Easing Into Anal (Everything But Insertion)

two men in the shower together

Anal sex: it might not be everyone’s immediate cup of tea. But we’d like to remind you that if you’re open and willing, anyone can get into it—it just takes some practice. After all, butt stuff doesn’t need to include full-on penetration. You can start slow and steady, and start implementing anal play in a way that feels natural. Here are our go-tips for easing into anal play.

Tease it by touching it.

The anus has a high concentration of nerve endings and is considered an erogenous zone. This makes it a perfect area to focus on in sexual play and touch. Light, manual stimulation is a great way to ease into things and explore some anal play. This is something you can do solo or with a partner. But remember, when trying something new in the bedroom, always make sure you get consent before going there.

Start by taking your fingers or even the edge of the palm of your hand and lightly rubbing or touching the area around the anus. You can work your fingers in a small circular motion, or apply lube to create an even smoother experience. Don’t neglect the perineum, AKA the area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva.

Try varying degrees of pressure and check in to see what your partner likes. Start light and work your way around the entire butt. It might help you to massage your partner’s butt cheeks before you move into the center of the action, to loosen up the area and provide some nice, easy stimulation.

Advanced Tip #1:

Go at it naked and wet. Hop on in the shower and explore each others’ bodies and your own, including the booty, with ease. That way you can do some double duty by cleaning the area and also touching it in ways that can feel erotic and sensual.

Advanced Tip #2:

Within the Dom/Sub context in BDSM, if one partner has an aversion to that area but the other loves it, the dominant partner can direct the submissive to touch themselves in the backdoor area and maybe even use toys on themselves, like a butt plug. That way, both partners can enjoy anal touching/play even if one partner never touches the other in the butt. (Note: this can also work for non-BDSM play where one partner can simply watch the other play with themselves.)

Include some vibration.

I’m going to let you in on a secret: a vibrator is not just for a clit. You can use a vibrator on different parts of your body both for health and comfort reasons (i.e., a good massage of tight muscles) and for sexy ones.  The anus is a sensitive area of the body, so a little vibration goes a long way. You can use a vibrator on your butt solo or try it on a partner. (Just be careful if you have a vagina, to not use a vibrator back and forth between your vaginal opening and your anus, as bacteria from your anus can disrupt your vaginal health.)

Try rimming.

If you aren’t ready to “go all the way” with anal play, rimming is a great way to ease in! Rimming is “[t]he act of using one’s tongue on the anal rim of another person to gain and/or give sexual pleasure.” Rimming can also bring you closer to your partner and is a much less intrusive activity on your ass than penetration. If you want to make the experience a little tastier, try flavored intimate warming oil. Exsens uses a lickable vegan formula that is sure to make any butt taste delicious.

Implement a butt plug.

Anal penetration by a partner can be overwhelming for some, especially newbies. A student at one of my femme BDSM classes recounted feeling really emotional after having anal sex. A lot of emotions can come up during such an intimate activity. It is an area of the body we aren’t used to feeling or talking about in a sexual (or any other) way.

Let’s say you’re interested in eventually having anal sex (i.e., penetration by a partner), or you want some insertion without full-blown anal sex. In that case, butt plugs are the next step. They can be a great way to warm up your butt and get used to having something in there. Start with a small plug and work your way up to bigger ones if you desire. Oh—and make sure you use plenty of lube. Lube is critical.

Plugs can help you have that “full” feeling down there, and if you have one, it can activate your prostate. You can even combine plug and vibration by having a plug inside of you and using a vibrator. If you are having a hard time getting the plug inside your bum, try relaxing those muscles or bearing down a little (yeah, kinda like you’re trying to number 2), while sliding in the plug. It helps! Just don’t push too hard.

Emily Anne is a bestselling author, sex coach, and educator, who specializes in helping people expand their sexual horizons through BDSM and kink. When she’s not obsessively talking about sex, she’s hiking through the Hollywood Hills. Get some sexy education on her Instagram feed.