The Nice Girl's Guide to Anal Training
- Anal sex, or even just anal play, can be a fun and pleasurable experience under the right circumstances.
- It's important to prepare for what comes before, during and after anal play, however.
- Giddy's beginner's guide to sex toys, for instance, has several non-insertion options for anyone interested in starting anal play.
You might've heard that anal sex can make you wet—perhaps wetter than vaginal play. Do we have your attention? Butt sex is a staple genre of porn and is even considered a millennial staple.
If you're considering anal sex, things aren't as simple as flipping over and getting to it. Pleasurable, consensual anal play requires conversation, preparation and training your butt.
Do regular people engage in anal sex? Is anal sex even normal?
It's not just the BDSM community or actors in a porno who engage in and enjoy anal sex. If you decide to have anal sex, you aren't alone. Roughly one-third of couples in the United States engage in anal sex, according to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey.
As recently as the 1970s, oral sex was regarded as "unpleasant" and not on the typical sexual menu, according to a 2006 article from the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. Much like oral sex, anal sex has gained in popularity and isn't as taboo a subject.
About 19 percent to 32 percent of women reported having anal sex in the last six to 12 months, suggested a 2009 report. If you're considering adding backdoor play to your bedroom antics, here's what you should know.
Can anal sex feel good?
Like all sexual experiences, the answer is, "It depends." Some people really enjoy breaching the anal canal, while others try butt play and discover it's not for them. Experiment either solo or with a partner.
Make chilling out a normal part of your sexual well-being.
"Regularly practicing relaxation techniques and familiarizing yourself with your own body through solo play can also make the experience more comfortable," said Aliyah Moore, Ph.D., a certified sex therapist with SexualAlpha.
Anal play can also lead to finding the A-spot, an erogenous area between the bladder and the cervix.
Unlike the internal clitoris and the G-spot, the pleasure derived from the A-spot is less localized and can provide a more all-over and pleasurable orgasm, so there's much to be gained by getting experimental.
Is anal sex dirty?
Poop happens with anal sex—literally. There won't be poop involved every time, but it can get messy. Be prepared with tissues or a towel, just in case.
There are steps that you can take to minimize your chances of a fecal incident during anal play.
"Maintaining good anal hygiene, douching or using an enema can help prepare the area," Moore said.
You want to avoid disturbing your anal microbiome, though, so ensure that you, your partner and any toys are clean.
Are there any rules for anal play?
If you're wondering how to do anal the right way, there are a few important things to keep in mind. The same principles apply whether you're experimenting on your own or with a partner.
Consent and communication are key
"Like with any other sexual activity, consent and communication are essential. If you're doing it together, engage your partner and have them share their thoughts, fears and preferences," said Rachel Sommer, Ph.D., a clinical sexologist and co-founder of My Sex Toy Guide in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Have safe words
The same principles of consent that apply to other forms of sexual contact still apply when trying anal. You may not get it right on the first try.
"Have safe words to use whenever you want a break, and understand that getting used to anal sex might take a few trials, and shelving it when it gets painful or uncomfortable is OK," Sommer said.
Maintain a nonjudgmental and supportive atmosphere for everyone involved.
You can't just jump into anal play. Foreplay is critical to getting into an overall relaxed state.
"Foreplay is a must to get the anal sphincters relaxed for penetration. So spend more time on foreplay and only proceed when you or your partner feels the most relaxed," Sommer said.
Light candles, engage in pleasurable touch or incorporate some dirty talk. Whatever the tried-and-true staples of good foreplay are for you, this is the right occasion to bring them in and pull out all the stops.
Never go from anal to vaginal play
If there's one situation to avoid, it's swapping between anal and vaginal penetration. Clean the area first and change condoms.
Not changing condoms or cleaning toys and genitalia can introduce bacteria into the vagina and cause infections, Moore said. Remember, just because you see it happen in porn doesn't mean that it's a best practice in real life.
- A Beginner's Guide to Anal Sex for Women: If you're new to anal sex, here are some pointers for a safe and pleasurable experience.
- How Imodium Can Help to Prepare for Anal Sex: Our do's and don'ts will make your first anal experience memorable for all the right reasons.
- What Do Anal Orgasms Feel Like—and Can Women Have One?: Two sex experts dish on the best ways women can achieve anal orgasms.
How do you make anal easier?
OK, we've established that anal sex isn't something to rush into without preparation. So what are some tips to make the experience easier?
Relax your anal muscles
What's the one thing you should know when trying anything in the anal region?
"Always be in the right headspace. If you're anxious or tense, your muscles, including your anal sphincters, will tighten up," Moore said.
Tightening your muscles can prevent you from feeling any pleasure. Tensing up during penetration may cause pain.
Use a lot of lube—and then use more
"Using lots of lubrication is essential," Sommer said.
However much you think you need to apply, apply more. Reapply often. You can thank biology.
"Unlike the vagina, your anal cavity doesn't have a self-lubricating mechanism," Sommer said.
Don't rely on spit, vaginal wetness or the lube on a condom. The latter will be helpful, but you need to apply plenty of lube on yourself, the toy and your finger, whatever is applicable to the situation, Sommer said.
