The Anal Foreplay Tips You Need To Know
Anal sex is low-key very high maintenance. In theory, all you have to do is put a penis or object into someone’s anus — but that doesn’t always go smoothly, literally and figuratively. Foreplay is extra important, if not mandatory, when you’re having anal sex, because you have to get the anus ready for penetration. “Preparing the anus” sounds like a vibe-killer, but there are ways to make anal foreplay hot, so the rest of the experience is more relaxed and enjoyable, too.
One non-negotiable anal sex foreplay step? Talking about your boundaries before, during, and after, says Kristen Lilla, LCSW, certified sex therapist. “Revisit the conversation after you engage in anal play, because you might discover something you like and change your boundaries or create new ones.” How much butt stuff you and your partner are comfortable with is totally personal, but once you feel like you’re both on the same page, then you can experiment.
Here are some foreplay ideas that will help make anal sex feel way better, according to Lilla, Rachel Needle, PsyD, licensed psychologist and director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes, and Francie Stone, PsyD, certified sex therapist.
Spend a few minutes relaxing your mind and entire body before you have anal sex, Dr. Needle says. You and your partner might want to try listening to a guided meditation or practicing some simple deep-breathing exercisestogether. “Part of being relaxed is being comfortable and also being present,” Lilla says. “It’s hard to relax and be present if you’re going through your to-do list in your mind.”
If that’s not your thing, just try to relax your anal muscles, Dr. Needle says. If your anal sphincter is relaxed (rather than tight), it’ll make insertion easier and more pleasurable, Lilla says. “To see what that feels like, you can tighten them by squeezing your butt muscles and holding for a few seconds, and then releasing,” she says. If your mind and body are relaxed, it will make things feel a little less scary.
Feeling a finger, object, or penis inside the anus can be a very surprising sensation for some people, so it’s helpful to practice a little bit beforehand, Dr. Stone says. Trim your nails, and use your fingers to explore the anal area, she says. You might want to hold a mirror to actually see where you’re touching, and definitely use a lot of lube. “Notice the sensations within the anal area,” Dr. Stone says. Try inserting one finger, and work up to several fingers if you feel ready.
Showering or bathing with your partner before anal sex is practical, and it can also be sexy. “Take a bath or shower together, not only to clean, but also to begin to relax and take pleasure in each other’s bodies,” Dr. Stone says. If you’re into it, you can set the mood and atmosphere with massage candles or music that turns you on. “Begin communicating with each other lovingly,” and use all your senses and hands to “explore each other’s bodies all over,” she says.
If you feel comfortable, you can try rimming, or eating out your partner’s anus. Initially, use a “soft and wet tongue” to make circles around your partner’s anus, Dr. Stone says. “Then, one can begin pointing and thrusting the tongue,” she says. This motion can help prep the anus for penetration, she says.
One note about rimming: There’s always a chance that bacteria from the anus could transfer to someone’s mouth or vagina and cause an infection, so you might want to use a dental dam, clean your mouth and anus before and after, and avoid double-dipping (meaning: don’t insert a penis or object into someone’s anus, and then directly into their vagina).
I’m working on a story for Refinery29 about anal sex foreplay techniques, and am hoping a few experts from AASECT can help me out. Essentially, we want to write about the foreplay activities and pre-care routines that make anal sex feel good.
Here are some of my questions:
- What’s the most important thing(s) you should do before having anal sex, to ensure it’s pleasurable?
- Relax your mind and body! If this is your first time trying anal sex, spend a few minutes relaxing your mind and your entire body. You can also relax your anal muscles. To see what that feels like you can tighten them by squeezing your butt muscles and holding for a few minutes, and then releasing.
Use lots of lubrication! Unlike the vagina, the anus does not produce its own lubricant. The more lube you use, the more comfortable and enjoyable anal sex can be. Don’t forget to make sure you are using a water-based lubricant. Before going right to anal sex you may want to begin by using a finger to become comfortable with anal play.
Be safe! To minimize the risk of infection, be sure to clean your genitals before and after engaging in anal sex. In addition, do not go from the anus to the vagina as this can lead to infection or complications. Use a condom! If you are engaging in anal sex, discard that condom and put on a new one before penetrating the vagina to minimize the risk of infection.
- Do you recommend using toys beforehand to get ready for having a penis or object inside your anus? Which ones, and how do you use them?
If you have never inserted anything in to your anus and want to prepare, practice with a finger—yours or your partners. Using a small sex toy like an anal plug is an option as well to help you feel more comfortable and prepared. Be sure to use a lot of lubrication (water-based) and start slowly.
- In terms of foreplay that doesn’t involve penetration, what do you recommend doing? Please describe!
Getting in the mood is definitely important—physically and mentally. Don’t go straight for anal penetration, but instead take your time having fun kissing, touching, grinding…whatever helps to get you turned on, comfortable, and relaxed.
- Are there any fingering techniques that you suggest people try? What are they?
- What are some things you should talk about before having anal sex?
As with all type of sexual activity, verbal communication is a must! Talk to your partner about your fears or desires for anal sex. Continue to communicate when first trying anal sex by letting your partner know if it hurts or if you would like him to move more slowly or more quickly. It is important that you feel comfortable so don’t be afraid to communicate!