The Complete Beginner's Guide to Anal Sex

What’s up anal explorer? Ready to blast off into deep space and discover the world of anal adventurers, going where no-one has gone before?

Welcome to Lovehoney’s complete guide for beginners on anal play so you can learn everything you need to know about anal pleasure and Uranus (Ur anus—Get it?)!

Watch Our Quickie Video Below: How To Enjoy Anal Sex | Anal Done Right

What is Anal?

Anal is defined as any type of sexual activity that involves the anus or anal play. Anal sex usually involves anal penetration.

What is Anal Play?

Anal play includes rimming, anal massage, anal fingering, prostate play, enemas, anal sex positions, anal sex toys and of course, anal orgasms.

Anal for Beginners

Personally, I believe when trying anal for the first time you may want to explore it solo. Why? Because, no pressure, you get to go slow, find out what you like, no need to worry about performance, or potentially feeling awkward.

Then, once you know what you like, you can open it up to partner play.

How to Prepare for Anal Sex?


Whether you decide to go solo or with your partner, here are some tips on getting started.

  1. Clean out the poop shoot first so there are no (fewer) surprises.
  2. Use lots of lubricant.
  3. Take it slow and explore what feels good.
  4. Use good communication skills and give feedback.
  5. Only use toys designed for anal play in the butt.
  6. Relax, relax, relax!
  7. Do an anal or rosebud massage first to warm up.

How to Clean Yourself Out Before Anal Sex?

Try not to eat several hours beforehand, and have a bowel movement before you do. Then simply wash thoroughly in the bath or shower with mild soap and water.

Should You Use an Enema Before Anal Sex?

For anyone freaked out by feces or worried about leaving evidence behind, an enema or anal douche does provide deeper cleaning. But should you use an enema before trying butt sex? Depending on who you ask, the answer is Yes, No and Maybe.

Some people think that an enema is unnecessary, and that doing it too much or with “homemade” solutions can lead to infections and the easier transference of STIs and HIV.[i] That said, if done occasionally and with warm water only, you shouldn’t have any problems. And, you only need a small anal lube syringe full to get rid of any residue, not a whole entire enema bag.

Is Anal Sex Safe?

Yes, if done correctly. Remember these safety tips:

  • Start small with fingers, a small butt plug or anal beads.
  • Go slow. The person being penetrated decides the speed and depth of the thrust.
  • Don’t use numbing sprays. You won’t be able to feel pain if there is a problem.
  • Stop if there is discomfort or pain.
  • Use condoms to protect from STIs, STDs and HIV!

Does Anal Sex Hurt?

If penetrating too fast, without proper communication or without lubricant, anal play can potentially hurt. Also, if something is obviously too large to go in the anus, that can certainly hurt. And, if you are wondering: “Does anal sex hurt the first time?” No, if you follow our safety guidelines, and remember, go slow!

Is Anal Sex Dangerous?

If you are wondering, “Is Anal Sex Bad for Your Health, or can anal sex be harmful?” The answer is, mostly no.

Anal penetration can be dangerous if not done properly. Using objects too large, not meant to go in the anus, being too rough, going too fast, or not using lube can create friction inside the anal canal which can in turn cause small tears. Bacteria can get into the tears and cause infections. If you have hemorrhoids, anal play can also irritate them.

STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, HIV, and herpes can also be transmitted via anal play, which is why condoms are important. Practice safe sex!

However, with the appropriate precautions, anal penetration is mostly safe.[ii]

How to Do Anal?

Lots of readers ask us, “How to have anal sex?” For the purposes of this article, we will define anal as penis-to-anus penetration.

  • Talk about it with your partner first to see if they are cool with it.
  • Use a safe word if necessary.
  • Try some breathing techniques or have a bath before you begin to relax.
  • Get your supplies ready beforehand: Lube, condoms, toys!
  • Use lots of lube.
  • Warm it up! Start with an anal massage to the butt cheeks and anal opening first.
  • Inch it in slowly! Allow the anus to open naturally and to “swallow” the length gradually.
  • Stop periodically to allow your partner to get used to the feeling.
  • Keep the communication open at all times.

And, remember, anal penetration is not supposed to hurt. It is supposed to be pleasurable, so if it hurts, stop!

How to Have Anal Sex?

Try these anal sex tips for a play-by-play on how to prepare for and how to have anal sex properly with your partner for the first time.

