Maybe you've had the conversation with your partner or maybe you're just thinking about expanding your sexual horizons. Either way, something prompted you to wonder, How do I prepare for anal sex? And so here you are! Let's clear something important up first: while anal sex isn't the go-to for every couple, there's absolutely nothing wrong or taboo about it. You just need to make sure you're doing it carefully and comfortable, especially if it's your first time.
It's natural that some folks feel a little shy discussing this at first, but there's nothing to be embarrassed or self-conscious about — in fact, there are lots of amazing tips out there for beginners and experienced people alike. To shed a little light on the matter, I got in touch with Rosara Torrisi, Ph.D., a certified sex therapist and founder of the Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy (LIIST) in New York.
"There can be many benefits to a relationship when trying anal sex," says Dr. Torrisi. "As most people have anuses, anal sex can be an equal opportunity pleasure zone... There's also the possibility that trying out something new in the bedroom could generate a renewed feeling of closeness in your relationship."
That said, Dr. Torrisi notes that it's important to have a conversation with your partner before trying anal for the first time. "Partners must feel that they have a good ability to communicate their desires and boundaries," says Dr. Torrisi. "Conversations about safety should also be included. Also, be prepared for some possible giggles and embarrassment."
Finally, once you've got all that squared away, it's time to stock up on the best tools for anal preparation to get yourself started. Here are a few of Dr. Torrisi's top recommendations.
1. Make Sure You're Using The Right Lubricant
"Use lube!" advises Dr. Torrisi. "The anus and rectum are not self-lubricating. Silicone-based lubricants last the longest without the need for reapplication, and Sliquid is a favorite brand for anal sex lube among many of our clients."
Sliquid Silver is waterproof silicone-based lubricant that's hypoallergenic and nontoxic. Most importantly, it lasts as long as you need it to, and can be cleaned up with soap and water when you're done.
2. Prep Yourself With Plugs In Varying Sizes
"The Bootie Plug Set comes with three sizes of plugs which can be useful for figuring out where you're most comfortable and what gives you the most pleasure when it comes to butt plug size," says Dr. Torrisi. They're curved to hit all the right spots, feature a flexible base for extended play, and can help you prepare for anal sex if you've never had it before.
3. This Beginner-Friendly Toy For Warming Up
"The Flexi Felix is a favorite among beginners," says Dr. Torrisi, and that's because it allows you to expand and experiment with its body-safe anal beads, flexible tail, and convenient handle. It's easy to wash and can be used alongside lubrication, so if you're looking for a fun warmup, this toy's great.
4. Get The Right Position And Angle With This Genius Pillow
If you're trying out anal for the first time (and after that, too), positioning can make a huge difference when it comes to your comfort levels. "The Liberator Wedge can be great for positioning assistance," explains Dr. Torrisi.
It's sturdy enough to support your back, neck, or hips during sex, yet comfortable because it's made of high-density foam. It also features a removable microfiber cover that you can simply toss in the washing machine afterwards for easy cleaning.
5. For Simultaneous Penetration For Both Partners
"The Sharevibe can be a great way for two partners to experience penetration at the same time," Dr. Torrisi explains. Thanks to its innovative shape, it can stimulate both partners simultaneously, and it's got five vibrational speeds as well as a rechargeable battery for convenience.
Its users are thrilled with the results, if that tells you anything. "My wife and I got this toy a few weeks ago to use for pegging," raves one reviewer. "It is comfortable for both of us and a lot of fun to use."
6. Invest In A Durable Yet Comfortable Strap-On
"If you'd like to penetrate with a dildo that you wear, SpareParts has some great strap-ons," says Dr. Torrisi. The SpareParts HardWear Theo harness comes in two sizes to fit tons of different body types, and it features a revolutionary stretchable elastic O-ring that fits loads of different toys in a range of sizes. Reviewers love it because it's sturdy, extremely comfortable, and easy to clean.
7. Brush Up On The Best How-To Tips Of Anal Sex
If you're looking to "learn a bit more about the how-to," Dr. Torrisi recommends the following books: Tristan Taormino's The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women as well as Charlie Glickman's The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure. Taormino's offers everything from toys, fantasy play, encouragement, and positions, while Glickman's is a must-have for those who want to experience prostate pleasure past anything they've ever imagined.
8. Protect Your Toys With A Condom That Won't Damage Them
"Silicone is safe for use with latex condoms, but can damage silicone toys, so put a condom on the toy — that also helps with cleanup." Because they're lubricated with aloe vera instead of oil, these Beyond Seven Aloe Condoms are much better for your sex toys in addition to being especially great for those with sensitive skin. They come in a pack of 36 so you can use 'em for regular sex, too.
9. This Genius Waterproof Blanket For Easy Cleanep
Finally, in the event that you're worried about mess, you can put something down over your bed or sheets to ensure an easy cleanup. "The Liberator Throe protects against any messes," says Dr. Torrisi. It's got a super soft waterproof moisture barrier to trap lubes and other liquids, it comes in dark colors to hide any messes, and it's totally machine washable.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.