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How To Prepare For Anal Sex And Safely Enjoy It

Here's the best way to prepare for anal sex and how to safely enjoy it.

Zachary Zane
Columnist, sex expert, and activist whose work focuses on sexuality, lifestyle, culture, and the LGBTQ community

by Zachary Zane 10 min read

Happy couple learned how to prepare for anal sex

According to the most recent data from Pornhub’s year in review, anal sex was the 7th most searched porn category in the world in 2019, with millions of people searching for anal sex content online.

But people aren’t just interested in watching anal sex, they want to have it! (After all, that’s why you clicked on this article!)

Men, women, and nonbinary folks across the globe want to stick it in each other’s booties!

Who can blame them?

Anal sex can be physically pleasurable, psychologically arousing, and also an emotional experience where you bond with your partner.

Here we’ve provided a comprehensive guide of how to prepare for anal sex so you can enjoy the experience to the fullest!

Quick FAQs

Any professionally manufactured lube is safe. However, if you plan on incorporating toys then you will want to stay away from silicone lubricants. Additionally, If you plan on using latex condoms, you'll want to avoid using any oil based lubricants.

While not everyone is the same, yes, many cisgender do enjoy anal because it stimulates the A-Spot and the Skene's gland

The primary risks associated with anal sex are STIs, anal fissure (here's why the lube and going slow are so important), and it could worsen existing hemorrhoids.

While this will largely be personal preference. Some of the most commonly agreed upon positions that work best for anal sex are doggy style, missionary, and spooning.

What is Anal Sex

First things first. Just what exactly is anal sex?

Anal sex is when you insert a penis (or a dildo or another sex toy) into an anus.

Simple enough!

There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding anal sex, so let’s go ahead and break down the truth and the myths:  

The truths 

  • The anus has a ton of nerve endings making it feel incredibly pleasurable
  • It requires planning and preparation
  • Foreplay is necessary in order to relax
  • There’s still a risk of STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
  • It’s accessible to anyone regardless of gender or sexual orientation
  • You should not switch directly from anal to vaginal penetration 

The myths 

  • It’s painful the entire time
  • It doesn’t feel good for cisgender women since they don’t have a prostate 
    • Condoms aren’t necessary
      • You don’t need to use any lube
      • Your anal muscles will become permanently “loose”

      Talk About It With Your Partner

      Couple discussing how to prepare for anal sex

      Men, women, and nonbinary folks have different reasons why they might want to try anal sex. 

      For cisgender men, it might be the increased stimulation associated with having their prostate massaged.

      For women, anal sex is a great way to stimulate the A-Spot.

      Plus, studies show the added intimacy and excitement of doing something new might be just the thing you’ve both been looking for to spice things up in the bedroom.  

      We understand talking about anal sex can be a tad awkward, but it is absolutely necessary. 

      Describe to your partner exactly what you want to do.

      You don’t want to go into the bedroom thinking you’re going to get full-on penetrative anal intercourse while your partner’s only prepped for light anal play.

      Most important out of all: get consent!

      Do not, and I repeat do not, just try to slip it in your partner’s anus without letting them know.

      Anal sex should never be a surprise.

      Try it on Yourself

      I mean, if you are going to penetrate someone else’s butt, I’d say it would be best to feel things out on your own butt first.

      How else are you going to know what does and does not feel good for your partner? 

      Tips on how to prepare for anal sex

      When you try anal penetration on yourself, it’s best to incorporate some anal play into your masturbation routine.

      Use a finger (with a well-trimmed fingernail!) to rub and tease yourself. Start by massaging the external anus.

      Then, when you feel comfortable, stick a finger in.

      Pro Tip: For couples that are a little more adventurous you could try pegging as a way to experiment with anal sex.

      Go slowly and use a ton of lube (more on that momentarily). 

      If you’re not comfortable using your fingers, you can try using a small toy.

      The point here is to start small.

      Also, make sure to breathe—slow, deep diaphragmatic, belly breaths—in and out. 

      Stock up on plenty of Lube

      If you’re going to keep one word in mind for anal sex, it is most definitely LUBE.

      The anus, unlike the vagina, isn’t self-lubricating.

      So while some women have a WAP, there really is no such thing as WAB!

      Our favorite lube to use during anal sex is Promescent Silicone Lube.

      This lube is odorless, which a lot of other lubes lack.

      It’s also very thick and viscous, so you don’t need to reapply as frequently as other lubes. 

      Still, there is no such thing as too much lube.

