Even though it has become more popular, speaking about anal sex is still a taboo. Any sexual activity involving the anus is called anal sex – penetration with a penis, finger, tongue, or sex toy. Having anal sex is not limited to gay couples, it can be practiced and enjoyed by people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. 

You want to know how to do it? Keep reading. One thing upfront: It is not advisable to start experimenting if you have haemorrhoids or any digestive issues. Not the case? 

Okay, so here’s a how to guide on having anal sex: 

1. Communicate with your partner 

You can test the waters alone, of course. Whenever a partner is involved, it is advisable to talk it through as both of you need to give their consent and be okay with anal sex activities. 

You might consider having a ‘safe word’ to stop everything abruptly as sometimes it might not be clear whether moans are based on pleasure or pain. Check in with your partner regularly during any sexual activities. 

2. Relax

Most important for anal sex is having a relaxed sphincter muscle – this is the one you are squeezing to hold poop inside. You might be most relaxed when you just had an orgasm. 

Are you worried about things getting dirty? Feel free to take a shower/bath before, an enema is not necessary: soap and water suffice. 

3. Use lubrication – lots of it

A vagina lubricates itself, an anus doesn’t. Whether you are using fingers, toys or a penis, lube is a must when having anal sex to avoid injuries. 

If you consider using a numbing cream: don’t. You might push your body past the point of comfort without realizing it when having a numbed anus. 

4. Start slowly

To get your anus used to the sensation of getting penetrated, use a small anal plug to start with. It will help you find out whether you like it. Also, your partner could start by massaging the anus area with a finger – short and clean nails are a must. 

Once the receiving partner is comfortable, two fingers can be used or a toy before entering with a penis. The skin of the anus area is delicate – skin tears are likely if you are not careful. 

5. Practice safer anal sex 

Speaking about skin tears, there is a higher possibility of bacteria entering the bloodstream. Also, it is easier to get sexually transmitted infections from anal sex. A condom prevents and reduces friction which makes entering smoother. 

Before switching from anus to vagina or mouth, make sure to change the condom! Bacteria from the anus are likely to cause severe vaginal and oral infections. 

6. Choose a good position 

Some positions are better for starters than others. Not only the ‘downward dog’ should be considered, but yes, it gives easy access to the penetrating partner. Another popular position is ‘reverse missionary’ in which the receiving partner lays on the front with the penetrating partner on top. 

Tip: To adjust the point of entry, you can use a pillow under the receiving partner’s body. 

7. Clean up 

No, don’t worry: The chance of poop showing up during anal sex is minimal, as it is usually held further up. The clean-up refers to the lube that might have left stains and sheets that might have gotten a little dirty – just like it happens when having ‘normal’ sex. 

Any sex toys used need to be cleaned carefully after being involved in anal sex, especially if they are shared or used inside the vagina afterwards, for the previously mentioned reasons. 

7. Check if you have any injuries

For first anal sex times, a little bit of blood is not unusual. The anus stretches so sex toys or a penis can enter and then will bounce back to normal after some minutes. 

However, should you feel an unnormal pain in your anus or bleed, please consult with a doctor. 

Anal sex, just like every other sexual activity, can turn out to be a great source of pleasure or you might decide that it is not for you and that’s okay. 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Franziska Richter is a transcultural counsellor with Willingness Team, offering counselling sessions to individuals and couples. She is particularly interested in sexuality, relationship issues, trauma and general mental health.