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Try Anal Sex in Five Easy Steps

How to be an Analinguist: Five Easy Steps

You’re there. You are ready to try anal sex. Or maybe you’re an anal pro who’s been at it for years. Either way, huzzah! Glad to have you in the ranks.

We hear all the time that people aren’t comfortable talking about sex with their partners.

Any kind of sex. Anal sex, however, holds a special place in the annals of sexual shame, what with people reducing it to the hallmark of gay male sex (ironic, given that many straight, religious folk have been doing it for years to circumnavigate the “no premarital sex” thing) and the notion that butts are for pooping, not for schtupping.

In case you were also under these impressions, no worries, we’ll clarify. A) Nope, that’s a stereotype, and let’s stop shaming queer intimacy, shall we? And B)

Just like vaginas can be for birthing babies AND having sex, so too are anuses able to expel waste AND be awesome sites for sexual pleasure.

So, how do you talk about anal sex with your partner(s)? I present you with tips culled from a bevy of sex educators, sex therapists, and seasoned anal aficionados.

Go Slow and Steady.

Have the conversation about anal sex the same way you’d actually have anal sex.

Prepare ahead of time and take the conversation slowly. It’s the worst when you’re hot and heavy with your partner, and you have an urge to ask them to play with your butt, but then suddenly realize – YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THAT. Oh no, you forgot to have the conversation about anal!

Do yourself a favor and don’t get caught unawares. Find a time to sit down and chat openly with your partner.

By this, we mean not during sexual play, nor while you’re under the influence of substances — we want everyone to have full cognitive function and create solid, informed consent.

Maybe refrain from immediately ramming your partner with an excited “Let’s have anal!” Instead, try warming them up by asking what kind of experience they’ve had with anal play. What have those experiences been like for them? Understanding your partner’s context is key to successful sex talks. Share your own experiences, and let them know that you’re interested in exploring this area in ways that feel awesome for you both.

Explore Your Options.

Let’s say your partner is gung-ho to try out all of the anal sex immediately. So fun! But wait – did you talk about how you’re going to explore anal play?

Porn may lead us to believe that anal sex is simple: you just slide a penis or dildo straight into an anus. Bravo to the anuses that enjoy that, but for many folks, anal and rectal tissue needs to be warmed up first.  And real talk: lots of anal play doesn’t involve penetration at all.

The fun thing about bodies is that there are many ways for them to experience pleasure, and anal sex can look all sorts of ways!

Analingus (stimulating the anus with the mouth and tongue), manual stimulation (touching and, if desired, penetrating the anus with one or more fingers) and using body safe sex toys can be delightful ways to explore anal pleasure. These are often important to try before inserting larger things, such as hands, penises, or dildos. If you’re not sure what kind of toy you might like, check out this guide for how to choose an anal toy.

Become a Pleasure Detective.

Find out:

1. What are you and your partner interested in trying?

2. What are the hard limits or “No-Go’s” for each of you?

3. What kind of lube do you want to use? Check out this quiz to help you decide!

*Pro tip: Don’t use a numbing lube – you want to know what sensations you’re consenting to. If you don’t want to feel it, you probably don’t want to do it. Silicone lube is often preferred for anal, depending on the kind of play you’re engaging in. Regardless of which type of lube you use, use lots of it. You can try a lube injector to help the lube stay inside the anus.

4. What barrier methods will you use (condoms, dams, gloves)?

5. Is there any kind of prep that either of you might prefer to do beforehand to make you more comfortable, like showering or using an enema?

Just like sex can feel even better when we slow down and get present with the sensations we’re experiencing, taking anal sex conversations slowly can really deepen our awareness and ultimately increase our pleasure.

Anticipate and Educate.

There’s all sorts of shame and misinformation about anal sex out there. Your partner may feel nervous or squicked out about the idea of trying anal play because of what they have heard (or not heard) about it.

Set an affirming tone by talking in open, non-shaming ways about anuses (yet another site for pleasure!) and anal play, and get ready to do some myth busting.

Not a giant sex nerd already? Perfect opportunity! Check out Erika Moen’s Oh Joy Sex Toy comics, one of these great books, or choose from a wide variety of reputable websites, such as Sex & Psychology by Dr. Justin Lehmiller.

Respect Boundaries.

A sure way to lose a great sex partner (and be a big jerk) is to pressure someone to do something they don’t want to do. If, after learning the ins and outs of anal, your partner still isn’t interested, respect that. If you were anticipating being the one anally penetrating them, maybe try offering the reverse! There are also tons of ways to try anal play on your own, especially using butt-friendly toys. The world of pleasure is vast. Go out and explore, wild ones.

Questions About How to Try Anal Sex?

Chat with us, and we can help recommend the products that will help you ease into anal exploration. We’re available 9am-9pm EST daily on our website chat (just push the purple button at the bottom right!) or call us at 866-316-VIBE (8423).

Em House, LSW, MEd, CPCC

Em is a genderqueer sexologist, therapist, co-active coach, and an unapologetic gesticulator. Their work focuses on the intersections of queer and trans embodiment, empowering pleasure, and healing sexual trauma. They live and work in Philadelphia, PA.

Em House, LSW, MEd, CPCC

Em is a genderqueer sexologist, therapist, co-active coach, and an unapologetic gesticulator. Their work focuses on the intersections of queer and trans embodiment, empowering pleasure, and healing sexual trauma. They live and work in Philadelphia, PA.

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