      The wetter, the better!

      Water-Based Lube

      The perks of water-based lube is that it’s easy to clean from your body and your sheets.

      The downside is that it does not really last all that long, which doesn’t make it ideal for anal sex.

      You want a long-lasting lube, otherwise, you’re going to end up using the entire bottle, reapplying every damn second. 

      Oil-Based Lube

      Oil-based lubes provide a more ‘slick’ and smooth experience as compared to other types of lubes. 

      However, you should never use oil-based lubricants with latex condoms as the oil will cause the latex to break down and increase the chance of the condom ripping.

      Silicone Based Lube

      Silicone-based lubes, like Promescent's Silicone Lube, are generally thicker and provide a long-lasting experience.

      However, this sort of lube does not work well with silicone toys.

      Silicone lube actually breaks down the silicone of the toy, so with silicone anal and prostate toys, you'll want to use water-based lube.

      Get Clean

      Get clean when preparing for anal sex

      As the saying goes, “cleanliness is next to godliness.”

      This is very true for anal sex.

      ‘Getting clean’ can encompass a few things here.

      It could be anything from a good shower to anally douching.

      Now there are a few ways to get clean, but since you’re new to anal, we’re just going to cover anal douching with a bulb.

      That is the simplest way to get clean and you can buy a bulb easily on Amazon. 

      Douching

      Anal douching, simply put, is the act of cleaning out the inside of your anus with water.

      Usually, you douche with a bulb.

      You fill up the bulb with warm or cold water. Do not use hot water or you will burn your insides.

      Also do you not use anything besides water!

      No fancy oils or anything like that.

      What you do is you squirt the water into your anus, hold it for a few seconds and then expel it out over the toilet.

      You do this a few times until the water that’s coming out of you is clear, or close to it. 

      It takes a few times douching to get used to the sensation.

      You also likely want to douche at least 30 minutes before your sexual encounter.

      Sometimes, the water gets caught in the folks of your anus and comes out a little later. 

      Diet

      Some people don’t even need to douche before having anal sex, and they’re still squeaky clean!

      That’s because they have an impeccable diet.

      The key is drinking a ton of water and eating a ton of fiber. 

      Some insoluble fibers a day or two before and eventually leading up to the act include: 

      • Nuts
      • Grains
      • Fruits like berries
      • Okra
      • Peas

      What you shouldn’t eat before anal sex:

      • Fast food
      • Dairy
      • Whole wheat
      • Greasy foods
      • Creamy foods
      • Spicy foods
      • (Anything that could upset your stomach!)

      How to have anal sex

      All right, so you’ve spoken to your partner about it, and they are as enthusiastic as you to get to it!

      Well, you can’t just “get to it.”

      You need to start with foreplay.

      Start by kissing and stimulating each other.

      Get yourselves aroused and relaxed. It’s very difficult to have anal sex when you’re not aroused. In fact, it can often be painful when you’re not aroused, so turn your partner on!

      Note, the receptive partner should always be in more control of how things proceed.

      They should control pace, intensity, and rhythm.

      We’ve talked about how you should prepare for anal sex, personally but for a couple, it’s slightly different.

      You’re going to have to be extremely receptive (no pun intended) to any and all signals that your partner gives.

      Oh, and before you start, make sure you’ve freshened up with a quick and effective wipe from Promescent Before and After Wipes.

      Use a finger

      Remember how we advised you to use a finger on yourself for preparation?

      Well, those skills and preparation are going to come in really handy here.

      Once you’ve commenced foreplay, ask or signal to your partner that you would like to start playing with her anus.

      If you get the go-ahead, lube up your finger.

      Then as slowly as the situation allows, start to rub and tease their external anus.

      When they start to relax and enjoy it, slowly and very gently insert a finger.

      You’ll find that a well-lubed-up finger goes in relatively easily, but GO SLOW!

      Just because you got it in there doesn’t mean that they are comfortable with it yet.

      Some folks don’t like fingers and prefer toys.

      Fair enough! Use a tiny toy with the same process. Go slow and use a ton of lube. 

      Know the Do's and Dont's

      A lot of what you know about anal sex comes from porn, and porn isn’t real!

      It’s all fantasy, so you shouldn’t be using it for education.

      Pro Tip: Don't Switch from Anal to Vaginal Sex Without Cleaning

      The rectum is infected with bacteria that can latch onto your penis, condom, or toy.

      This bacteria, if entered into the vagina, can cause harm.

