Anal sex has a bad rep - painful, dirty, unnatural are just a handful of terms that have become synonymous with anal sex, but these simply aren’t true. If anal taboos are getting in the way of you exploring the pleasurable world of anal play then re-educate yourself by finding out how to prepare for anal sex. Break down those misconceptions that could be limiting your pleasure.
With that being said, if you are embarking on the journey of anal sex and prostate stimulation, taking the proper precautions and time to prepare for anal sex ensures it’s safe, enjoyable and feels good.
Avoid making any of the following common anal sex mistakes that can not only make anal play uncomfortable but also potentially dangerous:
- Not using enough (or any) lube
- Not spending enough time on foreplay
- Not using protection
- Not communicating well
- Not going slow
- Not cleaning up before going from anal to vaginal
- Not cleaning your toys
All of the tips on preparing for anal sex are written with these blunders in mind to ensure you make the most of this potent pleasure zone!
1. Educate Yourself
Like everything, preparing for anal sex begins with education - researching around the topic is where the pleasure journey starts.
Any question, no matter how trivial you might feel it is, is worth looking up, especially if it puts your mind at ease. Let’s not forget that anal sex is an umbrella term that doesn’t just refer to penetrative sex, but rather many sexual acts such as:
- Penis in anus
- Sex toy in the anus (this can be a strap-on or anal toys such as anal vibrators or butt plugs)
- Digital penetration (using your fingers to massage the outer area of the anus before gently inserting a lubed-up finger)
- Oral (also referred to as rimming)
Without proper research, you may have assumed you only wanted one type of anal play but there is plenty to explore!
2. Talk about it before, during, and after
Consent is key and surprising your partner with something you’ve read about but not talked about is not a good idea under any circumstances. Through communication, you can set boundaries, establish your comfort level and feel closer to your partner. It can be difficult to talk about sexual fantasies and desires with your partner, but if you feel too embarrassed to talk about butt-stuff then you probably aren’t ready to try and enjoy anal sex.
3. Experiment on your own
Experimenting solo is important in getting you comfortable and learning to understand your body. Just like with solo sex, you can learn what sensations you enjoy and what you aren’t so keen on. Test the waters alone during anal masturbation with the use of your fingers or sex toys. This does not have to involve penetration - surface-level touching still counts for this erogenous zone filled with nerve endings.
To start experimenting with anal play alone the first thing to do is relax - if you are all tense, the anal sphincter will tense up making this far less enjoyable. Take your time and set the mood for yourself, whatever puts you at ease - perhaps sexy music? Warming up is a big part of preparing for anal sex!
Start by rubbing lube (more on this later) on your finger and around your anus and whenever you feel ready, gently insert it into your anus. Start small and slow - one finger is an easy starting point. If you are worried about cleanliness then perhaps a pair of latex gloves would put your mind at rest. Listen to your body and your mind - experimentation is just that, so only do what you feel comfortable with.
Once you’ve mastered this, you can build your way up to using anal toys to explore sensations with. Using sex toys such as anal beads can be a great place to start as you build up to larger anal toys.
4. Clean up first
A lot of people are worried to try anal sex because of the potential mess - we’ve all heard the horror stories. Of course, you are exploring your anus, so you may come into contact with some fecal matter, yet that’s nothing to worry about as it’s normal, and quite frankly to be expected. The more comfortable you feel about a little mess, the less shocked and uncomfortable you’ll be if it happens.
However, to minimize this risk it is important to make sure you clean the butt area beforehand, after all, something is going in your bum. A quick shower will suffice or go to the bathroom 30 - 60 minutes before anal sex. Empty your bowels and wash the anal area with regular soap and warm water. Or use unscented, hypoallergenic baby wipes as an alternative as for many this clean-up is enough.
You do not need to use a douche or enema to enjoy mess-free anal sex - your rectum keeps poo up high until it’s time for a bowel movement so clearing yourself out isn’t entirely necessary as a good wash in the shower will take care of any stragglers. In fact, enemas can do more harm than good as they can damage the area and irritate the cells in the rectum, which can lead to fissures and even the spread of STIs.
