People of all sexual orientations and genders have enjoyed the art of anal sex, in part because at one time it was considered the last taboo.
Once confined just to gay men, anal sex has become something even straight couples look forward to during their sexual escapades, mostly because once they get used to it, most couples find they absolutely love it.
Should You Try Anal Sex?
If you’re wondering if you should give anal sex a try, there are some things you should consider before making a final decision. Like any first-time sex act, two components are important if you want to be successful with anal sex.
The first is open communication with your partner so that there are no misunderstandings or awkward moments later on, and the second is to make sure you are prepared for the act, which can be done in several ways.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re considering having anal sex:
- The anus isn’t like the vagina. When a woman is aroused, her vagina automatically becomes lubricated, but not so with the anus. Although the anus has lots of nerve endings to make the act pleasurable, you will need to use plenty of lube for anal sex.
- A good cleansing is crucial before any type of anal sex activity, because otherwise bacteria can get into the wrong places and cause infections to occur.
- It may take a while to prepare the anus for anal sex. This is because the sphincter muscle has to stretch quite a bit before anal sex becomes pleasurable, which can take some time.
- Contrary to what many people believe, anal sex can lead to orgasm in many instances. It depends on the person involved and his or her preferences and likes.
If you’ve asked yourself if you should try anal sex, the only person who can answer that question is you. If you are turned off by the mere idea of anal sex, it’s best not to try it because you’ll never be comfortable with the things you have to do to prepare for the act.
If, on the other hand, you’ve got an adventurous side and are curious about what anal sex feels like, it might be a good idea to give it a try.
The bottom line is this: most people who try anal sex find that after the anal area is stretched out and prepared for sex, anal sex feels quite good, and it is something many couples look forward to when they hit the sheets each night.
What Does Anal Sex Feel Like?
As far as how anal sex feels, it varies from person to person. When you first start having anal sex, it can result in a feeling of fullness, and you may even feel like you’re going to have a bowel movement. Not to worry, though, because as long as you have relieved yourself before getting into bed, you should be fine.
Naturally, men enjoy anal sex because the anus is usually much tighter than the vagina, and that feeling of tightness feels good to them. But, what do women think about anal sex?
Once they are fully prepared for the act and start having anal sex, many women find it’s one of their favorite sexual activities. Below are some comments that women of many different ages have made about their experience with anal sex:
- It feels intense and activates all pleasure zones.
- It makes them feel closer to their partner.
- It’s a turn on mainly because it is still somewhat taboo.
- It feels empowering and vulnerable at the same time.
- It feels like sensory overload – in a good way.
- It is especially fun when combined with clitoris stimulation.
- When an orgasm is reached, it can feel stronger and more intense than other types of orgasms.
- It feels nice and slippery when enough lube is used.
- It puts a nice pressure on other body parts as well as the anus.
- You can feel every inch of your partner’s organ.
Although many women haven’t tried anal sex or have tried it and found it isn’t for them, there are still plenty of women who have tried it and love it.
Naturally, the more prepared you are for the act, the more likely you are to enjoy it. Once the sphincter muscles are loose and stretched out, anal sex is naturally going to feel a lot better for both partners.
Painful Anal Sex: Does It Really Hurt?
The main concern that most people have regarding anal sex is the pain that is involved. If you’ve never tried anal sex before, your sphincter muscle is naturally going to be firm and tight, and this is not conducive to having good anal sex.
You’ll need to loosen it up a bit before trying anal sex, and this takes a different amount of time for different people.
There are essentially three tips for making sure that anal sex feels good and isn’t painful, and they are as follows:
- It is imperative that you start slow and take your time with the process, regardless of how long it takes you.
- Even after you get used to anal sex, you will always need to use a lot of lube for the act.
- You have to prepare for the act, which means you have to make sure your anal muscles are stretched out before you get to the good part.
There are a lot of things you can do to stretch out those anal muscles. You can start with some good old-fashioned rimming, which consists of licking and using a variety of oral techniques to play with the muscle.
If you graduate to inserting fingers, butt plugs, or even toys inside of the anus, this will stretch out that muscle even more. Start with smaller objects and use bigger items as you go along to stretch that muscle as far as it can go.
You also don’t have to worry about the anal muscle stretching out too much, because after it stretches a certain amount, it won’t stretch any more.
