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Learn what anal surfacing is and how to get started to experience anal pleasure without penetration
#Anal Play Advice#Queeries

The Universal Appeal of ‘Anal Surfacing’

Last Updated: Dec 04, 2023 / By Bobby Box

When people think of sex, we often default to penetration, when the reality is there's so much more to sex than repeatedly poking things in and out of holes. In this issue of Queeries, Bobby Box grazes the surface of Anal Surfacing.

Anal sex is often presented as a binary: you're either all the way in, or you're all the way out. Literally.

When people think of sex, we often default to penetration, due in large part to procreational and heteronormative purposes, when the reality is there's so much more to sex than repeatedly poking things in and out of holes.

Sex can include an erotic mix of things like oral, frottage, intimate touch, toys, and so on. And while it certainly isn't new, the sensations of "anal surfacing" have recently become quite alluring to folks.


For those who may be unfamiliar, anal surfacing is the sensual touch just on the outside of the anus. 

Research from 2022 found that anal surfacing is the preferred method of anal stimulation for women, followed by "anal shallowing" (shallow penetration) and "anal pairing" (anal stimulation happening concurrently with genital stimulation). The research, which was one of the first to specifically talk about what women want from anal sex, also found that 30 percent feel anal stimulation intensified their orgasms, with 18 percent saying it makes sex profoundly more intimate and emotional.

This research was released around the same time that Grindr made headlines for adding 'Sides' as a sexual preference on their app. Sides are individuals who don't enjoy anal penetration, not as the top nor the bottom. It was clear that a trend was emerging: while some people may not want to get their booties penetrated, they're certainly open to exploring other options.

Now whether this preference is socially influenced due to stigma over the sensations of anal penetration itself is still not conclusive, but it's still exciting to know that anal sex continues to grow in popularity and further assert its legitimacy as a powerful source of pleasure.


The anus is dense with sensitive nerve endings, making it a potential erogenous zone for everybody, since we all have asses.

One particular nerve (the pudendal nerve) connects to the external sphincter and the dorsal nerves of both the penis and clitoris, so that means our genitals are getting some of that action as well.

There is also a taboo appeal to anal play, given its stigma throughout history. One participant in the aforementioned study says there's a "kind of forbidden quality that makes [anal] feel really intimate and sort of primal."

Anal surfacing also removes the feat of potential pain and mess, which can make it a more appealing option. "I only discovered pleasure there when I started treating my butt not as a place for things to go into but more like another flat erogenous zone," another participant said. "Kind of like how my nipple is a flat erogenous zone."


While anal surfacing might not seem like a very complex act, it is certainly versatile. Try exploring the options below and see which you like best.

1. Oral stimulation AKA analingus:

The feeling of a warm, wet tongue on your hole is truly an out-of-anus experience. Start slowly and tenderly, and gradually build the intensity. You'll also want to switch up your analingus technique. Just like with massage, our nerve endings tend to get bored with the same thing over and over again.

Best Position for Anal Surfacing and Eating Ass

Play with the shapes of your tongue. For example, widen it and lap that hole up like an ice cream cone. Then point it and slowly trace circles with your tongue around the anus. If they're comfortable, you could even use your tongue to slowly penetrate the hole.

2. Digital stimulation:

You can use your fingers as well. Try lightly tapping the hole, applying blunt pressure, and tracing circles using the pads of your fingers. Consider switching digits as well: a thumb does cover a lot more space and applies a more blunt pressure than, say, an index finger. Use lube, though, it'll make things easier and feel better.

RELATED: The most popular illustrated guides on how to give an anal massage and first time ass fingering.

3. Penile stimulation:

Placing the head of a penis on the anus, applying pressure, and tracing circles on the anus can be a very erotic experience, and offers a super sexy visual for the penis owner. Again, lube will help here. Pro tip: You can even use a warming sensation lube for some bdsm temperature play.


There are a number of different sensations to explore anal surfacing with sex toys. Maybe you want a toy that vibrates, or maybe one that can change temperature. Maybe you want a toy that massages the sphincter in circular motions. Each of those options is available through the toys below:

360 Plug

With a textured head that rotates 360 degrees, it goes without saying that the b-Vibe 360 Plug is fantastic for anal surfacing. Lube it up and gently press the head of the toy on the anus and slowly explore the six speeds, starting slowly and gradually building the speed as your body eases into these sensations.

Anal Surfacing with b-Vibe 360 Plug

Trio Plug

The b-Vibe Trio Plug has three motors in its modest size. With eight intensities and one of the three motors in the plug's tapered tip, the Trio Plug makes for a powerful and versatile anal surfacing tool. Try placing the tip on the outer edges of the anus and slowly trace circles around it.

Novice Plug

With six vibration intensities and 15 patterns, the b-Vibe Novice Plug is small and mighty. The width of a finger, the Novice Plug was created for anal newbies, making it a fantastic option for surfacing, but also for those who may be open to exploring shallow penetration.

Anal Surfacing with b-Vibe Novice Plug

Vibrating Snug Plug

Given their five sizes, the b-Vibe Vibrating Snug Plug is a choose-your-own anal surfacing adventure. The Snug Plugs have a blunt tip compared to other options in b-Vibe's collection and are best utilized when pressed directly against the anus, where it will stimulate the entire anus all at once. The more pressure you apply, the deeper these intense vibrations will travel.

Stainless Steel Anal Beads

Stainless steel is a fantastic material for temperature play, which is an entirely new sensation to explore while anal surfacing (click here for more on using stainless steel sex toys for temperature play).

The b-Vibe Stainless Steel Prostate Plug and the Stainless Steel P-Spot Training Set are also excellent stainless steel options designed for anal stimulation.

Anal Surfacing with b-Vibe Stainless Steel Sex Toys

If you've always been curious to engage in anal sex but penetration never appealed to you, or maybe it does and you want to embark on your anal journey at a slower pace, anal surfacing is a fantastic option to consider. It grants the universal appeal that anal sex has desperately needed: something that isn't intimidating, but still gives people the opportunity to explore the pleasures that lurk at our back door.

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