      UTIs, general infections, bacterial infections among other vaginal health issues are pretty common in situations where a partner switches from anal to vaginal sex. 

      If you have a condom on, replace it with a new one before switching holes otherwise you run in the same risk of transferring bacteria.

      Don't Continue If It's Painful

      Anal sex isn’t a “work through the pain” type deal. If it hurts, then you should stop.

      Simple.

      Anal sex may be uncomfortable at first, but it should never be painful.

      Some people are just really tight. For those people, there are actually anal training kits, so you can loosen your anus up to take a penis or dildo.

      Wear a Condom 

      Condoms are honestly a good idea in any sex-related situation.

      While you don’t run the risk of pregnancy with anal sex, you still run the risk of spreading or acquiring an STI.

      Now if you’re monogamous with your partner and you trust them, that’s a different story, and a condom isn’t required.

      But otherwise, wrap it up.

      It also makes it easier to clean at the end in case there’s a little “mess.”

      Know the Positions

      There are a few common anal sex positions that people love, and for good reasons!

      Doggy Style

      Doggy style anal sex position

      Doggy Style is a popular position because the anus is elevated at a great angle that facilitates deep anal penetration.

      Not to mention that it’s just hot (all that booty).

      Just don’t get too excited and start jackhammering your partner in this position.

      Still take it slow until they’re ready for harder and deeper thrusts. 

      Missionary

      Missionary position for anal sex

      Having anal sex in the missionary position is great because you can maintain eye contact.

      You can also stimulate your partner’s vagina or penis while you’re having anal sex, too. 

      Spooning

      Spooning position for anal sex

      It’s like you’re cuddling, only you’re having sex!

      This position is great because you really get to hold your partner and feel close to them. 

      Know the Risks

      Just like with any sexual act, there are risks! Let’s go through some of them: 

      STIs are still a possibility

      The lining within the anal cavity is thin and susceptible to damage.

      This damage can leak bacteria onto your penis which can give you an STI.

      You can get syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea (along with other STIs) when having anal sex.

      You can also transmit and acquire HIV. 

      You can get anal fissures 

      Anal fissures are small tears in the skin surrounding your anus that are very painful and often bloody.

      Luckily, you can reduce the likelihood of getting anal fissures by using lube and going slowly. I know I sound like a broken record on this, but I can’t stress this enough.

      May worsen existing hemorrhoids

      If you have hemorrhoids, you should know that anal sex may make the condition worse. 

      Have a Towel Handy- just in case

      Keep a towel handy for anal sex

      Sex is messy.

      Anal sex can be messier, which is we recommend putting a towel down underneath you or your partner when having anal sex.

      There’s so much lube involved here that it’s definitely going to leak onto the sheets.

      There, of course, there’s a decent chance that you might “get some mud on your helmet,” if you know what I mean.

      Shit happens, literally! 

      If this happens, just be ready with your towel and move on.

      Do not shame your partner for not being clean. It’s like, what do you expect?

      You’re sticking your penis in a butt!

      Which foods to eat before anal sex and which foods to avoid

      Anything you think might make you gassy or bloated, definitely avoid.

      Don't Forget to Show Appreciation

      Woman being appreciated after anal sex

      Anal sex is not easy for your receiving partners.

      It can be uncomfortable, painful, and messy. It also can be a very intense emotional experience.

      So if your partner decides to go through with it, pull out all the stops to appreciate them.

      Make sure they know that what they’re doing for you is seen and appreciated. Also, ask what you can do for them.

      If they just fulfilled your fantasy, then return the favor and fulfill theirs!

      Takeaways

      Great anal sex is all about the preparation you put into it.

      The time and effort you put in as a couple is going to go a long way to not only making you into a happier healthier couple- but also opening a door for better, more exciting experiences.

      We went through the entire gauntlet of things you needed to prepare for anal sex: from lubes, condoms, cleanliness, and even the best sex positions.

      By now you know probably know more about anal sex than you ever thought you would, but you’re ready!

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      Zachary Zane
      Zachary Zane

      Zachary Zane is a Brooklyn-based columnist, sex expert, and activist whose work focuses on sexuality, lifestyle, culture, and the LGBTQ community. He currently has a sex advice column at Men's Health titled "Sexplain It" and a relationship column at Queer Majority titled "Zach and the City." His work has been published in Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, GQ, Playboy, Slate, NBC, Cosmo, and many others. He also has a weekly newsletter, BOYSLUT, where he writes erotic essays detailing his wildest and raunchiest personal sex stories.


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