Anal sex is a lot of things.
It is messy and complicated, it is gentle and emotional, it is overwhelming and scary—
But I’ll tell you one thing it is not.
It is not dirty.
Here’s what I do find dirty about the whole sexual experience— partners who view anal sex as a form of degradation when you never consented to being degraded, partners who crave your ass because it’s ‘tighter’, or partners who developed a fantasy for anal sex and double penetration and now feel entitled to demand those acts from their partners.
The only thing dirtier than that, is a partner that makes you feel awful for thinking about acts like anal play instead of merely telling you that they don’t feel the same excitement for it.
I don’t expect this gentle plea to persuade you to shed your shame around anal fantasies. We all grow up with a sense of horror attached to our body fluids and are taught to be embarrassed if someone ever sees any signs of it.
A clogged toilet, a bloodstain on our pants, peeing in our sleep— we aren’t exactly raised to accept these very human mishaps.
And anal sex is one of those experiences that is filled with the potential for mishaps. You could use lubes that are too thin, accidentally pair oils with latex condoms, nudge your partner to go in too hard or too fast, or rely on dangerous positions that could easily lead to someone slipping and injuring themselves.
So how do you make an anal experience safe, pleasurable, memorable in the best ways and intimate enough to help you learn more about your desires, your body and even your partners?
Here’s how you prep before exploring partnered anal play.
I was naive enough to think that a butt plug would easily work as a starter product for anal play, but there are sometimes even smaller steps that your body needs before the plug. This could be your partner’s lubed up finger, or your lubed up thumb, or a slim vibrator that can get you used to the feeling of something entering you, without making your sphincter stretch open too much for it.
Watching my diet
There’s two perspectives here— one is the fear of hygiene or staining, sure. The other, more important one, is your own comfort! Trust me, a stomach that feels gassy or acidic does not lead to a happy gut, and that in turn leaves you with an unhappy butt that feels full or burns from too much spicy food or acidity, and becomes too tense for any form of penetrative play or light rimming.
So eat a lot of fibre if you have a hot date coming up, drink your water and have your electrolytes to avoid constipation pains. And if you are going to douche? Don’t get too weird or artisanal about it.
Douching involves gently cleaning your anus with a spray or pump of water, which can then be expelled by your body in time for your anal session. It’s a medical solution for constipation and you don’t really need to douche, because your body actually stores poop higher up in the sigmoid colon. Anal sex won’t really access your sigmoid colon unless you’re engaging in fisting or your partner/toy is above average in length.
But if you still want to douche, remember to keep it simple and infrequent. Use plain warm water or saline water and do not use hot water. Do not douche more than 1-2 times a week. For people who have anal sex more often than that, please consider how important it is for you to present your partner with such a risky level of perfection.
Because over-douching is a thing. It could damage your inner mucous lining and make your system overproduce mucous, it could make you dependent on douching for everyday bowel movements and could even cause injuries. Too much water in your douching bulb could lead to water entering your colon, and even increases the possibility of your body expelling that douching water in the middle of sex.
Choosing my toy
This may not hold true for everyone, especially people who may be having anal sex more frequently than I am or people whose bodies are just better at relaxing than mine. I can never crave anal sex and simply have it. Even when it is in the heat of the moment, anal only works for me if I pick up a plug or an anal vibrator first, and use it as a tool to not only warm myself up for penetration, but also make sure that enough lube/oil is inside me before my partner is inside me. This means peacocking for my partners heavily even if just to buy myself some time.
I ask my partner to fetch me my toy, make them watch as I oil the toy and put it inside me, and make them sit back and enjoy the show until I’m ready for them to replace the toy.
But pleasure doesn’t work as easily, or as uniformly for all bodies, the way the act of anal prep typically does.
For people with prostates, the idea is straightforward. Pressure or vibrations against the prostate can add to the overall experience of sex and can make you harder, it can make your orgasm last longer and surge through your entire body and even leave you shuddering and shivering for a while.
When it’s for someone with a G-spot, anal play can add pressure against the vaginal walls and create enough sensations to make you want more, it might allow you to last longer in bed, it might make you greedy for more and even give you a rush of emotions about your own body.
There’s also something so thrilling and exciting about combining different types of penetration and touch and feeling your body experience pleasure at its max capacity… It feels almost like a drug sometimes. I love the way anal sex ends with my body gently curling into my bed, feeling loved and high and yet so in control. Judging by the look on the faces of people who have bottomed for me before, I’m definitely not the only one.
This isn’t to suggest that all anal experiences have been great.
I’ve had bad partners, bad positions, bad days and other factors to consider. But here’s what I looked at to figure out what I liked about anal and what I didn’t.
The build up
With practice and experience from playing alone and with partners, I learnt to understand the difference between a ready butt and a stressed or nervous one. Anal pleasure and excitement for me, is when my body tilts forward, takes in a long, slow breath as my partner rubs themselves against me and gives my hips a moment to relax. A bad anal experience is when it’s rushed. The initial pinch of penetration hurts more than it excites me and makes my breathing tense when it should be giddying instead.
This is an important indicator with any form of sex. If the pain you are experiencing is from the act itself and not from an existing condition or injury, ask yourself how you feel about this pain. Does it make your chest tighten up? Does it make you feel confused or disoriented or numb after?
Or does it make you bite your lip, moan, grab the sheets, grab your partner, scream for more and fantasise about even more sexual acts?
Subbing or bottoming may involve relinquishing a certain level of power to your partner, but that should not take away from your overall sense of control. You set the rules for the minimum and maximum that your partner can do in bed, and they can only take control of the act by playing with you within that range.
From a personal perspective, here’s what pleasure from anal sex felt like:
I was aroused, excited and in control before we started. My partner knew he had to wait his turn to have sex with me, and he patiently watched as I lubed myself up and used a metallic plug to prep myself.
When my hips felt tight, I asked my partner to go down on me because that made me wet and relaxed enough for anal play.
When he first entered me and I felt a painful pinch, I turned around and put my hand on his chest. He immediately understood that he needed to stop. I checked on my pain levels and my breathing and felt good to go on, so I added more lube and asked him to go deeper.
When he was finally in and took over the pace at which we were having sex, I moaned with him. My eyes closed, I grabbed the sheets, I felt myself crave more.
When we were done and he got up to wash himself, I relaxed in my bed. My breathing slowly returned to normal, I wanted more of his touch and felt so attractive.
That’s what good sex does. It gives you sensations that make your heart race and your breathing faster, without tightening your chest or making you feel distant or confused after. It makes you feel big and sexy whether you’re topping or bottoming, but it doesn’t make you feel small, weak or low.
Good anal sex, like any good sex, is about feeling like a newer, hotter you.
It’s the kind of sex that makes you catch your reflection in the mirror and giggle when you see your ass, because you know just how loud it can make someone else moan for you.
It takes the company of a person who respects your pace and needs. It is silly and tender and filled with giggles and moans you never thought you were capable of.
Anal sex is so many beautiful things when you actually want to try it.
But it is never, ever dirty.