If you’re on the fence about trying anal, you’ve probably got a lot of questions: Is it safe? What’s it like? Is there any chance I’ll poop mid-deed (a legit concern!)? And, possibly the most important question of all: Are there any benefits of anal sex? Like, can I even have an orgasm from that?
Some people swear by anal sex, while others back away from it (sorry, had to). But rest assured, if you decide to try anal, there are some serious advantages to taking the back route next time you want to get it on.
Obviously, without the P in the V, it’s way less likely any swimmers slip through to fertilize an egg—a major pro if your biggest concern during sex is possible pregnancy. “Although some sperm do rarely manage to swim down to the vagina, it’s pretty unusual,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor, obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.
Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean you should skip protection, considering you still risk STDs, and infections like bacterial vaginosis, notes Minkin. To avoid this, use a condom, and don’t go right back to PIV sex after anal (or at least switch condoms before you do).
Yes, the big O is 100 percent possible during anal. You can actually experience an anal orgasm in a few different ways. “There are shared nerves from the anterior wall of the rectum to the vagina,” explains Sheila Loanzon, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist, and a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “So it may be possible for sexual arousal to occur from rectal stimulation.”
And, the legs of the clitoris actually go all the way back to the anus, which is why you can feel it in that sweet spot, too.
It’s not a good idea to go right from zero to penis if you’ve never tried anal before. Instead, Alicia Sinclair, sex coach and CEO of the anal wellness brand b-Vibe, suggests working your way up, starting with a finger or two, and then moving on to anal toys like beads or butt plugs.
Trying something new in the bedroom is a great way to keep things interesting… and hot. Sinclair recommends starting off by incorporating anal with other things you know you like during sex. If you’re a fan of clit stimulation, try that during anal. Do you like being submissive? Try that, too. From there, try out other new techniques: like anal play during penetrative sex for example.
Just be sure to incorporate lube into whatever you try: Your anus doesn’t naturally lubricate the way your vagina does, meaning you have to turn up the slippery sensation on your own.
Learn how to choose the best lube for anal.
Like any sack session, you get real personal with your partner when having anal. You’re figuring out the best anal sex positions, placement, angle—all the things that make it more enjoyable. (Also, you need open communication. If something hurts, don’t be afraid to speak up.)
Women have told us that anal cranked up their connection with a partner, while a small survey on anal sex reported that women found it emotionally positive and even more intimate than a regular romp.