Anal sex. While this topic can be learnt about everywhere from your aunt’s copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves to a first year film class (please, please do not pull a Brando and use butter for lube, a la Last Tango in Paris), that doesn’t mean we don’t all go into our first foray with a little bit of nerves.
Never fear – successful anal sex is just seven steps away!
1. Start in the Bathroom
In life, and in anal sex, well, shit happens. There are things like eating plenty of fiber (good for you anyway), having regular bowel movements and going before sex (generally a good policy no matter what kind of sex you’re having) that minimize your chances of a mess during anal sex. Generally, it’s advised to wait a few hours after eating and having a bowel movement before hitting the sheets—this may seem like a long time to plan to have sex, but isn’t anticipation the best part of mental foreplay?
Some people incorporate enemas into their pre-anal sex routine, but they aren’t strictly necessary, and can upset your body’s natural pH levels. In terms of getting ‘clean,’ assuming that your partner is going to be in the vicinity of your anus with their penis, strap on, hands and/or mouth, it does a lot for them (courtesy-wise) and you (confidence-wise) to be extra fastidious in your pre-sex showering, though don’t be too rough with the shower pouf—causing microcuts in that sensitive area can put you more at risk for infection.
2. Use Lube
This is not ‘step 3’ in that you do it and then move on to the next step so much as something to be mindful of during every step of anal sex. Unlike a vagina, the rectum does not self-lubricate when you’re aroused, so you’ll need to add some (a lot of) lubricant on your own. We normally suggest starting with a generous of dollop both to the receiving anus and to whatever is going to be penetrating it.
This can be water or silicone-based, as both have their pros and cons for anal sex. Silicone-based lube will ‘last longer’ in that it isn’t absorbed as quickly into the skin, however it is not safe to use with with your silicone sex toys like water-based lube.
3. Warm Up
Really, in nearly every sexual situation, foreplay should be core-play, both to get you in the right mental state of arousal and to help your body relax. Start with your kisses, cuddles and what-not, and either you or your partner can begin to gently give anal stimulation with their finger.
You can also insert a butt plug during foreplay or vaginal sex (after some warm up of its own) to help your body adjust around something of a different size, and make later insertion and thrusting a lot easier.
4. Use a Condom
Preventing the transmission of STIs isn’t the only reason to use a condom—though anal sex does have a higher chance of causing of ‘mini fissures’ than vaginal sex, meaning an increased risk of infection.
Covering a penis with a condom creates a smoother, more uniform surface that will glide more easily with lube. It can also lessen sensitivity somewhat, which can help your partner in delaying their orgasm in what will be ‘tighter’ fit than that of a mouth or vagina.
Using a condom for anal sex also means easier clean up post-sex, and makes things easier if you want to switch to vaginal or oral sex. General rule of ass: if it goes in the butt it can’t go anywhere else without being cleaned or being covered with a fresh condom.
No, we didn’t come up with some funny clever saying for that because bacterial infections are no laughing matter!
5. Get in Position
The pros and cons of different anal sex positions are highly subjective, but it’s important to know that it’s not doggy-style or bust. It IS a great position for controlling thrusts and angles, but you and your partner may prefer a more intimate position like missionary, where you can kiss and make a lot of eye contact.
6. Go Slow
When we say ‘go slow’ we don’t mean slow thrusting. Anal sex isn’t something you start and just go – the topping partner should enter you slowly, pause, kiss, stimulate erogenous zones, then continue a bit more, repeat.
Your body is built to push things out, so unlike a vagina that will change shape and size to accommodate objects during arousal, you’ll needs to take things a bit more slowly. Once you’ve completely relaxed you can start with a faster, more intense rhythm, but don’t expect things to be like the porn you watch.
7. Want More? Less? TELL Your Partner
It seems like every article we write reminds you how important communication is for good sex, and anal sex is no different.
Need more lube? Tell your partner. Ready to speed up? Tell your partner. Decided you’re not feeling it and want to do something else? Tell your partner!
We’re a long way off from using cell phones implanted in our brains to communicate with each other, so yea, you’re going to have to actually tell your partner about how you’re doing and what you want. It doesn’t need to be awkward; it can be part of your dirty talk which, in our opinion, is the spice that makes all sex twice as nice!
Still Curious? You can read more expert articles about anal sex or go back to our Ultimate guide to everything about anal.