What is the difference between anal sex and anal play?
“Anal sex” is a term often used to describe penetrative anal stimulation. “Anal play” is the term associated with any kind of sexual stimulation of the anus and/or rectum. Anal play can include anal sex but doesn’t always have to.
What kind of lube should I use for anal sex?
If you’ve ever Google searched anything relating to “anal sex”, I’m sure you’ve seen something along the lines of: “you can never have enough lube!” While many vaginas self-lubricate, your anus does not. This means that in order to have pleasurable stimulation in that region, you’re going to need some lube. Without lubrication, anal play can be painful and even cause some bleeding and soreness afterward.
There are three general types of lube: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based.
Water-based lube is often the easiest to find and it’s going to be safe to use with all condoms and sex toys. It’s also the easiest to clean up - but isn’t as slippery and silicone or oil-based formulas and may require more of it to stay well-lubricated. Water-based lubes are mostly used with anal sex toys (beads, plugs, etc).
Silicone-based lubes shouldn’t be used with silicone toys (some find that very surprising) or condoms, as they can wear down the materials. However, silicone-based lubricants are very slippery and last longer than water-based lubes once applied. Silicone-based lubricants could be great for anal sex with a long-term partnership where you are not using toys or a condom.
Oil-based lubes are slick, last the longest, and can also be used as a massage oil, which is lovely if you’re going for a romantic and sensual evening of anal sex. However, oil-based lubes can’t be used with condoms or toys, so again, best used in situations where it’s safe to have unprotected anal sex and there are no toys involved.
A note of caution: steer clear of “numbing” lubricants. These are lubes that contain a mild numbing agent. And while being numb down there may sound like the best option if you’re nervous about the pain, any pain you experience is a signal for you to slow down, use more lube, try a smaller toy, etc. Without having that pain signal, you may go too far and end up causing more pain and soreness after it wears off.
What kind of sex toys can I use for anal sex?
Sex toys are a bridge between solo anal play and play with a partner. Using your fingers can feel natural and get you used to the sensations, and going from that to having a partner penetrate you anally can feel like a big jump. Anal sex toys can help!
Anal beads are completely different than butt plugs, even though they are sometimes used interchangeably. Anal beads tend to be longer, with several different sizes of beads on one wand-shaped toy. Something to keep in mind with anal beads is that you can always start small and work your way up to the larger beads on the toy.
Anal plugs, on the other hand, are exactly what they sound like...plugs. They are shorter and often thicker. You can get anal plugs in all different sizes and some come with decoration (such as heart-shaped shiny ends, a fox-tail, a bunny-tail, and more).
Should I use a condom for anal sex?
You can, in fact, get an STI from having anal sex. This is something many (more than you may think) are confused by. According to the CDC, anal sex is the highest-risk sexual behavior for HIV transmission compared to other forms of sex (such as vaginal and oral). If you’re experimenting with anal play, a condom should be used to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Is anal sex gross?
While there may be some initial awkwardness and the occasional siting of fecal matter, anal sex really isn’t as “gross” or “bad” as you may be thinking it is. If everything is consensual and communicated properly, you ease into it slowly, and use the right methods of protection/lube, anal sex can be incredibly pleasurable for everyone involved.
Does anal sex hurt?
This question will be different for everyone - but the short answer is that it can hurt, but doesn’t have to. Anal sex can be painful or uncomfortable for a variety of different reasons, but there are also a lot of things you can do to lessen that pain and discomfort, such as using more/different lubrication, going slow, starting with the proper toys, changing positions, etc.
Reasons why anal sex may be painful or uncomfortable...
Starting gradually (with a finger) is the best place to begin if you’re interested in anal play. Using a generous amount of the right kind of lubricant (as mentioned above), is step two. Step three would be experimenting on your own with different types of small anal sex toys to get used to the sensation. From there, you can gradually increase the size of your toys and bring your partner in on the action!
Does anal sex get more pleasurable over time?