Anal train beforehand
You can't go from zero to dildo or penis. That's too big of an adjustment for your anal canal. If you're wondering how to anal train safely, Sommer recommends butt plugs.
"Anal plugs are a great starting point for anal training. The tapered design simplifies penetration and promotes a gentle anal stretching experience," Sommer said.
This type of anal toy has the functional purpose of helping you prepare for bigger anal toys or a penis. If you discover you like wearing a butt plug, you can keep it in during the day as a fun little secret, but don't sleep with butt plugs inserted.
"With a wide body, the plug sits inside, rubbing against your engorged sex organs from the inside," Sommer said.
That's why it can feel good.
"The toy's narrow tip helps train newbies and the sphincter muscles to take something up, while the gradually widening body is an incredible training module for anal sex," Sommer said.
Anal training kits have several plugs that allow you to size up gradually and can be a great place to start if you're completely new to anal play.
How do you use butt plugs to train for anal?
Butt plug training is foundational to a comfortable anal sex experience. Some of the most popular types of butt plugs are silicone, glass and stainless steel.
Regardless of the material, it's important to start small.
"Materials like silicone are recommended [for newbies] due to their flexibility and ease of cleaning," Moore said.
Moore suggests positioning yourself on your side or your back with your knees bent to insert the plug. Getting comfortable can help your anal muscles stay relaxed.
The main rule on how to use butt plugs is to use lube. Before you insert a butt plug, generously apply a water- or silicone-based lubricant on both the plug and your anus, Moore said. The abundance of lube helps reduce friction and allows for a smoother insertion.
Once you have the butt plug in, start with short durations, no more than 15 to 30 minutes, Moore said. As you feel more comfortable, you can extend this to a few hours. If you feel pain or discomfort, take it out.
You can size up once you can consistently use a small-sized plug without discomfort, according to Moore. Don't rush it.
"It's tempting to move to a larger size quickly, but consistent practice with each size is the key to comfort and pleasure," Moore said.
Another reminder: Make sure to clean your plugs after every use.
Does anal make your butt bigger?
No, your entire butt isn't going to get bigger from anal play.
Yes, anal play can make your sphincter bigger.
How can you get used to anal?
Penetrative anal play isn't the only kind of anal play. Get used to the feeling of sexual play in and around the anal area without needing to stick anything in your anal canal.
Giddy's beginner's guide to sex toys, for instance, has several non-insertion options.
"Consider starting with anal massage or rimming to relax the area," Moore said.
Take lube and use a finger to gently massage the perineal area. Rimming involves the use of the tongue on and around the butt hole.
If you're going to try rimming, make sure to clean the area and brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash. Use a dental dam to avoid bacterial transfer to and from the tongue.
Is doggy style the only position for anal sex?
Doggy style offers the best access to the anal opening, guaranteeing deeper penetration, Sommer said.
"The receiving partner can be on all fours or stand with their legs and use a bed, sofa or wall for support," she said. "Notably, doggy style gives both partners a lot of control, and adjusting
the angles is easy for optimum comfort."
Doggy style is one of the best anal sex positions for beginners, but it's not the only position for anal penetration. Spooning is the most "laid-back" position because it enhances closeness and intimacy, which can be comforting during anal sex, according to Moore.
The missionary position with elevated legs is another option.
"This can provide a good angle for penetration and lets the receiving partner see their partner, enhancing intimacy," Moore said.
It has the added benefit of adding pleasure-inducing clitoral friction if your angle is right.
Try advanced anal sex positions only once you have experience under your belt. Prioritize safety and comfort for both partners, especially when you're new to anal play.
Is it OK to eat before you have anal sex?
The short answer is yes, but be mindful of what you eat. Try to stick to light meals.
"Heavy meals can lead to discomfort, and for some, the fear of any fecal matter making an appearance can be anxiety-inducing," Moore said.
What should I expect after anal sex?
After anal sex, it's important to make sure that you, your partner and your toys are cleaned. You may feel some residual soreness or discomfort, although if you have anal trained slowly and deliberately, it may be minimal.
Are there any risks to having anal sex?
Yes. Like any form of sexual contact, anal sex involves potential risks. Some of the primary risks of anal sex include contracting a bacterial infection or sexually transmitted infection (STI). Use condoms and dental dams and get a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for safer sex.
There's a potential that anal sex can cause tearing of the anal tissue, Moore said. Using enough lube can help prevent tearing. If you're using any toys, ensure they have a flared base to prevent them from getting lost inside.
Another risk of anal sex is pelvic floor issues, including fecal incontinence from a widened sphincter. Fecal incontinence, although possible, isn't much greater among women who don't engage in anal intercourse, a 2016 study indicated.
Exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles can help when you're engaging in anal play.
The bottom line
Anal play can be fun and pleasurable if you're relaxed and in the right headspace, but it's important to prep properly. Using butt plugs and engaging in anal training can significantly improve your experience.
You don't have to engage in butt play if you don't want to, but if you're curious or unsure, take a slow and controlled approach.