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Anal 101: A Complete Guide To Anal Sex

Anal 101: A Complete Guide To Anal Sex

EVERYTHING – and we mean everything – you need to know about anal sex, from top to bottom. Consider this your beginner’s guide to anal sex. 

If there is one sex trend that has seemingly skyrocketed into popularity in recent years and is not going anywhere, it’s anal sex.

According to PornHub, searches for anal sex videos increased by 120% from 2009 to 2015, and a 2017 survey of over 3,000 millennials found that around 35% of women and 15% of men were having anal at least some of the time.

So what’s the big deal about anal sex?

To answer this question, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Adam & Eve to give you a 50% discount off any of the products and toys featured in this article, or anything else on their site.

Just enter the coupon code: “SHESAID” at checkout to take advantage of this deal, plus free shipping in the US and Canada (Note that this discount applies to one item only, and some exclusions apply).

Anal sex 101: What’s the big deal?

Anal sex opens the door to a whole other kind of orgasm due to the anal g-spot – or PS-spot. The perineal sponge is located in between the vagina and the rectum, just beneath the bit of skin between the vaginal opening and the anus, and is made of erectile tissue which can become engorged during stimulation and lead to orgasm.

Anal sex also allows for the vaginal g-spot to be stimulated, as the skin between the anus and vagina is so thin that the vaginal g-spot can be hit in certain anal positions. Some women love the feeling of being full that anal gives, and not to mention the thousands of nerve endings in and around your anus, which can be stimulated orally, digitally, with anal sex toys, or with a penis for a range of different sensations.

Of course, while butt stuff might be increasingly popular now, it once was rarely talked about at all, and so it is one of the sex acts which people have the most questions about, whether it’s a penis, finger, tongue, or sex toy being introduced to the back door.

(See also: All your anal sex questions answered).

If you’ve never tried anal with your partner before, you need to talk to them first to find out if they’re interested in experimenting with anal before you even think about doing the deed.

Having a conversation about sexual desires and fantasies and addressing or answering any questions your partner might have is different to pressuring someone into doing something they don’t want to do. If your partner isn’t into it, absolutely do not pressure them.

If they are up for experimenting with butt stuff, here is everything (and we mean everything) you could possibly need to know about anal sex…

EDITOR RECOMMENDS: Booty Sparks Gem Anal Plug

How to get started with anal sex…

 When it comes to anal, there is one golden rule to remember before all others; use a lot of lube, lube, and even more lube. The anus isn’t self-lubricating like a vagina, and so silicone-based lube is best, as it is thicker and will last longer than other kinds, as well as give extra cushion to the delicate skin around the anus.

Use it liberally and everywhere – your partner’s penis, the opening and inside your anus, on everyone’s fingers and all over anything which is going anywhere near your backside. Using lube doesn’t only make anal easier, but it is crucial to making it feel so much more pleasurable.

Many of us aren’t used to the feeling of something going inside our anus, and so it can sometimes feel a bit weird, and we’re not gonna lie; it might hurt a little bit in the beginning.

This is why you’re going to want to be super vocal during this process – let your partner know what you’re feeling and if they can do anything to make things easier for you, like slowing down, or using more lube (seriously, you can’t use enough when it comes to anal).

The key is being super relaxed and really turned on, because this will make penetration easier and things more pleasurable for both parties. And breathe – deep breaths relax the muscles down there, allowing everything to happen more smoothly. And if things hurt too much, stop immediately.

For first-timers, spooning or penetratee-on-top is actually better than doggy-style or missionary because it allows for penetration that isn’t too deep or can be controlled by the person being penetrated. Once you’re more comfortable, doggy is the best position for a woman to orgasm.

Remember, the tip of the penis is (usually) the part which is going to hurt the most as it enters you, because it’s generally the widest part. Once it’s in and up to the shaft, it should feel a little better.

If you’re going slowly, using bucket-loads of lube, and everyone is turned on and communicated and it still isn’t happening for you, that’s totally okay!

There are plenty of other ways to have booty playtime that doesn’t involve penis penetration, like rimming, anal toys, and even pegging (all of which we explore a bit further down). After stimulating the anus in these ways, you might be turned on and relaxed back there enough to try again.

EDITOR RECOMMENDS: System Jo H2O Anal Lubricant.