Absolutely (in my opinion). Anal sex is something I never thought I would like (you can read this post about my past traumatic experiences with anal sex; trigger warning is at the top). However, with respectful conversation, consensual gradual play, and a lot of self-exploration, it’s now something I actively incorporate into both my sex and masturbation life.
As with most sexual experiences, it can take a while to feel natural and fun, and pleasurable - however, as with most experiences, the more you do it, the more likely you are to enjoy it.
Anal sex hurts...what do I do?
If you have started to experiment with anal sex (either solo or with a partner) and are finding it painful, it’s best to re-strategize your approach. Are you using the right kind of lube? Enough of it? Are you using the proper-sized toys? Maybe try going down a size. You could even try going “back and basics” and spending some self-exploration time there with your fingers to see how you’re feeling about it.
Many people don’t know this, but in order for anal sex to be pleasurable, you need to be relaxed. This isn’t just a metaphor, it’s biology. If you’re tense, your muscles are tense - including your sphincter (the ring of muscle surrounding your anus). The more tense that feels, the more difficult it’s going to be, and the more pain you may feel.
Can a person with a vagina orgasm from anal sex?
Also, absolutely. It’s a very long-standing misconception that anal sex isn’t enjoyable for women. While porn tends to over-exaggerate the pleasure for dramatic effect, anal sex can be pleasurable for women and some women are able to experience anal orgasms. As with any other type of orgasm, though, it’s unique. Some women can, some can’t - some are super strong, others are very mild.
Can I wear a butt plug during P in V sex?
Yes (and 10/10, highly recommend, by the way). Wearing a butt plug (or using anal toys) during sex can enhance pleasure and actually make it far easier to enjoy the anal play sensations because you’re already super relaxed and aroused.
Does the size of my partner matter during anal sex?
Size doesn’t matter...but sometimes it does. Hear me out: the bigger the object (penis or toy), the more careful you will need to be, the slower you will need to go, etc. We’re not here to shame anyone or make any judgments, but as with P in V sex, the size of your partner can make a difference in terms of how anal sex feels.
Is anal sex in porn realistic?
I’m going to go ahead and say no to this one. Some ethical porn sites (Lustery, Audiodesires) make things as real as possible when portraying anal sex. However, other places (overly produced porn)...it’s all about acting. The people act as though they are in more pleasure than they are because they are trying to sell the product (their video). This can often lead to unrealistic expectations from both partners and leave you feeling unsatisfied and discouraged.
This is why I suggest finding ethical, relatable porn websites (such as the two mentioned above) if you’re interested in watching (or listening to) genuine anal sex representations.
What is pegging?
Pegging is when a person wears a strap-on dildo and uses it to have penetrative anal sex on their partner. While anyone is able to wear and use a strap-on dildo, pegging typically refers to the act of a person with a vagina having anal sex with a person with a penis.
What other types of anal play are there for people with penises?
Pegging refers to penetrative anal sex with a partner, but there are lots of other ways a penis-haver can get in on the anal fun. Using fingers, toys, or another penis-haver are all fun and pleasurable ways to experience anal sex.
What is rimming?
Rimming (or rim jobs) is the act of performing oral sex on your partner’s anus. This can also be referred to as analingus and is way, (WAY) more common than you think. Are there any dangers to rimming? As with most sex acts, there can be some risks. Cleanliness is a big thing here, not only for the “ick” factor but also to prevent the spread of parasites such as e.coli that spread through fecal matter. There is also a risk of STI involved, and using a dental dam could help protect you (and your partner) from STI transmission.
Can a person with a penis orgasm from anal sex?
Absolutely! Penis-havers have something called a prostate. Similar to G-spot orgasms, P-spot orgasms, as they are called, can be intense and wonderful for those who experience them. The small muscular gland (that actually, fun fact, is responsible for producing seminal fluid found in ejaculate), can be reached through penetrative anal sex.
Will anal sex make you poop?
If you’re having anal sex, you (and anyone else in the room) may see poop. That’s just facts. You’re playing with a region where poop comes from - it’s not outlandish to consider that penetrating that area may result in some fecal matter making an appearance.
