8 Hacks To Make Anal Sex Better

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

If you've ever asked people how they feel about anal sex, you already know that's a divided topic. It’s either something you like or don’t like, and it’s rare you find those who are somewhere in the middle. Either way, even if a person hasn’t had it, they probably have an opinion about anal sex and sadly, too often, some people are too willing to dismiss it because of the myths surrounding it or because it’s still a taboo subject. But aren’t taboos and breaking them fun? I think so.

Anal sex feels different for everyone. Some say it feels really intense, in a good way, while others like Bustle reader Colleen, explained it like this: “You know when you really have to poop, and you're in a public place and there's no place for you to go, so you have to wait, and you're really, really uncomfortable? Like, you almost don't even want to breathe or sneeze because you're afraid of what might happen and you're just this huge ball of unhappiness and tension? You can't enjoy anything in the world and you can't concentrate?”

Yup: that’s what anal feels like to her. But anal sex doesn’t have to feel bad or weird or dirty or gross. Anal can feel pretty awesome, if both you and your partner know what you’re doing. If you’ve yet to have a positive anal experience, then let me turn that around for you. Here are eight hacks to make anal sex better, like way better.

1. Communicate Your Concerns

Even if you’ve had anal sex before, if you want to make it better, you should talk to your partner about your concerns or your anal sex anxieties. Talk about certain positions that felt less than pleasurable, specific lubes that weren’t slick enough, or anything else that comes to mind when you think about having anal sex. If you address the elephant in the room and open up about what may be bothering you about anal, you can have a dialogue that will make the experience all that much better for both of you.

2. Understand What’s Going On Down There

I have always believed that in order to enjoy anything to the fullest degree, is to have a really good grasp on how it all works. For starters, your butt has a lot of nerves, so there’s that. There’s also the important fact that all genders can enjoy it, and I’m going to quote fellow Bustle writer, Aly Walansky, here because she sums it up perfectly:

“Whatever your gender, the anus and rectum are part of your sexual apparatus; the nerves and musculature are connected, and anal, rectal, and perineal stimulation all affect the genitals, both directly and indirectly.”

People with vaginas may not have a prostate that can be stimulated during anal, but we can have those nerves and erectile tissue stimulated which, in many cases, can lead to one hell of an anal orgasm.

3. Insist On Lots (And Lots) Of Foreplay

Not everyone is a huge fan of foreplay, and I get that. But foreplay supplies important components to make sex better, and anal is no exception. In engaging in foreplay for at least 20 to 30 minutes before anal, you’ll find that between being so aroused and relaxed thanks to that arousal, anal penetration will be easier (assuming you're also adding lots of lube into the equation). Your body will actually welcome anal sex with open arms (no joke), as opposed to shutting down and acting like it’s not open for business.

4. Consider Having Anal After An Orgasm

In keeping with the relaxation theme, one hell of an awesome hack is to have anal sex after you have an orgasm. When we orgasm, both oxytocin and dopamine are released into the blood stream making us not just happier, relaxed, and less stressed, but also more tolerant to pain. What this means is that if you find that you can't relax enough on your own to have anal, going that route after an orgasm is an amazing hack to know. It will also give you the opportunity to orgasm yet again, but anally, giving you two delicious and very different orgasms back-to-back. Yes, anal orgasms are real and they're wonderful.

5. Do Some Warm-Up Exercises

Instead of just diving right into anal sex, do some prepping first with what's called anal foreplay. Have your partner finger your butt first with one finger, then two or three. If you don’t like the feeling of a finger in your butt, which may be the case, then butt plugs or small vibrators can also loosen things up and give it a bit of a stretch. Your sphincter is tight because it’s there to keep waste in your body, so in doing some exercises to both prep and warm things up down there, it will definitely make anal much, MUCH better.

6. Absolutely, Positively Use Lube

When it comes to anal sex, there is no such thing as too much lube. The reason for this is a simple one: The anus doesn’t self-lubricate like the vagina does. And without having everything sufficiently lubricated, you also are at risk of having the delicate skin around your anus tear, which is not an outcome you want.

Personally, I prefer a lube that tingles for anal sex, because the tingling doesn’t just add to the sensation but distracts me from thinking, “OMG, this is going to hurt!” It never does with enough lube and relaxation, but I’m neurotic, so we all know how that goes.

7. Try A Position Other Than Doggy Style

I feel like anal is synonymous with doggy style, but it shouldn’t be. As much as the doggy style position feels great vaginally, during anal sex with a partner with a penis, it’s something you might want to skip, because it gives you less control. If you have anal in the missionary position, you can communicate better with your partner as to what depth of penetration works for you. If you don’t want that eye contact, because if you have to look at them you can’t pretend they’re Tom Hardy (I kid!), the spooning position is also great. In spooning during anal, you get to decide just how deep and how fast you want to be penetrated. If you're being pegged or otherwise using a toy, talk to your partner about what position feels best for you.

8. Give Yourself An Enema

One of the biggest myths about anal sex, along with the false rumor that it hurts like hell, is that it’s just a poop explosion waiting to happen. This is not the case. While you always run the risk of there being a random little chunk of poop ― I mean, your partner is IN your ass after all ― it’s not something that happens all the time, or potentially ever.

However, if this is something that’s wearing on your mind, a simple hack to make anal sex better, or at least stress-free, is to give yourself an enema beforehand. An enema is a saline solution that you squirt into your rectum to cleanse out the lower bowels. This is actually a technique that actors in porn use pre-anal scenes just to be on the safe side. Enemas can be dangerous if used excessively, however, so try to supplement its benefits by eating lots of fiber or taking a fiber supplement, or otherwise moderating its use. Enemas also provide major relief for constipation, so if you go into the pharmacy to buy one, you’re not automatically announcing to the whole world you’re going to have anal later ― not that you should ever be ashamed that you are, because anal is great!

This post was originally published on January 28, 2016. It was updated on August 29, 2019.