Once you learn how to prepare for anal sex correctly, you won’t have to worry about any pain or discomfort (or poop!) during the act.
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In other words, you’ll be able to experience deeply satisfying, full-body, anal orgasms instead of…
- Burning pain.
- Angry and resentful feelings towards your man.
- Fecal matter.
While this article that you’re reading right now covers everything you should do by yourself to prepare for anal sex BEFORE your man gets involved, you may also be wondering what you should do the first time you try anal sex with your man.
That’s what this Anal Sex Guide is all about: The tips, techniques, positions, and advice that both you and your guy should use during anal sex to make it enjoyable and satisfying for both of you.
In other words:
Related: If you want to give your man back-arching, toe-curling, screaming orgasms that will keep him sexually addicted to you, then you'll find them in my private and discreet newsletter. You'll also learn the 5 dangerous & "dumb" sex mistakes that turn him off and how to avoid them. Get it here.
- This article that you are currently reading is about what you should do beforehand to prepare your body for clean, pain-free, satisfying anal sex.
- The Anal Sex Guide is a separate article that teaches you the positions and techniques you can use with your man when you have anal sex for the first time.
Anal Sex Podcast
After reading this anal sex preparation guide, you may want listen to my anal sex podcast to learn some powerful anal sex tips for intense orgasms. You’ll discover 11 things you must do in order to make it wildly pleasurable, fun & satisfying and avoid any pain, embarrassment or mess.
1. It’s Normal To Be Nervous
It’s completely natural to feel nervous and even a little concerned about the thought of anal sex for the first time, especially when you factor in the horror stories that abound on the internet about it. If anal sex hurts, it’s usually because it’s done wrong.
If this makes you hesitant to try and confused about why your partner wants to, you’re not alone. First, check out some of the reasons why guys like anal sex.
But anal sex can be safe and incredibly pleasurable if you prepare properly by following the below advice. You won’t have to worry about any surprises or pain or even any ‘accidents.’ Instead of dreading it, you’ll be excited and looking forward to it. You might even be the one to surprise your man with the idea!
2. Don’t Rush Into Anal Sex
Perhaps your partner thinks that if he brings up the topic of anal sex spontaneously, you might be more receptive. You might want to just say “Yes” because you’re afraid you’ll back out if you think about it too long. But spontaneous anal sex isn’t a great idea.
You might not have the things you need to make it a good experience such as lube or condoms. You may not have time to relax and become fully comfortable with your partner. You may miss the opportunity to prepare, which also helps you feel more relaxed.
It’s also important that you create an atmosphere that allows you to be completely open and honest about what you’re experiencing. This minimizes pain and the potential for injury while maximizing pleasure. Spontaneity might mean you feel less like you can have these discussions, especially if sex has already started. Of course, this may not always be the case; it depends on your dynamic and comfort talking about sex.
Unfortunately, a large proportion of people do not tell their partners if anal sex hurts .
Related: Does Anal Sex Hurt?
When it comes to preparing for anal sex, the talking should start before the activities. Explain your goals and desires and hesitance. If you’re worried about discomfort but your partner’s first thought is your safety and enjoyment, you’re likely to feel reassured and have a much better anal sex experience.
A positive experience may be the difference between trying anal sex again or swearing it off forever! And preparation can make anal sex safer. More on anal safety.
3. Not Every Time Is A Good Time for Anal
There are a number of things to keep in mind before you dive into anal sex. If you’re having tummy troubles or aren’t regular, you definitely need to wait for the right time to have anal sex. The same goes for someone who has Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn’s Disease. Depending on the severity, anal sex may not be in the cards for you.
Some women prefer to put off anal sex because they’re pregnant.
The best time to have sex is after you’ve had a clean bowel movement. If you’re regular, you probably know when this is. Eating fiber and drinking water is key to regularity. Some people may recommend using products or eating food to firm your poo and prevent any bowel movement, but this isn’t necessarily helpful or comfortable.
If you think you’ll have to go, have loose or compacted stool, it’s best to wait to have anal sex. You can always try again if you want good anal sex, but going through with it when you should have waited might lead to a terrible experience, instead.
