Bottoms Up! The Ins and Out of Anal Sex

Searah Deysach
Written by Searah Deysach

Ah Anal Sex, the subject of so much fear, interest, excitement, and questions; the “butt” of many jokes and the source of lots of anxiety. For some, it is a nice thing they do for their partner, for others, it is something they work hard to avoid and for many, it is a whole buttload of fun.

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I get it, anal sex is a big fat turn off for many folks and that is cool, but butt action is also an activity that more and more folks are engaging in or curious about, so for those whose interest may be piqued, I’m going to share with you some tricks and techniques for making it awesome.

But first, let’s tackle the WHY of anal sex. In my line of work (I own a feminist sex toy store), I talk to a lot of folks, and women in particular, who just don’t understand why anyone would want to *that*. They ask, “Could it possibly feel good for the ‘catcher’? From what I hear it HURTS and my friends who do it are just being nice to their partners.” It is true, a lot of folks, and particularly women, have had some bad experiences being on the receiving end of anal penetration. Usually that is because they were not prepared and did not know what they were doing (or they did not want to do it in the first place).

If the idea of anal play intrigues or excites you, know that it can be fun and highly sensational for almost ANYONE with a butt. It doesn’t matter where you are on the gender or sexuality spectrum, all that matters is that you think it could be fun and you want to give it a try.

Your anus is full of nerve endings and the sensation of play, internal or external can be quite a thrill. Some love the feeling of being “filled” while also engaging in other activities (like vaginal penetration or penis stimulation). Others like to make butt sex the main event. Bonus: if you were born with a prostate, putting pressure on that sensitive area inside your ass can lead to some mind-blowing orgasms and can help keep your prostate healthy*.

But before you bend over and take it, please read the following info that will help you to have a pain-free, safe, and butt-positive experience!

Want it: While anal sex is something that is enjoyed by lots of people, it isn’t for everyone and you should never let anyone coerce you into doing it if it is not your bag. If you don’t want something in your ass, your butt is going to make it hard to get it in there. True fact! Your butt knows what you want and if your heart says NO but your Mouth says say YES, your ass is going to side with your heart.

Relax: Lots of people who are new to butt play are afraid of pain and, consequently, they tense up when someone plays with their anus. This only makes it hurt more. The more you are able to relax and enjoy the butt action, the less painful you will find it. If you are calm, chill, using plenty of lube, and WANT to have anal sex, there should be very little pain, if any at all. Which brings me to my next point.

Use lube like it is going out of style: Repeat after me: “Spit is not a lubricant”.  Too many times I have seen spit stand in for lube in porn and it seems to have left a lot of folks thinking they can just spit on someone’s butt and call it a day. No, No I say! You must (and this is not negotiable) use a commercially made personal lubricant . This will protect your delicate tissues and make anal sex FUN! I like to suggest a thicker, water-based lube like Slippery Stuff Gel , Sliquid Sassy or Astrogel . And I beg you, for the love of good sex and your safety, avoid desensitizing creams and lubes! There are creams and lubes out there that are made to numb your ass so you don’t feel pain when being penetrated. These are dangerous because usually if you are feeling pain when being penetrated that means that your tissue is tearing and you want to minimize that. It is important that you are in tune with and aware of your body’s sensations while having anal sex. Using a desensitizing cream only alienates your from your body and makes it more likely to cause some kind of damage.

Take the slow road: Most people cannot pleasurably go from being a butt sex virgin to taking a whole penis or dildo up their ass right away. Start out with inserting a finger or two and work your way up to a small butt plug. Some people find that they never really want to take anything bigger in their butt than a finger or plug and that is just fine. If you are angling for taking a whole penis or full sized dildo in there, move to a larger plug or more fingers before you go for the whole shebang. If you are using toys, make sure they are made for butt play. Yes, you can lose that cute little vibe you love so much in your butt. If it does not have a flange, it is not allowed in your ass! I’m not joking people, let this man’s story be your warning.

Be safe: The anus is made of delicate tissue that can easily rip or tear. This makes a person even more susceptible to infection of you are not properly protected. Use a condom on a penis. If you are using a butt plug, dildo or vibrator, using a condom will help keep the toy cleaner, especial if it is made of a porous material like jelly rubber (which you should probably never be using anyway). Wear finger cots or gloves if you are putting your finger, hand, or fist in someone else ass. Not only they it protect your from disease, many people find that a gloved hand is more comfortable for the receiver (rough cuticles and hangnails can hurt!). If you are performing analingus (oral/anal contact) use a dental dam to protect yourself.

And lastly, if it hurts, STOP: Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.. If you experience a lot of pain, stop what you are doing. Anal sex may be a little uncomfortable at first, but it should not hurt. Lube, relaxation, and desire to have something in your butt will make the whole experience a lot more pleasant.

Want to know more? There are some great books on the subject if you want to be a top-notch anal adventurer. I recommend Anal Pleasure and HealthThe Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men. Or hey, I can answer your questions too! Just leave a comment or if you want to keep it private, email me
* Safe stimulation of the prostate helps increase blood flow to the area, releases muscle tension and it can help clear out blocked and trapped fluids.


About the author

Searah Deysach

Searah Deysach

Searah Deysach is a sex educator and the owner of the feminist sex shop Early to Bed. In addition to running her shop, she lectures frequently to community groups and colleges around the state on topics relating to positive sexuality. She is committed to working to create a culture where everyone has access to honest information about sexuality and all women have access to the services they need to protect their reproductive rights. She lives in Chicago with her girlfriend and their kid and thinks everyone should masturbate more.

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