Anal Sex 101

A friendly introduction to back door sex

Many people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender, can enjoy anal sex. For men and trans women, stimulation of the prostate gland is extremely pleasurable. For women and trans men, the perineal sponge on the front wall of the anus is an erogenous zone.

But whatever you think of it, rushing into anal sex can lead to a bad experience. The truth is, some people love anal and some hate it. If you don’t want to try it, then don’t. If you and a partner want to have a go, then crack on. And remember – you can stop at any time.

Anal can involve rimming (licking the anus), fingering, massaging, sex toys and the tried-and-tested penis method. Whatever your poison, there are several steps to take to ensure maximum pleasure, and avoid pain and poo.

Step 1: Get consent

It’s simple: get the consent of anyone involved. Never pressure anyone into trying anal sex, and don’t try it if you’re not into it. Being relaxed and turned-on is essential for good times.


Step 2: Go to the toilet

Not immediately before, but recently enough that you know you don’t need to go. And make sure you’re clean!


Step 3: Anal play

As the area around the anus is extremely sensitive, start externally. Rimming and massaging will relax the anus, which will prevent pain. Don’t believe the hype – pain is not an inevitable part of anal sex.

Start small – the aim is to introduce your anus to the idea of having something penetrate it. To seduce your anus, if you will. Fingers (with short, clean fingernails) and small toys are ideal. The anus is not self-lubricating, so we strongly advise using lube.

A note on lube: avoid desensitising lube. You could lose sensation to the point that you don’t notice your anus literally tearing. Also, desensitising the area sort of makes trying anal completely pointless.

WARNING: If you’re going to play with sex toys, only use ones that have been designed to go up there. Doctors spend a lot of time fishing objects out of people’s anuses. It’s mortifying, but do go to A&E immediately if something gets stuck.

Step 4: Move on to bigger things

Totally optional, and not to be rushed. You may want to stick to using small toys and/or fingers. But if you do move on to either a penis or bigger toy, remember to take it slow and stay well lubed.

If you’re inserting a penis, remember to use a condom as protection against STIs. Never move straight from the anus to the vulva or mouth without cleaning yourself and/or changing your condom. Steer clear of oil-based lubes when using a condom because they can pop the latex.

If you’re doing the penetrating, don’t rush in and start pounding away. DO NOT copy the anal sex in porn – not everyone will enjoy this. If it starts to hurt or feel bad, change what you’re doing, stop or go back to anal play. Anal sex shouldn’t be a marathon – don’t persevere because you think you’ll break through a barrier and make it to the end. Anal sex, like all sex, should be pleasurable.


Read more about anal sex on the Brook website

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