The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex
Written by Alice Child, Somatic Sexologist
Sydney-based Somatic Sexologist and Sex & Intimacy Counsellor Alice Child explains how anal sex and anal pleasure can lead to the most orgasmic experiences in the human body, and gives her step by step anal sex guide.
This guide contains general advice only. If you need more tailored advice, please book in a session.
"Not only can it lead to life-changing, knee-shaking, full-bodied orgasmic experiences, but has the potential to unlock a whole new side to your sex life. "
Why does anal sex feel great?
Filled with nerve endings both externally and internally, there is so much pleasure potential when it comes to anal sex and pleasure! It is a huge erogenous zone - and people of all genders can enjoy it!
Can you have anal orgasms?
Yes! Anal sex can lead to both earth-shattering full-bodied orgasms and deep, slow, transcendent relaxation that feels better than ANY massage.
Even if you don't have a prostate (more on this below...) anal sex & pleasure can result in amazing orgasms.
Why don't people have good anal sex?
There are all sorts of misconceptions about anal sex and pleasure that hold people back from having great experiences. For example:
Taboo and shame- thinking anal sex is dirty/wrong/shameful/embarrassing (it’s not!)
Hygiene - thinking it is dirty (it doesn’t have to be if you know how!)
Mess - worrying about making a mess (you can minimise the risk!)
Homophobia - thinking that enjoying anal sex and pleasure is ‘only for gay men’ or ‘makes you gay’ (sexual acts don’t change your sexuality!)
Pain - thinking anal sex will always be painful (sex should NEVER be painful - anal sex included. If it’s been painful in the past, you’re not doing it right)
Thinking it's all hard and fast (like you see in porn) - don’t use porn as your sex education!
How to have pain free anal sex?
🌟 In this article, I explain the basics of how to have great anal sex- without ANY pain. From anal anatomy, anal sex toys, and a step by step guide for pain free pleasure. If you want to learn more, keep reading! 🌟
The most important thing to remember is slow down, use lots of lube, and understand it takes time and safety to get your body ready for this new pleasure! Go at your own pace, practice alone with butt plugs, keep communicating, and deep breathing is key.
How to have anal sex for the first time?
Here are some top tips, plus at the end of this article is my step by step guide. Enjoy!
Step 1...relax the butt
Lots of us hold tension in our butt and pelvis - try both squeezing and relaxing your anus (go on do it now!). Many people walk around squeezing their anus’ or pelvic floor muscles during the day without even realising it, and chronic tension in our pelvic floor muscles can lead to all sorts of issues.
Learning how to relax our anus is key for pleasurable anal sex.
When we sleep, our anus can finally relax. With our deep, relaxed breathing while sleeping, our anus actually expands and contracts in tune to our breathing. If you were to watch your partner's butt when they were asleep (not that I'm recommending this!) you would see their anus gently opening and closing. Crazy!
This is the level of relaxation you want your anus to have when experiencing anal pleasure, and that takes deep breathing. Relaxation & pleasure (not pain and shame) is the goal.
If you want to learn how to relax your butt, try this:
Sit down on a chair with your sit bones against the bottom of the chair
Take a minute to deepen your breath. Fill your lungs up nice and deep, and lengthen your exhale. Do that for a few breaths.
Let your belly relax on the inhale (push it out with your breath)
Let your pelvis relax on the inhale (let go of any tension or squeezing)
Bring your awareness to your anus as you breathe by intending to relax your butt and your anus.
As you inhale, can you notice your anus relaxing/expanding? If not, as you inhale, bear down slightly and think about your anus ‘kissing’ the seat beneath you
As you exhale, let it return to normal (or try a slight squeese)
If you’re struggling to feel this, you can also place one hand over your anus to help you bring your awareness to where you want it to be
Practice this exercise often - it will really help you learn how to relax this muscle
When we breathe deeply like this, we are not just relaxing our butt. We are also triggering our parasympathetic nervous system - responsible for rest, relaxation and digestion. This helps us feel calm, safe, and relaxed. We need to be able to do this during anal sex.
What is the most important thing to know about anal sex?
The most important thing to know about the anus is that it has two sphincters. Sphincters are essentially the body's gateways - you need both of these gates to open if anything is going inside!
The external sphincter is made out of somatic /striated muscle, meaning you can consciously control and relax it. Try it now - you can squeeze and relax the muscles of your butt with just your brain (just like any other somatic muscle in the body - like moving your arms, tensing your jaw, etc). Can you feel your anus squeeze shut and open?
The internal sphincter sits just inside the external sphincter (0.5-1cm) and is made out of smooth muscle, meaning we cannot consciously control or relax it. Even if we FEEL relaxed, this sphincter sometimes has other ideas! This is part of our digestive system (also known as the enteric nervous system), and in order for it to be relaxed, our body has to actually be relaxed. This is where deep breathing and relaxation comes in.
If we are fearful of pain or we feel shame/taboo/fear, even if we are trying to relax, our body is still stressed. Our internal sphincter will therefore be tense.
If we try and force ourselves to have anal sex anyway this is when it can feel painful.
Never force your body - listen to it, breathe deeply, and go at your own pace! Anal sex should never be painful!
What is the prostrate?
Men and penis owners are also lucky enough to have a prostate which can be stimulated externally (from the perineum) but also internally from the anus.
Prostate stimulation and massage can lead to prostate orgasms, which can be very intense and pleasurable.
How to find the prostrate?