  1. Put aside some sexy time or a date night. Make sure you have lots of time to explore anal properly. Anal play should never be rushed.
  2. Get in the mood! Create a sexy space to appeal to all your senses so you can get in the mood. Turn up the heat so you can get naked. Add candlelight to set the mood. Place a sex blanket or old towel on your bed in case there is any mess. Play some music to groove to.
  3. Get your supplies ready: water-based anal lube, gloves, condoms, finger cots, towels, sex toys!
  4. Trim your nails if necessary!
  5. Start with a sexy bath or shower together to get nice and clean, and wash your anus with mild soap and water. You can insert a gloved finger (water only) to clean out a bit inside.
  6. Perform a body massage, or butt massage. Try warming massage candles for a sensual experience.
  7. Explore your lover’s bottom by rubbing and squeezing their butt cheeks. If they enjoy spanking, smacking the apple of their cheeks is a great warmup.
  8. Lube up the anus and the crevasse between the cheeks. Do this slow and sensual.
  9. Begin to stimulate the anal opening by massaging it with the pads of your fingers, called a rosebud massage.
  10. Place one finger perpendicular to the anal opening. Then slowly press inward, allowing the anus to slowly open.
  11. Slowly penetrate the anal sphincter a bit at a time, allowing for the bottom to get used to the feel of being penetrated. Pause when needed.
  12. Once they are used to one finger, try two, and go slow.
  13. As the sphincter relaxes, the anus can accommodate more, so you can attempt to insert the head of your penis or dildo. Again, slowly and use a condom if necessary.
  14. Slowly penetrate their anus at their discretion, with them controlling depth and speed.
  15. Do what feels good. Stop if there is any pain.

What is the Best Position for Anal Sex?


The most popular positions for first time anal sex are doggie style for obvious reasons and receiver on top.

Doggie gives you clear access, is comfortable for both partners, and feels great!

Receiver on top lets the person being penetrated control the pace, depth and angle, so the experience is great for both of you.

Other Types of Anal Play

There are lots of other types of anal play you can try out as well:

  • Playful spanking. Good for a warm up!
  • Anal massage. Sensual and relaxing.
  • Anilingus (also called rimming) is ass to mouth sex. Feels delicious!
  • Anal fingering. Great for hitting the prostate or G-spot!
  • Anal fisting. For those who like to go big or go home. Use with caution!

And, don’t forget all the fun sex toys you can use for your butt to change it up including butt plugs, anal beads, anal vibrators, anal dildos, prostate massagers, and strap-on dildos.

More Anal Sex Tips?

Yes, if you like! Here are answers to your FAQs.

  • Do women like anal sex? Some do, some don’t. It’s a personal preference.
  • What does anal sex feel like? For everyone anal penetration is going to feel different, and it also varies with different experiences. Sometimes it can be orgasmic, euphoric, and mind-blowing. Other times, meh, so-so, or not that great. While anal play feels great for lots of people, it is not for everyone. Don’t feel pressured to do it if you are not into it.
  • Does anal sex feel good? Hopefully it does, otherwise we probably wouldn’t be doing it. If it doesn’t, you’re probably not doing it right.
  • Can a woman climax from anal sex? Absolutely. There’s lots of sexy nerve endings in the anus, so anal intercourse can feel very orgasmic to both men, women and everyone in-between if done correctly.
  • What lube for anal sex? We recommend a thicker water-based anal lube.
  • Does anal sex stretch your butthole? It can stretch the anus a bit, temporarily, but it should go back to its regular size soon after sex. However, some people do anal training and try to stretch their butt hole on purpose to accommodate larger partners and toys. We don’t recommend trying to put anything in your butt that is TOO BIG. Use common sense!
  • Should I use a condom for anal? Absolutely! Safe sex is sexy! For anilingus use plastic wrap or a dental dam.
  • Is anal sex bad for your health? No. Not if done slowly and if using safety precautions such as condoms.
  • Is anal sex good? It is neither good nor bad. It is a personal preference.
  • Does anal hurt the first time? It can if you don’t go slow and take the time to get used to the feeling, or don’t use enough lube.
  • How do you enjoy anal sex? Take your time, explore what feels good, practice makes perfect.
  • What percentage of women have anal sex? In one study in 2015, of over 1000 mostly heterosexual women, 37% enjoyed anal penetration throughout their lifetime.[iii] This is similar to another study in which 35% said they had heterosexual anal intercourse within the last year.[iv] So, do women enjoy anal? You betcha!
  • Can anal sex cause orgasm? Yes! The anus has lots of sensual nerve endings. For cis-gendered men, the prostate gland is very orgasmic. For cis-gendered women, the A-spot, or anterior fornix can be stimulated via the anus as well, which can lead to big “O’s”!
  • Can anal sex do damage? If you mean, can you get a prolapse from doing anal, potentially, yes. But this is EXTREMELY rare, and only happens if you try to put very large things in your butt, or do activities like anal fisting or double penetration. However, anal incontinence IS linked with frequent anal sex in a very small percentage of people, according to Justin Lehmiller PhD.[v] “In other words, if you're having anal sex, odds are very good that your butt is going to keep working just fine.”
  • Can anal sex cause a UTI in men? Yes, the butt contains bacteria so a E. coli infection can occur, but is unlikely. Pee after sex, or use a condom to prevent UTI’s.
  • How to enjoy anal sex? You will enjoy anal more by staying open-minded and playing safe.
  • What to do after anal sex? Clean up, have a nap!
  • When is the best time to have anal sex? When you are in the mood! 😉

Did we miss anything? Check out our other guides to Anal Toys for more tips and recommendations.

Final Words?

If you remember anything from this article, remember:

Communication, relaxation, lubrication. The three keys to safe and pleasurable anal play.

Oh, and check out our huge assortment of anal toys right here to get started with anal play!