You know what they say: butts are like opinions, because everyone has them. That means that no matter your gender or orientation we all share at least one erogenous zone in common.

Anal play can be extremely erotic, and how each person enjoys it will be just as unique as the individual. To celebrate diverse bodies and sexual exploration, we’re breaking down the basics of butt stuff for everyone to enjoy!

But Doesn’t Anal Sex Hurt?

Everyone has a butt that deserves attention and pleasure, but that doesn’t mean you can just rush into things. We’ve all heard horror stories about how much anal sex can hurt, and yeah, it can if you don’t take your time or are feeling pressured by a partner to let them penetrate you.

However, if done thoughtfully, anal sex doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. We chatted with sex educator Coach Felyne and they told us it’s a good idea to treat anal play like the first time, every time, because the tissues are sensitive and if you’ve never tried anal play before, it’s a very different feeling than vaginal penetration.

Our best advice for anal newbies is a two-parter. First, try smaller anal toys before inserting a penis or large dildo. Think: butt plugs, fingers, or even vibrating plugs, like our new product, Tilt. Second, there’s no such thing as too much lube! Lube is literally everyone’s friend, no matter what you’re sticking into where, and we can’t recommend it enough. Our own Fluid Aqua is a water-based lube that feels a lot like your own natural lubrication (if you have a vulva you know what we’re talking about) and it’s safe for use with toys and condoms.

What Are All The Anal Sex Options?

We’re so glad you asked, hypothetical reader! P-in-b isn’t the only option, so we’d like to suggest you get more creative—although this list isn’t all-inclusive because that would take forever. Remember that communicating with a partner beforehand is key to getting their consent and making everyone less nervous, so you may want to go over these options together and see what’s hottest.

By the way, let us know if you’re having other kinds of anal sex! We’d love to hear your experiences.

  • Anal toys - As mentioned, butt plugs are a great way to introduce anal play with any partner. Maybe your partner with a penis would enjoy wearing a vibrating plug while you give a thrilling blow job, or maybe your partner with a vulva would like to do the same while you penetrate their vagina. You can think of this as extra icing on a cake; something to spice up your standard positions!
  • Finger penetration - Fingering is another great anal warm up that can work solo, or in tandem with fingering a vulva or giving a blow job. It also adds a little something extra to your typical play, but again, don’t forget the lube with either of these options! Just because your finger or a toy is small doesn’t mean you shouldn’t insert it slowly and gently.
  • Oral anal sex - Tossing somebody’s salad is what you’ll usually hear this called. There are tons of folks who love oral attention on either their actual anus or the surrounding cheeky area, and in some ways it can be less scary than trying to find a clitoris with your tongue because it’s a much larger target. Before diving in, we recommend you check out the prep section below on cleanliness, but once that’s covered, feel free to experiment with massaging your partner’s butt, and slowly moving your tongue and mouth toward the anus, moving in circles around it. This can feel really erotic and kinky and totally change the power dynamic in couples.
  • Pegging - Pegging is all the rage these days, really. Sex therapists on Tik Tok are talking about it, and heck, even Deadpool let his girl peg him in that famous International Women’s Day Scene (very hot!) Again, you don’t want to jump into pegging without preparation, and we recommend trying the exploratory, less invasive options above before purchasing a strap on. Still, we love this idea for straight, cis couples because it challenges the power dynamic. Sexual empowerment for the win!
  • Double penetration - For polyamorous couples, or folks who just like having sex with more than one partner, sometimes you may find one partner just doesn’t have as much to keep their hands busy. May we suggest double penetration? If one partner has a vagina and is being penetrated already, adding an additional penis or dildo can feel amazing. Keep in mind, though, that it isn’t like you see in porn (is anything ever like you see it in porn? Quick answer: no). You’ll want good communication, lots of lube and gentle touches at first, moving slowly to make sure there’s no discomfort or pain. Go back to the “first time, every time” mentality and remember that it can be overwhelming to have two holes filled at once, and there may be a little stretching. With mindfulness comes success, and pleasure!
  • Missionary anal sex - Almost any of the above anal play ideas can be done doggy style, and that’s the stereotypical position a lot of folks think of when they imagine anal sex. But anal can actually be incredibly intimate, and we encourage you to detangle your ideas about power, domination, and positions with anal. Many cis gay men enjoy missionary anal, as it brings them close together and can be sweet and soft. It’s also great for partners who are menstruating, as it provides an alternative to vaginal period sex. It’s also a fabulous way to prevent pregnancy! It opens pathways for people of all genders and orientations to enjoy.
A tatooed hand holds a tube of Fluid Aqua, a water-based personal lubricant by Lora DiCarloA tatooed hand holds a tube of Fluid Aqua, a water-based personal lubricant by Lora DiCarlo

How Do I Prep?

We’ve said it before and it bears repeating: there’s no getting around what comes out of your butt. Here are our top anal play prep tips:

  • Try to have a bowel movement at least one hour before play if you’re able to plan ahead.
  • After your bowel movement, take a shower and scrub up!
  • Consider an enema to clean yourself up internally beforehand. Verywellhealth.com has a great guide for first-timers!
  • Think about aftercare beforehand. It’s highly unlikely a partner would actually poop during sex, but getting fecal matter on a finger or toy is possible. The partner who was penetrated may be sensitive about this, so consider getting them a nice, damp towel and offering to clean up toys. Your kindness won’t go unappreciated, and if you’re into BDSM play, you already know the importance of aftercare.

We hope you’re ready to try something new with a partner, or hey, even during masturbation! Wherever your pleasure takes you, we’re with you. Just remember to lube up!