While society has made enormous progress surrounding our moral views of sex, sexuality, and sexual pleasure there are still many common misconceptions about these topics, especially when it comes to anal sex. First we will take a look at some of the most common myths and stigmas associated with anal stimulation then most on to the nitty gritty like consent, communication, and good safety practices to follow while engaging in anal play. While reading this guide keep in mind it is written in general terms and not every aspect is applicable to every body or relationship style.
The following is a list of common myths or concerns raised about anal sex that contribute to certain stigmas surrounding it. As we mentioned before while there is enormous progress being made to break down misconceptions some may still exist and these are just a few that frequently come up.
Although anal penetration is not uncommon for homosexual couples the simple reality is that anyone with a butthole can feel pleasure from anal stimulation. The anus and rectum provide direct access to sensitive bundles of nerves which, when stimulated, can provide intense pleasure and even orgasm, regardless of gender, orientation, or sexual organs.
Unfortunately the lack of correct information available about anal sex leads to many uncomfortable experiences for beginners attempting to try. With proper foreplay, communication, patience, and lube anal sex will provide sensations that can be intense and extremely pleasurable without discomfort. Keep in mind, if you are receiving anal sex and feel pain at any time this is natural feedback from your body to let you know that something is wrong. The best response is to tell your partner, slow down, and add more lube.
While it is true that anal sex is a higher risk activity for infection, primarily because of the delicate rectal tissues combined with a the overall lack of sexual education for anal sex, this does not mean anal sex will inherently expose you to disease. By communicating with your partner, knowing your status, and using protective measures like condoms and lubricant you can nearly eliminate the risk of contracting common sexually transmitted infections.
The first and most important step is taking the time to talk to your partner. It is important to communicate interest in anal sex at a time and place where your partner does not feel pressured to say yes.
Regardless of your role, as either receiver or giver, asking for consent is a non-negotiable step; an enthusiastic yes is required from every person involved. As a reminder, in all facets of an intimate relationship talking to your partner before any type of sex is fundamental. Honest communication allows all parties to voice their desires as well as their concerns.
This conversation is not a time to “convince” your partner to try anal sex. Always give them the opportunity to make the decision for themselves so that you both can have a stimulating experience
The most important aspect of communication prior to any type of sex is obtaining consent. While in the past consent was defined in terms of no means no we now broaden the spectrum to yes means yes. Switching the focus in a way that means the person asking for consent must be given an enthusiastic yes rather than simply stopping if they are told no. In this case a person who is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and other forms of manipulation who may not be able to outright refuse is not blamed for engaging in an act that they were not comfortable with. So before having anal sex it is important to get enthusiastic consent from your partner so that everyone is happy to be participating!
Although condoms are a personal choice using them is recommended for all types of sexual contact and it is important to have a discussion about protection with your partner. Condoms significantly reduce your risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and diseases which is especially valuable during anal sex. The choice to use or not to use condoms should always be addressed before anal sex happens.
One reason for the increased risk involved in anal penetration is because the rectum does not create lubrication in the same way as the vagina and the rectal walls are more vulnerable to tears. Lubricant is absolutely non-negotiable for anal sex, keep in mind spit, lotion, water, Crisco, olive oil, and soap are NOT lubricant. An adequate and safe lube can be purchased from our website or by coming in to the Condom Kingdom store where our staff will be happy to provide great recommendations for your anal endeavors. Typically silicone or thick water based lubricants are best suited; make sure they do not contain heating, cooling, or otherwise stimulating ingredients as these can cause irritation to delicate tissue.
It is no myth that anal penetration and sexual activity carries with it a greater risk of fissures and discomfort when compared to vaginal penetration, which in turn increases the risk of infection, because of this it is important that you know your status and the status of your partner before hand. Meaning regular STI testing is an important component to anal sex.
Have realistic expectations. Obviously, the anus is where poop leaves the body, and while in healthy individuals – with proper preparation – the chance of encountering poop during anal sex is relatively low, there is still a chance that traces of fecal matter will be present. The following will include some helpful tips and products that may reduce the chances of fecal matter making an appearance during your experience.
