This article was scientifically fact-checked by Human Sexuality expert Dr. Laurie Mintz.
This year is predicted to be the year of the broken taboo, particularly as it pertains to the exploration of anal pleasure. Outdated stigmas and assumptions are being shed and we’re shifting towards a more tolerant cultural space, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
Our fans have not been shy in asking us about all sorts of pleasure, and we were impressed with (but not surprised by) the amount of inquiries we’ve received recently received about rimming.
Below we shed some light on this oral skill, and give some helpful hints and tips as well!
What is Rimming?
Sometimes called a rim job, analingus (sometimes spelled ‘anilingus’ as per its first use by sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing back in 1886) is the sexual stimulation of the anus and rectum, orally. This area on the body is filled with nerve endings, and the gentle pressure of lips and tongue combined with the lubrication of saliva and/or lubricant can make rimming extremely enjoyable for both men and women to receive (and give).
It’s worth noting that, while the concept might seem shocking to some, blow jobs and cunnilingus were similarly thought of as taboo acts into the 20th century (and all three were invented centuries before we even had names for them).
Of course, many people enjoy that very sense of taboo; the idea of doing something naughty and outrageous in the heat of the moment is certainly a valid reason for enjoying any sex* act. So, whether you want to take a walk on the wild side or simply like the sensation, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little oral-anal play.
Health & Hygiene
Our advice, beyond having an open conversation with your partner about sexual health and histories, is to employ a lot of the same common-sense advice that we give for all anal play: precede sex with a thorough (but gentle!) washing of the perineum as well as anal region with soap. Washing or scrubbing too vigorously can cause micro-tears that increase your chances of infection. Of course, if either partner has a cut in or around their mouth (or in the anal region) then this act should be put on hold until it heals.
The use of a condom or dental dam (with water-based lubrication) is a great way to prevent infection, and allow you to switch from oral-anal stimulation to fellatio or cunnilingus without chancing a bacterial infection.
How to Give Someone a Rim Job
Let’s move on to how oral-anal sex is actually given. Firstly, it is worth reminding that surprising someone with rimming is generally not a great plan. If you’re interested in doing it (or having it done), discuss this with your partner!
External Anal Stimulation
You can warm up to stimulation by using your (well-lubricated) finger or fingers to caress the area. Start by licking the perineum (the area between the penis or vagina and anus) to get your partner used to the sensation. This area is particularly sensitive on the male body, and can bear strong pressure from your tongue.
Now, bring the wetted tip of your tongue toward the anal opening in swirling or an up-and-down motion. Experiment with different speeds and pressures, using your partner’s moans as cues for what works best.
Internal Anal Stimulation
After plenty of warm up, you might want to try for actual penetration with the tongue; which can generally fall into the category of ‘shallow’ or ‘deep’ stimulation.
The first can precede the second, or be ‘as far as things go,’ so to speak, according to what’s most comfortable and pleasurable for the giver and receiver. To do so, you simply continue the motions of external stimulation with slight (only a few centimeters) of the tongue within the receiver.
Deeper insertion depends a lot on the length and flexibility of the giver’s tongue, and when inserted to its entirety, it is best to slow the motion to large circles, accompanied by masturbation of the penis or gentle stimulation on the perineum or testicles, or massaging the clitoris or G-spot.
While the 69 position might seem like the best for giving and receiving a rim job, there are plenty of other positions perfect for beginners.
It can be much easier to have the receiving partner bend forward. This can be in the standing position, or in a doggystyle position; both have their pros and cons, and are highly dependent on the relative height of partners. Because this act doesn’t involve the typical body parts we involve in sex, it’s good to have hands free for stimulation of other erogenous zones either by hand or small vibrator.
Still Curious? You can read more expert articles about anal sex or go back to our Ultimate guide to everything about anal.
*In this article, for ease of reader understanding, we are using the words sex and intercourse as synonymous, as is done in popular culture in general. Similarly, we use the word “foreplay” the way it is used in popular culture (i.e., the sexual acts such as oral sex that come before intercourse). However, as aptly pointed out by our sex expert Laurie Mintz, we would also like to acknowledge that such language exalts men’s most reliable rout to orgasm and linguistically erases women’s most reliable route to orgasm—clitoral stimulation, either alone or coupled with penetration. Indeed, only between 4% and 18% of women reliably orgasm from penetration alone. We look forward to the day when such language is not commonly used in culture.
Facts checked by:
Dr. Laurie Mintz
Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Florida, teaching Human Sexuality to hundreds of students a year. She has published over 50 research articles and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Mintz also has maintained a private practice for over 30 years, working with individuals and couples on general and sexual issues. She is also an author and speaker, spreading scientifically-accurate, sex-positive information to enhance sexual pleasure.