By Jane Jett, May 8th, 2018
Once a taboo, anal sex is now seen as an enjoyable addition to many sexual relationships.
So now your partner wants to give it a try. Perhaps they’ve tried it before and enjoyed it, or maybe it’s long been a fantasy of theirs (and maybe yours too). If so, you wouldn’t be alone. On the other hand, some people have a very clear idea that anal sex isn’t for them, and that’s totally fine too as nobody should ever do anything that feels in any way forced or uncomfortable.
Well, if your partner wants to try anal sex and you don’t feel comfortable then be sure to say so. However, if you’re curious to give it a go then my advice is to start gently.
or most people the trick is getting to full penetration over a period of several sessions. To begin, gently inserting a finger can help to get you used to the sensation of having something inside your anus. It’s important to stay with this until you feel sufficiently confident to try something a bit bigger. Many people use sex toys I highly recommend starting with a butt plug (We-Vibe Ditto), as well as fingers or tongues, to gently explore the anus before progressing to full penetration by your partner. Some couples simply stick to using sex toys also I highly recommend anal beads and find this just as pleasurable. Lots of kissing and caressing is likely to help too because it will help to ease any anxiety and boost arousal.
If you haven’t tried anal sex before, it’s natural to be concerned about pain. Any painful sensation is usually a warning sign that something is wrong and isn’t working, but when done with care it is not as or difficult than other sexual practices. That’s why being really aroused before any penetration is attempted is so important, along with feeling confident that your partner will stop if you ask them to. This is because the anal canal is likely to clamp shut at the first sign of pain or anxiety.
The anal entrance is very sensitive and so starting with gentle touch or stroking there and all over the buttocks can really help set the scene before attempting penetration. Once the penis is inside the anus, any thrusting should start only after the penis has ‘rested’ there for a while. This helps you get used to feeling ‘filled up’ and also allows for checking out with a partner when to start and stop moving.
Getting into the right position can help too. Spooning or lying side by side can be helpful because it allows for continued stimulation of the clitoris, nipples or penis, which can enhance pleasure and help maintain arousal. The level of penetration isn’t as deep as with some other positions, so this may be a comforting thought if you are an anal novice. For some men, face to face entry where the penetrator has their partner’s legs raised over their shoulders can help with continued stimulation of the penis.
Anal sex is safer and often more pleasurable and fun when you take care to follow some basic guidelines. The anus doesn’t lubricate in the same way as a vagina so using plenty of lube is a must. Spread it all over the penis around the anus and as far up inside as you can. This will make penetration and stimulation much easier, and also help to avoid any damage to the anus which can be prone to cuts and tears if a partner gets careless. A water based lubricant is best (Coconu Water based lube) because silicon based lubricants can cause latex condoms to break. I’d also always recommend using condoms (The Hex Condom from Lelo) one to protect against STIs and to help avoid getting harmful bacteria where it can cause damage. Hygiene is important when it comes to anal, so wash thoroughly before any activity and wash the sex toys afterwards too. Using latex gloves for penetration with fingers and dental damns for mouth to anus contact may not sound the sexiest thing in the world but they can certainly help to limit any potential health hazards. And if there are any existing anal problems, such as itching or soreness, piles or constipation, these must be dealt with before you give anal a try. Also, definitely see a doctor if there’s any bleeding or discharge from the anus after sex (or indeed at any other time).
Don’t be disappointed if it takes a few attempts to get to a place where it feels like a natural addition to your sexual experience. Equally, if you do try anal and find it’s not for you then don’t worry – there are always plenty of other things to experiment with.
Whatever happens, feeling safe and comfortable is likely to enhance the experience for both of you. A key part of that, as with all things sexual, is deciding together what’s on offer and how far you want to go.