How To Make Anal Sex More Comfortable So You Can Focus On Pleasure, Not Pain


You know those embarrassing questions you're too afraid to ask in bed, like how to make anal sex more comfortable? Well, they're probably holding you back from having an even more fulfilling sex life. Like, did you know you can orgasm during anal sex?

It's not always easy opening up about sex. For the record, you should definitely be vocal about your sexual interests and preferences in bed; your partner can't read your mind and it's unreasonable to expect them to know everything that turns you on or off, particularly if it's something you've never tried before.

Honestly, when it comes to having anal sex for the first time, I think it's fair to say most people worry about the obvious— how to tell your partner you want to try anal, followed immediately by how to clean your butt properly—but how to avoid being butt-hurt is pretty high on my list, too. Don't pretend that this is TMI either because we're about to get real friendly, real quick.

I spoke with Emily Morse, sexologist and host of the Sex With Emily podcast, about how to make anal sex more about pleasure and less about pain and she dropped a sh*tload (too soon?) of knowledge. Here's everything you ever needed to know plus everything you've never thought to ask about having anal sex.

How Should You Bring Up Anal Sex With Your Partner?

Before trying anything new in the bedroom, you should discuss it with your partner first. Consent is sexy. Don't fight me on this. Ask your partner how they feel about adding something a little different to your routine. If they're open to the idea, mention that you know a lot of people enjoy butt play in bed and that you're curious as to what all the hype is about. This way, your partner isn't offended by your desire to try something new since your request is casual and inviting rather than accusatory.

As a general rule, Morse says, "Always discuss anything you want to try outside of the bedroom in a neutral environment. This way, no one will feel pressured, and you both can be open and honest without judgment." It's also important to make sure that the conversation is about both people and not just one person's desires. Morse adds, "Gauge each other’s interest in what you’re open to, and make sure to talk about any concerns and boundaries along with what you both want to try."

Lastly, she advises that it's best to have conversations like these more than once before actually doing the deed, just to make sure you're both on the same page. She explains that you should both agree on when you would like to move this off the bucket list and into the bedroom.

What Are Some Physical Ways To Ease Into Butt Play?

For beginners, Morse says, "It’s best to start off simply exploring the anal opening with your fingers, as there are so many nerve endings and it’s crucial to get comfortable with touch to the area." Try gently circling the opening with your finger until you feel comfortable enough to insert it. Morse points out that starting off with your own finger before your partner’s can help you feel more in control of the situation. Once you establish this is OK, you can move on to small toys like anal beads or butt plugs and eventually a strap-on or a penis.

She also points out that starting off small—with fingers or toys— won't necessarily help you get comfortable with the sensation itself. Instead, this is mostly useful for graduating in size. To make the actual sensation more pleasurable, you're going to need to add lube (scroll down for recs).

What Are Some Products You Can Use To Make Things More Enjoyable?

If you learn anything today, it should be this: lube is key. Morse recommends the water and silicone-based lines by System Jo since they were designed specifically for anal stimulation. They're thicker and longer-lasting than most other products.

Of course, lube isn't the only thing you can purchase to ease things along. Morse adds, "As far as products go, a butt plug, like the FT London G-Plug, or a prostate stimulator, like the Vibratex Black Pearl, can definitely act as the middleman when you’re ready for something a little bigger than fingers." As an added benefit, the vibrations will help you relax your butt muscles and introduce you to some wild sensations.

If you do plan on using toys during anal sex, there are two really important things to consider. Firstly, stick to a water-based lube instead of a silicone-based one as the latter could erode the material of the toy and make it easier for it to trap bacteria. And secondly, make sure that any toys you use for insertion are intended for butt play and have a flared base. Why? Oh, because your butt muscles tend to envelop anything that goes up there. Unlike your vagina, which has a vaginal wall, your butthole is just the excretory opening of your alimentary canal. It's basically like walking through the closet doors to Narnia, meaning it's not that easy to retrieve something once it gets lost in there.

How Can I Relax Before Anal Sex?

It's impossible to enjoy the experience if you can't get out of your head. Morse recommends doing whatever you usually do to unwind, whether that's taking a bath or getting a massage.

Once you're in the bedroom, pay special attention to foreplay. Morse says, "Knocking out a few orgasms before you go through the backdoor will definitely relax you and loosen you up," so don't hold back.

Most importantly, don't forget to breathe. According to Morse, "The more deep breaths you take, the easier it will be to relax the sphincter muscles, which we often tighten up as a first reaction because we’re nervous." Once these muscles are relaxed, you'll be able to focus more on pleasure.

Are Certain Positions Better For Anal Sex Newbies?

The short answer is yes. Morse recommends laying on your stomach if you are the receiving partner so that you are more relaxed and so that the penetrating partner has easy access. She adds, "To get a better angle, you can add a pillow or two under your hips to elevate your pelvis, which can hit those pleasure spots even more easily."

Another simple position you can try is spooning, since this ensures that both partners are comfortable and neither person is forced to hold themselves up for extended periods of time.

According to Morse, the most important thing to remember is that the receiving partner should be in control of the situation. Everything should be at their pace. If they want to stop, stop.

What About People Who've Tried Anal Before But Didn't Enjoy It Due To Pain Or Discomfort?

It couldn't hurt to try again, could it? Sadly, yes, it could, so listen up. Morse says this happens more often than you think. "It’s usually because there wasn't proper communication about it, they went too fast, or didn’t use enough lube (or any lube at all, for that matter). This experience is so common that many people swear off anal sex forever," she explains.

If you're ready to have another go at it, her advice is to "make sure both of you are on the same page by talking about it first and going slowly at a pace you’re comfortable with." It's important not to put too much pressure on yourself, your partner, or the situation at hand. Morse adds, "Don’t focus on finishing, but the sensations you’re feeling in the moment. And if it turns out it’s just not your thing, that’s OK."

Just like it's important to talk about anal sex before attempting it, you should also check in with your partner during and after the encounter. I know, I know. Who would have thought anal sex would involve so many face-to-face conversations? You should ask if the other person is both comfortable and aroused during the encounter. After, discuss what you liked or didn't like so that you're better prepared for next time. Catch you on the flip side.

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