Anal Sex Techniques and Secrets
Table of Contents:
- First, as always, a few basics.
- Finger Stimulation
- If your lover is male:
- If your lover is a woman:
- Actual Anal Sex
Having written the Advanced Cunnilingus Techniques page, and then the Advanced Fellatio Techniques page in response to reader demands, it seems that the next most common question I get is about various forms of anal sex (analingus, actual anal penetration with the penis or fingers). So, in keeping with my tendency to have an opinion on everything and be willing to let everyone know what it is, I have written this page on the subject.
Anal activities in sex are less talked about, and make many people feel more than a little uncomfortable. This is mainly because of the taboos about the butt, of course, and not because there’s anything wrong with it, per se.
In fact, there is a unique form of pleasure to be gotten from anal stimulation, for a guy or girl. For men this is because of the prostate, which is an important sexual organ and can only be directly stimulated through anal contact, and on women it is because the rectum (sorry if you’re not looking for technical terms, but I need to be specific) shares a wall with the vagina, and the sexual nerves are actually closer on that side, making the sensation different and sometimes actually stronger.
Anal sex is not always the #1 favorite, but it is certainly high on the list for many people, and can be a fun change of pace for almost anyone who isn’t bothered too much by the taboos against it.
First, as always, a few basics.
Be Sensitive — I mean this in several different ways.
First, it may be a difficult subject to bring up, if you and your lover haven’t already discussed it. It’s that taboo thing, again. There is a reasonable chance that they have already thought of it, and were afraid to bring it up themselves, but there’s also a chance the idea would horrify them. Hopefully your relationship already involves open, relaxed, and frank discussion about sex, or else you probably should work on that long before you worry about testing the waters on this subject.
Second, the anus really isn’t meant to be entered. Don’t get me wrong; humans aren’t really meant to fly, either…I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying you have to bear these little facts in mind. One should be very gentle when experimenting with these things.
An important example is never…ever try it on your lover for the first time without them expecting it, especially if we’re talking about penetration with a penis or similarly large object. Trust me on this, please. If you’ve ever had a really big, hard BM (Bowel Movement), that was really painful, that’s nothing compared to being caught off-guard by this. Not only are there better ways to go about it, but you may never get the chance to try again, if they’re upset enough.
That’s doom and gloomy enough, I think, now as for some more useful info.
For most anal sex, there are a few positions which make it easier to access the butt. These generally apply to analingus, actual anal sex, or even using fingers…though with fingers almost any sexual position might work, if both parties enjoy it.
The most basic is for your lover to be on their back, legs spread and/or knees pulled up. Put a pillow or two under their butt…this is a big help that’s easily overlooked. In one way this is the most awkward of the positions, but it can be the easiest for your lover.
Another is for your lover to be on elbows and knees, as for doggie style sex. This is easier for access, but it also tends to require your lover to tighten their butt muscles a bit. This may work better if your lover has some support under their chest/belly to lean on, so they can relax more, and possibly even so they can lean forward a little, extending their legs out and to the side behind them, which might put things at an easier angle for access.
A third position is for them to be on their side. Their legs need to be in a scissors position, perhaps the upper one extended in front of them and the other straight “down” (as if they were standing), else the upper leg drawn up toward the chest or straight upward (bent, either way), and the lower leg in whatever position is comfortable.
As always, this matters more to some people than others, but in this case it’s a more popular issue than with just about any other kind of sex, for obvious reasons. First, having bathed more recently than the last BM is a good idea.
It’s a good idea to have a bowel movement an hour or so before, to ensure that nothing is encountered during any penetration (unless you’re into that, I suppose), and then bathe the area.
Other than basic cleaning like that, oil-based lubricants are a great insulator for anal contact. They tend to cover up any potential (or simply feared) smell and transfer of icky stuff. If you use Vaseline/petrolatum, for example, the odds are that a simple wiping off with a dry cloth will result in finger/penis/whatever seeming to be just about perfectly clean. Again, this may not matter to some people, but it’s worth mention because it is crucial to others.
To some people, enemas may seem like overkill, or even to be grosser than not having one before anal sex anyway. But they certainly do bear mention, in case this sounds like a good idea to you (feeling comfortable with things like cleanliness are potentially very important). This is especially worth considering in actual penis penetration, since one gets a lot deeper than even the most diligent bathing process is going to be able to clean. But it is still not a really common practice, even for actual penetration. Of course a few people even find enemas to be sexually exciting themselves.
