So You Wanna Do Butt Stuff
If you’re open to the idea of anal play, but aren’t quite sure where to start, check out this article to help get you started:
Understanding the anus
Before you go shoving things up there, it’s best to understand your butthole and how it works. The anus is one of the most densely nerve packed areas of the body. Stimulating this area (regardless of your genitalia) will produce pretty intense sensations. These nerves are shared with the genitals called the pudendal nerve.
The inside of the anus has two sphincters. These are muscular rings that act as guards for bodily waste and intrusion. The first ring which is closest to the anus is malleable and generally very cooperative when it comes to insertion. The internal ring cannot be controlled by sheer will as it is part of your autonomic nervous system (like your breathing or heartbeat). It will, however, relax for a bowel movement.
Maintenance and cleaning
One of the best ways to care for your butthole is to eat well. A poor diet can result in unpleasant excrement which can in turn cause tearing or odors. Making sure you’re well hydrated in also an important part of taking care of your body (and your butthole).
Before play, feel free to give yourself a quick wash to make sure there is no remaining debris. If you don’t have time for a shower, biodegradable baby wipes are great in a pinch and they fit in a backpack, purse, or glovebox.
Now onto anal douching. Douching is the act of squirting water up the anus to push out any fecal matter. There are a variety of types of anal douches you can purchase so it’s kind of up to you what you’d prefer. When using a douche, keep in mind that your anus has both good and bad bacterial so if you opt to douche, you’re flushing out both.
All this might seem like a lot of work, and in some instances it is. All the prep work and cleaning can take away some of the fun spontaneity, but often times when first starting out can help both parties feel more comfortable. Ultimately, it’s up to you (and your partner) to decide with what you are and are not comfortable.
If you have any butt/intestinal related medical concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor to make sure anal is safe for you.
Getting acquainted with your anus is best done in the shower. So hop in, lather up, and feel your butthole. Making sure to keep any soap out of it, move your finger around; get your body used to having your butthole touched. As you get used to this sensation, your body will relax which will make inserting a well-lubricated finger/object later much easier.
If you’re wanting to try anal sex with a partner, start with a small toy or finger. You’re not going to be able to properly accommodate most penis sizes if you’ve never inserted anything before. Anal kits with a graduated plug size can be a great way to slowly work your booty up to something more substantial.
The anus is not like the mouth or vagina meaning is does not have its own natural lubrication. Because it doesn’t get slick on its own, it’s up to the anus owner or partner to ensure it does. A thick, water based anal lubricant is a great place to start especially if you’re using it with toys. Keep in mind that a water based lubricant may require more than one application as it can get absorbed by the body.
If you’re wanting something that doesn’t require multiple applications, a silicone lubricant is the way to go. A word of warning; do not use silicone lubricant with non-glass/metal toys. The make-up of a silicone lubricant is often not compatible with toys and can ruin the material of your toy.
The best way to ensure the anus is fully lubricated is to purchase a lube shooter for the most seamless (and let’s face it, less messy) lubricant application.
*Penetration without proper lubrication can cause tearing which can lead to pain, bleeding, or a possible ER trip. Use lubrication.
The use of numbing creams can help an anxious user be more relaxed when it comes to anal insertion, but use it sparingly. Pain is your body’s way of alerting you that something is wrong. As I mentioned above, penetration without proper lubricant can cause tearing so if you’re numb, you may not be able to feel it and can cause further damage.
As an alternative to numbing creams/gels, try freezing a small amount of water based lubricant and inserting it into the anus. The coldness will help numb the anal cavity slightly while the lubricant will help keep things slick. It also provides a fun sensation to the anus.
Types of toys
Anything that goes in your butt needs to have a taper or base. A taper is the widening of a toy so that the bottom is larger than the rest of it. This will prevent the toy from being completely inserted. The reason this is important is because the anus will contract which can result in a non-tapered toy getting sucked in with no way to retrieve it. Often times, this can result in a trip to the ER which is a major mood killer.
I generally recommend using only medical grade silicone toys when it comes to anal play. They’re less porous which makes clean up much easier. For more information on toy care and toy materials, see our other blog post: How To Clean Toys.
Wrap it up
Condoms, dental dams, and latex gloves are smart when it comes to anal play (whether with a partner or alone). They reduce the risk of STIs which is more likely to happen when engaging in anal intercourse. The reason for this increased risk is because the anus is more absorbent than the vagina and is also more susceptible to microscopic tearing. In order to guard against these infections, have your partner use a condom before play. Additionally, if you and your partner are switching from anal to vaginal sex, use a different condom.
Protective barriers also help keep your toys and hands tidy. When dealing with the anus, you may encounter fecal matter which can carry its own set of bacteria. Any preventative measures you can take to keep this bacteria from you partner or your toys should be taken.
One of the most important things about sex (not just butt stuff) is communication. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, speak up! Your partner is not a mind reader and can’t know if things don’t feel right for you. Remember, your partner wants you to enjoy this experience as much as they are, so if things aren’t going well, make sure to let them know.
If the penetration feels off, don’t hesitate to take a break and come back to it later. If, in the end, timing, positioning, or the general rhythm just isn’t working, don’t sweat it; you can try again another day.
Orignally posted April 2019.