However, if using an enema or douche would make you feel more comfortable with anal sex then make sure you are using one correctly and safely. Use the enema 1-2 hours before anal sex, with only a couple of cups of water to rinse out. If you use too much water you can stimulate your digestive system and make things messier than you planned! It is also important to use lukewarm water as if you use cold or hot water you’ll irritate your bowels. Remember: using an enema is not necessary for anal sex.
5. Prep the bedroom
Stocking your nightstand with plenty of lube, cleaning wipes and protection is a great way to prepare for anal sex.
You may also want to consider putting a towel down to ensure your bedsheets won’t get stained and make the clean-up of those bodily fluids easy - simply gather the towel up and throw it in the laundry. You might also want to use latex gloves during digital penetration to keep your hands clean, however isn't necessary for safe and enjoyable anal sex!
6. Lube and lots of it
Lube makes things wet and wild and generally should be your right-hand man/woman during all kinds of sex (solo, partnered, oral, penetrative, the list goes on…) - make lube part of every intimate moment! Lube is especially important during penetrative anal sex. The anus does not naturally lubricate like the vagina so without adequate lubrication the tissue can tear and the anal sex can be painful.
There is an abundance of lube types to explore including silicone, water and oil-based lubes.
Silicone lube's silky texture makes it great for preparing for anal sex but should never be used with silicone-based sex toys, as it can cause them to break down over time. Oil-based lube lasts a while but is messy and can’t be used with latex condoms, whilst water-based lubes are easy to clean up and perfect for exploring yourself with or without sex toys. However, it does tend to dry out quickly so reapply often and generously if this is your lube of choice!
7. Take it slow
When you are preparing for anal sex it is really important to take your time with all aspects - slow it down and communicate no matter what part of anal sex you’re enjoying. Whether using a penis, strap on or dildo, going slow means you can adjust to the size and sensations without being overwhelmed! By taking it slow you reduce the risk of hurting yourself or your partner, and you increase chances of enjoying yourselves!
8. Warm-up with anal foreplay
Foreplay isn’t just a vital part of vaginal penetration but any sex - it is the perfect way to get you in the mood, relax and turn you on. Digital penetration is a great start to anal foreplay or if you are more of an analingus connoisseur then enjoy gently licking, sucking, and kissing the nerve endings in the anus for some sensual sensations.
9. Use sex toys
Sex toys are a great way to enhance sensations you enjoy but when it comes to anal sex, not all sex toys are good to go. Anal sex toys and prostate massagers must have a flared base or bend around to ensure they do not get lost inside you, because yes, you can get a sex toy stuck in your butt and it’s far more common than you think. Just ask anyone who works at an emergency room. In terms of sex toy materials, silicone sex toys are best due to the non-porous and hypoallergenic nature of the material! Crescendo is a great anal vibrator to experiment with due to its slim, bendable design and ease of cleaning.
When you are using sex toys it is really important to thoroughly clean them before inserting them anywhere else or putting them away. This avoids bacteria growing on them and potentially becoming harmful to you and your partner(s).
10. Pick your anal sex positions
Your sex life may consist of the same few sex positions but that doesn’t mean they are suitable for first-time anal sex. Remember to try sex positions that you feel comfortable with and that give the individual being penetrated as much control as possible (of the toy or penis). This ensures that no one is in discomfort. A great anal sex position is spooning sex by lying on your side the depth of penetration can be controlled!
11. Stay safe
Using protection is important in all aspects of sex whether vaginal, anal or oral as protection reduces the risk of sexually transmitted infections. This also means you can take the condom off and pop another one on should you wish to move from anal penetration to vaginal. This is extra important otherwise you risk moving bacteria from your anus to your vagina or urethra, which can cause urinary tract infections and other not-so-nice things. If you insert anything into your anus, clean it with soap and water and roll on a new condom before switching.
Aftercare is fundamental within any sex acts but you should allow extra time practicing aftercare when following a new sexual act. It is as simple as having a cuddle and checking in with your partner to make sure everything is ok, debrief the experience and just talk it out. If any bits were uncomfortable or even painful that you didn’t raise at the time - now is a great time to express those! Everyone should make an effort to incorporate aftercare into their sexual routine as it builds trust within your sexual experience, regardless of whether you are enjoying a one-night fling or this is a long-term partner!
These tips should have you well on your way to preparing for anal sex and enjoying anal play that is mind-blowingly good!