Anal. For some, it’s pretty great: tighter, more sadistic, more pleasurable or more transgressive than regular sex. However, as this collection of anal horror stories proves, there are plenty of ways it can go wrong – and plenty more ways that people (incorrectly) believe it can go wrong on top of those. The difference between having anal that is (for want of a better word) shit, and a much more positive experience is largely down to knowing what you’re doing.
This guide a is a living document, regularly updated. Its goal is to contain all the information you need to know in order to have fun, problem-free, enjoyable anal sex. Its composition has involved extensive research, years of personal experience, and a lot of long discussions with people who like being fucked in the ass (as well as a few people who don’t). If you think I’ve missed something out, by all means get in touch.
One thing that I’d like to cover before diving into the details of what goes where is this: you don’t have to like anal. There are so many articles and how-tos and fucking Cosmo editorials about it, that I’ve found people often feel guilty for not liking it. Faced with a wall of anal positivity, they believe they’re not adventurous enough, that they did something wrong, or that they haven’t given it a “proper go”. So that this article isn’t simply adding weight to that misapprehension, let me say this: plenty of people don’t like anal. And that’s fine. After all, it’s not really what the ass is for…
Douching is where you squirt water into your ass and then expel it, effectively cleansing that area and ensuring that there’s a minimum of mess or ick when you later let someone fuck you there. There are a number of different methods, but the ones I recommend are the bulb-style squirty douches, and the gravity-fed bags.
As for method, it’s pretty simple – most douches will come with instructions anyway. For the bulb-style douches, fill a sink with water of a comfortable temperature (test it to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold). Make sure the douche is fully assembled, then squeeze all the air out of the bulb, submerge it completely, and unsqueeze. It’ll fill up with water. Take it out, dry it off, and lube up the tip. Get yourself in a comfortable position (I recommend kneeling in the bath), squeeze the bulb a little until some water comes out (to get rid of any excess air) and then gently insert it an inch or so into your ass. Squeeze the bulb and fill yourself with a comfortable amount of water. You may be able to take the full douche, or you may prefer less. Once that’s done, remove the douche. You shouldn’t be leaking. You should be able to comfortably hold the water inside yourself for a minute or so while you scoot over to the toilet and take a seat. Release. Bear down to expel the water, then clean yourself up and repeat the whole process until the water you’re expelling is mostly clean.
With a gravity-fed douche the procedure is only slightly different. The water goes into a bag or other receptacle from which leads a tube terminating in an insertable tip. Fill up the bag or bottle, let some water flow through the pipe so that there are no air bubbles, then lube up and insert the tip. The water pressure will depend on how high up you hold the bag, so adjust for comfort, fill yourself, remove the tip and evacuate as before.
Do I Need To Douche?
There’s a debate about whether douching is necessary. On the one hand it means that you can have anal sex without any ick – and that can be a really great thing for both partners, as it allows you to relax and enjoy yourself without feeling gross. On the other hand, douching isn’t a natural thing to do, and it can strip out the moisture of your rectum if done too aggressively. In addition, it has to be done in advance, which makes things less spontaneous.
Many people douche because they want to do anal, but don’t want shit to be involved in any way, shape or form. Douching effectively is one way to achieve this goal, but the effect is likely smaller than most people think. The rectum is not constantly filled with shit – this is only the case just before a bowel movement. The rest of the time there should only be very minimal shitty residue present. For a lot of people it is sufficient to ensure that the receiving partner has had a bowel movement a few hours before anal takes place.
Butt plugs and other anal toys are a good way of training your ass. A cock is a fairly big thing to put inside your butt, but you can get plugs in a range of sizes – this allows you to get used to having something in there and train the muscles of your ass slowly and painlessly to the point where you can accommodate a cock (or strap-on as per your preference).
When buying a plug there are a few things that you should look out for. You may wish to get a phthalate-free one. The jury is out on phthalates, but there’s a chance that they could cause medical problems down the road, and there’s very little difference between a toy with phthalates and a good-quality one without. I’ll write more about phthalates in a later post, but for the time being, when purchasing a plug, consider avoiding them.
You’ll also want one with a flared base. The ass is a strong muscle, and when it contracts it can effectively suck toys up into your rectum. If that happens, it means an embarrassing trip to the emergency room – and that’s a situation most of us want to avoid. For this reason, it pays to get anal toys which come with a base so big there’s no way it could ever end up inside of you. A flared base also gives you something to grip when in use, and means you can stand it upright on a surface once it has been used, minimizing mess.
