In the past anal sex has been viewed as a "non-traditional" and "taboo" act, as a result, a lot of people have sadly never tried it. Luckily this is all beginning to change with 36% of women and 44% of men with an opposite-sex partner and 90% of men with same sex partner reporting they've had anal sex. Anal sex can be the preferred method for those who don't have a vagina or for those who experience pain with vaginal penetration.
The act might also elevate your experience to a whole new level, or it might turn out to be not your cup of tea, but there is only one way to find out! The key to experiencing orgasmic anal sex isn't from watching how they do it in porn (porn is never a great reference point for reality) but from being really prepared and reading up on what to expect. This guide is designed to help you achieve euphoric orgasms and to put your mind at ease over the 'taboo' of anal play.
What is anal sex?
Anal sex is a sexual activity which involves the anal area, it is not just restricted to anal penetration with a penis, it can also be performed with fingers, anal sex toys and the tongue. The act takes place within the rectum and anus, and the anus contains a lot of sensitive nerve endings which can cause intense arousal.
What is wonderful is that each and every one of us is the owner of a peachy derrière, so anal sex can be experienced by all! You can find a whole host of documented experiences online by women and men. For men in same-sex relationships it is a beautiful way to experience intimacy, but also heterosexual men can reap the benefits of anal play as this is where the holy p-spot resides. The p-spot is an area that when stimulated creates an all-over body orgasm, herald as the g-spot for men. And although people assigned female at birth don't have a p-spot like cis-males, they do still have an incredibly erogenous pudendal nerve - which connects to the clitoris - which as you can imagine can lead to extraordinary orgasms. So the chances are, anal sex might just be your next favourite sexual activity to explore.
How to be safe with anal sex
The best way you can be safe and reduce the risk of infection is to educate yourself about the sexual act you're interested in. Penetrative anal sex has a higher risk of spreading STIs than any other type of sexual act due to the lining of the anus being thin and prone to damage, in addition the anus is full of bacteria that can pass on infection to others. Infact, cis-women are at least 17 times higher risk of contracting an STD during anal intercourse than vaginal.
However this shouldn't put you off, you just need to make sure you're aware of the risks and know how to avoid them with preventative measures. The most important safety measure is using a condom, and you should also consider using them on sex toys, as well as body parts. If you are a male and female couple you should always use a new condom when switching from anal to vaginal sex to avoid urinary infections.
If you are choosing to try anal sex to prevent pregnancy you should be aware there is still a chance that the semen can enter the vagina after anal sex, so the key is to always wear a condom.
In addition to wearing a condom, you should always use water-based or silicone hybrid lubricants when you have anal penetrative sex. This is because unlike the vagina the anus doesn't self-lubricate, so without lube you can cause injury to your anus. But it is important to avoid oil-based or numbing lubricants. Oil-based lubricants can cause the latex of condoms to break down, and numbing lubricants make it easy for internal damage to occur without you realising.
If you discover you are bleeding after anal sex it might be because of a haemorrhoid, a tear or perforation in the colon, if this happens you should seek medical attention right away.
A beginners guide to anal sex
Anal sex is a lot more high-maintenance than other sex acts, but can also be a lot more rewarding! The more prepared you are the more confident you will be, and the more likely you'll have a toe-tingling orgasm. I've put together a beginners guide of tips and tricks to consider, before, during and after having anal sex.
Preparation before anal sex
The very first step is to talk to your partner about trying anal sex, make sure you're both comfortable with the idea and have read up on how to stay safe. But the talking shouldn't stop there, throughout the whole process it is important you communicate with your partner about how certain things feel and if you want to stop. It is also important to note that if either of you have known haemorrhoids that you should consult a doctor for advise before giving anal sex a try.
Decide on anal play type
You have a lot of options with anal play! You can stimulate the area with a penis, a sex toy, fingers or anninglus. If you decide you want to try toys you need to make sure you use anal specific toys which have a safety ridge. Never use a toy designed for a vagina, as these don't come with ridges and can easily get lost, leading to a trip to the emergency room.
