One of the best things about anal sex is that unlike many other sex acts, most everyone with a anus can have it… which means that it is accessible to most everyone in general. Even better, you don’t even 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. Further, despite the cultural myth of it being something that only gay men do, anal sex is actually enjoyed by people of all variety of gender identities and sexual orientations.
So, regardless of what gender you were assigned at birth, how you identify now, what genitals you happen to have, or what a potential partner’s gender identity is, anal play is literally one of the most inclusive sex acts around.
Plus, it feels really good [link to pleasure based anatomy]! Especially to people with a prostate (though not exclusively).
If anal 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 as pleasurable and safe as it possibly can be.
EASE into it…
While it may seem exciting to take on the largest dildo that you own, or to go out and buy the thickest plug on the market, or to immediately take on your partner’s generous girth, slow up and start small! Whether it’s the first time, or the 50th, anal play isn’t something that you want to go from 0 to 100 within a short period of time.
This preparation can be as simple as sensually inserting fingers (starting at the pinky) into the rectum, using a small to plugs or dildos to begin with, or slowly playing with bead insertion. The general idea being that the rectum often requires considerate stretching and stimulation before getting into the really exciting or particularly rough stuff.
If you happen to have the finances, 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 to comfortably get used to 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 of missing out on another key.
Use LOTS of lube…
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 (like ) as the gold standard for anal sex due to it being thicker and lasting longer than water-based lubes; which are easier to clean up but absorb into the body more quickly. However, 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 no lingering lubrication or other substances remaining on them.
Speaking of toys…
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. This has led to some toys being manufactured with chemicals or materials that aren’t necessarily safe for your body. One such type of substance is known as phthalates, a chemical plasticizers that is often included in PVC toys to increase their flexibility make them feel squishier. In 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency released a detailed report on phthalates suggest it to be a potential carcinogen that can negatively affect the an individual’s reproductive health.
But safe alternatives do exist! Toys made from medical grade silicone, stainless steel, or borosilicate (“pyrex”) glass are good for your body, feel great, and do not come with potential chemical health hazards. So, be sure to research any products you are looking at getting and learn more about trusted materials here.