1. It shouldn’t hurt.
This is where lube comes in. It should basically just feel like you might need to poop. You don’t! (I hope you don’t.) “Relax your muscles, and breathe,” advises Dr. Emily. “Use a lot of water-based lubricant.”
2. Start small.
The whole point of anal play is to keep it simple before working your way up. “To prepare a bottom for sex play, start with fingers, tongue, or a very small sex toy designed for butt play,” says clinical sexologoist Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce. “An option is to purchase a Butt Plug Kit that uses several plugs, of graduating sizes, just for this training.”
3. The person doing it should err on the shallow side.
Everything that goes in should be “just the tip.” The nerve endings you’re trying to stimulate are in the anus — hence the moniker “rimming” — and not all the way up there, which is generally the painful part and also the part that makes you feel like you need to take a huge dump. Imagine it like a basketball hoop, and the ball should just be rolling around the rim of the basket, not actually making the basket. Does that help? I know nothing about basketball.
4. There shouldn’t be any rapid-fire movement immediately.
Vigorous jamming of fingers anywhere should not happen immediately. “So much of sex is fast — especially in porn — but anal play has to be prepped,” says Morse.
5. You can vary up positions.
No, not all butt stuff needs to be done doggy style. It’s true it might be a little harder to get some solid eye-contact going on when face-to-anus things are happening. But! There are a variety of positions to try, like lying on your back with your hips elevated, or sitting on his face in reverse cowgirl. Move around until you find one that makes you feel most at ease.
6. Communication is key.
The only way to know what works and what doesn’t is to be totally honest with you partner about what they’re doing. Dr. Pierce stresses the importance of always being tuned in to how the other is feeling and being vocal about your preferences.
7. It’s not dirty.
As clinical sexologist Dr. Kat Van Kirk says, the anus and the lower part of the rectum actually have very little fecal material in them, which means it tends to not be nearly as dirty as you think.
That being said, you can totally clean things up. The key to anal play is comfort, so do whatever you need to help with any lingering anxiety. “Using an anal douche is not harmful if only done once in awhile and might help you relax your concerns about your bowels,” advises Dr. Pierce. You can use something as simple as warm water for a quick cleanse too.
It feels best when there’s some additional stimulation going on. Vaginal, clitoral, nipple-centric — whichever feels best for you. While some women only need butt play à la carte, most women can’t come from anal stimulation alone. “The anal part is something that’s an accent. It adds to the overall experience,” says Ian Kerner, sex expert, researcher, and author of She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman. (Incidentally, women who have had anal sex report more frequent orgasms than those who haven’t.) That being said …
Make sure your partner doesn’t use the same butt finger in your vagina afterward. Why do you think The Shocker exists? Necessity is the mother of invention. “Baby wipes should be mandatory on every nightstand,”
If you try it a few times and hate it, don’t keep trying it because you think it’ll eventually be tolerable. “Assuming you have a considerate lover who’s invested in you feeling good, I think you’d know within the first five times whether you like it or not,” says Kerner, explaining that this depends on a variety of factors. “I’ve encountered women who hated receiving oral sex initially but love it now, and it was because they were self-conscious. It depends on your levels of inhibition, your feelings about your partner, your feelings about your body. If all these things are good to go, and you just don’t like the sensation, you’ll know pretty fast.”
You don’t need to get a wax. “Most women don’t get Brazilians simply to engage in anal foreplay,” says Kerner, based on his research. #Yep.