-two, you shouldn’t worry about your partner hitting any fecal matter. Waste is held much higher up, in your lower intestine, and won’t make contact with a finger or toy. Any trace remains will be removed through washing.
Before your clothes are off, talk it out with your partner. And consider having a safe word—a code word that has nothing to do with sex (like “hockey”) that brings everything to a halt, fast. This can be a smart strategy in any new sexual situation. 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.
Skip an enema.
A recent bowel movement and soap and water is all you need. An enema can be unnecessarily complicated and may irritate your anus and intestinal lining, say experts.
Even if you’re in a monogamous relationship, condoms are a good idea when it comes to anal sex. Why? For one, they reduce friction to provide a smoother entry. Second, since anal tissue is fragile and susceptible to microscopic tears, having anal sex without a condom could cause the bacteria already in your anal canal to enter your bloodstream—not good.
And use a separate condom for each sex act (like if you’re going from vaginal sex to anal sex). Just be sure not to use an oil-based lube with a condom, since the oil could degrade the latex and cause the condom to break.
Toys can be a great way to explore anal play. Make sure you find a toy suited for anal sex that has a base that flares out. (Unlike the vaginal canal, which is closed, the anal canal is open and a toy could get stuck in your body. Not something you want to explain to your MD!)
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. And also consider taking a class: More and more sex shops around the country are offering workshops where trained sexperts talk positions, toys, and how-to’s. Hey, at the very least, it’s something different than dinner and a movie.
Not into it? Don’t do it.
Although plenty of women find it 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.
Having Anal Sex for the First Time? Get Behind These Tips!
Now, if you’re into it, the only thing left is to dive in, so to speak. As long as you’re prepared and consenting to the deed, here’s nothing to lose (except your butt virginity) from trying anal. In fact, it’s one of the most common entries in people’s sexual to-do lists.
Time to make it happen! Keep these tips in mind:
1. Relax your mind…and body
The last thing you want to be before attempting anal penetration (or anal stimulation) is tense. If you’re hesitant, nervous, or not into it, no one is going to get off, and what’s the point of that? If this is your first time trying anal sex, spend some time relaxing—take a hot bath, ask your partner to give you a sensual massage, heck, you can even meditate.
To prepare for anal sex, you can also focus on specifically relaxing your the muscles of your anal sphincter. To see what that feels like, tighten your butt muscles—kind of like a kegel for the other end—and then release.
2. Communicate openly
Figuring out how to do anal sex with your partner stars with communication. Talk about it first. As with all types of sexual activity, anal sex is something that should be discussed beforehand.
Communicate your fears and expectations with your partner, and make sure that you are both on the same page about things like speed, depth, etc. Trust me, this is one area in which you do NOT want any surprises.
3. Establish Boundaries
Throughout the experience, it is your job to pay attention to what you are feeling, and communicate this to your partner. If something feels uncomfortable or painful, let them know.
You may choose to establish a safe word to let your partner know you’re not comfortable moving forward or that you want to move a little slower.
4. Lather up
Many women’s fear of first-time anal sex stems from a fear of what goes on back there (naturally) and how that’s going to play into the action. To cleanse yourself (literally) of such mental roadblocks, take a nice, steamy shower first.
5. Engage in plenty of foreplay
One of the best ways to ease into anal play is to make sure you’re extremely aroused beforehand. The number-one mistake people make is rushing. Start with foreplay, vaginal sex, anything that turns you on. (Being one or two orgasms deep before you try any anal penetration helps.)
The more aroused you are, the more relaxed your sphincter muscle will be, and that’s going to make for a hotter and easier experience.
6. Use a lot of lubrication
The key to really enjoying anal sex? Lube, lube, and more lube. Unlike the vagina, the anus does not produce its own lubricant. The more lube you use, the more comfortable and enjoyable anal sex can be. Don’t forget to make sure you are using a condom-safe, water or silicone-based lubricant (oil-based lubricants aren’t compatible with condoms). Don’t be afraid to reapply frequently. More lube equals better anal sex always.
7. Assume the right position
For first-time anal sex, the receiver (aka whichever partner is being penetrated) should be the one to control the depth and speed of penetration. The optimal position to allow you to do that is you on top, which gives you full control of just how fast and deep you go.
8. Take it slow
No matter how much lube you use, your backdoor is not a water slide. First-time anal sex should be approached like getting into a really hot bath tub. First you test the waters during foreplay, allowing your partner to gently rub around the opening with their finger, before experimenting with actually inserting anything. Whether you’re using a penis, a finger, or a toy, start slowly with just the tip before inserting anything any deeper.
9. Try a toy
Using a small dildo or anal plug can be a great way to ease into things. The key here is to be gentle and communicate. If at any point things get too uncomfortable, speak up.
10. Don’t cross pollinate
Whether it’s a finger, a toy, or a penis, make sure to never go from butt to vagina—it’s a UTI waiting to happen. If you want to switch to vaginal stimulation after anal play, hop in the shower to keep the action going or keep a tub of baby wipes on your nightstand to sanitize in between.
11. Remember to breathe
In those first few moments of penetration, the pressure tends to cause women to hold their breath. This results in the immediate tightening of those muscles, which will only lead to pain. Take deep, even breaths and focus on relaxing your entire body and release all tension. It may feel like you have to go to the bathroom at first, but just go with it.
12. Speak up about pain
First-time anal play will be full of new sensations, some weird, some amazing. What you shouldn’t feel is pain. If at any point during the action, penetration becomes painful, let your partner know immediately. You may want to add more lube, slow things down, or give it a rest for awhile and switch to other types of stimulation.
13. Use a condom
Just because there’s no risk of getting pregnant, doesn’t mean you can skip the condom—they’re the only way to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Just don’t go from anal to vaginal penetration with the same condom as that can spread infections. Ditch the condom and put on a new one before penetrating the vagina.
14. Don’t forget vaginal stimulation
There are many shared nerve endings between the walls of the vagina and the anus, so stimulating the vagina simultaneously can be extremely pleasurable. If you feel comfortable, insert something (perhaps a finger or a vibrator) into your vagina while you are engaging in anal play.
15. Switch things up
As you get more comfortable with anal sex with a partner you trust, you can explore different positions. Spooning is another great pick for backdoor beginners. The position gives you shared control of your movements and adds an extra touch of intimacy, which may help you relax as well. Doggy-style position allows your partner easy entry but also puts them in full control, which might not be the best for your first time.
If you feel pain at any point, have your partner ease up, stop, or switch positions.
16. Don’t stress over it
If you wondering when is the right time to engage in first-time anal sex, remember that there’s no right or wrong answer. For some women and men, anal sex is a no-go and for others it’s a possibility. Either way is a-okay.
Bottom line: don’t pressure yourself about your bottom! At the end of the day, anal sex is just another position in the countless other sex positions available out there for you to try. When and however you decide to do it, be safe, have fun, and enjoy!