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How to... enjoy anal sex.
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If I could only perform one sexual act for the rest of my life, I'd pick anal sex.

Surprised? Scientifically speaking, you shouldn't be. The butt is rich with nerve endings, and the anal canal conveniently points straight towards two of the most sensitive spots on our bodies: the G-spot in women (through the anal wall), and P-spot (prostate) in men.

Here's a down and not-so-dirty guide to having (and enjoying!) anal sex:

1.    Lube: Before you even think about having anal sex, get some lube. The butt has none of its own lubricant, so you have to use lube. No, saliva doesn’t count as lubricant, and I’m living proof that you can injure yourself as a result. You can read more about lube—and what not using it can do to you—in my article about lube here.

2.    If you have a chance, prep for anal sex: Our anal canal is a passageway for things to head out, things are rarely stored there without us being aware of it. But for those of us that want to make sure we’re nice and clean, here are some tips.

Wear a condom. Non-tested partners should be wearing condoms anyway to protect each other from transmitting STDs. The anal canal’s surface is fragile and can micro-tear easily (see the steps about lube to help prevent this), so it’s especially wise to use condoms during anal sex. Condoms have the added bonus of easy clean-up if the butt isn’t as empty as you’d like it to be.

Eat foods that day that will be nice to your body (meat and potatoes, no Indian curries!). Having a nice, solid, bowel movement before sex is the most natural way to be clean.

Clean yourself out with warm water.
There are many methods: using your finger while in the shower to “rinse out” the area; using an anal douche to clean out the first 10 inches or so of your goods; or by rinsing out using a get-up attached to your shower head (there's even a “travel version”). Many people want to know if an enema is necessary before anal sex; all of my sources (including former registered nurse Nina Hartley) believe enemas to be too invasive for regular anal play. Enemas clean out much more than is necessary; you only need to clean out the bottom 10 inches or so of your canal for good, clean, anal play.

If you want to know more (with pictures and more details than you'd ever want), check out this great and to-the-point website by Todd Perkins.

A quick note about what happens when you aren't as clean as you'd like to be. Shit happens.. Be aware that every once in a while, things might not be as clean as you want them to be, and understand that it happens to everyone, and is completely normal. Think of it as “used food” (Todd Perkin's words), or as a fact of life like menstruation; “you just need to respect it and work around it,” Todd advises. Just laugh about it and hop in the shower, and be done with it... beating yourself up over something that is a normal occurrence doesn't help!

3.    Lube: Are you remembering the lube? I bring it up again already because it's that important. The inner walls of our butts are fragile, and without the slippery stuff lube brings to the table, you can give yourself micro-tears that make you more susceptible to STDs and other butt injuries.

4.    You have to seduce your ass every time: That’s a direct quote from my favorite sex educator and porn star (and friend) Nina Hartley. And yes, you have to seduce your ass every single time. I first massage the opening with the pad of my lubed finger (even better with latex gloves on them, easy clean up and no worries about nails!), till the opening relaxes. Promise your partner you won't go inside (even if playing with the opening is as far as you get this session), and stick to your promises... if your partner thinks you're going further than they are ready for, they'll tense up and you won't get anywhere.

Once you feel the opening relax, you can slip the first digit of your finger in, or the tip of a small toy. I love the Small Ripple, it’s silicone (which means it's boilable, bleachable, and dishwasher safe... a must for anal toys), and it's not much bigger than your finger and no nails! Insert it slowly, you're waiting to feel the butt relax and accept this small bit;  remember, don't go further than you say you will, or your partner will tense up and you'll be back at ground zero.


A quick note about toys: most toy materials are porous, which means they absorb bacteria (read our articles about toy materials for more details: Sex Toy Materials—Silicone, and Sex Toy Materials—Latex, Glass, Wood and Cyberskin). Soft toys are better for beginning anal players, and silicone is by far the best (and easiest to clean) of soft toy materials. If you use a toy that's not silicone, be sure to put a condom on it to keep bacteria from coming into contact with the surface of the toy. Also, be sure anything you put near your butt has a flared base; your butt can create a vacuum and can suck non-flared items up further than you're game for (that's why we hear such insane emergency room stories).

5.     Lube: I know I mentioned this before, but it’s that important. I use Sliquid Silver (silicone lube) because it doesn’t dry up quickly, and our bodies expel it when we’re done. If you use water-based lube, be sure to re-apply often, as you might not realize that you're lube has dried up deep inside you.

6.    Anal sex shouldn't hurt: if it does, slow down, start smaller, and use more lube. Another one of my favorite Nina Hartley quotes: “Butts cannot be forced, willed or guilt-tripped into complying.” She says that her husband can play with her but whenever he wants, but he can't fuck it till IT wants. “It's his job to get my butt to want his dick. It's my job to relax and let him pleasure my ass till it's desperate for him.”

What does that mean? “Our butts are moody,” says Nina. There may be some days it just doesn't want to be played with. Be aware of this and be willing to back off if your (or your partner's) butt isn't cooperating... there's nothing that will shut down wanting/getting your partner to want anal sex faster than pushing when the butt's not ready.

Also, be aware of your anatomy, and work with it, not against it. The above drawing from Todd Perkin's Anal Play site illustrates how the butt curves (towards the G-spot in women, and P-spot or prostate in men, yeah!), which can cause pain if you don't work with it's curves and angle so you can go in comfortably.

7.    Lube: Yes, lube, AGAIN. I'm bringing it up again to remind you to make sure that all the bits you're touching stay lubed throughout your play. Use gloved fingers to push lube up inside the ass (because having just the first few inches of your anal canal lubed isn't enough).  We just started carrying the Lube Shooter, a disposable device that can help you get lube further up inside you, if you need help.

8.    Our eyes are bigger than our orifices: So you’ve warmed your butt up... it’s agreed that having something (small!) in it can feel good. How do you work your way up to a penis?

Slowly. Once the opening is happy to play with, it’s time to go in past one knuckle or the tip of the Small Ripple. Don’t forget that patience will reward you in the end. (‘In the end’, get it? Ha...). Gradually work your way up to multiple fingers, or a slightly larger toy (but smaller than the intended penis), and then the butt should be ready for more. Going for gold right away will push your sphincter muscles faster than you want to, and pain (or injury!) can result.

A good anal play session for me results in a slew of toys and a few gloves used before the penis gets to play.

9.    Did we remember the LUBE? I hope you’re getting the point by now that using lube is THE essential thing to learn about having anal sex. Once you’ve started warming up the butt, it’s not a bad idea to add more lube, and as far in as you can reach, just in case.

10. Dealing with the aftermath: Depending on how well you worked your butt up to anal play, the time till your butt is back to “normal” should be short. If you have any type of adjustment period (things are looser than they, um hem, should be... for an hour or more), then you probably didn’t go slow enough, or warm up enough. Pay attention to your body, and take note for next time what it needs. I asked porn star (and anal sex lover) Chloe Jones whether she worries that anal play will stretch her out, she adamantly said no. “The ass works like any other set of muscles,” she said. “The more you work them out, the tighter they get.”

These pointers should get you started with anal play. If you’d like to read more on the subject, we highly recommend "The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women” by Tristan Taromino.

If you have any further questions, just ask us in the message boards or drop me a line and we’ll answer all that we can.

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