Anal sex is any type of sexual activity that involves the anal area. Whether you are thinking of having anal sex for the first time, or you just want more information on how to stay safe and enjoy it, this page will help answer your questions.
What is anal sex?
People usually think of anal sex as when a man’s penis enters the anus, but it also includes using fingers or sex toys in the anus or licking the anus (‘rimming’). You can read more about oral-anal sex on our ‘How to have oral sex’ page.
Anyone can enjoy anal sex, whether they are a man, woman, gay, bisexual or straight, and whether they are giving or receiving it. Although many gay men enjoy it, some prefer not to have penetrative anal sex. It is up to you to decide what you want to experiment with and to find out what you enjoy.
How do you have anal sex?
When you first explore the anal area it can feel strange, so before you begin make sure you and your partner have talked about it and are both happy to try it out. If you find you don’t like it, explain to your partner that anal sex isn’t for you.
If you decide to have penetrative anal sex, start slowly with touching and caressing to get used to the idea and make sure you are relaxed. This is important because there is a muscle in the anus (the sphincter) that needs to be relaxed to allow penetration to be comfortable. If you are giving anal sex, use plenty of lubricants and start by penetrating just a little and then pulling out completely. When your partner is ready, penetrate a bit further and then pull out again. Continue with this until you are fully in. Make sure you listen to your partner and understand how they feel – be prepared to stop at any time if they are uncomfortable or in pain.
Anal sex can feel stimulating and pleasurable for both the person giving and receiving – but it can also take a while to get used to how it feels. If it doesn’t go perfectly the first time you can always try again when you’re both in the mood. Remember that you can pause or stop whenever you want. Just because you have started something doesn’t mean you need to continue.
How do I stimulate a man’s prostate gland?
Many men have nerve endings in their prostate as well as their anus, and they often enjoy having these stimulated. The prostate is between the bladder and the penis and can be stimulated with a finger or sex toy in the anus. However, there are lots of blood vessels in and around the prostate and it can get bruised if handled roughly, so treat it gently and use lots of lube.
Is anal sex painful?
For many people, anal sex is a pleasurable part of their sex life. However, whether you are a man or a woman, penetrative anal sex can be uncomfortable or even painful if rushed, especially if it’s your first time.
Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce any pain. These include making sure you are relaxed, going slowly, using lots of water-based lubrication, and working your way up to penetration with the penis with smaller objects such as fingers or sex toys.
Continual communication is the best way to make sure you both enjoy anal sex. If at any time you feel it is too uncomfortable or painful then you should stop immediately.