Everything you need to know from how to use lube effectively for anal sex to anal-aftercare
Why Try Anal Sex?
Anal sex can be an intensely pleasurable sex act. Anal has an association with being taboo or forbidden, which can create all the more incentive to try it.
There are many nerve endings in and around the anus, and yes, you can orgasm from anal sex! The major nerve, the pudendal nerve, carries sensations to the outer genitalia of all sexes and the anal opening and canal.
If you’re feeling curious about experimenting with anal sex either solo or with a partner, there are a few steps to prepare before you begin.
Why Prepare for Anal?
Anal sex is not a sex act to decide on trying spur of the moment. Why? Well, there are a few steps to take to ensure that the person receiving is comfortable and relaxed. So, while other sex acts might always be on the menu, you might consider anal sex to be à la carte.
Hygiene is most commonly worried about before anal, and while there are certainly options like enemas, if you go to the bathroom beforehand, you’ll most likely be fine.
Talk About It
Anal sex can create more intimacy in your sexual relationship simply because it requires a great deal of trust. To foster more safety around the act, it’s important to talk about it with your partner beforehand. It’s normal to feel nervous. Feel free to put everything on the table, whether you’re worried about pain or things being “unclean.” You can also discuss expectations and create a safe word to signal “stop” for any reason.
You and your partner can decide what types of warm-up activities you will do beforehand so you can both have time to prepare or get your feet wet, so to speak.
Because there is no chance of pregnancy from anal sex, many people think they don’t need to use protection. There is still a high chance of contracting STI’s from anal sex, so make sure to use a condom.
Anal sex is not a sex act to rush into. Not only can it be deeply intense and vulnerable, but it requires a great deal of warming up to not cause pain.
Before you begin, try practices to help facilitate further relaxation, like massaging the inner thighs and lower back. Next, you or your partner might try anal massage. This is so you become more familiar with the sensations around your anal opening, especially if you’re new to anal sex.
It’s encouraged to explore your own anatomy (yes, even if you’re the giver) before experimenting with a partner to create more familiarity with what this sensitive area feels like. If you’re receiving anal, you’ll have more of an idea as to what you expect. If you’re giving anal, you’ll have more of an understanding as to what your partner may be feeling.
Explore what kind of touch or pressure feels good around the anal opening. What’s enjoyable to you may be different for someone else and there is no pressure to continue further if you experience any discomfort.
The case for taking it slowly when it comes to anal sex is for your emotional safety as well as physical safety. Let’s get into a bit of anatomy to further understand why you need to go slow to not end up with pain.
We have both internal and external sphincter muscles that are quite strong. The external sphincter is the one we can control and is what keeps us from going to the bathroom involuntarily. You can choose to clench or relax this muscle. The internal sphincter is located about an inch to an inch and a half inside the anus. Unlike the external sphincter, it is out of our control. This is why if you have anal sex without proper time for the internal sphincter to warm up, it will hurt. If you’ve tried anal sex in the past and it has been painful, your internal sphincter may have needed more time to adjust and get comfortable.
You might start with a finger and try relaxing the sphincter. A tip for anal sex is: don’t jump into the water if you’re not sure you can swim (or don’t move on if you feel pain.) Only progress to something larger like a dildo or a penis when you feel relaxed and comfortable. If you’re unable to relax the first time you try anal, that’s okay. You can simply try again another time. What’s most important is to listen to your body.
Lube it or Lose It
Remember friends, the anus does not self-lubricate, so it’s extremely important to use lubricant for anal sex. Using lube can decrease friction and increase pleasure.
When using lube for anal sex, it’s important to apply liberally (read: more than you think you need) not only to the anus but around whatever is being inserted, whether that’s a finger, butt plug, dildo, or penis.
Why Use Lube for Anal?
Because the anus does not self-lubricate, anal play without lube can cause friction which can cause tears along the rectum. These tears can increase susceptibility to STIs or HIV. Friction can also cause the condom to break.
Best Anal Lube
When searching for a lube to use for anal, there are a few points to keep in mind. For one, do NOT use numbing lube. Pain is your body’s indication that something is wrong, and you should listen to these signals, not ignore them.
Ideally, use a water-based lube. Oil-based lubes can degrade latex, so you won’t want to use them with a latex condom.
After anal, it’s important to wash your sheets and body to eliminate any bacteria. You don’t want bacteria in any place it doesn’t belong.
Make sure to communicate with your partner and take time to unwind and practice aftercare, as anal can be a very intense experience, especially if it’s your first time.