4. You Don’t Have to Go Hygiene Crazy
This section may not sound sexy, but it is the most important part of preparing for anal sex. Excellent hygiene will also help put those nerves on ice.
Hygiene both reduces the likelihood of fecal matter and foul odors but also helps ensure that you’re fully prepared for anal play. This helps you relax, which we’ll talk about a bit further on. If you can do no other cleanup, a wet wipe is essential. Make sure it’s clean.
When no wet wipe is available, take a shower and really scrub between your cheeks and around your anus to clean it up. While there are trace amounts of feces in the anus, it’s actually stored in the bowels. So there shouldn’t be a ton to clean up .
Douches – You can go one step further by using a douche. An anal douche is a small device like a baby’s nostril sucker. You can fill it with warm water, insert it into your anus and squeeze to squirt water. This can rinse out any residue. Use a douche over the toilet for easy cleanup.
Enemas – A further step that you can take to ensure you are super clean is having an enema just before anal sex. You can buy enema kits in pharmacies and even online if you want a little more privacy. While I could give you a detailed description on how to perform your enema, Wikihow already has a detailed article on the very subject here.
Enemas are more invasive and not really necessary. They can even cause irritation . If you particularly enjoy them or have a fetish that involves enemas, you can consider one. Otherwise, you can save your money on that tool and stick to showering, douching or wet wipes to prepare for anal sex.
5. You Can Remove Hair… If You Want
People are mammals, which means they have hair all over, including their genitals and butts. This hair may be fine and baby soft or may be darker and more coarse. This is especially true for men, but many women have hair they might like to deal with before activities such as anal sex.
This step is optional and doesn’t necessarily make things more hygienic although aesthetically it may look cleaner, so it’s entirely up to you if you want to do it. You shouldn’t do it just because your partner tells you to.
Hair removal cream, waxing, and shaving are all great options to remove hair before anal. Shaving is probably the easiest way to do this, and you want to use a razor that’s sharp and quality shaving cream to condition your hair and make it easier to shave. This can ensure a closer shave.
While shaving your butt is easier than most other methods of DIY hair removal, it can still be tricky. If you have short arms, curves or limited flexibility, you might have a hard time reaching around. And you can’t see where you’re shaving. You can try squatting or shaving in front of a mirror if it helps.
Hair removal creams are an option but stick to ones intended for sensitive skin. You don’t want a nasty chemical burn on your anus! This leads us to our next point.
6. Anal Bleaching Is Totally Unnecessary
The anus (like the labia) are darker than other skin. This is totally normal and natural, and nothing to worry about. However, you can buy bleaching products to lighten the color if you desire. To achieve desired results, you’ll likely have to repeat the process. This can be costly and time-consuming.
There are other risks with anal bleaching, too. A chemical burn is one such risk. Bleaching products make include ingredients such as Vitamin E, aloe, and chamomile to soothe and condition your skin, but side effects such as temporary burning and itching or permanent scarring a real risk. You have to weigh the pros and cons.
Finally, if you decide to bleach your anus to prepare for anal, avoid any product that contains hydroquinone. Hydroquinone has been linked to cancer and can permanently discolor skin.
Learn more in our guide to anal bleaching.
You don’t need the perfect body to enjoy anal sex. And any partner who cannot accept your natural body as it is may not be a partner you should be with.
7. Anal Sex & Vaginal Sex Are So Different
The simple and very obvious reason is that your man is going to be stimulating your vagina during regular sex and your anus & rectum during anal sex. But how come some women adore anal sex and some women hate it? Why the big difference?
It all comes down to one simple muscle, your anal sphincter.
I know it sounds funny, but I’m totally serious!
This muscle is completely different than any muscle you will find in your vagina. The interesting thing about it is that it’s in a constant state of contraction. So it’s tense & tight all the time. Unlike many other muscles in your body, getting your anal sphincter muscle to relax can take a while, usually a few minutes.
Many guys don’t understand this. They think a little bit of lube will do the trick and make everything easy and enjoyable for you. This isn’t the case (and you should let your man know this!). As well as using lubricant, you also need to give your sphincter time to relax fully.