That means the sphincter muscle never gets too loose, which is one of the many reasons why you have to use a lot of lube every time you have anal sex. Trying to have anal sex too soon and before the anal muscles stretch out is never a good idea, because sex only feels good when it’s painless for both partners.
Anatomy of the Anus
If you’re going to try any type of sexual activity involving the anal area, it is good to first learn a little about this magical part of the body. The anus is an opening that is found at the end of the GI tract, and it connects to the rectum.
The rectum connects to the small intestine, then you have the stomach, esophagus, and the mouth. The anus is roughly two to three inches long and composed of skin-like cells, which are called squamous cells.
Although many people are familiar with the sphincter muscle, there are actually two types of these muscles. The internal sphincter muscle feels much like a muscular ring, and there is also an external sphincter muscle.
Both the anus and the rectum are different than the colon, so when you have a colonoscopy, the device used goes much further up into your GI tract, so things such as anal cancer are not usually found through this procedure.
Here are a few things that can help you learn more about the anatomy of the anal canal and how to use this knowledge to improve the anal sex you enjoy:
- The external sphincter has a lot of nerves in it and is capable of feelings such as hot and cold, expansion, and touch. You have control over whether this muscle clenches or relaxes.
- The internal sphincter has basically the same functions as the external sphincter, but since it is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, you have less control over how tight or relaxed this muscle is.
- Most of the anal canal is very sensitive to pressure, temperature, and touch. Since it is made mostly of soft and sensitive tissue, it can expand quite a bit.
- The rectum is at the end of the anal canal and has very few nerve endings, although it can feel a lot of pressure at times. It expands and is not a straight line, so even though toys or penises usually go no further than the rectum, it can accommodate those things comfortably.
- The prostate gland is a walnut-shaped gland found before the bladder, and a lot of the pleasure men get from anal sex is the stimulation of this part of the body that usually goes along with the other anal activity.
There are other areas of the anus, of course, but these are the main ones you should learn if you want to know how anal sex works and why it feels so good.
The human body is amazing, and much like the rest of it, this part of the body is put together perfectly, just like you need it to be. Even though it starts out nice and tight, it is good to know that it loosens up just the right amount so that you can enjoy anal sex the way you should.
Preparing for Your First Anal Experience
If you’ve decided to add to your sexual repertoire by trying anal sex, you’re not alone. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can simply jump right into it, so to speak, because there are a lot of preparations you need to make first for it to be successful.
As you already know by now, the sphincter muscle is very tight, so loosening that muscle up is one of the first things you’ll want to do before you attempt any type of sex in the anal area.
Fortunately, this task isn’t as difficult or as time consuming as it sounds. You just have to be persistent and not give up on the endeavor, as well as follow one or more of the following tips:
- Play with the anus to stretch it out some. You can do this yourself or have your partner do it. Start with a little oral and finger activity, and work your way up to small toys and then larger ones. The more the anus is handled, the looser it will become.
- Make sure you are clean “down there.” No, you do not have to give yourself an enema or anal douche – unless you want to – but take a bath or shower and make sure your bowels are empty before you proceed.
- Put a towel down on the bed, or wherever you intend to have sex. This not only makes it softer and more comfortable, but it also allows it to be a little less messy because you’ll be using a lot of lube, and lube can go everywhere!
- Keep in mind that your anus does not self-lubricate like the vagina does, so you’ll need lots and lots of lube for this activity. Don’t use oil-based lube, especially if you are planning to use a condom, because it can degrade the latex in the condom. Instead, use water-based lube.
- Remember to go slow. In fact, in the very beginning you may want to insert a finger or toy only partially instead of all the way so that you can get used to the sensation a little at a time. Insert it further inside of you once you get a little more used to the feeling it provides.
- Get into the right position so that you can remain comfortable. There are many different positions you can use, so it is easy to find the one that is right for you. Besides, a little experimentation is fun and can add to your enjoyment.
Your first time at anal sex may be a disappointment, but don’t let it discourage you because the more you do it, the better it will feel.
Just take it slow, use a lot of lube every time, and make sure you and your partner communicate throughout the process so that if things do get uncomfortable or painful, you can stop immediately.
