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The anal area has the highest concentration of nerve endings besides the genitals, making the anal area sensitive to both touch and stimulation; which is why anal play has been enjoyed between couples for centuries.
Anal play used to be regarded as taboo, but an increasing number of both men and women of all sexualities are discovering anal play's sensual potential.
External stimulation on the perineum and around the anal opening can be pleasurable. Penetrative stimulation may be performed with the fingers or a penis, or a sex toy such as a butt plug, dildo, or vibrator
For men, there is a special area called the prostate gland where stimulation can be sensational - this is known as the male G-spot or the P-spot.
Men and Women may find anal stimulation erotic when combined with other forms of sex such as oral sex and many women enjoy double penetrations.
However this enjoyable act is still surrounded by myths and misconceptions.
Anal sex is taboo: Sex is an adult's opportunity for play and intimacy. There are many erogenous zones in the body that are sensitive to touch and stimulation, and the anal area is merely one of the sundry.
Anal sex is painful: Anal sex should not be painful if simple rules are followed. Foreplay is important in any kind of sexual activity but particularly for anal play. The anal sphincter muscles are used to pushing things out, not take things in, so you have to literally retrain your bottom. Anal intercourse may feel uncomfortable initially, but once you relax into it the pain should subside. In order to enjoy anal play you need to take anal sex slowly, use a good quality anal lubricant and relax the muscles by massaging with your fingers first. You need to keep the lines of communication clear, and use the correct technique; this will prevent anal play being painful. You need to be mentally and physically prepared for anal play. If you are comfortable with the thought of anal play and are sufficiently aroused there is no reason for anal play not to be an erotic experience. And remember, if anal play is painful or uncomfortable at any time - stop!
Anal sex is dirty: As anal sex is performed in the rectum which is our body's elimination channel, people assume that anal sex is dirty and messy. The body actually empties the rectum with elimination and there are some basic ways to ensure anal sex is clean and hygienic. You may wish to have some wipes handy to discreetly wipe fingers, toys or penises, and some dark coloured towels to cover your clean sheets, may also be an option.
Anal sex is unsafe. In fact practising anal sex is perfectly safe as long as you use common sense and follow some basic precautions.
Anal sex is for gay men only: This is based on the assumption in conventional cultural belief that anal sex is a practice more common for gay men. However many gay men do not engage in anal sex and a huge number of heterosexual men and women enjoy receiving and giving anal sex. Statistically, most research reveals that about 30% of married couples in Western cultures are experimenting with anal play or regularly incorporate anal play into their sex life.
Anal Sex leads to incontinence: There is a concern that anal sex will stretch the anal muscles and cause incontinence. The anal muscles are like all muscles - the more you work them the stronger they get. Anal sex can actually strengthen the anal muscles as long as it is practised safely.
Anal sex can be an extremely satisfying and a healthy part of your sexual repertoire (whether practised alone or with a partner).
If you are interested in adding something new to your sexual repertoire, or simply curious, here are some guide points you should know before engaging in anal sex.
Lubrication: Lubrication is essential when you are engaging in any type of anal penetration. Unlike the vagina, the anus is not self-lubricating. Water based lubricant is a good choice as it is thicker than silicone lubricant and is safe with latex and will not destroy condoms if used. The special water-based gel lubricant is made especially for anal play, as it is thicker and more cushioning for delicate anal tissue. Silicone lubricant does stay slick for a long time and may be used, but keep in mind it is not latex friendly.
Lubricant can be used around the external anal area to relax the anal muscles. The more lube you use in your anal play, the more comfortable and enjoyable anal sex can be.
Never use numbing lubes or creams: These creams are unsafe because they inhibit the body's pain response and could cause you to not realise your limitations.
Open communication: Anal play involves a lot of trust between partners. As with all type of sexual activities, verbal communication is a must! The control of the situation should be the person being penetrated. Practice open communication with your partner. When deciding on anal play, make sure it is something you both want to do. Discuss any concerns and what you desire. Anal play involves a whole gamut of different options from lightly touching the anal opening during sex or masturbation through to anal penetration. Talk to each other throughout the anal play, at least initially, gauge your levels of comfort and pleasure by continually checking with each other that it still feels okay. Remember relaxation is vital in creating an enjoyable anal experience, so concentrate on relaxing the receiver, and then you can progress to introducing a toy or two. It is important that you feel comfortable so don't be afraid to communicate!
Hygiene: Make sure the receptive partner has been to the toilet beforehand, as anal sex is more comfortable if your bowels are empty. The anal canal is usually very clean as faeces aren't stored in this area; they're stored further up in the rectum and bowel. When involved in anal play you may wish to wear latex gloves. It is advisable to wash outside the anal area externally prior to anal play. Be sure to wash your anal toys before you use them for the first time and immediately after each use before putting them away to play with another day. Using an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is just the thing for keeping all your sex toys safe and hygienic.
