Using lots of lube and starting out slow with your fingers or a butt plug will help things feel comfortable. A little bleeding your first time or two isn’t unusual, either.
Be aware that unprotected anal sex can spread STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. To prevent this, use internal condoms.
1. Warm up
The anus is a sensitive area that requires lube. “Without it, you are at much higher risk for tearing skin or causing injury,” Harris-Jackson says. She recommends a natural lube, which won’t break down latex condoms. (Oil-based lubes should not be used, since they are bad for anal tissue.) It can help to have your partner lick your bottom first, which will warm it up and make for a more satisfying experience, she adds. You can also use sex toys, which are great for stretching the anus.
Be sure to change the condom before using your hands for anal stimulation or penetrative play. Bacteria from the anus can get into the urethra and cause urinary tract infections, or UTIs. Thoroughly washing any objects or parts of your body that touch the anus is important, too.
Anal sex can be very pleasurable, but it’s not for everyone. If you and your partner are new to this kind of play, it’s important to broach the subject upfront. Explain to your partner that this is a safe way to explore pleasure in the genital region and that anal sex can lead to more intimate sexual experiences.
Talk about positions you’re both comfortable with and what you might like to try. Spooning, doggy style, and the missionary position are all good options. Remember that anal sex may take some time to get a feel for, and it’s OK to be patient with the process.
2. Clean up
The anus doesn’t produce enough lubrication on its own for comfortable penetration, so using plenty of lubricant is key. It’s also a good idea to use an anal condom to reduce the risk of infection and breakage. And, like any sex act, it’s important to be patient and communicative with your partner and always listen to what they’re telling you about how things feel.
It’s a good idea to have a few towels and baby wipes handy for cleaning up after anal play. Just make sure to clean all the toys you’ve used thoroughly. And, don’t put anything that was in the anus into the vagina — it can introduce bacteria that can lead to a UTI or yeast infection.
Some people may try anal douching or enemas before anal sex to feel cleaner and more ready for anal penetration. But medical professionals advise against this because flooding the rectum dehydrates it, which can cause infections, especially in people with HIV.
Just as with vaginal sex, anal sex can spread STDs such as chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, hepatitis, and HIV. So, it’s a good idea to practice safe anal hygiene by washing the area after anal sex, showering, and peeing before bed. It’s also a good idea for people to get regular STI testing, use barrier forms of protection (like internal condoms), and use water-based lubricants with latex condoms.
3. Take it easy
When you’re anal playing with a penis, fingers, or a sex toy, it’s important to take it slow and listen to the signals your body is sending you. For example, you may notice that your anus is tense or it might start to hurt. This is normal, and it’s a good idea to stop what you’re doing at that point.
You should also make sure to use plenty of lubricant. The anus doesn’t produce enough lubrication on its own, and a lack of lubrication can cause pain and discomfort. Also, you should only use water-based lubricants — anything oily could damage latex condoms.
It’s also important to remember that anal sex can spread sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For example, bacteria from the anus that gets into the urethra can cause UTIs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to always use an internal condom when having anal sex and to change the condom when switching from anal to oral or vaginal sex.
Of course, not everyone will enjoy anal sex. That’s OK, and it’s best to be open about this with your partner. Hopefully, the two of you can find other ways to spice things up, like licking each other’s anuses or masturbating with toys. Just be sure to always practice safe anal play and choose a partner who’s comfortable with it.
4. Get some sleep
As with any type of sex, it’s important for both partners to be comfortable. If anal sex doesn’t feel right to either person, that’s okay — they can always find other ways to get pleasure. If you’re new to anal play, try experimenting with different positions first. For example, missionary position can be uncomfortable, especially if you’re a beginner. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives like spooning and doggy style.
It’s also important to wash anything that touches the anal region after anal sex, including hands, genitals, and sex toys. Thoroughly washing helps reduce the risk of infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bacterial vaginosis (BV).
If you use an anal plug or other device, it’s recommended to replace the device after each session, so bacteria aren’t continuously reintroduced into your system. You should also clean anal sex toys, such as dildos or vibrators, regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions to keep them in good working order.
While anal sex is very pleasurable, it’s not for everyone. Some women may need to practice anal sex more than others before it becomes pleasurable. If you find that anal sex doesn’t feel like a fit for you, it’s OK to stop. But if you’re having fun and your partner is enjoying it, keep up the good work!