We’re willing to bet your sex ed didn’t even attempt to discuss anal sex.
Anal sex is a type of sexual intimacy that people have always explored, but advice about how to do it and how to enjoy it are often lacking — especially when compared to advice about vaginal sex and oral sex. So BuzzFeed Health spoke with the following sex educators and sex therapists for the comprehensive anal sex education that was probably missing from your life:
- Logan Levkoff, PhD, sex educator and author of Third Base Ain’t What It Used To Be
- Charlie Glickman, PhD, sex educator and author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure
- Emily Morse, PhD, sexologist and host of the radio show and podcast Sex with Emily
- Kat Van Kirk, PhD, sex therapist and author of The Married Sex Solution
1. First of all, anal sex can be enjoyed by anyone. It’s definitely not for one specific sexuality or gender identity.
“People assume that those who try anal sex have to be gay, or that only men like to have anal, or that having anal is weird, shameful, and wrong because the butt is supposed to only be an ‘exit,'” Van Kirk tells BuzzFeed Health. “But that’s not true at all. Anyone can experiment with and enjoy anal. In fact, anal sex is the primary form of sex in some countries where birth control is not available to them.”
So definitely don’t shame yourself, your partners, or other people for wanting to try anal or enjoying it. “There’s actually very little fecal matter in that area of the rectum and the cleanup is similar to vaginal sex,” she says. “The problem is a lot of people have bad experiences when they’ve tried anal play because they don’t know what they’re doing, so that turns them off from it. Lots of people will be surprised at how much they enjoy it if they just did it right.”
That area of your butt has a lot of nerve endings, says Van Kirk, which is why it can be pleasurable for anyone, regardless of whether or not they have a prostate — which we’ll get into later.
2. Do not let your first time be drunk or unplanned. There must be explicit consent involved.
“Because it’s an uncomfortable topic, a lot of people experience it for the first time intoxicated, or unplanned when it ~accidentally~ goes in there,” Van Kirk says. “If you’re going to have anal sex it should be talked about and both partners should be on the same page about wanting to give it a go.”
3. Lube is your best friend. Opt for a thicker one that will last longer.
“The anus doesn’t provide its own lube like the vagina,” Van Kirk says. “So you need to have a really good lube available or penetration is not going to go smoothly and it will be painful.”
She recommends trying a silicone-based lube or a thicker water-based lube that will last longer and not dry out on you. And stay away from oil-based lubes if you’re using condoms since these can cause the latex to break down and become less effective.