If you have caught yourself wondering how to do anal for the first time, this is for you. This article is filled with tips all about getting ready for your first anal experience. Cutting to the chase, that means prepping your butt (or your partner’s)—and ensuring your mind (and theirs) is comfortable with the idea of anal play. That’s because, although the action takes place down below, you’ll get the most pleasure if you and your partner have relaxed minds, trust each other and are comfortable with what you’re both doing.
It’s also worth saying right at the start that you don’t have to be penetrated with a penis—or penetrate someone using a penis—to get involved in anal play. Anal play has nuances and a scale of activity, just like more common forms of sexual engagement. That means safe anal can and does include activities such as rimming, fingering, pegging, and the use of sex toys like butt plugs or anal beads. Anal play can also be done solo when you jerk off or if you’re giving prostate massaging a try.
While lots of guys might think that anal play is a “gay thing”, that’s quite a limited view in 2020 and really could not be further from the truth. Today, anal sex has far less to do with sexuality and far more to do with individual preferences, fantasies, turn-ons, and desire to feel the most mind rattling orgasm possible. Anybody can and should enjoy anal sex, don’t let your mentality stop you from this wonderful experience.
But don’t take our word for it—there’s an increasing amount of research to back up this view. A study we looked at from 2019 reported that more than one-third of US women have had anal sex—and that number, surprising as it may seem, is very likely to under-report the real figure . In another study, 15% of straight men said that they had been rimmed, and almost a quarter had been anally fingered . Finally, in an all-male, all heterosexual study from 2018, just under a quarter of guys said that they had received anal erotic stimulation at least once in some form .
The simple answer is that it can feel terrific. Men and women have thousands of nerve endings in and around their butts, which is why fingering and rimming can feel so sensual. For men, the backdoor provides a gateway to the prostate which will give you the strongest orgasms you’ve ever felt. Anal feels good on the inside too because of the direct touch and stretch of the sphincter muscle. It also has an erotic feel because of the proximity between the sphincter muscle and our genitalia.
Anal play can feel particularly intense for guys because it can stimulate the prostate gland. About the size of a walnut, the prostate is located approximately one inch inside a man’s butt. Touching it in the right way will give all-consuming, whole-body orgasms. For that reason, it’s often called the male G-Spot. You can read more about prostate massaging on our website.
If you think that you might like to give anal a go, and you’d like to be the recipient, then it's a good idea to try it out alone first. First off, get hold of some high-quality lube—you’re going to need a lot of it. While most of the time water-based is the best bet when you’re starting. In the case of anal, if you are not using toys, you may want to check out silicone lubricant. Because your body cannot absorb the silicone like it can water, silicone lube will last 10x longer and stay way more slippery than any water-based lube you can get. This is especially important since your anus is not self lubricating like a vagina. You can either use your fingers (starting with just one) or a toy such as an anal probe, prostate massager, dildo or anal beads to see if you like the sensation.
Have some patience when you set out on your first solo anal experiment and don’t give up after a single try. It's essential to go slow and give your sphincter time to stretch out and then relax. To that end, invest in anal toys that either have a tapered design or a series of bumps or lumps that progressively increase in size. Anal training kits are a good option too, as they usually include two or three different sized plugs that let you gradually develop a safe stretch. You can read more about different kinds of anal toys on our site.
Practicing alone gives you a chance to learn your boundaries in a safe, controlled environment before you involve anyone else. It also offers the opportunity to work on your breathing. Mastering deeper, slower breathing during anal experiences will do wonders for relaxing your sphincter muscle and making penetration a lot smoother. It will also keep your body relaxed and let you get lost in the sensations—whether you’re alone or with a partner.
Anal play with a partner needs patience, excellent communication, and trust. That means taking your time at every stage—all the way from initial discussions through to the very first time you are penetrated or penetrate someone else.
