The Best Way to Prepare For Anal Sex

When it comes to anal sex, there are a lot of myths, misconceptions and fears that can scare people away from giving it a try. But with a little preparation, anal sex can be a deliciously orgasmic experience.

For starters, it’s important to remember that poop is stored in the upper bowels, not in the anus canal (thank goodness!). This will help relieve fear of fecal contamination.

Warm Up

Obviously, before you and your partner can get started with anal play, you’ll need to warm up. It might help to turn on some music, light some candles, or just lie down with your partner and chat for a bit to set the mood.

You’ll also want to make sure that you both have clean hands and that you use anal lube for your first time together. Having anal sex with dirty hands can introduce bacteria to the anus, which can lead to a painful anal experience and may even result in an infection.

Anal lube helps to soften the anus and make it easier to penetrate. It’s also a good idea to start out slow and be ready to stop, or even talk about it, at any moment if it’s uncomfortable for either of you. “If your anal sex is hurting, don’t push through it—that can cause damage,” says Harris-Jackson.

When you’re ready to try penetration, start with a finger or sex toy, like a plug or dildo, and lube up your finger before you insert it. If you’re going to use a dildo, choose one with a flared base so that it can fit inside the anus easily and stay put while you explore.

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A little anal sex can be very orgasmic, but it’s important to remember that the anus is a sensitive area. If you’re feeling nervous or uncomfortable, take some time to relax and see if the feelings change.

Clean Up

It’s important to talk to your partner about how you both want to approach anal play. This will help you both feel more comfortable, and it can also give you an idea of who might be the best person to be your penetrative partner (the “top”) or your receiving partner (the “bottom”). Having open communication about anal sex can help reduce friction and discomfort, as well as help prevent injuries if something goes wrong.

It can also be helpful to clean up before anal sex starts, as the anus can harbor harmful bacteria. The best way to do this is to take a shower beforehand, but you can also use a baby wipe or a bidet to clean up. You can even douche your anus, but do it sparingly, as too much can disturb the bacterial balance in the back end and lead to gut issues and infections.

Many people are worried that anal sex will be messy, and it can be, but it’s not always as bad as you might think. Just keep in mind that lube and bodily fluids can get on the sheets, and sometimes you may notice microscopic traces of fecal matter — which is why it’s important to talk openly with your partner and be prepared for anything. Having a stash of tissues or gentle unscented wipes nearby can be useful for quickly cleaning up any messes.

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Lube Up

Anal play can be sexy, and it’s important to use plenty of anal lube for a smooth experience. But avoid flavored and scented lubes, which can irritate the skin and aren’t good for anal sex. Also, avoid lubes that promise a “numbing” effect, which can dull the sensation and may lead to intense injuries like anal tearing that you won’t feel until after your sexy time is over.

If you’re not used to touching the area in the back of your rectum, start with masturbation and gradually move on to anal fingering at your own pace. This can help you feel more comfortable with the sensations of anal sex and prepare your body for whatever position you choose to assume (either as the penetrative partner or the receiving partner).

During anal play, it’s common to take turns being the penetrator and the receiver. This can be fun for both partners and can change the dynamic of sex. Just make sure to communicate and establish a clear comfort zone with your partner.

It’s also a great idea to always use condoms during anal sex, even when you’re both experienced with the technique. This will provide a barrier and reduce the risk of infection and injury. It’s best to have a few condoms and sachets of anal lube in your purse or backpack, and to keep them easily accessible so that you can quickly grab them when needed.

Talk About It

It’s also super important that you and your partner talk about anal play, as this can help build trust and a deeper level of intimacy around the act. This is also a great time to discuss any questions or concerns that either of you might have.

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It is totally okay to give anal sex a miss if you or your partner don’t feel ready for it, even after you’ve done all the prep. Your comfort, wellbeing and boundaries are always the most important thing, so don’t push yourself or your partner to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.

During foreplay, exploring the anal opening and feeling out the anal sphincter with your fingers can be really empowering. It will also let you get familiar with the sensations that will be coming when it comes time to engage with anal sex (whether with a dildo or your fingers).

Anal sex isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally fine. But it can be incredibly pleasurable and rewarding if you do it the right way. With some foreplay, a bit of cleaning up and plenty of communication about your feelings and expectations, anal sex can be one of the most satisfying sexual experiences you’ll have. Just remember to take it slow and make sure you’re using a non-numbing lube. And if you’re bottoming, have access to some wipes to clean up afterwards.

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