These Are The 6 Most Important Anal Sex Tips For Beginners

by Emma McGowan
Harbachova Yulia/Shutterstock

Anal sex is the sex act that I, as a sex educator, get the most questions about. People are very interested in butt sex! But the mechanics of it are definitely a little more complicated than vaginal intercourse or oral sex, so it makes a lot of sense that people need some beginner anal sex tips.

Before we go into the details, let’s quickly talk about anal sex, gender, and sexuality. We seem to have gotten to the point where cisgender men and women are cool with anal, typically as long as the woman is the receiving partner. But when it comes to the man in an opposite-gender couple being the receiving partner, we’re still a long way from total cultural acceptance. Sure, Abbi on Broad City introduced the masses to pegging, but there are still plenty of guys out there who are really, really opposed to the idea of putting something in their butt. This is a totally valid opinion to have, but plenty of straight guys miss out on prostate stimulation because they think it says something about their sexuality that they're not comfortable with. (For what it's worth, if a woman is putting a dildo or a butt plug in your butt, and you identify as a man, that's heterosexual sex.)

The truth is, every body — of every gender — has a butt, as sex toy company b-Vibe put it. One of the many great things about anal sex is the fact that you can be of any gender and do it. So how can you live your best anal sex-filled life? Here are six tips on making sure it all goes smoothly as you explore this kind of sexual play.


Start With Something Smaller

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If you’re having sex with someone who has a penis — whether it’s of the biological or strap-on kind — you don’t want to start your anal exploration with their penis. Don’t go right from never putting anything into your butt to putting someone’s penis into your butt. Most people’s butts need a little bit of warming up first!

So, start with fingers. They’re free, everyone has them, and they’re a good way to get used to the sensation of anal play. Then, once you’re ready to step things up, move on to a smaller butt plug — and be sure to buy one with a flared base. (You need that flare to make sure your sphincter doesn’t suck the toy all the way in.)

Keep working your way through increasingly larger butt plugs or other toys — either on your own or with a partner — until you’re ready for penis-in-butt sex. And if you’re really committed and want to just get all of the tools at once, check out this anal training and education kit or this beginner buttstuff bundle from b-Vibe.


Douching Is Totally An Option


Look, you don’t have to douche your butt (what you might know as an enema) before anal sex, but some people feel more comfortable doing so. A lot of people are icked out by the idea of any encounter with poop at all and choose to thoroughly clean things out, but if you have a decent diet with lots of fiber, you should be fine without douching.

If you do want to douche, you can choose from a couple different options. There are store-bought options, like pre-filled enemas or bulb douches, or you can buy an attachment for your shower that transforms your shower head into a douche. Empty your bowels first and then use lukewarm water for a more comfortable douche.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that when you’re using a douche, you’re not just flushing out any residual poop. You can also wash away the good intestinal flora that helps with digestion, although more research needs to be done on that link. So just, you know, go easy on it. Moderation in everything, including anal douching.


Lube Is Your Best Friend

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Look, your butt is sensitive. And the skin of your anus is thin, and prone to tearing. So don’t risk the discomfort — and potential of increased STI exposure — by trying to have anal sex without lube. Use a lot of lube!

There are a couple of things to keep in mind with lube, however. First, know your types. The best type of lube for anal sex is silicone, because it lasts a while and is nice and slippery. The only downside is you can’t use it with silicone dildos — at least without a condom — because it will degrade the dildo.

Oil-based lube is also a great option for anal sex if you’re not using a latex condom because, again, that’ll degrade it. But if you and your partner are fluid bonded or are using a dildo, then go for it!

The only lube that’s not great for anal sex is water-based lube, because it gets absorbed into the body. That means you have to reapply a bunch, which is distracting, or risk tearing. Also, a lube with a dispenser that you can press on is best for hygiene! Stay away from ones you have to dip your fingers into, as they can grow icky bacteria.



Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Breathe, breathe, breathe! If you’re holding your breath because you’re freaked out, you’re probably clenching your butthole, too. You need to be nice and relaxed in order to successfully introduce something new to your butt, so don’t forget to breathe.


Don’t Go Right To Thrusting

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

While you may have seen porn where a guy just sticks it in and starts pounding away, don’t do that. First of all, those are professionals. Just as you wouldn’t hit a ski slope and start on a black diamond trail, you shouldn’t go from zero to butt pounding. That’s a serious danger zone.

Instead, do all of the things I went over above — breathing, starting with inserting smaller items, lubing it up — and then gently penetrate with a penis or dildo. The first couple of times, maybe the penetrating partner goes in part way or doesn’t thrust at all. Sometimes it helps to have an orgasm with a penis or dildo in your butt so that your body starts to association that sensation with extra pleasure!


Try Different Positions


When people think of anal sex, they usually think of the receiving partner on their hands and knees, with the penetrating partner kneeling behind. And while that’s absolutely an option for anal, it doesn’t work for everyone! In fact, the most ergonomic — and therefore most pleasurable, for many people — anal sex position is with the receiving partner on their back and the penetrating partner facing them. Think of what we usually call “missionary position,” except with the penis or dildo going into the butt instead of the vagina.

And, finally, have fun! Doing new sex stuff can be really exciting and thrilling, so enjoy the new sensations. And welcome to the world of anal.