With anal sex of any kind, lubrication is worth seriously considering. And oil-based lubricants tend to work better, because of the greater pressure/texture involved. Drying out like water-based lubricants do is a more serious problem than with other kinds of sex. Bear in mind, of course, that oil-based lubricants are a threat to a latex condom, which will be damaged by it. That aside, Vaseline is the best, in the case of anal sex, because it will stay in place and lubricate much more determinedly than thinner lubricants, and yet not provide its own resistance like thicker ones will. Cocoa butter would be my #2 suggestion. Some kinds of massage oil can work well. Baby oil and other similarly thin substances are way down on the list, as the lubrication they provide is rather weak/watery, for oils.
That’s all for the basics…except that I will address the whole thing from the ground up, dedicating much more time to “how to get started” in this article than in the cunnilingus and fellatio articles. The reasons for this include the fact that this can be far more painful if done wrong, the fact that it’s more taboo and thus worrisome to some people, and the fact that it’s rarer…even thinking in detail about it is rarer…and thus more people are more likely to need to go over the basics. Oh, and the basics can be much more complicated, too. A penis in a mouth or a licking of a clitoris is a lot easier to get started in an “acceptable” way than a painless penetration of an anus.
We’ll start with this, because it’s pretty simple. No worry about accidentally hurting anyone.
Work your way up to it — as with any sex, it is often best to start out gradually, even away from erogenous zones completely. Remember how you used to fool around for hours before sex? It was pretty exciting, wasn’t it. Anyway, even after you’ve gotten to the erogenous zones, you might consider performing cunnilingus/fellatio on them first. Simply work your way downward from there toward their anus, gradually.
No matter what position you’re using, your hands, or your partner’s will probably be necessary to make access easier. You have far more control and better contact if their butt-cheeks (is there a technical name for that?) are spread away from their actual anus.
What exactly to do, tongue-at-anus, varies a lot from person to person.
Some prefer a light flicking, gently licking around the center, or gently pushing at it.
Some prefer a deeper probing, with your tongue held rigid and pushed firmly inside.
Another method is to widen your tongue to apply pressure over the entire outside area…this is often much more stimulating than you’d imagine.
Another good idea is to try firmly licking, or even sucking on, the perineum (the area between the anus and genitals. On a guy this is especially useful, because it indirectly stimulates both their balls and prostate.
The best method would be to combine all of these, and pay close attention to what your lover enjoys most. As in all sex, you would get them to believe in giving you a lot of feedback/signals, whether moaning, thrashing about, talking…whatever they are most comfortable with. They should increase or decrease this with their pleasure, so that you can learn what they like (it is different from person to person, this may be the most important secret of sex).
If you’re going to engage in this for a long time, especially if you won’t be switching back and forth between analingus and fellatio/cunnilingus for texture, you probably will want to provide some stimulation to their genitals, as analingus is a pretty mild form of contact that probably won’t bring them to orgasm, or even keep them heavily stimulated, all by itself. The Cunnilingus and Fellatio pages on this site have some advice on hand-stimulation, which is often a vital part of oral sex.
Of course using your hands for their genitals will leave you short-handed for keeping their cheeks spread, so this is where recruiting them to do either the spreading or the stimulation is pretty useful.
The range of things one can do with analingus is a bit more limited than with cunnilingus and fellatio…but one reason for that is that the fingers need a separate section. Many people won’t really want to do a lot of probing with their fingers while licking.
In fact, one might want to avoid using them even on the outside, because fingers are a lot stronger and firmer than a tongue, and so might make the licking part seem less obvious.
As with analingus, the best way to start out, if you’re going to be using your fingers, is to work up to it. This also is where techniques you use on men and women begin to differ significantly, so I’m going to have to start breaking up my advice a bit, near the end.
Fingers are, unlike a tongue, rough. This is true no matter how baby-smooth your hands are, or how well-manicured. It’s more true, of course, if your hands are rough or not well manicured. Caring for them ahead of time with some hand-softening lotion and the careful removal of as much fingernail as comfortable is a good idea.