Lubrication and Anal Sex
Since lubricants will be an important part of the anal sex process, it is best to know the differences between the many different types.
Most lubes are one of two types – silicone-based or water-based – and they each have their own assets. As far as anal sex is concerned, you can use either of these types of lubes and it will work, but there are a few differences between the two.
Water-based lube is fine for anal sex, but it does absorb into the anus rather quickly and, therefore, you may have to reapply it several times while you’re having sex.
Remember, the anus doesn’t lubricate itself like the vagina does, so it needs a lot of lube for anal sex to work. Water-based lube is also safe to use for most sex toys and with latex condoms, so they are a multi-purpose type of lube.
Silicone-based lube won’t have to be reapplied as often as water-based lube does, and it is a little thicker and softer than its water-based counterparts. It is also very gentle, so it is great for anal sex.
It may still have to be reapplied during the sex act, but you likely won’t have to apply it quite as often. Silicone-based lube is often preferred over water-based lube for anal sex, but there is nothing wrong with using either of them.
If you’re preparing for anal sex by using a sex toy, you should check the packaging and make sure you learn what type of lube the manufacturer recommends.
Many sex toys require a certain type of lube to work well, and reading the instructions carefully is the best way to determine which type you should purchase. If the packaging recommends a certain type of lube, make sure that is the type of lube you use every time.
Warming Up: Anal Foreplay
Preparing for anal sex by employing a little foreplay is always a great idea, even if you’re an old pro at it. Remember, even those experienced in anal sex need to make sure they’re slippery enough down there, so a little anal foreplay is never a bad idea.
Anal sex needs to be prepared for both physically and psychologically for it to be effective and work right, but that is a lot easier to do than you might think.
Here is a list of things you can do to enjoy some anal foreplay in preparation for anal sex:
- Prepare your area. Go ahead and put a towel down for comfort and so it won’t be as messy, and make sure all of the toys and lube you need are close at hand.
- Start by stimulating other areas of the body, especially the genital area. You can do this with fingers or sex toys, because both of these produce the same wonderful effect.
- Massage the butt area. This external area can be just as exciting and flirtatious to massage and rub as the more intimate areas of your body.
- Use anal beads or a butt plug for preparation. You can use the anal beads for a little extra sensation, or wear the butt plug while you’re experiencing other types of foreplay, because this amazing device can work wonders stretching out the sphincter muscles.
- Whatever you’re doing, go extremely slow. This isn’t just so you and your partner have time to get in the right mood, but also because it allows you to savor and thoroughly enjoy each and every step.
- Make sure you are relaxed enough. Have some soothing music playing in the background, or do some deep-breathing exercises at this point. Remember, slow and steady is what you want.
- Try fingering your anus by yourself, without the use of a partner or a sex toy. This enables you to explore that area thoroughly and learn what it feels like, not to mention what you like and dislike about the act.
- Take a shower or bath with your partner so that you can be more relaxed and feel a better psychological connection with one another.
- Try some tongue action. You may want to use a dental dam for this step so that no bacteria from the anus get in your mouth, but tongue action is very sensual and can definitely help you prepare for the art of anal sex.
There is no such thing as going too slow when you are preparing for anal sex, especially if you’ve never done it or you’re inexperienced in it. There is, however, the possibility that you can go too fast, and this can make the anal sex act itself a lot less pleasurable.
Exploring on Your Own First
A little masturbation never hurt anybody, and if you’re nervous about your first time at anal sex, some exploration of your own anal area is never a bad idea.
If you’re especially nervous, you may want to do some research via books or the Internet so that you can learn as much about anal sex as possible. Learning about anal sex is a great way to proceed to the next logical step.
To make things less awkward for you and also more comfortable, you may want to use surgical gloves for this activity.
If your bum is clean, there is little chance of getting bacteria anywhere it shouldn’t be, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for this to happen. In addition, wearing gloves will simply make you a little less nervous about exploring your own anus, especially if you’ve never done it before.
Once again, you’ll want to make sure you use a lot of lube, because without lube the activity can be quite uncomfortable and even painful.
Make sure you use a lot of the stuff, because the last thing you want is for the activity to get painful or uncomfortable at any point. Lots of lube is always recommended for any type of anal play.
