Anal Sex
September 19, 2019

Anal For Beginners: What Is Anal Play?

Butt play is 100% healthy and normal, and can be a fun addition to your sexual repertoire. Here are some basics for getting started!
Written by
Published on
September 19, 2019
Updated on
What's changed?

Anal play can be penetrative or non-penetrative butt stimulation. Anal play involves using a dildo, penis, finger(s), mouth, or tongue on, or in, the ass. Butts have a lot of nerve endings, so it makes sense that this can be an area for pleasure. The sensitivity also means it can be painful too if you’re not gentle, so take your time, use lube, breathe and communicate with your partner to get the most enjoyment out of your butt-explorations.

Is anal OK?

If you’re interested in exploring this kind of play—alone or with a partner—but feel hesitant because butt play is often considered taboo, remember that any kind of consensual stimulation is good stimulation. Anyone, of any gender, can enjoy anal stimulation. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy the sensations of this part of the body.

Is anal painful? Here's why anal lube is so important

Anal can hurt, but if done carefully, it doesn’t have to! Before exploring anal with a partner, it’s a good idea to first become familiar with the area on your own.Getting to know your own body is one of the first steps to pleasure. Practice on yourself first —your partner can be there with you as well! Use lots of lube. In fact, use more lube than you think you might need. Apply and continue to reapply throughout play.

Start small, use a finger or a very small toy (one with a flared base). If you’d like to explore anal with a partner, the receiver should be the “leader.” Start slow, and the receiver should be the one to help insert, back up or go down onto the toy, finger, penis, etc. Once everyone is comfortable, you can work your way up to movement, if that’s something you would like. Another major way to help avoid pain is to be sure the receiver is completely aroused and relaxed! Work your way up to anal by touching, kissing, licking other parts of the body as well — whatever turns you on! 

Often times, folks want to use drugs or alcohol as a way to help relax or relieve the pain, but be wary of this. When our bodies experience pain, it is a warning sign to our brain to slow down or stop whatever is causing it pain. By cutting that warning sign off, you may do your body more harm or damage. Lube, even more lube, communication and extra warm up/play time are all key factors in avoiding pain with anal play.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you begin your butt play exploration is that the anus, unlike the vagina, is not self-lubricating. This means that lube should be a central part of any anal play—and there really is no such thing as too much lube!

Anyone, of any gender, can enjoy anal stimulation. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy the sensations of this part of the body.

Silicone-based lube is especially popular for anal play because it lasts a long time. But water-based might be a better option if you’re using silicone toys, or want something more affordable and that won’t stain the sheets.

Here are some beginners' anal techniques

As for what to actually do when you get started, you may want to explore what it feels like to gently apply pressure or stimulation to the outside of your anus with a well-lubricated finger, sex toy, or mouth. If you like how that feels, try inserting a finger or small sex toy inside your anus to help you ease your way into penetrative anal play.

How to prepare your butt for anal play

If you’re feeling tense, go slow. And remember that arousal makes everything easier—and more fun!— so incorporating masturbation into your anal play can help relieve some tension. Using a butt plug while you masturbate is another excellent way to enjoy anal play.

Great anal toys to start with

Using a sex toy like a small butt plug, a slim dildo, or a vibrating butt plug can be a great way to enjoy anal pleasure or to warm up for a penis or larger dildo. One thing that’s important to remember with anal play is that any toy you insert into your butt must have a base that is wider than the rest of the toy, so while you’re using it part of the toy always stays outside your body.

This is essential to make sure the toy doesn’t get lost up your butt - you want to avoid that trip to the emergency room! Instead go with toys that are designed for anal use that have a flared based or handle for safety and ease of use.

Gently apply pressure or stimulation to the outside of your anus with a well-lubricated finger, sex toy, or mouth. If you like how that feels, try inserting a finger or small sex toy.

When you explore different ways to have anal sex with a partner, there are countless positions that might work for you, depending on your individual body. Just remember to relax, breathe, and check in with your partner, so you can enjoy the sensation and stimulation that anal pleasure can provide.

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

The team is here to provide you with the most medically-accurate information around sex, sexual wellness, pleasure, relationships, and dating. Every article we publish is vetted by our medical review board, ensuring that readers are provided with answers you can trust.

Join The Sex Ed Newsletter

Get bonus content you won't find on our site. Plus, answer polls and surveys and see what others are talking about when it comes to sex.

Thanks for joining!
Oops! Something went wrong, try another email.

The lowest prices, from leading retailers

Free shipping on all orders above $69

Shop pleasure products

Hand-picked brands and products

We curate the most popular, best-selling pleasure products across the Web, to present you with a variety of options for different needs — but without the fluff.

We compare prices for you

Compare pleasure products right here, no need to search anywhere else. Our prices update to reflect the latest, lowest prices available online — including any sales or deals out there.

Order Form

We want to help you get the orgasm you desire.
Let's get it on keeps this information totally private and anonymous.  
o shop black friday sale