8. Relaxing Is Key
So now that you know about your sphincter, it’s time to learn how to get it to fully relax so that your man can enter you easily and pleasurably. This is vital when learning how to prepare for anal sex properly. To do this, you need to allow it to loosen up slowly. You can’t rush things as it simply can’t rapidly relax. Additionally, it won’t loosen up unless you stick something up there to stretch it out.
Another thing to bear in mind is that if you are tense or very nervous, it’s going to take longer for it to relax. This is why I always advise that you first learn how to relax your sphincter alone before trying it with your man when preparing for anal sex. That way there is much less pressure the first few times you try it. Try relaxing your throat, which will help be mirrored in the sphincter muscle.
Aside from relaxing your anus, you’ll want to find ways to relax your body and mind in general.
Massage – A massage (more on sensual massages) is a great way to relax and get into the mood for anal sex. A full-body massage can become a genital massage, which can switch to butt stimulation instead. Kneading of the cheeks and light stimulation of your anus is a great segue into penetration. Similarly, your man can start by groping and massaging your butt before performing analingus.
Just remember that once a finger or tongue has made contact with your asshole, it shouldn’t go back to vaginal stimulation . Similarly, you don’t want to put any body part that’s been in contact with semen into your vagina because it can lead to pregnancy (Read: Can You Get Pregnant From Anal Sex? The Scientific Facts).
A glass of wine – Many people, especially women, like to unwind with a glass of wine or perhaps by smoking marijuana. These things can also increase your libido, making you more likely to say “Yes” to anal or other forms of sex. Don’t go overboard, however. You want to remain in control, aware and able to express yourself during anal sex.
Oral, manual or vaginal sex are great ways to relax, too. It appears that women who enjoy a few orgasms are more likely to engage in anal sex and have even more orgasms (find out how to have incredible anal orgasms). And that’s always a good thing.
Bubble bath – A relaxing bath is a wonderful way to relax before any type of sex (and you can enjoy your glass of wine while you’re in the suds!). Consider inviting your man if you’d like, but it’s okay if you don’t want to share. Plus, you’ll leave the bath feeling squeaky clean!
9. Always Use Lube
The next section is about how starting with fingers or toys is a great way to loosen up for anal sex. Anything other than a tongue requires lubrication because the anus isn’t self-lubricating like the vagina is. You can apply lube directly to the body part or toy you’re going to use for penetration as well as your anus.
Learn about what type of lube to use here.
Use a healthy dollop and be prepared to add more if you need it. However, you don’t want to use an entire bottle because it will then act more like an enema or douche and make things quite messy.
Check out our podcast episode on anal sex for more advice.
10. But Never Use Numbing Products
Along with lubricants made specifically for anal sex, you’ll find anal numbing creams such as Anal Ease. These products contain chemicals that numb you for anal sex. So you can use them and not feel any pain during anal, which seems like a good thing. However, this also means you can’t feel any pleasure, and you might feel disconnected from the activity. If a numbing cream comes in contact with your partner’s penis, he may also lose sensation.
Plus, numbing makes it harder to control your sphincter.
Furthermore, when you numb your body’s response to pain, you might not be aware if something is really wrong. You won’t know when to say “Stop,” and your partner might go ahead even if you’ve suffered an injury.
People who use these products might think that they also function as lube, but that is not the case. You still need to have lube on hand for anal sex in addition to this potentially harmful product.
Fortunately, the rise of feminist sex toy stores and body-friendly retailers means that fewer of these products are available .
11. Start Small
Although it can be tricky, you can use anal toys or your fingers to get to know your preferences via anal masturbation (read more about anal masturbation). Then, you can bring this knowledge to your anal sex experience and set the stage for the best experience possible.
The best way to start preparing for anal sex is by loosening up your sphincter with something very small. I advise using one single finger. First, grab a small amount of lube and cover your finger with it. Then rub some on your anus. Then get on your knees and lean forward so that your chest is lying on your bed. This is the best position to be in to help your sphincter to relax. You’re going to be in a similar position to the turtle sex position.
By the way, it’s much easier to put your arm behind your back when penetrating your anus, instead of in front of yourself.
