Anal Sex
October 16, 2019

Anal Training: What Anal Beginners Need to Know Before Trying it Out

This “physical therapy” for your bootyhole is called anal training.
Written by
Jamie LeClaire
Published on
October 16, 2019
Updated on
What's changed?
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Though still vastly underrated, anal sex is slowly but surely starting to get the recognition it deserves. Education is liberation, and we all deserve to know our bodies' capabilities for pleasure. Despite what porn or movies may have us believe, anal sex really shouldn’t be painful, and it can also be pleasurable for all! The anal canal has lots of nerve endings that can make anal penetration very enjoyable.

However, you can’t just “go for it.” In order for anal sex to be as pleasurable as possible and without pain, there is some preparation involved. Your rectum can expand pretty darn wide, but we've got strong sets of sphincter muscles down there. It can be helpful to familiarize your body both to the feeling of fullness, and the act of penetrating and pulling out. 

This “physical therapy” for your bootyhole is called anal training! According to anal training, “Anal training is a necessary step for anal sex. In order to ensure that the anus is prepared and comfortable for anal sex, there needs to be anal training that involves ensuring that the anus is accustomed to being penetrated.”

There are some things you’ll want to know about anal training “best practices” if you will, and we’re here to walk you through it with some tips!

First lesson in anal sex training: You need lube.

Before you even think about putting anything up your butt, repeat after me: The ass does not self-lubricate. Have your lube within reach during any anal training or anal sex. Use a lot! Use it in your butthole, use it on your fingers and/or drench your toys in it. 

Not only is sufficient lube basically the number one ingredient in the anal pleasure recipe, but it's also going to prevent micro-tears from happening in the skin or condom.

How to choose the right lube.

It's important to be choosy when it comes to lube! While silicone-based lubes might last longer than water-based lubes, they are NOT compatible with silicone toys. If you are using latex condoms, you'll also want to avoid oil-based lubes as they will break down the latex material. 

Aloe-vera infused water-based lubes are often a good option since aloe has moisturizing properties. Some of our favorite aloe-infused lube products include Unbound's Jelly and Dame's Alu. 

Unbound's Jelly and Dame's Alu

The luxurious oil-based lube, Lube by The Butters Hygienics Co., is great for anal play, and it's a bit of a "cult classic." It's creamy, moisturizing, and long-lasting. It’s compatible with silicone, glass, stainless steel sex toys and you can use it with non-latex condoms. It's bound to make anal play a silky-smooth ride. 

The Butters Lube

Second anal training lesson: Relax those butt muscles!

Implementing various ways of relaxing the muscles and increasing blood flow to the area is going to help prepare you for any anal penetration. You want not only to relax your sphincter muscles but create an overall feeling of calm and relaxation throughout the whole body. This can look like a lot of things! 

You can take an Epsom salt bath or have a partner give you a massage. Having an orgasm prior to engaging in anal training or play is also a way to relax your muscles and release the body of built-up tension.

Third anal training lesson: Get in position

To start out, you’ll want to lay down on your back, preferably on a bed, and bring your knees into your chest. There are other positions you can be in for this, but laying on your back is the best for just starting out. Reach around and (with lube) gently insert your finger or toy into your rectum, slowly and gently to start. You can start practicing pushing in and pulling out, to mimic penetrative sex. Remember to breathe and to relax your body. You can try wiggling your finger around, making different motions, feeling around the inner walls of your rectum. Take this time to get to know this part of your body intimately, find out what angles feel best, how much pressure you like and how fast or slow feels best for you. As you start to get used to the sensations and your body starts to adapt as well, you can choose to add in another finger (with more lube!). 

Fourth anal training lesson: Try out some anal toys and training kits!

If using your fingers is difficult, or you just want to take your anal training up a baby step, toys and training kits are here for you and your butt stuff journey!

When it comes to purchasing a beginner butt plug, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. The ideal first-time plug will be small, have a gradual taper, and gets smaller towards the top.

2. You'll want to have a flared comfortable base or handle for safe and quick retrieval. 

3. Stick to 100 percent pure silicone, stainless steel, or glass toys as these are non-porous, a must for anal toys. 

4. Keep an eye out for dimensions when purchasing toys online. What looks small, floating against a white background might actually be the size of your face!

A few beginner-friendly, non-vibrating silicone plugs are the Unbound Romp, the Tantus Flirt Slim Plug, and the Fuze Pleasure Plug.

The Fuze Pleasure Plug

Ideally, to "train" using plugs, you'll want to have them inserted for short periods to get the body used to the feeling of fullness. Practice slowly, gently inserting and pulling out the plug as well. When your body and your muscles become used to the sensations, you can decide whether you want to increase the size. 

You can take things up a notch for your benefit by investing in a vibrating plug. The vibrations can help massage and relax the sphincter muscles and feel incredible for you at the same time! 

There are lots of anal training "kits" on the market, too. Affordable kits, such as the Blush Luxe Beginner Kit or the Doc Johnson Moot Training Set, can be a great option, as they usually come with three to four plugs, ranging from a diameter around half an inch to a diameter of about 1.25 inches. This way you "train up" with the next size as soon as you feel comfortable. Got some extra coin to spend on a luxury set? Grab yourself the ultimate kit for personal anal pleasure, the B-Vibe kit, which comes with a small beginner plug, a vibrating medium plug, and a weighted medium plug! 

You don’t want too much of a difference when moving up in size, ideally, you’ll want to choose a plug that is about ¼ inch larger than the previous one and repeat the process. Eventually, with enough gradual practice, your sphincter muscles will get used to both the size and the push and pull, and, with plenty of lube, you’ll be ready for anal sex!

Remember, anal is your prerogative. Anal can be a whole lot of fun with or without a partner. If you don't feel comfortable participating in anal play with a partner, you never have to! You can enjoy it exclusively for solo sex, with some partners, and not others, only on Thursdays, when the moon is full… it's your body; you make the rules!

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Jamie J. LeClaire (they/them) is a sexuality educator, freelance writer, and consultant. Their work focuses on the intersections of pleasure-positive sexual health, queer & transgender/gender-nonconforming identity, body politics, and social justice. You can find more of their work at their website, and follow them on Instagram & Twitter.

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