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Anal Sex 101

One of the best things about anal sex is that unlike many other sex acts, anyone with an anus can have it. So it’s accessible to everyone in general. Even better, you don’t need to be in a relationship in order to explore it. Anal play is an activity that can either be done with a partner or completely on your own. Despite the cultural myth that it’s just for gay men, anal sex is actually enjoyed by people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

Regardless of what gender you were assigned at birth, how you identify now, what genitals you happen to have, or what a partner’s gender identity is, anal play is literally one of the most inclusive sex acts around.

Plus, it feels really good! Especially to people with a prostate (although not exclusively).

If anal sex is something that you’ve been thinking about for some time and you’re finally feeling ready to give it a go, here are few pointers to help get you started so that your experience is pleasurable and safe.

EASE into it…

While it may seem exciting to take on the largest dildo that you own, buy the thickest plug on the market, or to immediately take on your partner’s girth, slow up and start small! Whether it’s the first time or the 50th, anal play isn’t something that you want to push too quickly.

Prep yourself!

This preparation for anal sex can be as simple as sensually inserting fingers (starting at the pinky) into the rectum. You can use a small to plugs or dildos to begin with or slowly play with bead insertion. The rectum often requires considerate stretching and stimulation before getting into the exciting or rough stuff.

If finance isn’t a concern, consider purchasing an Anal Training Set or an array of differently sized plugs (like the Tantus Perfect Plug Kit). These products often contain a few plugs with circumferences starting as low as 2.75” circumference and lengths as stubby as 3.5,” up to circumferences exceeding 6.25” and lengths of 5” or more.


Whether you’re playing on your own or with a partner, it’s important get comfortable with the sensation of anal penetration. So take the time to relax. Set the mood. Ensure strong communication. Listen to your body and make sure that you’re having fun safely.

If it hurts you’re likely going too fast or missing out on another key tip.

Use LOTS of lube…

Like, LOTS.

Whether you’re being penetrated by fingers, a penis, or sex toys, don’t skimp out on the lubrication. If you think that you are using enough lube, then use even more. And never fear reapplying as soon as something starts feeling uncomfortable.

Many bloggers, reviewers, and educators tend to recommend silicone lube as the gold standard for anal sex since it’s thicker and lasts longer than a water-based lube like Almost Naked. These are easier to clean up but absorb into the body more quickly. Keep in mind that while silicone lubes can be great for some types of insertions they may degrade your silicone dildos and plugs.

So if you’re using toys, a hybrid lubrication like Sliquid Silk may actually be the better way to go. These tend to have the lasting power of silicone products, clean up easily like water-based lubes do, and have the added bonus of being compatible with silicone toys. Just make sure that after use you thoroughly wash your toys to ensure there is absolutely nothing lingering on them.


Actively seek out BODY SAFE toys…

Unfortunately, sex toys are unregulated which means that they aren’t controlled or supervised by any official regulations or laws. Many toys are manufactured with chemicals or materials that aren’t necessarily safe for your body. Phathalates are a chemical plasticizer that is often included in PVC toys to increase their flexibility to make them feel squishier. In 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency released a detailed report on phthalates suggesting that it’s a potential carcinogen that can negatively affect your reproductive health.

But safe alternatives do exist! Toys made from medical grade silicone, stainless steel, or borosilicate (“pyrex”) glass are good for your body. Plus, they feel great and do not come with potential chemical health hazards. Research any anal sex products you are thinking about buying and learn more about trusted materials here.



Vibrant Staff

The Vibrant Staff writers are a group of sex-positive women employed by Vibrant. Our contributors are passionate about advocacy, women's rights, relationships, and sharing their experiences with you!

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Vibrant Staff

The Vibrant Staff writers are a group of sex-positive women employed by Vibrant. Our contributors are passionate about advocacy, women's rights, relationships, and sharing their experiences with you!

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