When it comes to your first time, build up to anal play with plenty of foreplay as it’s a fun and very effective non-verbal way of communicating trust and intimacy. You could also consider giving the recipient a regular orgasm first. This works equally well for men and women—women generally can have more orgasms in a single session than men, and men can still have a prostate orgasm even if they’ve cum in the time-honored way just a few minutes before. So why not give it a try and use the new anal adventure as a way to extend the duration of your lovemaking.
It’s important with all sex—but particularly with anal—that you are sure that your partner is on board and enjoying what you’re doing. This applies whether you’re using your penis or a anal sex toy, or whether you’re a man or a woman. When you first start experimenting, the person doing the penetrating will have to pause regularly and let their partner get used to the sensations—either by staying inside of them or by withdrawing. This requires patience, understanding, and excellent communication. Take care at these times to enter and withdraw gently and carefully as rapid and thrusted movements can cause pain, anxiety, and distress.
Some couples have a code word that they use to make a very definite distinction between pleasure, pain, and the crossing of any non-consenting boundaries. Although you might associate this with more extreme, domination-type sex, it's a good tactic for anal too, especially during your first few sessions.
If you don't use lube generally during sex, then you're missing out—and you absolutely should. It's not such a big deal if you're having vaginal sex as the more a woman is aroused, the moister she becomes. But that's not the case with anal sex, so you need loads of lube to keep things moving nice and smoothly. Don't save the lube for the main event, however, bring it into your foreplay for some super-intense hand job or fingering action.
Many people consider silicone lube to be the best option for anal play, although water-based lubes are popular too. Silicone lube is slicker and thicker than water-based lube, which means it will last much longer needs less reapplication. Now, there’s nothing that says you can’t take a break and stop to reapply some lube. But sometimes, if you’re in it for a long session and you want to keep the momentum and the intensity going, the last thing you want to do is start scrambling for the bottle of lube that you threw onto the floor in the heat of passion!
Without getting too technical, the best silicone lube lasts longer than water-based lubes as the molecules are much larger. So, instead of getting absorbed into your skin, it rests on your skin’s surface and provides that oh-so-smooth glide until you either wipe or wash the lube off.
You can use silicone lube with condoms, some anal toys, and prostate massagers—just so long as your toys aren’t also made of silicone. There’s a long scientific explanation for this. But suffice it to say that if you put silicone lube on a silicone toy, the toy will start to degrade, become porous and unsafe for use. Silicone lube is not safe with silicone toys. Some people use oil-based lube for anal play, but it tends to be more for those who get involved with huge anal toys or enjoy fisting. If you're just starting to experiment with anal, we’d suggest silicone is your best bet.
When it comes to full-on anal intercourse, you could initially consider adopting a position that gives more control to the recipient. If you are looking for the best position for first time anal then maybe let your partner sit on top or straddle you, so they have more say over the speed and the depth of penetration.
If you're the one doing the penetrating, pay attention to your partner at all times—and go at their pace, not yours. If you've been together for a long time, you can probably read all the subtle body signals and respond accordingly. You might think that doing it doggy style is the best way to begin, but you should give that some serious thought. It's undoubtedly easier for the person doing the penetrating, but it has the disadvantage that they can't see their partner's face and gauge their reaction.
Hygiene is one of the most significant barriers to people trying anal. Understandably, encountering a bit of poop in an intimate moment can be a bit disconcerting, but this is easily prevented by taking a shower or a bath beforehand or using a baby wipe. Some people find it particularly beneficial to use an anal douche (or enema) before their first experience. This offers some further (and, often, much needed) assurance that they’re clean down there and lets them focus solely on the sensations they’re feeling. We’ll talk a bit more about how to give yourself an enema in just a moment.
It’s worth noting that if the receiving partner has recently had a bowel movement and hasn’t got any digestive issues, there shouldn’t be too much to worry about. However, cleansing and washing beforehand can remove a big part of the anxiety for some people and make the experience much more comfortable for them. Just remember, with all the extra movement inside of you, inevitably a bit of poop may slip or dislodge. That’s a good reason to wear a condom even if you’re in a monogamous relationship.