Then cautiously start pushing your finger into your anus. Like I explain on the main page about having anal sex, you’ll immediately notice how tight it is. After you get a little bit inside, stop and hold your finger there for a full minute. You’ll see that towards the end of that minute, it won’t feel as tight anymore. Then gently pull your finger out, rest for a minute or 2 and then push it in again, this time try to go a bit deeper.
As you do, you may feel like you hit another layer of resistance. This is the other side of the sphincter muscle. It’s about 0.5-1 inch deep. As you push through it, go very gently and slowly as this is the area that has the most potential for pain. Then once you push through this last part of the sphincter, hold your finger there for another full minute before slowly pulling it out.
Then do it again. And again. Up to 10 times in total. And make sure to pay attention to how your sphincter starts to loosen up. It’s simple, but it’s just the start. Here are 3 pointers to keep in mind when learning how to prepare for anal sex:
- Make sure to trim your fingernails first!
- If you are wondering how much lube to use during this entire exercise, follow this simple rule: “It’s better to have slightly too much lube, rather than too little.”
- Feel free to masturbate while doing it (P.S. You’ll find some excellent masturbation techniques here & here)
Read More: Advice for Anal Fingering
Now let’s keep moving forward with your anal sex preparation…
Once you find that you can easily slip one finger up there, then it’s time to try two fingers using the same guidelines that I described above. Remember to go slowly and make sure that you stop if you feel like it’s too uncomfortable.
12. Toys Can Help
Toys can are a great segue into anal sex. They will help to relax your sphincter for a penis, and you can get pleasure out of them, too. You’ll find tips about specific toys that you can use below. Regardless of the type of toy, follow this advice when choosing something to use anally:
- The toy should be made of a nonporous material such as silicone, metal, treated wood, glass, plastic or ceramic.
- There should be no sharp edges that can cut you or seams that can collect fecal matter.
- The toy should have a flared base to prevent it from getting stuck or lost in you. A handle or loop is also acceptable (accept with glass toys because looped handles are quite weak).
Thoroughly clean the toy before first use. If you use the same toy for vaginal and anal play, cover it with a condom during anal use. Disinfect the toy after use by boiling for 3 minutes (if no mechanical parts) or spraying with a 10% bleach solution.
You’ll quickly find that fingering your anus is quite awkward if you want to do it for a sustained period. An easier way to get your anus loosened up is to use a butt plug. They come in all shapes and sizes, which means that they have very thin ones for beginners as well as much larger ones if you enjoy the sensation of being stretched. So you can start with a small one and then keep ‘upgrading’ to bigger ones as you find it more comfortable. You can even purchase trainer kits which come with a selection of butt plugs of different sizes.
When choosing a butt plug, the neck should be noticeably more narrow than the base. A longer neck can be helpful if you have a big booty. Some people find round bases more comfortable while others prefer narrow, rectangular ones.
Once you put the butt plug inside you, it’s shaped so it will just sit there, meaning that you don’t have to do anything to keep it in place. So, you can go about your daily life as if it’s not there all if you are feeling particularly kinky!
Learn: How to use a butt plug.
Anal beads are another type of toy you can consider. They typically have a smaller diameter, so they’re good for warmup to anal play. Many people enjoy the sensation of beads entering their rectum and then slowly popping back out.
If you want to go one step further in your anal sex preparation, then you should consider using a dildo that’s similar in size to your man’s penis. Just like with the butt plugs, you’ll notice how you’re very tight when you first penetrate yourself with it, but that you start to loosen up after a while.
Start with very slow, shallow strokes and as you get more and more comfortable, start to penetrate yourself a little deeper and faster. Again, pay close attention so that you don’t accidentally hurt yourself.
Now you know what your man is going to feel like!
Note 1: If you do use a dildo in your anal preparation, make sure to wash it thoroughly afterward before using it in your vagina.
This Dildo Pleasure Guide will teach you how to use your dildo for maximum satisfaction.
13. Anal Sex Increases HIV Risk
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anal sex represents the greatest risk to transmitting HIV because of the thin tissues in the rectum. Before you freak out, recognize your risk. The CDC’s Risk Reduction Tool allows you to input your gender and sexual orientation to get advice on anal sex risks.
