What is anal sex

How to Prepare for Anal Sex – All you need to know

Let’s talk about butt sex, shall we? Anal sex questions and answers!

Whether you’re new to anal play or a total expert, knowing how to prepare for anal sex is the key to a pleasurable time. Okay, not just pleasurable. Preparation is just as important for safety as it is for comfort. Don’t worry, though! As long as you take the proper precautions and time to prepare, anal sex is generally safe. And luckily for you, that preparation is exactly what we’re covering in this article. So let’s get on with it!

Below, learn how to prepare for anal sex, as well as everything else you need to know about making anal sex safe, comfortable, and enjoyable, from prep to cleanup. Just relax and take your time.

Before anal

This is where the real preparation happens. Consider this everything you need to do before heading to the bedroom (or wherever you’re getting your anal play on). For your first time it is a good idea to chose place where you feel most comfortable.

1. Decide what kind of anal play you’re interested in.

Because spoiler alert: You have options! Sure, anal sex typically refers to penetrative sex—meaning, something going into your anus.—Penetrative sex typically requires the most preparation. But anal is a wide umbrella, and knowing ahead of time what you’re interested in can help you prep however you need to. So the types of anal sex to be aware of include:

Penis in anus: 

Pretty self-explanatory—P-in-A sex is what many people think of first when you talk about anal sex.

Toy in anus: 

You have a lot of variety when it comes to anal sex toys. There are anal dildos that can be used for penetration much like a penis, sure, but your options don’t end there. There are also plugs, which are smaller and designed to be left in place. With anal beads, the pleasure is in the removal as much as the insertion. Prostate toys are uniquely shaped devices designed to massage the prostate—kind of like the anal toy equivalent of a G-spot vibrator or dildo.

Digital penetration: 

Exploring anal play with your fingers is excellent, especially for beginners who might be worried about size. Also, it’s also worth noting that if you’re going to explore penetration with a penis or a toy, a little bit of digital penetration will likely be involved as you “work up” to it. So you should always make sure your hand hygiene and nails are on point—and by that I mean clean, filed smooth with no rough edges, and fairly short (unless you really know what you’re doing).


Also known as anilingus…or rimming, tossing salad, or your other favorite oral-anal euphemism. If you’re not already a fan, oral sex on the same place poop comes out might make you squeamish, but you have nothing to worry about. If the receiver has had normal, regular bowel movements, anilingus is generally hygienic. But more on the poop of it all later.

2. Stock up on lube.

Using lube is an absolute must during penetrative anal play. That’s because while the vagina produces natural lubrication, the anus doesn’t. Anal penetration without adequate lubrication can cause the tissue in your anus to tear.

Not only is that painful, it also makes you more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections, like gonorrhea and HIV. That’s because these tears create openings in the skin, potentially allowing infection-causing pathogens to enter.

When it comes to lube, you pretty much have three options: oil-based, silicone-based, and water-based. Oil- and silicone-based lubes are thicker and longer lasting, making them great for anal play. But oil-based lubes (like coconut oil) can break down condoms and render them less effective. Therefore if you’re using a condom, steer clear of that kind of lube.

If you’re bringing silicone anal toys into the mix, you’ll want to avoid silicone-based lubes, since this kind of lube erodes silicone toys. But don’t worry—if you want to use silicone-based lube and toys, there are other toy materials out there that work just fine, such as glass or metal. It is important to make sure that any toys used for anal penetration are properly clean. Many people use condom with some toys to keep them clean.

With all that in mind, if you’re engaging in anal play, using condoms, or using silicone toys, you’ll typically want to stick with water-based lube. Water-based lube is perfectly serviceable. Only you might just find yourself having to reapply more often.

3. Make sure your toys are safe for anal.

Repeat after me: NOT ALL TOYS ARE ANAL SAFE! When it comes to toys for anal play, the most important rule is to make sure it has a flared base so it doesn’t get lost inside you. Because yes, you can get a toy stuck in your butt and it’s a thing people actually go to the emergency room for more often than you’d think.

For beginners, it can help to use toys that come in incremental sizes so you can “start small and then use larger ones as you wish,” says Dr. McDevitt. If you’re a beginner and want to go for a glass or metal toy, maybe err on the smaller side—these materials can be heavy, so you’ll likely feel full even without extra size.