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Protection and potential risks

Like any sex act, there are potential risks to be aware of when it comes to anal sex, but it’s perfectly safe.

Because the anus isn’t self-lubricating, it’s possible for anal fissures – which are little tears in the thin and delicate anal tissue – to form. Because of these small tears, there might be a small amount of blood afterwards, but a little bit is no cause for concern.

Most of the time, anal fissures are tiny and you won’t even feel them. There might be some discomfort when you use the toilet for a day or so afterwards, but they usually heal on their own.

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While you can’t fall pregnant from anal, it’s still possible to transmit sexually transmitted diseases, and there are also all kinds of bacteria and bodily fluids back there, all of which are best protected against with a condom.

Always remember to change condoms if you’re switching between anal, oral and vaginal sex so you don’t get any of these fluids in any other openings.

Of course, if you’re experiencing persistent pain or bleeding for a significant period of time after anal sex, consult a doctor immediately.

Can women enjoy anal sex?

Women who’ve had anal sex tend not to discuss it – therefore, the female perspective of anal sex is quite obscure.  Add in the fact that anal sex features predominantly in pornography, it seems understandable that many women would view this particular sexual act as highly derogatory.

I chatted to four liberal-minded ladies about their experience of anal sex and three out of the four agreed that in the right environment and with the man they loved, anal sex could be quite pleasurable. From this discussion, it seemed, there were a number of variables that added to their enjoyment, so I posed some questions to these ladies to find out more about it.

Firstly, most women would be wary of pain associated with anal sex, so from your experiences would you say anal sex hurts?

The overall consensus is that anal sex shouldn’t be painful. Apparently, it is an unusual sensation, however. One woman said that having anal sex wasn’t exactly pleasant, mainly because she becomes exceptionally tense and therefore her body fights against the experience.

The other women agreed about this factor and the initial experience of anal sex, and all said that being relaxed was essential. They went on to say that foreplay contributes to a major part of their enjoyment and likened the pain of anal sex to “dry vaginal penetration” but more intense if failing to first prepare the body.

Still on the topic of pain, does penis size make a difference?

Only one of the ladies had engaged in anal sex with more than one partner and apparently, she believed penis size did make a big difference. Her first partner had a significantly larger penis and this did increase the level of pain. Another lady said that she had used a vibrator anally which was smaller than her partner – she preferred this and agreed that penis size probably would make a difference.

I suppose the biggest question is: can women enjoy anal sex or is it something women do for their man’s pleasure?

One lady participated specifically for her partner’s pleasure, and although she didn’t oppose anal sex, she wasn’t very keen on it. I went on to ask her more about this and she said it was an unusual sensation that prevented enjoyment.

On the other hand, the other three ladies did enjoy it. Interestingly, each of them used additional lubrication and vibrators to stimulate the vaginal region during the anal sex. They also felt positioning was an important factor, with some positions making penetration more intense which can be uncomfortable for women.

Seeing that the ladies brought up the topic of positioning, I asked which were most enjoyable from a women’s perspective:

The spooning position was popular among the three women who enjoyed anal sex and interestingly, the lady who wasn’t too keen said she and her husband had only tried doggy style. The other women said this position makes penetration more intense and suggested spooning as an alternative if she opposed the sensation. Another popular position was the woman on her back on a higher surface and the man either standing or kneeling.

Finally, do you think anal sex is something women should try?

Surprisingly, each of the ladies I spoke to said yes to this question – even the lady who wasn’t too keen. I zoned in on her specifically and asked her why. She went on to say that even though it wasn’t up her alley (so the speak), it was another level of intimacy she and her husband shared. This was why she indulged her husband’s desire and in turn, he would perform other sexual acts which she knew weren’t his favorites.

Now, I don’t know if that’s a recipe for a great relationship, but it works for them and they’ve been together for over a decade. Each woman did mention that having anal sex wasn’t something that they ever thought they’d consider, let alone enjoy. The key to trying something new relied heavily on feeling at ease with their partner.

What about… poop?

We’ll be upfront; when it comes to anal, poop is always a possibility. In fact, some women say that anal gives the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom, even if you don’t have to.

If you’re interested in experimenting with anal, you need to be prepared that there might be some poo at some point. However, provided you or your partner has gone number two recently, there shouldn’t be a problem.

If something happens and there is a poop incident, let your partner know it’s not a big deal and have a towel or wet wipes nearby in case (honestly, having these always on hand is a great general sex tip).