Once you get to the point where you are ready to explore, it is a good idea to start on the outside of your butt. You can then gently insert your fingers inside of the anus whenever you’re ready, and once you do that, those fingers can go anywhere you like.
You should also pay attention to how you’re breathing. Make sure you are breathing correctly and not letting your nervousness cause your breathing to be shallow or stop altogether.
It is also a good idea, especially if it’s your first time, to use the pad of your finger and not the actual tip, because this movement is less painful for you. Rub the finger all over the inside of your anus, and let those nerve endings do their thing.
You can do different things while your finger is inside of you, including rotating the finger, making it go in and out, and most importantly, getting used to the feel of your finger as it enters and explores your anal area.
Since being psychologically prepared for anal sex is just as important as being physically prepared, this is a smart exercise because it helps in both of these areas.
In fact, if you explore your anus yourself first, it will make you a lot less nervous about trying anal sex later on, and learning about your body and what it feels like is never a waste of time.
Asking Your Partner to Try Anal
Because anal sex needs to be done slowly, can be painful for first-timers, and needs a lot of preparation beforehand, it is crucial that you speak to your partner before you decide to give it a try.
Keep in mind that anal sex is not for everyone, so even if your partner tries it once and decides not to try it again, this should be alright with you.
Things to discuss with your partner should include what to do to signal that you want to stop the activity, what you will and will not allow your partner to do during the activity, and what the two of you agree to do to prepare for the act of having anal sex.
In fact, everything about anal sex should be discussed, because pre-sex preparation includes not only physical tasks, but psychological preparation as well.
Even throughout the act of anal sex, you should be able to comfortably communicate with your partner so that you both know how the other one feels the entire time.
There should never be any awkwardness or pain during anal sex, but for this to happen, good communication with your partner needs to be practiced before, during, and after you explore this side of sex.
Guide to Pain-Free Anal Sex
Believe it or not, it is possible to have pain-free anal sex if you prepare for it ahead of time. It is normal for people to be a little apprehensive about this type of sex because let’s face it, it wasn’t that long ago that anal sex was considered taboo.
The thought of something such as a sex toy or a penis being inserted into the anus can make you very nervous if you’ve never done this before, but you don’t have to feel that way for long.
As mentioned earlier, the three main ways to make sure anal sex is comfortable are to take your time with the process, practice with fingers and small toys first to stretch out the anal sphincter, and always – always – use lots and lots of lube.
Regarding the latter, keep in mind that you may have to reapply your lube during the sex act itself, but it’s a small price to pay for comfortable and pain-free sex.
Of course, being prepared for anal sex psychologically goes a long way as well, which is why communicating with your partner is so important.
You can’t relax if you don’t know what to expect, and the only way to know what’s going to happen is to talk at length with your partner so that you are fully prepared at all times.
Anal Sex Positions for Beginners
If you’re considering having anal sex, it is good to know that there are many different positions that make the act very simple and a lot more fun to do.
Most people know that the doggie-style position is great for participating in the anal sex act, but there are also others that make it easy and fun to do, and these include:
- An adaptable missionary position - Assume the missionary position and hold onto your partner’s chest and arms to guide him into the right position.
- The test run - If you’re still uneasy about anal sex, you can lie on your back, lift your knees with your feet on the floor, and let your partner sit in front of you and insert fingers or a small toy.
- A posterior position - This is much like doggie style except that the person on the bottom is lying face down on the floor and spreading his/her legs.
- Standing up - While standing, get behind your partner and enter him/her that way.
- The side-to-side position - While lying in the same direction and with your bodies touching, you can allow your partner to enter you that way.
- Sitting down - The giver sits down and the receiver sits on top, but both partners are facing the same direction.
- Inversion position - The receiver lays on his/her back and lifts the legs up high so that the giver can get in between the legs and enter that way.
Naturally, you can think up other positions as you gain experience in anal sex. As long as the anal sex is consensual and you’re both ready for it, you have a lot of options when it comes to positions.
How Often Can You Have Anal Sex?
Many people assume that anal sex should only be performed occasionally, and there have been some concerns about anal tears or damage to the sphincter muscle while practicing this type of sex.
What study after study has shown, however, is that as long as you’re using plenty of lube and practicing safe sex, you can have anal sex any time you like.