While we’re on the subject of bowel movements, anal play may impact on your intestines. It can cause constipation and make you flatulent because of all the extra air and lube that’s being pushed in. It's totally normal, and you shouldn't panic. But as it's not something that's often discussed, you might think you're doing something wrong when you're absolutely not. It's also true that you might feel you have to empty your bowels or pee after anal sex. That's also a natural response, even if you don't actually end up passing anything. But like the extra gassiness, it's not something that's often openly discussed.
There are a few things you should know if you’re new to using an anal douche. First up, buy a product that’s specifically designed for that use. A lot of people use improvised devices, which is a big mistake. Pushing an improvised douche inside your butt or using it to create a strong water jet can cause tiny punctures in your rectal tissue. You might not even feel them or even know they're there, but these small tears can increase the risk of contracting STDs through anal play.
Don’t be worried or self-conscious about buying a proper anal douche—douching before and after anal play is much more common than you think amongst men and women . There are many different kinds of anal enemas to try, including shower enemas, enema bulbs, fleet enemas, and enema bags. After a little experimentation, you'll find the one that's most comfortable for you. When it comes to the actual liquid you use, water is fine for infrequent douching, but saltwater enemas are also a good option if you’re going to be using a douche on a more regular basis. Don’t be tempted to use soap and water or any anti-bacterial toy cleaner washes.
Is anal sex dangerous or is it safe? Anal is still the most high-risk kind of sex in terms of getting HIV or other STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis. That risk can be dramatically reduced by using a condom—more specifically, by using several condoms in succession during a single anal session.
Couples who are both confident that they are in a monogamous relationship may decide that they don’t need condoms—and want to do it bareback—and that’s fine. But you need to be 100% sure. Ahead of this decision, some couples take an STD test at the same time, make sure they’re both clean and then go ahead without protection—a lot of people are doing that these days and they’re calling it fluid bonding , but it is not without risk.
Although women can’t get pregnant from anal sex per 'se, if you don’t use a condom, sperm can trickle out of an anus and get inside a vagina. This is another excellent reason to wear a condom—even if you’re in a fluid bonded relationship. But even with a condom, you should never switch straight from anal to vaginal sex as you can pass on infections and introduce foreign bacteria.
We’ve said all the way through this article that it’s important to be relaxed and comfortable to have the best kind of anal sex. And so it’s tempting—especially when new to anal play—to think it’s better to get wasted, drunk or stoned and make it easier to receive. But that’s a big mistake.
If your pain receptors aren’t properly engaged, then you run the risk of taking things too far and too quickly and causing serious internal damage. You might also let things happen to you that you wouldn't typically want. And, as all sex should be totally consensual, this is something you should avoid.
With that in mind, if you’re going to use numbing lube, pick one with a low level of active ingredients. Numbing lubes are designed to cut down on any discomfort and improve the sexual experience. They're not meant to completely remove any sensation either for the person being penetrated or the person doing the penetrating, so don't over-use it. Remember, if you do use numbing lube, you should be able to feel the changes in pressure during penetration or other anal play. We’d recommend choosing an anal numbing lube with either a Benzocaine or Lidocaine content of between 2% and 10%.
Anal can be a beautiful, intense, and supremely intimate act. But it isn’t for everyone, and it’s not an obligatory requirement in any relationship—including many gay relationships. Both you and your partner need to be comfortable with the idea and the actual physical act. For that reason, some couples may never get beyond an initial discussion. In contrast, others will find that it becomes a regular part of their sexual adventures. Those adventures, for some couples, develop into other forms of anal play, such as large object penetration with toys including huge butt plugs—often called anal training or anal stretching. If this is something you might be interested in, you can read a dedicated article on the subject on our website.
That said, although no-one should do anything that they're not comfortable with, anal sex can get to feel more natural and more enjoyable with time. So, if you're the one being penetrated and you’re confident in your partner, then perhaps it might ultimately be worth persevering to see if it gets better. Whatever decision you make, as with any kind of sex, remember that with anal, the most important things are to be safe, respectful, and understanding of each other’s boundaries.