Anal sex is undeniably popular these days. Data from PornHub has shown that since 2009, searches for anal sex have increased by 120 percent. Just look at pop culture if you need more proof: Will anyone ever forget the famous Kim K Paper Magazine cover that nearly broke the internet? Everyone is talking about butt stuff, declaring it the “it” thing, and even venturing to try it out for themselves.
But, for all its newfound acclaim, anal shouldn’t be taken so lightly. It’s serious business, so before you throw yourself into it, full-throttle, spur of the moment, take a pause first. There is a lot more involved than you may have even realized. And if you don’t go about it tactfully, anal can be painful, dangerous, or even traumatizing. In fact, many people can get turned off by anal sex forever because of a nasty first experience. And who wants that?
That said, it definitely doesn’t have to be awful. Anal sex has the potential to be super hot, sexy, and incredibly enjoyable. You just need to take the right steps. It takes prep, communication, and lots and lots of lube to make anal enjoyable for all involved.
So when it comes to anal sex, what exactly can you do to make it easier? How can you make sure both you and your partner have a stellar anal experience? We asked Alicia Sinclair, a sex coach and CEO of the anal wellness brand, b-Vibe, to give us some of her best tips for easier anal.
Because if you’re going to do it, you should do it right.
You can’t just go sticking things into your anus. You will wind up in serious pain, and even put yourself at risk for injury.
Before you attempt anal sex for the first time (or if you haven’t done it in weeks/month), anal training might help. Sinclair says to start with fingers (you can use latex gloves if you like) to work the anal muscles and then move to small butt plugs.
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You can also try beads,”[Choose] something with graduated sizes, like anal beads,” says Sinclair.”This allows the user to start with the smallest beads and then works towards larger beads as they become comfortable with the sensation. One good example is our Triplet Anal Beads, which have the added benefit of vibration—something that can actually help your muscles relax.”
The anus is not malleable in the same ways as a vagina. It doesn’t naturally stretch and return to form. It needs to be prepared for larger objects to be inserted. How long your anal training will take depends on your body. Do not get impatient. You may need to play with toys for a few days, weeks, or even months until you’ve accustomed your anus to accepting penis-sized objects without serious discomfort.
Your safey and comfort should be your top priority. Go slow. The slower the better. “You should never go from zero to penis. It will most likely hurt and create a negative first experience,” Sinclair says.
Sinclair says that her motto is, “slow and slippery.” The more lube the better. The anus doesn’t naturally lubricate like a vagina. It requires a lot of extra help to accomodate toys, plugs, beads, dildos, and penises.
“If you’re going to have penetrative anal sex and you’re not using a silicone sex toy, then a silicone lubricant is your best answer because silicone doesn’t absorb into the body. It stays very wet and slick for a long amount of time. Water-based lubes can dry out,” Sinclair tells us. “If you’re using a butt plug or a sex toy that’s made from silicone, then I would recommend a high-viscosity water-based lubricant.”
To enema or not to enema, that is the question. Sinclair tells us that the choice to do an enema is entirely up to you and your comfort levels around, well, poop. “What cleaning decisions you make really depend on how well you know your body, especially your digestive system and your comfort levels surrounding hygiene,” Sinclair says. “You are, of course, inserting something into your anus, so somethings, people prefer to clean up before anal play.”
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If you want to do an enema, that is entirely up to you. You are not, by any means, required to do an enema before anal sex. If you have a partner who insists on you doing an enema when you don’t want to, show the scrub the door instead of your backdoor. Sinclair says that a thorough rinse in the shower will suffice nicely.
Should you choose to do an enema, do so safely. Give yourself the enema one to two hours before anal play. “You only need to use a couple of cups of water because you’re just rinsing out the last six to eight inches of the rectum. In fact, if you use too much water, you can stimulate your digestive system and make things messier.” Sinclair advises. “Use warm water only and check it against your wrist. Enema bulbs are often the easiest way to do this. You can try a reusable one, or you can use a disposable enema.”
Let’s be real for a second. When you’re doing butt stuff, there will probably be some fecal matter involved. There really isn’t a way around it (even if you do the enema). To clean up after anal play, Sinclair recommends classic baby wipes or hypoallergenic wipes for a thorough wipe down. The anus is a porous area and you want to avoid any harsh chemicals. Then, hop in the shower and clean yourselves up.
“Launder dirty towels, properly dispose of used latex barriers, and thoroughly wash your toys in soapy hot water,” Sinclair adds.
Anal sex can be a particularly vulnerable experience. After all, anal has been historically considered taboo and engaging it can make for a mixed emotional response.
Sinclair says that anal aftercare is especially important: “It’s good to remind your partner about all the things you like about having anal sex with them. If your partner is new to providing anal stimulation and penetration, let them know what you loved, what you’d like to see more of next time, what you might change, and finish with a compliment.”
This article, featuring b-Vibe’s Founder Alicia Sinclair, was first published on the Women’s Health website by Gigi Engle.