You’ll also want some decent anal lubricant (I recommend this one). Make sure when you buy that it’s suitable for anal use (regular lubricant can dry out too quickly), and is compatible with any plugs or other toys you plan to use with it (don’t mix silicon lube with a silicon butt plug). While you’re picking up the lube, grab some sex toy cleaner or skin-safe disinfectant wipes as well; these will help you keep things clean once you’re done. On a final note, also think about storage bags or boxes for each plug or toy you own. Most sex toys can’t just be thrown into a drawer together.
When using butt plugs you can play with your partner, or prepare your ass when you’re on your own. Make sure the plug is clean, then slather it with lube and press the pointy end into your asshole. Take it easy, and don’t rush things. It should slide in comfortably and without pain. If it doesn’t, then stop and try to relax for a minute. Being turned on can really help. You’ll feel it go in, and there’ll be a moment when it slips fully into place (most plugs have a narrow “neck” that your ass will grip, and which will keep the plug in place).
Once the plug is in, you can let go – assuming, of course, that you have one with a flared base. The shape of the plug should ensure that your ass grips it tight and doesn’t squeeze it out, but don’t be surprised or embarrassed if you manage to eject a smaller plug. These things happen!
Give your body a few minutes to adjust to the plug you have in. Try masturbating with it, moving with it, and so on to see how it feels. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can consider moving up to a larger size. Again, don’t rush things and only do what’s comfortable for you. If you like the sensation you can keep a plug in for a few hours without problems – most will fit under your clothes. If it’s been in for a while, you may want to strategically reapply a little lube before removing it.
If you’re planning on inserting your fingers into your partner’s ass, you should consider cutting and filing your nails so that they won’t cause any accidental scratches. You’ll want to make sure that you have whatever condoms, lube, gloves and toys you plan on using to hand. It’s a good idea to unpack and set everything out so that you can retrieve a given item with one hand. You may also wish to have some tissues available – again get a box of tissues rather than a roll so that you can retrieve one with one hand if you so wish.
Actually Doing It
My personal advice would be this: use condoms. Unprotected anal sex is dangerous, both because of the risk of communicable diseases and because of the higher risk of infection for both partners. Using protection also makes things less messy, and reduces the chance of semen accidentally seeping into the vagina from the anus. Because the amount of friction involved in anal sex is higher than in vaginal sex, you should ideally use an extra-thick condom. These are not usually explicitly labelled as being for anal, but will be called something like “Extra-thick” or “Extra-safe”.
Some people like to use regular latex (or non-latex if either partner is allergic) gloves anytime a finger or fingers are inserted into the ass. This may seem excessive, but it’s something you should do if you have any cuts or abrasions on your hands. It’s also useful if you think you might want to put your fingers into your partners ass, and then later touch them elsewhere – for example their cunt. If you just use your bare hands, you stand a good chance of transferring germs or mess from the ass to other parts of the body. Use a glove and you can strip it off and dispose of it after you’re done fingering their ass.
Receiving anal on all fours may seem like the most obvious option, but it can be pretty intense if it’s your first time, and you may wish instead to opt for a position where the receiving partner can limit the depth of the penetrating partner a little more easily. A good beginner position is spoons – that is, with the receiving partner lying on their side with the penetrating partner behind them, like a pair of spoons nestled into one another.
Another popular position is with the receiving partner lying flat on their front with the penetrating partner on top of them. Although this doesn’t give the receiver much control, it is more comfortable and limits depth better than doggy style.
One of the most frequently-asked questions when it comes to anal is, “How much lube is the right amount?” The answer is a lot. You’ll want to apply lube to the outside of the condom, and to the anal area as well. If you’re not using a lubricant that’s specifically made for anal sex there’s a chance it’ll dry out during the process – so you may wish to stop periodically to reapply lube for maximum comfort. To avoid this, use anal lube. Lots of it.
You want everything to be pretty slippery. Friction is your enemy. Not only does friction cause discomfort, but it could cause injury, increase the chance of infection, or cause the condom to tear if you’re using one.
Getting It In
As far as achieving anal penetration goes, it helps immensely if the receiving partner is turned on. You can stimulate them with a clean hand, or they can stimulate themselves to help with the whole procedure. Most people also find anal sex as a whole more enjoyable when they’re aroused.