Start by washing your bum, use a gentle unscented soap like those from Cetaphil or Eucerin to gentle clean around the anus and if you wish you can use a finger to carefully cleanse just inside the anus as well. Cleaning a bit inside prior to anal play may also provide some stimulation which can reduce discomfort.
Enemas are a good option for those who are especially concerned about cleansing prior to anal sex but are absolutely not a necessity. When using an enema it’s best to use room temperature distilled water as opposed to chemical cleansers or saline formulas. For example fleet enemas, typically sold at the pharmacy, are designed for medical purposes like relieving constipation, and are not appropriate for cleansing. Enemas may reduce the minimal natural lubrication of the rectum so using extra lubrication is highly important.
When it comes to hygiene for anal sex the first rule is not to worry. Engaging in anal sex consentually means both the reciever and giver should be well aware that the butt is where poop lives and like it or not there is no way to 100% remove the chance of encountering poop during anal sex. If this makes either party feel uncomfortable then it's possible that more communication and a better understanding is needed before beginning your anal adventures.
Foreplay, foreplay, foreplay. While everyone should be taking their time to warm their partner or partners up prior to any form of penetration this step is the most important before anal penetration. Foreplay is the best method to minimize and avoid discomfort during anal sex and a great way to get started is to use fingers for massage and gentle penetration along with small toys to help relax the sphincter muscles. A helpful tip is that when the reciever has an orgasm immediately before anal sex this can help them to relax and accept penetration more easily. For more information about appropriate anal toys visit the final section of this page which describes a few types in detail.
Numbing products are typically sold for the purpose of reducing pain during anal sex; however, there are some important things to remember if you plan to use them. First, if you do not use a condom with numbing products they may numb not only the receiver but also the penetrating partner. Second, these products will numb sensations of pain as well as pleasure, so using these products means the receiver will not be able to experience much sensation other than pressure. Last, because these products numb sensation that also may increase the risk of injury. While the receiver's senses are dulled this means they are not able to communicate to the penetrating partner if they need to slow down or take it easy, although that may not always result in injury it usually leads to a sore behind the next day.
As mentioned in the section about navigating discomfort toys are an option to slowly introduce penetration to the recieving party so that they will learn to relax and enjoy anal stimulation without injuring themselves by going to big too quickly. Below we will discuss a few categories of anal toys and how they can help you prepare for larger types of anal penetration.
Regardless what type of toy you choose make sure that it has a proper flange at the base to prevent the toy from completely disappearing into the users body. Unfortunately removing toys that are no longer visible can be extremely difficult and often requires a trip to the ER. So buy a toy with a proper base!
Arguably the most popular toy for anal foreplay is the plug. These devices are designed in such a way to help spread the sensitive sphincter while also providing pleasure for the wearer. Anal plugs may come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles but all maintain similar purpose, which is to train the anal muscles to relax and better accomodate large forms of penetration. Start out with the smallest beginner plug, usually something just slight larger than a finger, and gradually move up in size as your body adjusts. Ideal materials for anal toys are silicone, glass, and metal; all of these materials can be sanitized which makes them excellent options for anal play.
Beads are another popular choice because they typically do not have a large diameter and the ridges can be very pleasurable to the wearer even during other types of sexual play. For instance wearing beads during vaginal penetration can be stimulating for both the reciever and the giving partner because the wall between the vagina and the rectum is fairly thin. This added stimulation will further help to relax and prepare the partner recieving so that they can enjoy anal sex without discomfort. Best materials for beads would be a completely silicone toy which is both flexible and able to be sanitized between uses. As a note remember that most of the time beads will feature a wide ring rather than a flared base to prevent the toy from getting lost, without a ring or a base the toy is not a safe option and should be avoided.
A classic method to slowly stretch an area of the body is to use dialators, while most often dialators are sold for vaginal dialation they may also be well suited to anal stretching because of their wide range of size, sanitary materials, and usually tapered body styles.