We recommend the following toys for anal play:
Butt plugs are often used as prep for anal sex but can also be worn during penetrative sex to narrow the vaginal canal and increase sensitivity. They come in all different sizes and shapes, and some even vibrate. I recommend the Rocks-off Ibex vibrating butt plug, it has a flared base for safety and is ergonomically crafted with textured nodules to enhance pleasure.
Anal beads are a great addition to foreplay, masturbation and sex as they can increase the pleasure for almost every sex act and for every partner combination. The Rocks-off petite sensations pearls anal beads is an ideal beginner's anal sex toy due to it's slim, delectable shape, but it also can produce powerful vibrations to take it to the next level.
Prostate massagers are a great way for cis-men to experience p-spot orgasms (the male version of the g-spot). I suggest the Lelo Hugo sensemotion remote control prostate massager and Rocks-Off O-Boy prostate massager, both designed to ramp up your anal play and leave you breathless.
Once your method has been selected, ensure any toys are clean beforehand, and that you have access to contraception and lube.
One aspect of anal sex that might have you worried is the fear of pooing mid-act. But it is extremely rare for this to happen, this is because anal sex takes place in the rectum which isn't actually a storage place for stools. In fact, the only time poo enters the rectum is when you're about to go to the toilet. So if you don't have any health issues that make your bowel movements unpredictable, to stay clean I simply recommend going for poo and a washing the external area before anal sex.
You should be aware that there is a chance that some tiny bits of fecal matter might get left behind in the rectum after going for a poo. These might make an appearance but it's nothing to be ashamed of - it's all natural after all! You might be tempted to do an enema to clean yourself, however I strongly advise against this, if done more than once every few months it can cause a lot of damage to your anus, and it can actually increase your chances of getting an STI. There are a lot of stories of this method going wrong involving the appearance of delayed watery poo.
If you're still paranoid about excretion, doing kegel exercises might help. Kegels tighten the muscles around the anal sphincter, which helps keep it strong, so you're less likely to lose fecal matter. These exercises are especially important if you end up having anal sex regularly, and can also help reduce any pain you might experience. Another way to give you peace of mind is to put a towel down or have body-friendly wipes to hand in case something does happen.
The next step is to prepare your space as it is important to be as relaxed as possible, this might mean cleaning the space, lighting a candle and putting a towel down. The biggest challenge is to get your sphincter to relax, this can be achieved through foreplay and experimenting with light anal training.
Things to consider during anal sex
Before diving into the deep end you might want to try some light anal training. This is where you start with a butt plug, anal beads or fingers (combined with lots of lube of course!). You should start out slowly and see what it is like to have something inserted into your anus for 15 minutes. If you are comfortable with something being there you can move onto bigger things like a penis or dildo.
Positions for anal sex
There are a lot of positions to choose from so it is good to do some research beforehand to see what you would feel more comfortable with. Whilst doggy style is the easiest option for insertion, your partner can't gauge your reactions and you don't have control over speed and depth, therefore you might want to try sitting on your partner's lap or lying on your side and being spooned.
- Go slow and push out
Once you've picked your position, to minimise pain it is important that you go slow, and to stop and wait to allow yourself to get used to the feeling. Once your muscles have relaxed your partner can continue with some movement. If it feels uncomfortable apply more lube, or try the "pushing out" technique where you push as if you're going to the bathroom. Or simply ask your partner to stop.
Remember, It's not a race, you need to listen to your body and comfort levels.
Anal sex aftercare
After anal sex you should both wipe yourself down using a body-friendly wipe (if you use them day to day without irritation they should be okay to use on your lovely butt), go to the toilet, and have a shower to clear yourself of any bacteria.
You then also want to clean your toys, get rid of condoms and put any towels or sheets in the wash.
Respect your body
Your body might do some unusual things after anal sex such as "butt queefs" these aren't farts but trapped air that will escape for the next few hours. It is also good to communicate with your partner how you found the experience, and if it wasn't for you then there are plenty of other ways to intimately experience pleasure!
Anal sex can be one of life's most secret and satisfying pleasures, but it is not something that you can spontaneously rush into. Make sure you're over prepared in order to reduce risk of infection and increase your enjoyment. Let me know how you get on with your first experience with anal play.