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Anal 101: Everything You Always Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

Anal 101: Everything You Always Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask


Many people feel squeamish at the mention of anal sex—butt, butt, butt, of course, many of us are also very titillated by the prospect.

The Importance of Condoms and Lube

Whatever your gender or sexual orientation, it’s important to note that the anus is not self-lubricating. So before you begin exploring the region, whether solo or with a partner, you’re going to need lube. Lots of it.

While you can’t get pregnant from anal play, you can contract sexually transmitted infections—both from genital and oral contact with the anus— so condoms and dental dams are your friends. Anal sex without condoms and condom-compatible lube is not a good idea.

Will there be poop?

Many people are worried about the possibility of encountering poop when exploring the anal region, but it’s not like poop is just hanging out there all the time. If you’ve already pooped that day and you also washed your butt again before sex, things can be pretty fresh and clean, and mess-free.

Still, encountering poop remains a risk you take when you embark on this journey, so it’s a possibility you’ve just got to wrap your head around if you’d like to explore butt stuff. If it does happen, what can you do? Go wash it off.

Anal Fingering:

Adding some anal play to your masturbation routine—just by using your own finger (and

some lube)—is a simple way to begin your anal explorations because that way you’re in control and you can figure out what feels good and what doesn’t.

If you’d like to attempt anal play with a partner, as with any sex act, consent and communication are absolutely vital. Talk about it first. Whether with a partner or solo, and no matter your gender, it’s best to begin exploring anal play after you’re already feeling very relaxed and aroused.


The technical term for oral–anal stimulation is annilingus, and the slang term for it is rimming or if you’d like to get straight to the point, ‘eating ass’.

Licking the skin between the genitals and the anus (that stretch is called the perineum), and then moving to licking the external area around the anus, can be an especially intimate and exciting way to explore the region.

Using your hands to gently part your lover’s butt cheeks makes rimming much easier to execute.

For many people—for reasons similar to the ones Alain De Botton listed on the appeal of oral sex—rimming can be an especially erotically charged and pleasurable experience because of the profound sense of acceptance that being willing to perform the act on one another would seem to suggest. However, it’s best to use a dental dam for safer annilingus .

Anal fingering and rimming are a gentle way to ease into anal play—and for many, this is the extent of anal play that they wish to incorporate into their sexual life, whether solo or partnered.

It’s really up to you or you and your partner to decide what you are comfortable with and there’s obviously no pressure to do anything you don’t want to.

Anal Sex:

You might not manage to have full-blown penetrative anal sex the very first time you try anal play with a partner. It often takes some preparation, and it isn’t meant to be painful. So take your time to ease into it, and be sure to use condoms and LOTS of lube. You need to be careful in order to avoid injury.

Before you get to attempting anal penetration with a penis or dildo, it can help to first get totally comfortable stimulating the area with a butt plug . You can even get sets of butt plugs that are in a gradation of sizes so that you can gradually work your way from the smallest one to slightly bigger ones as you get more comfortable.

If you’re ever switching between anal and vaginal stimulation, change your condom and wash your hands. You don’t want bacteria from the anus entering the vagina as it can cause vaginal infections.

Another thing to note: Butt plugs and prostate massagers have flared bases for a reason. You never want to use any toy or object without a flared base or handle inside the anus because it could be sucked in too far and then difficult to remove. Unlike the vagina, where you can go no further than the cervix, the anus has no barrier preventing an object from going inside the body—so only use toys that are specifically designed for anal play.


Pegging usually refers to a woman wearing a strap-on dildo to stimulate the anus of a male partner. It’s a sex act that subverts traditional power dynamics and challenges the widely held heteronormative notion that a man is the penetrator and a woman, penetrated.

However, pegging can also more generally be used to describe anal penetration with a strap-on dildo by participants of any gender identity and sexual orientation.

If my DMs are anything to go by, given the newfound prominence of the term in internet culture and porn, more people seem curious about pegging than ever before. However, it seems that for many, the curiosity is laced with shame and disgust. As we’ve already touched upon—for many people, and especially for cishet men, anal play remains a major taboo, largely because of society’s overarching homophobia and misogyny. It’s worth thinking about why we feel the way we do about certain sexual acts versus others, and begin to unpack any unexamined prejudices.

Consent and communication are essential in exploring whether pegging might be something you and your partner want to try. You’re also definitely going to need lube. And a strap-on dildo.


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