Sex & Relationships

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Having Anal Sex For The First Time

Lube, lube, lube.

Originally Published: 
Farting during anal sex can happen, but pooping after anal sex probably won't.
Fabrice LEROUGE/ONOKY/Getty Images

I had anal sex for the first time in college. Before then, my opinions on anal sex were ignorant. I thought that women who engaged in such a sex act probably had something wrong with them — which I know now is completely NOT the case. But what do you expect from a sheltered kid from New Hampshire? I had to go out and live life a bit before I had any real understanding of anything, anal sex or otherwise. Basically, anal wasn’t even on my radar as a “thing” that I would ever do, so apparently I was content in my ignorance.

But after about a year together, my college boyfriend started mentioning anal sex. He told me that his friends had done it with their girlfriends and, surprisingly, the women were really into it. That truly shocked me at the time, but I’ve since met some women who really do love anal sex. Based on what he said, I thought maybe I could try it and, if I were lucky, could really like it, too.

So we decided to do it, but at my boyfriend’s suggestion and that of his “sexually worldly” friends, it would be best if he just sort of “slipped it in there” the first time so it would be a “happy” surprise — that way, I wouldn’t have a chance to get nervous. Bad. Idea.

Aside from realizing that one should never take sex advice from a group of 20-year-old boys, here are 10 things I wish I knew before I had anal sex the first time.

1. Anal Sex Shouldn’t Be A ‘Happy’ Surprise

I want to say that I am not someone who’s against surprises — but there are good surprises and bad surprises. A bad surprise is when you’re having sex doggy style with your partner and he, although you had both discussed that the “happy” surprise was going to be part of the menu at some point, switches to anal sex. Yes, it was consensual, but looking back, I should have skipped the surprise idea in favor of more preparation.

Anal sex and preparation go hand-in-hand. “If you just go from zero to 100 and ram the penis in there, you’re going to be a lot more likely to cause pain, tearing, and to not want to do it more,” Sarah Melancon, clinical sexologist at SexToyCollective, tells Bustle. “Slow and steady wins the race here — warming up with fingers, licking, toys like butt plugs or vibrators, to build up the arousal.” Melancon notes that consent also comes into play here: You’re always free to change your mind and not go through with it if you’re not ready or in the mood. Communicate!

2. Lube, Lube, Lube

Although spit may cut it when you’re having vaginal sex, especially when you’ve had too much to drink or are hungover so your body is a bit on the dry side, you need a lot more than spit for anal sex — most especially your first time. “The anus is not self-lubricating,” Melancon says. “The more the merrier — and it’s one less variable you have to worry about.” Lube, whether you’ve had anal sex once, twice, or a 100 times, is always necessary — preferably one that stays slick for a decent amount of time.

3. Doggy Style May Not Be The Most Ideal Position For First-Time Anal Sex

The reason both men and women really love doggy style is because it’s a position that allows you to get really deep in there, as well as stimulate the G-spot — but for first-time anal, you may not want to be penetrated that deeply. “If you can be in a position where you [as the person being penetrated] have more control, the process is going to be a lot easier and feel a lot better,” says Melancon. She recommends trying a side-by-side position, where you’re both lying down, for first-time anal.

Even now, after having had anal a few times, I prefer it in the missionary position. After your body becomes accustomed to how it feels, anal can feel great in the doggy style position, but the first-timers might want to stick to missionary.

4. Those Aren’t Farts

Ah, the embarrassment. I kept hearing and feeling little pops of what I thought were farts — but they were just air bubbles as a result of the movement of my partner and because the human anus is much tighter than the vagina. Farting during anal does happen sometimes, however — no need to stress about that either. “It’s the equivalent of a butt queef,” explains Melancon. “But hey, if you do fart, there has to be a kind of maturity, being able to laugh. It comes with the territory!”

5. Relaxation And Breathing Are Key

If you recall the first time you had vaginal sex, then you know that you need to breathe. You’re about to engage in something that you’ve never done before and it’s going to feel, for lack of a better word, weird. When it comes to anal, you need to relax and breathe even more because if you don’t, your sphincter closes right up and it can feel more painful than good. You need to relax and physically prepare yourself. In other words, don’t be like me and agree to a “happy” surprise. “Fear and anxiety causes sphincter muscles to squeeze closed,” says Melancon. “If you’re feeling anxious in the moment, that might be an indication there are still some things to talk about first [before trying anal].”

6. You Probably Won’t Poop Yourself

While there are always those cases where things get a little messy, as it would be with most sex acts, anal sex doesn’t guarantee that you’ll poop yourself, poop on your partner, or have some explosive diarrhea all over the bed. It might feel like you’re going to poop yourself, and all those fears about pooping after anal will be floating about your head, but it’s not a definite thing that will happen. “It’s pretty much everyone’s fear,” says Melancon. “It’s a good idea to talk about the ‘what if.’ That can help mitigate the fear and anxiety around it in case it does happen.” She suggests using enemas or timing sex around your bowel movements — doing it up to six hours after — and avoiding spicy foods. It’s also a good idea to have paper towels on hand in case there is a mess.

7. You Shouldn’t Go From Anal To Vaginal Sex Without Taking A Break To Clean

That night, we went from vaginal to anal to vaginal to anal, then back again. Another bad idea. I may have been fortunate enough not to get an infection after that, but I’m really surprised I didn’t. The bacteria in your butt is butt-friendly-only bacteria and should be left there. “It will increase your risk, especially if you’re already prone to things like UTIs, yeast infections, BV,” warns Melacon. If you do reverse the order, she recommends using soap and water before going from anal back to vaginal penetration.

8. How You Poop May Be Messed Up For A Couple Days

After that night, how I pooped was definitely off for a bit. I was constipated and dealt with a lot of those air bubbles even a good 24 hours after that — or maybe by that point, they were farts? Either way, I wish I had known that when it comes to pooping after anal, you may need time to recuperate before you have a normal bowel movement again. “You’re stretching out an open muscle you’re not used to, and you’re also having friction and movement, so some people are more sensitive than others,” explains Melancon. “There’s nothing to be concerned about.”

9. Cover Those White Sheets

Although we didn’t have a poop issue, there were still, um, some bodily fluids that had a brownish tinge to them. This, of course, had me freaking the eff out simply because of the color. I had the same response the first time I had sex on my period. Had we put down a dark towel or switched to sheets that weren’t white, the contrast of those bodily fluids against the white wouldn’t have been so noticeable. “If you talk about this possibility, it should clear some of the embarrassment. Dark sheets and dark towels are a good idea,” says Melancon.

10. Anal Sex Doesn’t Change You

As I mentioned, I was really ignorant to the whole anal thing. I assumed that in having anal I was somehow “wrong” and that my partner would lose respect for me — neither of which is true. Anal sex, if you open your mind to it, is just another way for two people to explore their sexuality and have fun. While anal may still be a bit taboo for some, it really shouldn’t be. “If you have fears around anal, that could be a good time for self-reflection,” suggests Melancon. “You can start to explore some of your preexisting beliefs and prejudices about it and talk to your partner about those fears.”

Source cited:

Sarah Melancon, clinical sexologist at SexToyCollective

This article was originally published on