Fingernails, in fact, are an important consideration. Even being well-smoothed may not be enough. Being a guitarist, I happen to keep my nails on my left hand trimmed all the way to the skin, and smoothed as much as possible. This is a big help, but even it may not always be enough, depending on the sensitivity of the partner.
Rubber/latex gloves, especially the surgical kind, are definitely worth considering, especially if either of you are just starting to experiment with anal-finger stimulation (getting or giving). The difference it makes is just astounding…discomfort which was actually assumed to be from other issues (like being thought a matter of penetration itself, or nervous tightness) sometimes disappears completely. Since the idea here, unlike condoms, is not to actually keep fluids from being passed between you, oil-based lubricants can sometimes be used with latex gloves. Because the gloves are so helpful, though, a water-based lubricant (K-9, Wet, Anal-Ease, whatever) might work fine.
Gently touching the anus is a good way to get started, once you’re worked up to it. Because this area’s not really messed with as much, it can be exciting to just be touched there.
The next step might be gently circling it with your finger. Consider whether you’re using lubrication and/or gloves as to how lightly you do this. Even without penetrating, there is a difference in sensation between pushing right in the middle, and pushing/circling the area right around the center.
Actual penetration usually takes some tact. It’s generally important that you work your way up very gradually, gently stroking the region right around the opening, then pushing gently at the center but not actually penetrating. Actual penetration may, especially if you’re not using both gloves and lubricant (and even more especially if either of you is new at this) be best accomplished by locating the exact opening (DO NOT assume you know where it is, try to make a point of eyeballing it, sometimes even your lover can be mistaken if they’re trying to guide you), and then making a rhythmic pushing motion at it, very gently, and only penetrating perhaps a millimeter more each time, especially until you’ve gotten the rounded part of your finger well past their actual sphincter muscle (the ring of muscle that squeezes to close their anus shut).
They should, as with penis penetration, make a point of relaxing as much as they can. Hopefully they did relieve themselves shortly before cleaning for this, so they should be able to relax a lot without fear of any accidents. In fact, a good way to ensure relaxing enough to allow entrance is to make what feels like a slight pushing motion, as if having a BM. Not a real pushing motion; much of the basic BM action is actually just a relaxing of the muscles in that area, and the internal intestinal pressure is what actually pushes the waste out. If they can comfortably isolate that relaxing motion from real pushing, they’re almost sure to be able to relax enough for almost any kind of penetration. OK, I’m going to have to diverge, now…male and female:
If your lover is male:
The key to anal sex with a male is the prostate. If your lover is lying on his back, his prostate is on the “up” side of his rectum, several inches inside. It is stimulated by any attention to the region, though, including the perineum (the area between his balls and anus).
You can gently push/massage the perineum with your fingers, even if you’re not penetrating his anus.
If you are penetrating it, though, follow the paragraph above on the subject, and once you’re well inside, work your way gradually to the prostate (on the rectal wall on the side toward his genitals). Make this very gradual, as hitting suddenly can either be very uncomfortable, or cause him to suddenly have an orgasm, before you actually planned it (drawing out the time until an orgasm is a very powerful way to make sex more pleasurable, and orgasms amazingly stronger). Yes, sudden, strong stimulation of the prostate can, in some people, cause spontaneous orgasm…but remember that it may, instead, just be really uncomfortable. Some people do like it, though.
Stimulating the prostate for a while, until orgasm, also causes both a much different feeling orgasm, and (theoretically) more “watery” ejaculate (the prostate provides lubricant, whereas the gonads/balls provide the actual sperm).
This may be of interest to someone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t like the taste of a guy’s ejaculate and hasn’t mastered the trick of swallowing without tasting it (link). Performing fellatio when using your fingers to stimulate his prostate is a very good idea, by the way.
If your lover is a woman:
First, this is even more directly tied to oral sex…or at least the sex-specific section for doing it to a woman is.
The best way to engage in anal finger-sex (well, I can’t find an official name for it) is to be going down on her, and add the finger as a part of your techniques.
First, be sure to follow the generic advice above, especially for penetration, and the cunnilingus advice (including finger techniques for the vagina) from the cunnilingus page.
One great way to start stimulating her anus is to make incidental contact with it, while you’re stimulating her vagina with your finger(s). You simply allow a finger to, in the course of keeping it out of your way, stretch back past her anus, so that your pressing motions will happen to incidentally press lightly there, too. You might even work your way up to allowing a pinky to press (be sure there’s a lot of natural or artificial lubrication against the opening itself, and perhaps even work its way inside, a millimeter every dozen strokes or less.
