Whether you're exploring something new for a special occasion or just curious about spicing up your sex life, you may have considered trying anal sex. Once regarded as taboo, the act is rapidly becoming mainstream, as more and more couples learn the pleasure it can bring regardless of gender or orientation. If you're on the fence but wary of potential obstacles, or you've decided to take the plunge and need to know your next steps, it's time to take a close look at safety and preparation for anal sex.

Getting started

Anal sex is technically defined as the insertion of fingers, a penis or another object into the anus for the purpose of sexual gratification. Analingus, also known as rimming, is the oral stimulation of the anus. Both can be immensely satisfying between consenting partners who take proper precautions.

"Anal sex can be great fun and incredibly enjoyable if you take the time to do it right," said Katie Lasson, clinical psychologist and relationship advisor working for Dimepiece LA, which sells adult products. "Some people like to be stimulated elsewhere, such as their clitoris or penis, as well as anally. This can help a