Everything you need to know about trying anal sex for the first time

It’s nerve-wracking, we get it (Picture: Malte Mueller)

Asking For A Friend is the series where we answer the questions you don’t want to ask.

So, you want to try butt stuff? 

We get it, it’s nerve wracking if you’ve never been back there before, and it doesn’t help that sex in general – and particularly anal sex –  is still shrouded in stigma and taboo.

Despite that, the number of people engaging in anal sex, especially heterosexual couples, has risen over the last few decades, but few people know how to do it safely and satisfyingly. 

What are the risks and how do you avoid them?

The main risk with anal sex is pain and tearing (which can cause a higher risk of STDs) because the anus doesn’t self-lubricate the way a vagina does.

But these risks can be mitigated easily, as long as you take your time. 

‘You avoid these pitfalls by going very slowly, always communicating thoroughly, starting with smaller toys and working your way up, and using all the lube in the world,’ Gigi Engle, an ACS certified sexologist and 3Fun sex and relationships expert, tells Metro.co.uk.

It’s vital not to go straight to anal sex, as this will be painful, according to Gigi. ‘The anal opening is a nerve rich area,’ she says. 

‘This is where the vast majority of the pleasure in anal comes from, so you don’t need to penetrate to feel pleasure.’

‘Start slowly with anal play and, if you enjoy it, move on from there,’ she says.

When you do decide to give it a try, Gigi insists that anal sex should never ever hurt – and if it does, you need to stop immediately and check in.

‘The bottom (or the person receiving the penetration) is always in control and should feel comfortable stopping the play at any time,’ she adds.

Also, where a condom – always. 

How to make sure anal sex isn’t painful?

1. Go slowly, slowly, slowly. Always check in periodically and only do things that feel good and comfortable for you.

2. Use lube, lube, and more lube. Seek lubes that have either aloe vera or that are oil-based.

3. Do NOT force yourself to do ANYTHING. Listen to your body and stop if anything feels uncomfortable or painful.

How to prepare for anal sex

A lot of the pleasure from anal sex comes from how well you prepare, and there are three main things you should do: communicate, train and – if you want to – douche.

‘Being able to fully communicate and feel safe with a partner is absolutely crucial when engaging in anal,’ says Gigi.

‘It might be a good idea to create a safe word, so your partner knows when you’re not feeling it or something is painful, and don’t forget to take breaks if anything feels uncomfortable or painful.’

Gigi also recommends using an anal dilator kit and working your way through the sizes until you feel comfortable with the sensation – and derive pleasure from it.

‘The anus is a set of muscles and it needs to be trained in order to accommodate things like penises,’ she says.

Finally, while not everyone is a fan, douching is an option if you want to feel more comfortable. 

‘If you decide to douche, you want to use a simple bulb douche and solution like this one from Future Method,’ says Gigi. 

There you have it. Go forth and experiment!

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