How to Have Anal Sex: Beginner’s Guide

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Anal Sex Guide for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know


Today we’ll be going over the Good, the Bad, and The Booty.  

Our anal sex guide includes beginner-friendly tips, our favorite positions, and general sexual health items you should keep in mind. You’ll be fully equipped to experience all the wonders and nerve endings the outback has to offer. ;)


What you need to know about anal sex 

When it comes to the pros and cons of anal sex, the first thing to know is that penetrative anal sex can be very fun, pleasurable, vulnerable, and connective. The best parts of anal sex come with a trusted partner (meaning someone you trust with dat ass, not necessarily someone you’ve known for a long time). The worst tends to occur when the act is done in a rushed fashion, or with no or not enough lubrication. Nobody wants a sore, torn asshole. Always use copious amounts of lube, more than you might use compared to vaginal penetration.

Also, you won't break your butt by (carefully!) putting reasonably-sized objects up there. Your sphincters are muscles, and unless you’re going crazy with the anal stretching, your body can and will snap right back to normal after an amazing anal adventure.


How to have great anal sex

Interested in figuring out how to rub that booty to get the genie out of the bottle? Read on.

First, it’s good to know that for the most part, fecal matter doesn’t hang out in the anal canal except during actual pooping. Butt sex and butt play are quite clean and pleasurable provided you’re taking proper precautions to clean up down there.


Tip #1: Start with fingers or small sex toys

One of the best ways to start out when it comes to anal play is by dipping your toes into the water … or rather, your fingers into the anus. Full penetration doesn’t need to happen at first — try just massaging on and around your sphincter. Use your fingers, lots of lube, and be patient. The point is to explore and see what you like, not to get somewhere specific. You may be surprised by how good it feels just to feel yourself up, so to speak. ;) 

Now let’s talk about angles. It can be challenging to get your fingers to do more than just cursory exploration, so you’re probably going to want to graduate to anal sex toys. These include things like anal plugs, which often come in sets for convenient anal training. A training kit will have butt plugs of different sizes and sometimes shapes, so you can get used to the feeling of having something up there. Anal beads are a great option as well. Their gradually-tapered design allows you to explore different sizes at your own pace.

This capacity to comfortably allow more into the anal cavity is also known as anal stretching. Technically that term just refers to anything that gradually stretches your anus, thus letting you get anal toys or a cock in there, which you might not have been able to do before. For example, going from being able to fit one finger to two fingers counts as anal stretching.


Tip #2: All the lube!

One of the most critical parts of anal exploration, whether that’s with your own finger, butt plug; or a partner's finger, butt plug, or penis is luuuubrication. Tons of it. All the lube, ever.

You want to use lots of lube for several reasons. First and most importantly, your anus produces no lube on its own, the way, for example, a vagina does. Also, one of the most important elements of anal play is the capacity to relax. Relaxation is related to how smoothly things will slide down there, along with (we’ll say it again!) plenty of lube.

Now, when it comes to picking the right lube, there are a few considerations. There are plenty of lubes, both water and silicone-based, that are specifically meant for anal play. Most of these are slightly thicker and more ‘cushiony’ in texture than your standard lube. That said, any good water or silicone based lube will work well for anal sex. Just remember, silicone sex toys can’t be used with silicone based lubricants, so if your favorite butt plug is made of silicone, go with a water based lube, instead. Experiment to see what feels good!

A word on oil-based lubes: these lubes, along with coconut oil or any natural lube you may be considering, should never be used internally. Do not put them in your body, or use them with condoms or sex toys -  both can be damaged by oil. They’re great for massage, and masturbation, though!


Beginner Anal Sex Tips

Sometimes, the most awkward part of partnered penetrative anal sex involves getting whatever type of penetrator (toy, penis, fingers, etc.) you’re using inside for the first time. 

Once the receiving partner is well and truly relaxed, the best way to get something up there is to have gradual, consistent pressure applied to a well-lubed object. This allows the exterior sphincter to open up to receive it. It can be easier in a few different anal sex positions, which are below, so feel free to try a few out.

The fact is, the ins and outs of anal sex can be a little confusing at first, especially if you and your partner aren't experienced, and that's okay as long as there's good communication along with trial and error. 

If you are new to anal have more questions about how to prepare for anal sex, read our linked blog!


The 7 Best Sex Positions for Anal Sex

Positions where the receptive partner has more control

A great way to make sure that anal sex is happening at a comfortable depth and pace for the receptive partner, or bottom,  is to ensure that they’re in a position where they can control those things. Here are some great examples from the perspective of the receiver:


  1. Lap dance:

Face away from your partner, with them sitting on the edge of the bed (or a sturdy and comfortable chair). Lower your hips, sliding down onto their penis, strap-on or other penetrator. Use your leg muscles and arms on their thighs to moderate the amount of pressure, speed, and depth of the penetration.


  1. Cowgirl:

Have your partner lay on a flat surface, like a comfy bed, and straddle them. Your legs will go on either side of them, with your hips directly above their pelvis. This position allows you to control the penetration, though it does tend to be a bit of a workout for your legs.


  1. Reverse cowgirl:

Similar to cowgirl, but facing the opposite direction. You might even spice up the position with some wrist restraints and make your partner writhe as they watch to see what your hips and booty can do.


