The Bottom Line

April 15 5 min read

Let me tell you a secret: anal play isn’t as daunting as it seems. How do I know? Because I spent a large chunk of my sexually active life dealing with trauma surrounding anal sex. I had a very bad experience and it scarred me. I carried that fear with me from one relationship to the next until I found a partner who was willing to go slow, maintain consent and make me feel comfortable. Anal play is now one of my favorite sexual activities – I even do it during my solo sessions. 


There are two things that are absolutely mandatory when attempting any kind of anal play: applying generous amounts of proper lubrication and maintaining consent/communication with your partner(s). 


Make sure you’re using the right kind of lube for anal play.


Did you know there are specific lubes that are meant for anal play? 


Water-based lubes are certainly the easiest to find, they offer less mess, and are safe to use with all condoms and sex toys. Silicone-based lubes can (sometimes) work with condoms but should not be used in combination with silicone toys as they can break down the material. Oil-based lube can be the slickest and last the longest out of all three options but it’s really a hard pass when it comes to using them in conjunction with condoms or sex toys. 


While whichever option you choose is highly personal and based on what toys and/or protection you and your partner are using, there is one thing that applies to everyone in every anal play situation: if you’re considering a lubricant that is advertised as “numbing”,do not use it for anal play. 


Using a numbing lubricant will mean that you can’t feel the natural responses your body has to inserting a foreign object into your anus. Pain and discomfort are your body’s way of letting you know to slow down, add more lube, use a smaller toy, etc. Using a numbing lubricant during anal play can lead to some serious pain once the numbing agent wears off because you may have gone too far without realizing it. 



Explore your body by yourself before adding toys or a partner. 


 A well-lubed finger and being relaxed in bed by yourself is going to get you comfortable enough to try this without the pressure (intentional or not) of pleasing a partner. Butt stuff can be a little awkward – why not test it out for yourself first?
 

Trying out some (beginner) anal toys is a good next step... maybe with an audience. 


 Once you’re experienced with a finger or two, you can move on to a (beginner) anal toy. It’s important to use toys that are meant for anal play, such as beads, butt plugs, etc. At this time, if you’re feeling comfortable, you could also have your partner(s) participate in the fun with you by playing with you or simply watching as you play. This can be a really sexy form of foreplay and teasing if you’re not quite ready to include your partner in the physical aspects of anal play but want to share the experience with them. 


If you experience pain or discomfort, change the position you’re in.


 When it comes to anal play, the position you’re in matters. For couples’ play, many people think that “doggy style” positions are easiest for anal sex. However, this may not be true. In reality, from-the-back positions do give easy access but when you’re not facing your partner, they can’t read your face and you don’t control the pace. Some people enjoy missionary positions because your partner can see your face, it’s easier to communicate and you can control how far and how fast you go. It can also be a psychological way for you to get past the nerves – when you’re on top or face to face, you may feel more in control.


 

Understanding your own biology is extremely helpful. 


Did you know that the more aroused you are, the more relaxed your body (including your sphincter muscles) become? This makes it much easier to participate in and actually enjoy anal play. Additionally, the tissue of your anus is thinner and more sensitive than the rest of your skin, which can make it more prone to tearing, infection, and/or sexually transmitted infections.
 

Remember: anal play doesn’t have to be penetrative. 


While you may associate anal play with penetrative anal stimulation, there are other ways to play. “Rimming” (otherwise known as analingus) can be a fun, easy, stress-free way of introducing anal stimulation to you and your partner(s). Rimming can be enjoyed as a stand-alone pleasure sesh, part of foreplay or a lead up to anal sex. 


If you need some more visual aid, we're here to help with a free guide to anal blog by Lustery couple Bruce & Nicole!

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Jamiee Bell
« Jaimee Bell is a freelance author and writer who focuses on sex positivity, wellness, psychology, and mental health. You can find her on Twitter or purchase her debut book, All the Dirty Little Things, on Amazon. » All posts →