One thing you can consider if to prepare for anal sex with someone who has HIV or whose HIV status is unknown is taking medication known as Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), These medications reduce the risk of HIV transmission by more than 90% when taken consistently . After sex, Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can potentially prevent you from becoming infected if you didn’t use a condom.
Of course, using condoms helps reduce this risk, but many straight people don’t . It’s okay for you to ask to use condoms for anal, even if you don’t use them for vaginal sex.
14. More Anal Sex Tips
Now that you know how to prepare for anal sex, it’s time to do it! That’s what the primary Anal Sex Guide is all about. Check it out now to learn how you and your man can start enjoying the pleasures of anal sex tonight. And make sure to check out these 19 anal sex positions if you are looking for more ways to spice up anal sex with your man.
What The Science Says
Researchers have frequently polled respondents about their opinions on anal sex and how often they engage in it. A survey of 5,865 people by Indiana University in 2010 found that anal sex had become more popular with 40% of men having ever tried it . A more recent survey found that both men and women viewed anal sex as “having sex,” making it the activity most commonly considered sex after vaginal intercourse .
We also recently ran our own survey of 1,260 women to answer the question:
The results were conclusive, with 63.3% of women who received anal sex at least once reporting that they enjoy it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I use lube for anal sex?
A: Absolutely. While some people can comfortably have anal sex with little or no lube, the anus is not self-lubricating like the vagina . Without lube, anal penetration is more likely to cause tears. Even if you don’t experience pain or bleeding, micro-tears can occur, making it more easy to contract an STI (anal sex is the riskiest activity when it comes to transmitting HIV ) or get a bacterial infection. Youch!
Q: What kind of lube should I use for anal play?
A: This depends on personal preference. Some people prefer an ultra-slick lube that lasts forever, typically made of silicone. Others like a thicker, gel lubricant because it feels “softer.” Sliquid Sassy is a fan favorite in the second category. It doesn’t hurt to purchase one of each to see what you like. Just make sure you’re testing silicone lube with any silicone toy to check for compatibility and make sure that there is no reaction.
Q: Do I absolutely have to shower (or douche or use an enema?).
A: You don’t have to do any of those things but many people prefer to do so because of the peace of mind bring it brings knowing that they’re clean. A shower and a wet wipe are good enough in most instances. If you can tell that you need to go a little further, then a douche works just fine for cleaning out anything extra. Using an enema might play into a kink or fetish, but it’s definitely not necessary.
Q: Is shaving a prerequisite?
A: Some people feel a little squeamish about the hair on their butts and near their anuses. It’s normal because we’re all mammals. It can be unsightly, and it might be much more noticeable on some people. If your hair is especially thick, it might get in the way of anal play. You can shave it if that’s a concern, or if you’re just too self-conscious otherwise.
Some men shave before getting a prostate massage, too. Learn more about prostate massage.
Remember that shaving any hair leads to blunt ends, which may actually be more noticeable (to the eyes or skin) than your longer-but-tapered hair. Shaving can also be an awkward activity, and any nicks in the area may be susceptible to infections. So use a quality razor and shaving cream and go slow. And don’t use it on any other body parts after, which can transfer bacteria.
Q: Is anal sex messy?
A: Anal sex usually isn’t messy at all if you prepare properly for it. You might not have to deal with any fecal matter, especially if you’ve recently had a clean bowel movement. However, it can be messy. We are talking about the anus, after all.
The tips we’ve provided help to minimize the risk of mess and any associated embarrassment. However, you need to be prepared that whatever enters your butt might come out with fecal residue or that you could potentially have an accident (usually flatulence).
Using a condom during anal sex or when using an anal sex toy can make cleanup much easier!
Q: Can I go back to vaginal sex after anal sex?
A: No matter what you see in porn, you do not want to insert a penis (or toys or fingers) into the vagina after it has been in the anus. It needs to first be cleaned thoroughly and you also need to use a fresh condom. The anus contains different bacteria than the vagina, and this can lead to a bacterial or other infection .
If you’re interested in learning more about the dangers of numbing creams, check out this post on the dangers of Anal Ease at Sexational.
William Saletan has written about anal sex for Slate. In one article, he examines why sessions that include anal sex also include more orgasms for women.
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