The importance of using lube cannot be overstated because without enough lube, your anus can get dry, which can lead to tears. If you’re too rough when performing anal sex, the same thing can happen.
That being said, as long as you’re careful, communicate with your partner, don’t rush it, and use plenty of lube, you should be fine having anal sex whenever you like, regardless of how often that ends up being.
After Care Following Anal
Much like bathing or showering beforehand, knowing what to do after having anal sex is important. Since cleanliness is crucial both before and after this type of sex, it is a good idea to go ahead and make it a habit if you’re going to continue with this type of activity
Here are a few ways you can make sure you’re good and clean once the anal sex is complete:
- Use a baby wipe to wipe the area good. This is especially important if you’ve used a silicone-based lube, because this type of lube is more difficult to remove than water-based lube.
- If you feel gassy afterwards, don’t hold in your farts – let them out. This is your body’s way of getting rid of the air that was trapped in your body while you were having sex.
- Kegel exercises can help, because repeatedly participating in anal sex can lead to weakening of the sphincter muscles. Kegel muscles can strengthen the sphincter so there are fewer problems afterwards.
- Watch for signs that something serious could be wrong. Some bleeding after anal sex is normal, but if you experience prolonged bleeding or notice other symptoms – for example, sores or discharge in the anal area – it is time to see a doctor.
Cleaning yourself before and after anal sex also helps reduce any infections that can be caused when bacteria from the anus accidently gets into places it shouldn’t be; for example, your mouth or penis.
Anal Sex Tips
To make anal sex more enjoyable, you already know about the basics – including the fact that you should never forget about the lube!
Still, there are other tips that can make anal sex even better, and many of these tips are especially important for beginners or those who haven’t had much experience with this type of sex. These tips include:
- Don’t forget about the romance. Let your partner wine and dine you, listen to some romantic music, and do whatever else you enjoy so that it is easier for you to get in the right mood.
- Let yourself feel dirty and naughty. Anal sex is often considered a taboo, but feeling naughty can be fun, so just relax and enjoy the act.
- Just because you’re the receiver doesn’t mean you can’t feel a sense of control. Especially if the communication between you and your partner is top notch, you can feel a great sense of control with anal sex.
- Prepare for the fact that it is going to be messy. Some people choose dark sheets to hide the stains, while others lay towels down on the bed before they get started.
- Accept the fact that it will hurt a little in the beginning, but this goes away over time, especially if you practice anal sex in a safe and proper manner.
Anal sex is like vaginal sex in a lot of ways, in that the female in particular may take a while to be fully ready. Taking your time and following all of the rules definitely helps, and if you start with a familiar position that you know will help you relax, it can be a great start. Also remember to breathe properly the entire time, because if you don’t, you will tense up and make the sex more painful.
Risks of Anal Sex
Many people are concerned about STIs when they practice anal sex, and rightly so. In fact, getting STIs through anal sex is much easier than getting them through vaginal sex, mainly because it is easy to get tiny tears in the anal area that can let in certain diseases.
Of course, there is an easy solution to this problem – use a condom. Condoms stop the bacteria from getting where it can cause you damage, and it's a simple, inexpensive solution to a potentially huge problem.
There is also the problem of the bacteria in your rectum getting into the vagina, which can happen if you practice both anal and vaginal sex right after one another. This can turn into a painful urinary tract infection which is far from pleasant, but again, the solution is simple.
If you’re going to go from anal to vaginal sex, take a break in between and clean yourself up. If you’re using a condom, remove it and use a brand-new one before participating in vaginal sex.
Another potential problem is the stretching of the sphincter muscle. Although it usually stretches to a certain point and then stops, you can cause it to stretch out too much if you use unusually large sex toys. Why is this a problem?
Because it can cause the sphincter muscles to become too weak, which can lead to incontinence. Doing Kegels regularly, however, is the perfect solution to this problem, as is sticking with sex toys that are not too large.
Just because you can’t get pregnant through anal sex doesn’t mean you can’t experience many other problems. Much like regular vaginal sex, a lot of these problems can be eliminated simply by being ready for anal sex and by using a condom.
Remember, if you simply have no interest in anal sex, make sure you don’t participate in it. Nothing is worse than painful sex, and anal sex is something that can be painful if you aren’t psychologically and physically prepared to do it.