4. Be aware of how your poop might impact anal sex.

Whenever we talk about anal sex, questions about poop inevitably pop up. it can be helpful to know going in what you can expect. So first, let’s walk through what actually happens inside your body when you poop. Food starts in your stomach, where it gets broken down. Then it passes through your small intestine, where it gets digested even more. The remaining food waste—that’s poop—gets stored in your large intestine. It is a long tube also known as the colon.

When there’s a bunch of waste in your colon that needs to come out, your colon contracts and pushes the stool into the rectum, an eight-inch chamber that connects the colon to the anus. Your brain receives the signal that you need to head to the bathroom sometime soon, and your rectum stores the stool until you voluntarily contract it to push the poop out.

In anal play, once you get past your anus itself, anal sex takes place in your rectum. Rectum is not a storage area for poop unless a bowel movement is imminent. That means the odds of you actually pooping on your partner mid-act are very low.

When you poop, your body should expel all the stool in your rectum. Some fecal matter might get left behind.

It’s as simple as washing it off with soap and water (or changing the condom), washing your hands, and continuing on with your life.

5. Do some cleanup down there.

Getting your bum ready for anal sex can be as simple as cleaning the area with water and a gentle washcloth so it’s as pristine as possible before you dive in. However, some people prefer to take the extra step of doing an enema, and that’s cool too.

An enema involves pumping water or saline into the rectum to dissolve any stool that’s hanging out in there, making it easier to poop out. It is pretty convenient to just grab an enema kit at your local drugstore or online. Some people suggest doing this before anal to avoid any feces’ making an appearance in the bedroom. There’s usually no harm in doing an enema as long as you’re not doing it often enough to irritate your rectum! In other words – do not overdo it.

6. Try some anal masturbation first.

Whether you’re a total beginner to anal sex or an anal pro, it’s not just something you can jump into. But if you’re completely new to anal and planning on doing it with a partner, it could be worth it to do some solo exploring first. This can mean taking some time to work anal into your next masturbation session. You can use your fingers or sex toys.

During anal

A big part of preparing for anal sex actually happens during sex itself. Beyond that, it might be helpful to brush up on these tips ahead of time so you know how to have the best experience possible.

7. Work up to penetration slowly.

If you’re exploring anal with a partner, you’ll definitely want to reserve some time for foreplay. That’s to give your body time to relax. Your rectum is designed to keep poop in with help from a muscle called the anal sphincter. This can make anal penetration a little challenging at first.

When you feel cool, relaxed, and ready to start exploring anal play, you or your partner can use a finger or sex toy to massage the outside of your anus. This can help you get familiar with the sensation before any kind of penetration happens. Once you’re beginning to enjoy yourself.

8. Don’t worry about orgasming (this is mainly for bottoms)

Putting a pressure on having orgasm can cause anxiety, ruin the experience, and even chase orgasms away. So it is better to just enjoy the experience without a goal in mind. 

There’s the P-spot, which is a cutesy name for the prostate gland. This chestnut-sized gland is located inside the pelvis, upward and behind the penis, between the bladder and rectum. Stimulating it can feel unbelievably good for some people.

So, to answer your question, can you orgasm from anal? Maybe. Orgasms are such an individual thing that it’s hard to say a definite yes or no to this one.

9. Clean up

This is pretty obvious one. You can use the same methods for cleaning as during preparation. However, you should not use enema if you used it before the session.

10. Look out for signs of injury.

As long as you follow all the best practices we just covered, like lube, foreplay, and communication, anal sex is generally very safe. That said, some tearing or other anal injuries might still happen, depending on the amount you use, the size of whatever you’re putting in there, and the level of friction involved.

Though injuries are uncommon, it’s good to be aware. You should see a doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following within a few days of having anal sex:

  • Bleeding, which could be a sign of anal fissures (small tears in the tissue lining the anus)
  • Persistent pain, which could also be a sign of anal fissures
  • Sores, lumps, or warts around the anus, which could be a sign of HPV or another STI
  • Unusual discharge that looks like pus, which could signal gonorrhea or chlamydia

If you keep the above information in mind, you’re way more likely to come out of the experience having explored anal sex in a safe, healthy, potentially mind-blowing way.

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