Contrary to popular belief, though, it doesn’t happen every time and it isn’t as much (or as gross) as you’re thinking it is.
How do you prepare for anal sex?
Is there a way to “prepare” for anal sex to make it less messy and more pleasurable? Sure! Being “clean” and generally “empty” (having a bowel movement beforehand) can help you focus on the fun and keep the appearance of poop minimal. A great idea is to plan a bathroom trip, shower, and then dive in when you’re clean, empty, and ready.
Does having anal sex too often cause damage?
Most of the time, anal sex is perfectly fine (and not damaging) no matter how many times you do it - if you do it correctly. As with P in V sex, there is a very small risk of “leakage” or “prolapse” (when your muscles weaken and cause organs to “slip down”) over the course of a lifetime. This very rarely happens. If you feel that it is happening to you, consult your doctor. Anal sex can also aggravate conditions such as hemorrhoids, so be mindful of that as well.
How can I keep this as clean as possible?
As I mentioned above, generally having a bowel movement beforehand, showering and cleansing the area (perhaps playing a bit yourself as some edging foreplay), and laying a towel down on the bed should be enough to keep things relatively hygienic. If you’re worried, your partner can also wear a condom so the clean-up is faster.
Do you bleed during anal sex?
It is possible to begin to bleed during anal sex, however, you’re more likely to notice a bit of spotting blood afterward. Anal fissures (small tears) are very common and don’t typically require medical assistance (and will only bleed a very minimal amount). If you experience a lot of bleeding during or after anal sex, it’s best to consult your doctor.
What sex toys are safe to use on me during anal sex?
Experimenting with anal sex toys is sometimes just that...experimenting. It could take a few tries with a few different toys to establish what feels good for you. To avoid breaking the bank on a bunch of toys you may not like, I suggest you purchase a starter butt plug kit (typically comes with three different sizes) and go from there. Another tip? Opt for a silicone one before you move on to things like glass and steel, as they are more comfortable to start with. Anal beads also come in different sizes, so be mindful and order the smallest size to start.
Can I use soap as lube in the shower?
This is where most people start - exploring themselves in the shower. While it may be easy to slide a finger inside yourself while cleaning that area, using soap as a general lubricant isn’t advised due to the potential irritation of the soap in that area and the fact that it actually doesn’t work as well as a lubricant. What do I suggest? Have a bottle of lube that you keep in the shower with you!
What is the best anal sex position?
As with other sex acts, your position can really make a difference in how much pleasure you feel (and in this case, how little discomfort or pain you feel).
The best positions for anal sex (for beginners) can include:
For some other tips on positions for anal sex, click here.
How do I talk to my partner about wanting anal sex?
Bringing up something like this with a partner is never as easy as most articles online will tell you it is. It can be quite scary, actually. Whether you’re a vagina-haver or a penis-person, there are always misconceptions about anal play that can cross your mind and potentially prevent you from bringing it up with your partner.
What if they judge me?
What if they are freaked out?
What if they think it’s gross?
While anal sex is actually far more common than you think, it can be difficult to bring these things up with a partner. Consider journaling your thoughts on the topic, exploring during masturbation, figuring out what you want, and bringing it up in a casual, non-confrontational way when the time is right. Who knows...maybe they’ve also been harboring an anal sex fantasy.
How can we start anal play?
You can have all kinds of anal fun with each other, without deep penetration happening. Rimming, teasing, using small toys...start small, get used to it, make it fun!
Anal sex was long considered extremely taboo and could even be linked to homophobic ideation. Even still, there are some (rather unfortunate souls, in my opinion) that encourage the stigmatization of enjoying anal sex. However, it’s becoming far more commonly accepted as you may think, with a 2017 study by sexual wellness and condom brand SKYN finding 36% of millennial women engage in anal sex “at least some of the time” in their sex lives. A separate report finds that nearly half of straight men have had anal sex.