The receiving partner should try to relax as much as possible… although trying to relax can often be a contradiction in terms. Some people find it helpful to bear down when receiving anal, as though trying to push something out of their ass rather than accept it in. This can feel strange, but it is an effective and simple way of relaxing the sphincters and facilitating penetration.
The penetrating partner should not have to push excessively hard. If you can’t penetrate your partner, the solution is not to keep pushing harder and harder, but to try and find a way to help them relax more, or go back to stretching and training them with fingers, butt plugs or other toys.
When entering your partner, you should proceed very slowly. Read their reactions, and be prepared to pause or take a break altogether if needed. If you’ve never fucked someone in the ass before, be aware that the strokes you make should initially be slower, gentler and shorter than you would if you were having vaginal sex with them.
Once you are fully inside your partner, it’s up to them how things proceed. Some receivers find a faster, rougher pace more comfortable than a slow one. Some only find it enjoyable if it is accompanied by manual stimulation. Some will find it painful and some will not. Talk to your partner and let their reactions be your guide for what pace to set.
Myths And Issues
You’ll Shit Yourself
Not true, if you take even minor precautions. Your rectum is generally free of anything but slight residue except when you’re about to have a bowel movement. Therefore: don’t take it in the ass when you need to shit. Simple. To be safe, you may want to make sure that you void your bowels sometime before taking it in the ass – knowing that you’re empty may help you relax and make the experience more pleasurable. Assuming you follow this precaution there is almost no chance of you shitting yourself, and indeed minimal chance of the penetrating partner getting shit on their dick – perhaps a minor spot or streak at worst. If that’s grosses them out, they can wear a condom and dispose of it afterwards.
You’ll Damage Your Ass
Not going to lie: it’s possible, but unlikely. You’re doing something pretty unnatural in shoving something up there, but caution, lube and a modicum of care should prevent any real damage. The penetrating partner should be sensitive and attuned to the receiving partner’s needs. The receiving partner should not be too shy to say when something hurts, or when they need to stop. Some minor pain or very minor bleeding is possible after anal play. If it’s anything more than minor, see a doctor. Play sensibly and you will not end up damaged, haemorrhoid-ridden or faecally incontinent.
Leakage And Pregnancy
You might think that pregnancy is a pretty unlikely outcome of anal sex, but it can and does happen. The chance is small, but ejaculate can leak from the ass and be transferred to the vagina. Wearing a condom will, of course, prevent this – as will the receiving partner taking a moment to expel the semen after sex, and then wipe themselves clean from front to back.
Getting Toys Stuck
It is entirely possible to get things lodged in your ass. The ass is a powerful muscle, and doesn’t terminate after a short distance like the vagina. A muscle spasm can effectively suck a toy into the ass, after which it will be very difficult to remove without medical intervention. To prevent this, be judicious about what you allow in your ass. Choose toys with a flared base or handle, and which are well-made. Only put things in your ass that are designed to go in there. And, if it does happen, don’t let embarrassment make the situation worse – go to the hospital, ‘fess up, laugh at yourself, and get it removed by a professional.
Play involving the ass gives rise to the risk that germs, dirt and other matter from the ass might be transferred to other parts of the body – namely the vagina or urethra. If this happens it can cause urinary tract infections or worse. Using a condom, of course, will make this less likely for the penetrating partner. In any event both partners should wash their genitals with soap and water after anal sex, and urinate in order to clear any germs from their urinary tracts. They should also be mindful during play that they don’t transfer contamination by, for example, fingering the ass and then touching the vagina with the same hand without washing it.
Pain And Discomfort
Some pain or discomfort both during and for a time after anal is normal. If your pain is anything other than mild, or if there is bleeding that is anything other than very mild, or if your pain persists for more than a day or so, consult a doctor. Some women note that they experience mild cramps if they do not expel the ejaculate after their partner comes in their ass – again though, these are only mild; anything more severe should be cause for concern.
Again, this is an extreme scenario, and pretty unlikely if you follow sensible precautions and play with a degree of caution. If it happens, you will likely notice pain and blood, and may be able to see the tear itself. You will also not require a guide to tell you to consult a doctor.
After having anal sex, you and your partner should wash your genitals with soap and water – something you can most easily achieve by taking a shower together. You may also wish to urinate to reduce the chance of a urinary tract infection. If the receiving partner has semen in their ass, they may wish to expel it – which they can do by sitting on the toilet and gently bearing down, before wiping clean from front to back. Dispose of any condoms used by wrapping them in toilet paper and binning them, and thoroughly clean any toys with an appropriate disinfectant.