Positions for easier entry

If you, as the receiver, would rather have your partner take control, allowing you to lay back and relax into the experience, these positions are great candidates:


  1. Spooning:

This one has the added benefit of being a very slow and intimate experience. Because there's a lot of body contact here, it can be sensual and delightful. The most difficult part of this position is lining up that penis, dildo, or toy properly. You might have to reach your hand back and help guide it into your anus, but once you're there, take all the time in the world to relax and enjoy the sensation.


  1. Doggie style:

Relax on all fours, perhaps with a pillow under your chest to change the angle of your hips and torso. This position can also work if your partner kneels on the bed behind you, or them standing and you in doggie style in front of them. This position allows for deeper penetration, so make sure to communicate with your partner about how much depth you want, and how fast that can happen.


  1. Face-down:

Lay on a bed with your partner on top of you, and if it feels more comfortable place a pillow under your hips so your pelvic angle is better for anal penetration. This position can be both comfortable and extremely intimate, but it also takes a little bit of finesse to get everything lined up and eased in properly. Once you're there, though, it can be out of this world!


  1. On the edge:

Lay on your back with your hips at the edge of the bed. Raise your legs up and tuck them towards your chest. This changes your hip angle and lets everything line up a little better, (maybe even stimulating your P-spot/A-spot, if you’ve got one of those). You can also try this position at the corner of a bed to allow for a little more closeness and penetration.


Anal sex safety

So, is anal sex safe? While anal sex might seem like it comes with fewer complications (i.e. you’re far less likely to get pregnant), anal intercourse also has the highest likelihood of STI transmission from the receiver’s perspective. This is because the skin on and around the anus is thinner and more prone to tearing, which means that bodily fluids can be exchanged more directly. If you’re an anal-sex-haver, make sure you and your partner are both practicing safer sex by either wearing protection, or having regular talks about the risks of your sexual activity.

Lube is also a must (in part because it limits the possibility of tearing), and if you’re new to the booty world, don’t use a numbing lube. That’s a more advanced practice. When you’re just starting out, your body’s pain and discomfort responses are important while you get comfortable with anal stimulation; if something’s not going well you need to stop, take a step back and examine the situation. 


Communication & feedback

In order for your anal sphincter to actually relax, activities like anal relaxation and anal foreplay are required. Using communication to put the receptive partner at ease is paramount to successful and enjoyable anal sex. Not all communication needs to be verbal — a good partner should also be using body language and physical feedback to monitor how comfortable you are. 

Be sure to talk with your partner about condom use and about about having safe unprotected anal sex!


Anal sex for men / penis-owners

While anal sex is often associated with gay men or a male partner penetrating a female one, there’s no reason to exclude a testosterone-based boo from the fun. Anal stimulation for cisgendered men can be extremely pleasurable, especially since they have a prostate. If you’ve never heard of the P-spot, you’re missing out! Stimulation of the prostate can be achieved digitally (fingers) or with sex toys (P-spot anal plugs). The prostate can also be stimulated indirectly from the perineum (aka the taint, the region between the testicles and anus). 

Want to learn more about why penis-owners/men like anal sex, read our linked blog!


Anal sex for folks with vaginas

The age old question, "do women like anal sex?" The short answer is, yes - when done right! And it’s not just limited to a heterosexual couple. There’s adult sex toys for vagina-owning partners that can stimulate both simultaneously. Anal stimulation offers different sensations than those provided by vaginal penetration, especially since you’ve got the ability to stimulate the A-spot. What’s the A-spot, you ask? It’s the anterior fornix, which is a pleasure region located deep inside the vaginal canal — right between the cervix and bladder. “It’s about two inches higher than the G-spot,” according to certified sex educator Alicia Sinclair.

Basically, anal sex can get to the A-spot from a different angle. The A-spot can be stimulated by inserting fingers/toys/penises anally 4-6 inches up (everybody is different) and applying pressure towards or angling towards the belly button.

Depending on what’s going on medically or otherwise, anal sex can actually be a preferable penetrative option for vagina owners — for example, if there’s pain during vaginal intercourse. Conditions like vaginismus, where the body automatically and painfully contracts during vaginal sex, can make hetero sex uncomfortable and undesirable. Sometimes anal sex can help get past these penetrative hurdles.

During anal sex, if you’ve got access to other hot button erogenous zones, like the nipples or clitoris, absolutely bring them into your anal experience. The more turned-on and excited you are, the better the experience will feel overall. Multiple types of stimulation can push you over the edge to experience the whole-body and anal orgasms you crave. 


Ready to Try Anal?

Done poorly, anal sex can be particularly terrible for the receiving partner. It comes with a higher risk for a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and in Western countries in particular it’s accompanied by a general social stigma (mostly attached to lack of education around sexuality and human anatomy; with the right care and attention, it's actually quite clean down there). Therefore, it’s critical to have open lines of communication between you and your booty buddies. Whoever is topping the interaction should be attentive to the bottom's needs, and watch out for any signs of pain or discomfort.

Speaking of signs of discomfort, if you're going to engage in any anal play with your fingers, be sure to first trim and clean your fingernails. Let’s go over that again: trim and clean your nails! Anuses don't like the sharp edges of nails and definitely aren’t going to be friends with bacteria that likes to hide under fingernails. A great way to care for your partner is to care for your own hands. You should also feel free to wear some sort of barrier, such as surgical gloves.

Finally, pay attention to your own emotional safety and that of your partner. Anal sex done properly is pleasurable — it should feel good. Unless you specifically want and request discomfort, pain, and or sexual shame, you shouldn't be feeling any of those things with an attentive partner. Instead, you should be feeling oooh, aaaahs, and yummy feelings of connection, intimacy, and joy.


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