I’m definitely not advocating “tricking” her…this should be something you’ve discussed before, at least enough to know that she’s not specifically against it if it feels nice. It is, though, a good way to demonstrate, without pressuring her for some specific act, how it can be stimulating for her when you at least touch the outside of her anus.
Anyway, getting beyond the starting point, once everything’s cleared for actual penetration, you work your way inside using exactly the same technique (assuming she or you are new to this)…have a different finger inside her vagina and make the main stimulation there, probably her g-spot, and let the anal penetration take a good, long time to actually progress. Lots of lubrication, and/or a latex surgical glove (surgical because this will interfere with sensation the least). Once you’re pretty well inside, concentrate (very gently) on stimulating the side nearest her vagina. A pressing motion is very helpful. In fact, you might not even do much sliding in and out, depending on how relaxed/excited (both at the same time, ideally) she is, and how well lubricated/gloved you are. You might take several sessions to get to the point of actually concentrating your effort on the anal part, keeping it a secondary form of stimulation at first. But that depends on how well she enjoys it and how much discomfort, if any (some people are just “naturals”, I guess) she encounters. Remember, gradual is safer, because you can always build up but if you go too far (this is true of any kind of sex) it may be hard to recapture the mood or continue the experiment.
Once/if she’s really into it, one neat trick is to press along the same wall from both sides — both press toward the rectum from the vagina, and toward the vagina from the rectum. The wall between them is thin enough that you will easily be able to feel each finger from the other one.
Make an effort to not swap fingers, though. The anus can, theoretically (I believe it’s not common) carry common intestinal parasites that you’d never notice, but which might not have reached the vagina. We’re not talking about any real major VD/STD or anything, but something her gynecologist might notice and complain about, anyway.
So assign one or two fingers to each opening, and keep them that way. In that case the “risk” is almost nil.
That’s it for sex-specific finger stuff, for now.
Actual Anal Sex
You know, penetration with a penis, or some implement of destruction that substitutes for one. I’ll refer to the penis, and if you are intending to use a vibrator or something, just substitute the word in your mind.
First, read all of the preliminary and finger stuff, because it all applies. In fact, it is a very good idea to start out with fingers, even if your real goal is to you a penis. This allows your lover to get used to the feeling, and to relaxing their anus in the right way. It is even a good idea to work your way up to more than one finger. Bear in mind, though, that fingers are a great deal rougher (no matter how you care for them) than a penis, so be careful. If more than one finger is uncomfortable, and you’re not going to use a glove, then skip multiple fingers (and remind your lover that a penis is smoother, if they’re now worried).
Once you’ve worked your way up to the penis part, don’t forget the importance of taking your time. You might even do some other things with it, first…coitus, for example, in the case of a female lover, or other contact between your penis and their genitals/thighs, in the case of either sex.
Stimulating your lover can be very important, especially to make the experience as pleasurable as possible for both parties. When working up to actual penetration, use your hands to stimulate your lover, probably taking a few things from the Advanced Cunnilingus/Fellatio Techniques pages, which both cover a lot of hand-techniques.
Don’t forget, though, to be very careful about penetration. Done wrong, this can be more painful than, well, just about anything…childbirth, getting kicked in the ‘nads, whatever. Done correctly, it’s not painful at all, and can be very pleasurable.
Be careful about “hitting the hole”. This is far more difficult to target than a vagina, if that’s the experience you’re going on. Enough light and a visual lining up is not that romantic, but is safest. This is also another reason to start out with finger penetration. There tends to be a slight softness, in some people, above or below the anus that can fool you, no matter the amount of care, into pushing at slightly the wrong angle or spot, so that neither of you realize it’s wrong (yes, that’s right, this mistake can be made even from inside your lover’s body).
Don’t miss my mention of angle, either. Because of the number of positions you might be using and the variety among individuals, I can’t even begin to advise you on a specific angle as being the one to use…you need to figure this one out with a lot of care and observation. Just remember that most angles are the wrong one, so you need to make an effort to make it better than random. Prior experimentation with fingers, again, would settle this problem before it even started, especially when they are also applied before (or even during, if fingers are turning out to be enjoyable) penile penetration. A fingertip already inside a relaxed lover can be the perfect guide, actually making insertion of the penis easier and less painful, believe it or not.
