The anus isn’t naturally lubricated, so the first step is to apply lots of lube. Masturbation is a great way to get used to this area, but you can also try anal beads or a small anal plug. Choose a toy with a flared base so it won’t get stuck inside your rectum.
1. Take Care of Your Butt
The anus is a tight little space that doesn’t produce its own lubrication, so it needs plenty. “Use lots of anal lubricant, or other lubricants that contain lubricating oils,” says Harris-Jackson. You’ll also want to use sex toys designed for anal play and to choose those with flared bases, she adds. These will help to prevent the anus from slipping into the vagina — ouch!
Warming up with foreplay before attempting anal penetration can be a lot of fun. You can use your hands, mouth, and anal-specific toys, like plugs or beads, to stimulate the area for a taste of what’s to come.
Just remember that anal sex can be painful for both partners, especially if you rush or go too deep or too fast. Be sure to talk about and consent to anal sex before you try it and, as with any new sex act, slow and steady exploration is key. Checking in frequently to gauge how you and your partner are feeling will help to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Also, be sure to use a barrier protection to avoid anal-related infections.
2. Massage Your Partner’s Butt
A lot of anal play focuses on gently caressing the area without penetration. This helps to relax the sphincter muscles (which are sort of like your butthole version of doing Kegels) and can also make for some pretty pleasurable orgasms.
As for penetrating the anus itself, it’s important to use plenty of lube on your partner’s penis and whatever you’re using to do the deed. The anus doesn’t make its own lubrication, so if you go into it without enough, it can be painful for both partners and cause tearing of the anal tissue.
For a more comfortable experience, Needle suggests starting with a small anal plug or even a finger and slowly inserting it into the butthole to warm up the area. During this process, you and your partner should communicate what feels good to both of you, so you can figure out the best way to proceed.
One other thing to keep in mind is that anal sex can get messy, so it’s a good idea to lay down a towel before you start. (This will help prevent lube from getting on your sheets and staining them!)
3. Apply Plenty of Lube
Your anus isn’t capable of producing its own lubrication, so it’s important to apply plenty of sexual lubricant to your anal opening before you have anal play. This will prevent tears and make penetration much more enjoyable. You can also try using a special anal-specific lubricant that’s designed to be slipperier and more relaxing for the anal.
If you’re new to anal play, be sure to start small and take it slow. Anal penetration can feel incredibly intimate and exciting, but it’s always best to go slow and check in frequently. It’s also important to use a lubricant that won’t irritate your partner, especially if they have sensitive skin.
You should also consider using a butt plug or anal vibrator for additional lubrication, and be sure to use a condom if you’re in a monogamous relationship. A condom reduces friction and can help protect the anal canal from bacteria already in your colon. You should also use a water-based lube, rather than an oil-based one, as the latter could degrade latex condoms. Remember, you can stop at any time and switch to vaginal sex or oral sex.
4. Clean Your Anus
While it might feel sexy to do anal play with a friend, it can be messy. You and your partner may drip lube on each other or, more likely, encounter a bit of fecal matter (and, yes, it’s ok to laugh about that). Showering immediately before anal play is a good idea, as is keeping a towel or pack of unscented baby wipes nearby in case of any accidents.
Anal lube is also a must, as the anus doesn’t self-lubricate like the vagina, and it can be painful if you insert something (like a finger or a toy) without some help. Also, if you’re planning on doing anal sex with someone else, it’s a good idea to have a conversation beforehand about STIs, expectations, requests and boundaries.
Many people do anal douching or use enemas before anal sex, but medical professionals recommend against these because they’ve been known to cause infections and increase the risk of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Even with all of the above tips, it’s possible to make a mess when you’re playing anal — so have a plan for clean-up just in case.
5. Take a Shower
Taking a shower is a great way to get comfortable with the anal area and prepare for anal play. You can also use a gentle enema if you want to, but most people just pay attention to their most recent bowel movements and when they feel “full.”
It’s important to communicate with your partner. Talk about what you’re excited for (e.g., anal sex) and what you’re nervous about. Doing foreplay together can ease nerves and increase pleasure. You can try foreplay techniques like deep breathing, sensual massages, and focusing on enjoyable sensations.
Once you’re ready to get started, apply plenty of lube. Then, slowly explore the area with your fingers and a toy before you go in for penetration. Remember, anal sex can stop at any time, and you can always switch to vaginal or oral sex. If you’re the penetrative partner, don’t feel pressure to last until ejaculation; simply stop at the first sign of discomfort or pain. Using a condom is always a smart choice, even when you’re just playing anal.