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Anal toys

Before embarking on the full anal sex adventure, using anal sex toys is a fun way to ease into anal play and get an idea about what the sensations feel like back there. You can also use them by yourself or with a partner, before, during, or completely separate to partnered sex, and there are so many different kinds; the possibilities are endless.

From small anal beads to tapered vibrating anal dildos, there are countless sex toys for anal stimulation. For beginners, the best ones gradually increase in size from very small to larger as this allows for going slow and will be less of a shock to the system.

Most women need a combination of stimulation to orgasm, whether that be vaginal and clitoral, or anal and clitoral, or a combination of those and others and introducing sex toys into anal sex is a great way to experiment with these combinations – like penetrating anally while having a vibe used on the clitoris.

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Analingus – or rimming, or eating ass, whatever term you prefer – is the act of having your anus licked, sucked, and nibbled, and using a tongue to stimulate the thousands of nerve endings in the anus. This can feel really pleasurable and is a great way to warm up the area before other kinds of anal play, or as a stand-alone sex act.

The number one thing to remember when it comes to rim jobs is to clean your ass thoroughly beforehand to avoid infection and any unpleasant smells, sights or tastes. A shower should do the job, with regular soap and water.

It’s also crucial to never switch between rimming the anus and placing your mouth on your partner’s genitals, as this can also spread infection through cross-contamination. You can still pass STIs through rimming, and dental dams are the best protection for this particular act.

You can also buy a number of toys that simulate the feeling of analingus, like vibrating butt plugs, which can be a way to give the sensation of rimming if you’re not ready to use your mouth yet.

EDITOR RECOMMENDS: My 1st Surge Vibrating Butt Plugguide to anal sex butt plug

The P-spot

While anal for women can be pleasurable and lead to orgasms, anal for men can be mind-blowing, thanks to the prostate gland. This gland is chock-full of nerve endings (almost as many as the clitoris) and is the guy’s g-spot – or P-spot – and is located just under a finger’s length inside the anus.

Massaging the P-spot can make climax more pleasurable, and you can use your finger or toy of your choice to reach it.

When looking for the P-spot with your fingers, you’ll need to insert your fingers about two to three inches into the anus and move your fingers towards his belly button. Once you’ve found the prostate gland, which will feel a bit spongy, and rough, gently stroke or massage it.

Some people might think a man wanting his P-spot stimulated makes him gay, but this is so far from the truth. Having a p-spot orgasm feels amazing, and a recent study from LELO found that 71% of heterosexual men in relationships have tried or would try digital or anal toy prostate stimulation, and 80% of women would perform a prostate massage on their partner if asked – because it’s a totally normal (and fun) sexual thing you might want to explore, regardless of sexuality.

If you’re using toys to stimulate the P-spot, using toys which vary in sizes and start quite small is best. And, as with anything anal-related, make sure you use plenty of lube.

EDITOR RECOMMENDS: Beginner’s Prostate Kitguide to anal sex prostate


If stimulating your man’s p-spot during sex is something you want to explore, pegging might be something you could talk to your partner about. Simply put, pegging is anal sex reversed, where the woman penetrates the man using a strap on.

There are loads of reasons people want to experiment with pegging; sometimes it’s about flipping the power dynamic between who is usually the top or the bottom, or stimulating the p-spot, and sometimes it’s just something which turns you on – as long as it’s consensual and safe, go for it!

If your partner has never been penetrated before, it’s best to start with a small size dildo, and one which is regular shaped and smooth. If you purchase a harness, make sure it can work with varying sizes of dildos, so if you do try and enjoy pegging, and want to take things to bigger levels, that is always an option.

You can also get toys which have vibrators and clitoral stimulation, and so there are so many reasons to think about whether pegging is something you might be into.

Obviously, if your partner isn’t keen on the idea, respect that. Having a conversation about your sexual fantasies and desires can be super intimate and worthwhile for your relationship, even if your partner doesn’t want to try it.

EDITOR RECOMMENDS: New Comers Strap-On and Dildo Setguide to anal sex pegging

In short, anal play can mean so many different things, from rim-jobs to anal sex and pegging.

As long as you start slow, use loads of lube (always) and communicate with your partner (if you’re playing with one) honestly and clearly about what you’re feeling and your boundaries, anal sex can be ah-may-zing.

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