No interplay between anal and vagina: Never go from anal play, to vaginal play with the same toy/finger/penis without thoroughly washing it or changing condoms as this can lead to infection. Always put a new condom on if you switch from anal to vaginal intercourse to prevent the spread of bacteria to the vagina and keep a stash of condoms handy when playing with anal toys as they make cleaning up after sex a breeze! To minimize the risk of infection, be sure to clean your genitals before and after engaging in anal sex.
Relax and Slow: With any anal toy, when you begin to penetrate, the anal muscles will contract. Spend a few moments relaxing your mind and entire body. The more aroused you are, the less it will hurt (having an orgasm first also helps to relax you). To feel the difference between a relaxed and tightened anal muscle, try squeezing your butt muscles and holding for a few minutes, and then releasing. Penetrate slowly a few centimetres then wait for the muscles to relax for about 10-30 seconds. Wait until they say it's OK to go further and insert a little at a time, very slowly. Repeat slowly. If the muscles tense up, wait for them to relax again. Check in with your partner and if they experience any pain stop and wait for the muscles to relax. Make sure the toy and the anal area has plenty of lube on it. Breathe deeply and relax your sphincter muscles with each exhalation. Carefully push the toy completely and comfortably inside the anal canal. Once it's all in, pause again, then do slow, gentle, shallow thrusts. Exit as slowly as you entered, go too fast and the muscles will tense and spasm. Always stop moving immediately if your partner says 'stop'. Soon you will create a rhythm for anal play.
Allow time for anal play: Anal sex takes time, everything you do should be slow, careful and hopefully very exciting for you both, You need to be able to relax and enjoy the journey.
Start small: Finger insertion is a great way to get your anus used to being penetrated. It's safe, and helps prepare the anus for penetration with a butt plug or penis. Before entering, use your finger to stimulate the sensitive outer area of the anus to excite and relax it. Apply some lubricant to your finger or your partner's anus. Rub your fingertip around the outside of the anus in a gentle, circular motion. Wait until the muscles relax, then insert your finger a tiny way inside. When penetrating with a finger, enter pad-first to avoid scratching. Short fingernails and/or wearing gloves can also help with this. Keep inserting a little at a time. Once your finger is fully inserted, move it in a circular motion rather than in-out. Wait for the anus to relax and open then you may want to experiment with anal sex toys and /or a penis. Never go straight to anal intercourse without having tried other types of anal penetration devices first (fingers, butt plugs, dildos, vibrators).
Condoms, gloves and dams: These accessories are great for safer sex, and can reduce friction during anal play. Also condoms on anal toys make cleaning easier. If you're with a new partner, or regularly use condoms as your contraceptive method, it's a good idea to use a condom, as anal sex is a high-risk behaviour for the transmission of HIV.
Only use toys with a handle or flared base: Any anal toy needs to have a flared base, so that part of the toy remains outside of the body, otherwise they can slip inside the rectum during use, also the base can be used for ease of removal of the anal toy.
Start with beginner sex toys: Most butt plugs have been designed for beginners and are a great way to experience anal play for the first time. Anal toys with a graduated or tapered tip are also ideal for going up the dirt road as they make insertion much, much easier.
Size is important: Do not insert anything large, straight, hard or sharp into the rectum. Remember the anus has curves so using short, bendy, soft toys accommodates the natural flow of the anal canal. 10.2 cm is the ideal length for an anal toy. Long toys used incorrectly can tear the fragile anal tissues and/or harm the lower intestines.
Withdrawal: Always pull out of the anus gently and carefully when using any form of penetrative device
Practice makes perfect: Anal play takes practice, communication to stimulate successfully. Don't be disappointed if you don't hit the right buttons the first time you engage in anal play.
If you have eaten strawberries, berries or any foods with small seeds such as poppy or sesame, engaging in anal sex may irritate the bowel. Allow 36-48 hours before anal play in this instance.
Once you have experienced anal play you may like to be more adventurous, you may try:
Double penetration. There are many shared nerve endings between the walls of the vagina and the anus, so stimulating the vagina and anus simultaneously can be extremely pleasurable. This gives the receiver a full-up feeling and provides stimulating sensations.
Switching roles. Invest in a strap-on and the female can be transform from receiver to giver. The male p-spot is considered highly erotic and there is only one way to stimulate it, you need to delve into anal play.
Not a Necessity: Anal play is just one option in your arsenal of sexual activity, you don't need to try it each and every time you engage in sexual play, but it's a nice thing to add to your repertoire. Don't feel pressure to engage in anal play! If anal play doesn't work, try not to be disappointed. Many couples like to please their partner and are curious about trying anal sex, but it's not always for everyone. Everyone has different likes and dislikes. Love it or hate it, you are not alone.