Anal sex is a bit like a roller-coaster: exciting for some, nerve-wracking for others, and an experience with so much fun potential. Maybe anal sex is your main or only option, because of your anatomy or because of vaginal discomfort. Anal can also be a kinky alternative to vaginal, oral, and manual sex, or a kinky way to give or receive double the pleasure.
If the idea of back-door fun gets you excited but you’re feeling nervous about trying anal sex for the first time, Luke Thao, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA) and member of the PNW Sex Therapy Collective based in Seattle, says you’re not alone. He previously told Elite Daily that, when his clients are introducing any new form of play into the bedroom — whether it’s anal or toys or anything else — he emphasizes “the process of learning to be comfortable with your fantasies. So many of us have fantasies but it’s in the interpretation or valuation of our fantasies that a lot of people get caught up. So, having that space for yourself or with a group of friends or with a therapist to be able to explore that fantasy space is where I’d start. And then take it into the partnered space.”
Even if you don’t feel completely ready to take the anal penetration plunge, there are several other forms of anal play that you can engage in, including rimming (using a tongue on the anus), fingering, pegging a partner, and using a vibrator. If you do graduate to anal sex, there might be some physical discomfort in the beginning, since your muscles are trying something new. That's why it's important to take it easy, be patient, and ensure that the receiving partner lubes up during anal sex. Sexologist and reproductive justice activist Michelle Hope previously told Elite Daily that one of the most crucial aspects of anal sex is that the anus is not self-lubricating, "and therefore has a higher risk of tissue tears. Lube is your best friend when looking to explore the back door!"
As for emotional discomfort? There really shouldn't be any. Sexual consent is always and absolutely necessary — no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And when introducing a new act — especially something as physically intense as anal — it’s doubly important to get an added layer of consent, even if both partners previously consented to other sex acts beforehand.
Another aspect to consider is safety during anal sex. Use a condom to prevent the passing of STDs. And if you're switching from anal sex to vaginal sex — in that order — a new condom is necessary. Once you've got the time, lube, condoms, and a patient, consenting partner, you'll be good to go.
The following first-time anal stories will give you a glimpse of what your first time might be like, physically and emotionally. Here are 10 women and non-binary people on their first time having anal sex: the convos they had leading up to it, how it felt, and whether or not they'd do it again.
Foreplay Helps A Bunch
My SO and I tried anal, and it was awesome. We were actually kind of irresponsible and didn't really work up to it, but did use plenty of lube and had done a lot of foreplay. I was OK with it and relaxed, and I experienced almost zero pain. [I] enjoyed it a whole lot!
I never seem to get quite as wet as when we do anal doing anything else... Since we first started doing anal, we have bought a slim dildo that we use to loosen me up a bit before his penis and it has helped a lot.
— Captain_jawa on Reddit
It Can Def Keep Your Sex Life Interesting
My partner and I didn't have much experience with anything other than 'vanilla,' so we experimented with loads of things. Turns out anal was something that we found interesting and different. It feels more naughty, like doing it on a sofa.
— The_Hatchet on Reddit
Go Into Anal Relaxed
It was about four weeks after having our daughter. We were a little wary of PIV [penis-in-vagina] sex, but were feeling sexy. We had never done any anal play before, but my husband said that he wanted to finger my ass, so I said OK. Then one thing led to another, and we did it. It went well. I'd tried anal with exes and he could never put it in because it was too painful. I just relaxed and let it happen. It was pretty enjoyable. No soreness, blood, or poop.
— SpicyPoffin on Reddit
And Take Your Time
So, once upon a time, I never thought I would want to ever try anal. But when you meet someone you love and care about and trust, and they really want to try, you also want to try for them. First few times were awful. We had to stop. And stop. I didn't like it. I didn't want to do it at all. [Then, the other day] I had successful anal sex with my boyfriend.
I just really wanted to please him with it, so I spent a lot of time reading how to help make things work out smoothly… The key is: Be relaxed. No really, it hurts if you are tense. A couple of days ago we tried it again, and I actually got off at the same time as him while doing it...
TL; DR: Anal can be nice.
— dirtypaws on Reddit
Luke Thao, MA, LMFTA (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate)
Michelle Hope, sexologist and reproductive justice activist
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