Here's What Anal Sex Really Feels Like & How To Do It Comfortably
“When it’s good, it feels like your eyeballs are going to pop out of their sockets.”
Nothing is off-limits in your best friends’ group chat. Hinge screenshots, outfit advice, astrology memes — you cover it all, including taboo Qs like: what does anal feel like? But even if your friends are sex-positive and supportive, it can be difficult to bring up some of the topics you’re most curious about, like anal sex. You might be dying to know the answer to inquiries like what anal sex feels like and do girls like anal?
"There’s a popular perception that anal sex is not for 'good girls', that they don’t do it, or at least never initiate it," Alicia Sinclair, founder and CEO of COTR, Inc, which makes the anal play brand b-Vibe, tells Bustle. "The common narrative goes like this: women don’t like anal sex, it’s something that men want of them, and if it ever ends up happening, women are often coerced into it, or agree to do it just for the sake of fulfilling that 'male fantasy.’”
But societal expectations aside, do women like anal sex? As Sinclair explains, not only is the narrative that women don’t like anal sex false, but it also puts limitations on them. "The idea that women don’t enjoy anal sex also disempowers them and takes away their sexual agency as beings with their own sexual desires and complex sexuality.” Also, the “male fantasy” element isn’t always present — you don’t need a man to have great anal sex.
Like anything between the sheets, anal feels good for some, and others aren’t into it. And if you’re still too nervous to bring it up in your group chat, here are 19 women on what anal feels like, plus a sexpert’s top tips for having the best, safest, hottest anal sex ever.
1. Anal Sex Feels Close
“Anal sex feels more intense to me and just activates all my pleasure-inducing nerve endings. I feel closer to my partner while at the same time I feel like I'm sucking my partner into me, engulfing them. If I'm having penetrative sex, I orgasm more easily through anal penetration than vaginal penetration and when I'm receiving anal in a doggy position or standing and bent over with a slight angle I'm able to receive really orgasmic G-spot stimulation from anal penetration. The taboo nature of anal sex also feels exciting and is this huge turn-on. I love opening myself up and exposing myself in this way that feels really good and really empowering. Anal sex feels sexy and slippery (so much lube!) and decadent.” — Madison, 28
2. It’s Not Pleasant For Everyone
“Anal sex? It feels like reverse pooping.” — Kate, 33
3. Lube Is The Secret To Enjoying Anal
“Anal sex feels like sensory overload. As long as I'm really relaxed, as in I've had a ton of wine and there's lots of lube, it can feel good. But it also took a while to get here. The first few times I did it, it felt awful, but I've realized I was doing it wrong. If you want to enjoy anal, you need to have lube and lots of it.” — Lynne, 27
4. It Can Be An Uncomfortable Feeling
“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. No, thank you on the anal sex.” — Colleen, 30
5. Anal Sex Is Best Served With Clitoral Stimulation
“Anal sex alone is 'eh, OK,' but when it's coupled with clitoral stimulation or clitoral/vaginal ... Wow. Every movement, rub, climax feels 10 times stronger. How it actually feels on its own is just like something is sliding along the sphincter. Not amazing, not horrible, not painful.” — Jen, 35
6. Zero Out Of 10
“I haven't had a colonoscopy before, but I bet it's the same feeling. The first and only time I did it just felt awful, like I had to take a sh*t and I was doing everything I could to not sh*t on him. Afterward, it took days to poop normal again. — Ryanne, 31
7. There May Be Friction
“The first time it felt like someone was trying to file my insides, like with a nail file. The second time, because we used lube, it felt less like a filing, but still like someone was trying to do something in there that probably shouldn't be done. I have friends who love the sensation of it, but for me it never feels like anything more than a horrible friction that needs to stop.” —Monica, 28
8. It’s Slippery
“I've never had anything but good experiences with anal sex. It feels slippery and puts more pressure on other parts of my body than if it were vaginal, but in a good way. I still prefer vaginal sex though.” — Courtney, 30
9. Anal Is Intense
“It feels really intense. I haven’t decided if it’s a good intense or a bad intense, but it’s definitely intense. During anal, I can feel every inch of him sliding in and out, but I can’t say the say for vaginal sex. I actually think it’s too intense sometimes so I rarely do it. I feel like I don’t have enough control over that part of my body to avoid an accident ... obviously, that's everyone's biggest fear when it comes to anal.” — Chelsea, 29
10. It’s A Fuller Feeling
“Hard to describe. With enough lube and slow starting somehow like normal sex but kinda more full and fleshy. It depends from person to person but I kinda like it from time to time.” — Reddit User
11. Anal Is A Way To Spice Up Your Sex Life
“I honestly think it's more about the nature of it than the sensation. Anal is a way to change it up, it’s something different.” — Reddit User
12. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes
“When it’s good, it feels like your eyeballs are going to pop out of their sockets.” — Kendra, 24
13. It’s Deep & Sexy
“First, it feels like a sharp pain and like you’re making a mistake. Then it’s in and it hurts less, but then you feel like you just need to poop. (Which is the least sexy thing during sex.) But then they get going and the feeling of getting pounded and having someone going deep is maybe one of the sexiest things ever. And overtakes any discomfort you’re feeling.” — Tricia, 27
14. Anal Is Primal
“It's more primal and more direct. I cum way harder from that than anything else.” — Reddit User
15. It Takes Some Practice
“I didn't get much out of it at first. With practice with toys, I got more used to the sensation to a point of really liking it, then loving it, where now I uncontrollably crave it. When I'm horny I feel like I badly need a dick or at least a finger in there. — Reddit User
16. Anal Is Relieving
“Ever eat a giant meal and take a massive, solid poop? The relief is amazing. Now replace the turd with a penis with the relief on repeat.” — Reddit User
17. It’s Powerful & Pleasurable
“Think of the feeling you get when you scratch, say, an itchy mosquito bite; that feeling of pure satisfaction that makes you go, ‘ahhhhh.’ Now multiply it by maybe 50 or so, so 50 times as intense, and that is sort of what it anal feels like. It is very powerful and very pleasurable.” — Reddit User
18. It’s About Letting Go
“It feels like total surrender.” — Joan, 23
19. Anal Is A Whole Body Experience
“Don't make the mistake of comparing it with the sensation of orgasm, it's so incredibly different but just as wonderful. Unlike an orgasm, the good feelings keep on coming as long as he's moving inside you, so if he's got good stamina, you will be moaning and groaning in delight for as long as he can hold out. Hard to describe the feeling, but it's almost an all-body thing. It's powerfully good and makes you feel fuzzy and ecstatic (well, it does for me!)” — Helen, 26
Here’s How To Have The Best, Safest, Hottest Anal Sex
Now that you’ve heard more women answer the question what does anal sex feel like, you’re probably looking for some pointers as to how to actually do it. Here are some tips for having great anal sex, according to Dr. Janet Brito, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and sex therapist and founder of the Hawaii Center for Sexual and Relationship Health.
- Incorporate anal stimulation into masturbation first. “It’s always good to practice on yourself first,” Brito says. If anal sex is something that interests you in general, try doing it to yourself during masturbation as practice. You can do this using your fingers or a sex toy that’s safe for insertion, then add plenty of lube to make sure you can easily move the object in and out of your anus.
- Consent is key. Having an open conversation about wanting to try anal sex is of the most utmost importance, no? Like with any moment of intimacy, make sure all parties are consenting before engaging in anal play, Brito says. She suggests saying something like, “I’d love to try this with you. What are your thoughts?” Hearing a genuine yes is the first (and most important!) step.
- Check your experience levels. Basically, after you’ve both consented to anal sex, you’ve also got to check if your partner has done this before. “If they’ve never done this before, they may not be ready to start with penetrative anal sex,” Brito says, especially if they plan to eventually receive a dildo or penis. It might be too painful. If anything, you might want to stick to oral for now and try penetration after doing some preparation prep. For example, grab some lube and start with a finger or anal plug before graduating to a penis or strap-on.
- Clean your canvas. Many people prefer to do some cleanup before starting anal sex, Brito says. Gently rubbing body soap and water in and around the anus or using a baby wipe will usually do the trick, Brito says. You should also try to have a bowel movement beforehand. After doing so, some like to use an enema or douche, which work to flush out anything leftover even further inside the anus—though it’s not always necessary, Brito says.
- Constant Communication. “It’s necessary to check with your partner throughout anal sex,” Brito explains. Go slowly, and you want to make sure that both people are feeling comfortable the entire time. If anything feels painful, it’s important to stop immediately before going any further. “Be open about what positions might feel good for you, if you need more lube, or if you need to break,” Brito says. Communicate with your partner throughout and you’ve got this.
And remember: If anal sex isn’t working out in the moment, don’t be afraid to stop and try again another time. As you read above, it’s not for everybody! It’s all about what works for you and your partner. So don’t stress.
Alicia Sinclair, Founder and CEO of COTR, Inc.
Dr. Janet Brito, Ph.D., licensed psychologist, AASECT-certified sex therapist, and founder of the Hawaii Center for Sexual and Relationship Health
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