To find it internally, always think about going towards the penis or belly button (it can be easy to get lost in there!). It's usually about 2 inches inside.
The prostate is sensitive to pressure - so be curious about what sort of touch feels good for you. Try pulses, pressure, stroking, and massage.
How to have mess free anal sex?
A note on hygiene, mess and safety!
The fear of making a mess is often something I hear about from my clients. While this is understandable, I also like to say, “If you’re going to play with fire, you’re sometimes going to get burnt!”
Try and normalise that butts can feel amazing and pleasurable, AND they also have another very important use (and a little bit poo might happen!) If this does happen - don’t panic! Just jump in the shower and clean yourselves off with soap and warm water - it doesn’t need to be the end of the world.
Besides, it’s far less messy than you might think. The rectum (which is where the penis/toys/fingers will go!) doesn’t actually store feces - that is much higher up in the large intestine. So there really is only a small risk of mess.
Some things to help reduce the risk, and things to keep in mind when it comes to hygiene, mess and safety:
Always use a condom - it adds extra lubrication and protects from STIs.
Go to the bathroom about an hour before playing.
Have a good diet (eat lots of fibre!)
NEVER double dip (absolutely zero transmission of fingers/toys/penis between a vulva/vagina and the anus - this will really upset your vulva and can lead to infections)
Douching - if you’re worried, consider buying a bulb douche and use this 20 minutes before play to clear out the rectum so you feel squeaky clean and worry-free.
What to buy before having anal sex?
Here are some things you should consider to make your anal sex experience more pleasurable for you:
ESSENTIAL: Great Lube (and lots of it!)
You can’t have good anal pleasure without it. I recommend a good quality silicone lube, as it lasts longer than water-based lube, which evaporates and doesn't stay as slidey for long. Remember you can’t use silicone lube with silicone toys as it damages them, so if you have a silicone butt plug or toy, get some water-based lube too.
RECOMMENDED: Butt plugs
The sensation of having something inserted into your anus can feel a little unusual at first, and if you’re not used to it, it might feel painful (even with all that deep breathing and relaxation!)
This is why I always recommend people don’t start with something as large as a penis. Instead, start with something much smaller. Getting a very small beginner's butt plug is a great idea so you can practice on your own and build yourself up to something a little bigger. An anal training set of 3 plugs is great - like this.
A great idea if you’re really worried about mess and don’t think you’ll be able to relax.
How to use:
Fill up the bulb with warm, body-temperature water (don’t make this cold or too hot!)
Place a bit of lube on the tip and on your anus.
Sit on the toilet and insert the tip gently into your anus (only about 1 cm!)
Squeeze about half the bulb of water gently (or until you feel a little bit ‘full’ - don’t overfill yourself you really don’t need to.
Push the water out.
Repeat 1-2 times.
Step by Step guide to amazing anal penetration
Start on yourself - As I’ve said already, this is a new sensation that will take your body time (sometimes months!) to get used to. Go at your own pace, and don’t rush ahead straight to a Penis or dildo. I recommend starting with just a pinky finger in the shower or a finger during masturbation on yourself see what it feels like very slowly, on your own, and at your own pace.
Start with external massage - Before trying any anal penetration, just enjoy the feeling of having this part of your body touched and pleasured without the fear/anticipation of penetration. Anal massage is great for everyone as it's the only genital we all share! Have fun giving and receiving amazing booty massages to each other, exploring the whole butt with lots of massage oil and lube. A massage on the glutes combined with a delicate massage around the anus can feel incredible. Grab lots of massage oil, and explore. If you want specific strokes and techniques, book a session!
Buy some butt plugs (small to larger) - Getting a very small beginner's butt plug is also a great idea so you can practice on your own and build yourself up to something a little bigger. An anal training set of 3 butt plugs is great - like this. Wear it about 20 minutes a day to help ‘speed up’ your anal journey.
Use so much lube - the more, the better. The anus (unlike the vagina) is not self lubricating, so more lube, more lube, more lube whenever doing ANY sort of anal pleasure.
Breathe them in - When you’re ready for penetration, start with a very slow finger just by placing it at the entrance of their anus, and have your partner to ‘breathe you in.’ With their deep breathing, you will feel their body relax and help you glide in. If this doesn’t happen (and you feel you need to ‘push’ your way in), stop! They might be too tense ad could possibly hurt. Instead, get them to ‘push back’ against your finger so they are in control of the depth and speed. If they don’t enjoy the feeling, return to external massage until (or if) they become ready
Have other stimulation somewhere else - They may want to touch their genitals or use a vibrator on themselves. Being aroused relaxes our pelvis and also doubles our pain threshold, so having stimulation somewhere else is a great idea to ease the nerves.
Control the depth/speed - When you’re ready to try with a penis or a dildo/strapon, pick a position where the person receiving is in control of the speed and depth - eg spooning. Do the same as what you did with a finger. I.e., get them to ‘breathe’ you in and push back against you at their own pace. Encourage them to keep breathing deeply.
Keep checking in - Keep checking in with the person receiving the penetration. Do they need you to hold still? Move slowly? Start rocking? Often, once the initial penetration has happened, the body relaxes fully, and the full pleasure begins, meaning you can build up speed and intensity. But everybody is different - keep checking in with what feels great for you both.
Alice Child - Somatic Sexologist, Sex Therapy & Sex Counsellor - helps people achieve happier and healthier sex lives through 1:1 sex coaching, couples sex counselling, hens parties, and workshops. Book a session here.