If the position allows, and you’re both comfortable with the idea, you may also have your lover help guide you in (bearing in mind that they may not be able to tell, perfectly, either), which is helpful because they know what hurts and what doesn’t. But you should still be using your own hand as well, so you can feel what they’re doing and when to do what yourself.
Remember my admonishment about a millimeter at a time, for fingers? If not, go back and read it, because I’m skimming over things here that are vital, but which I covered in the finger section.
Go very slowly. The best method is probably to make a slight pumping motion, starting out just pushing slightly at the opening, not actually penetrating at all, and simply adding the tiniest, and I do mean tiny, bit of pressure each time. It should literally take you minutes to make any real progress.
A big factor, as with all of this, is your partner. The more they can relax, the better. This means both their mind, and their sphincter/anus. The part about making what feels (but is not) a “push” like when you relax your anus to have a BM is a huge help. Again, not a real push, as one might do when constipated or in a hurry, just the relaxation of muscles which is actually what many people do when having a BM.
No amount of lubricant is too much, either, if there is any concern about pain. The big key in getting through this is the initial penetration of the bulge of the penis’ head getting past the actual anus’ sphincter muscle. Once this is past, sliding in (if at the right angle) should be nearly painless. There are guys, though, whose penis is shaped in such a way that it still gets wider along the shaft, but for the average penis, which is about the same width all the way along except the head/glans, the difficult part is past once the head is inside.
Make sure the shaft was also lubricated, by the way, in case a “snag” from a dry area might cause discomfort. Once safely inside, and once you’ve found the right angle, and everything is going well (basic sexual pumping works fine, here, but you may need to start out slower (though that’s a good idea with coitus, too) and gentler), it may be a good idea to shift angle just slightly, so that the head of your penis is pressed more against the inside where the anus is closest to the prostate (men) or vagina (women). If you don’t know where that is, you should have read the finger segment. So there.
This will make things, perhaps in a subtle way but in a way that will accumulate in effect, more stimulating for your lover. As for you, this is about the tightest form of sex you’re going to encounter, which many people find very stimulating. Of course if this is involving an artificial device instead of a penis, of course that doesn’t apply.
It’s worth note that the sphincter is always slightly torn by this, according to doctors. This isn’t necessarily a big deal, you get lesions (cuts/tears) inside your mouth every time you brush, too, and yet you get along just fine doing that three times a day for your whole life. If you’re comfortable then I’d think it’s not really damage worth notice…but that tearing is why anal sex probably the cause of more HIV/AIDS transmission than all other forms of transmission combined. So, even if you haven’t bothered with a condom for other kinds of sexual behavior, the odds here go from hundreds of thousands to one against transmission (by other sexual means) down to hundreds to one against (by my analysis of the CDC/NIH data), and so you might consider using one if there’s any question of someone not knowing they’re already infected.
Once you’ve done the full penetration thing a few times with your lover, and the penetrated is getting to the point where relaxation is easy, and pain not really an issue (for some people it never is, or they like it, but it’s necessary to have addressed the rest), you can consider trying more unusual positions and methods.
Like, for instance, the person being penetrated being on top. This is a very big mistake for a beginner, because one tightens one’s butt muscles to hold them up when straddling a lover, but it is actually (once pain isn’t a worry) a very nice position that people often don’t think to try. If not for the butt-tightening, this would be a great first position, actually, because it gives the penetrated control over how fast things progress.
Another position, which is actually somewhat awkward but which some people find erotic, is standing up. If this simply means facing away and bending over a bit, the tightening of butt muscles is only a minor problem…but if it involves (yes, this even works with two guys) facing each other and having one leg, say, up on a table/counter, the tightening can become a real issue.
Don’t forget the mutual stimulation. This (anal sex, not necessarily standing anal sex) can be the perfect way to try to time orgasms to happen simultaneously, and yet have the one doing the penetrating actually be doing the stimulating, too. Again I must refer you to (this page is already too long, without me repeating other pages) the cunnilingus and fellatio pages for hand techniques that work brilliantly for giving your lover orgasms of a power and time span otherwise almost impossible.
OK, that’s enough for now…whew.