Sex

Anal Sex: Absolutely everything you could possibly ever need to know

All the anal myths debunked.

By Katie Stow
anal sex advice

Anal sex seems to be one of those things that everyone knows about, but that no one knows everything about. Butt stuff has been such a social taboo that it almost became the unspoken act that no one wanted to admit to trying.

But it’s 2017, people! And anal sex should be discussed freely and as honestly as all other forms of sex — here at Cosmo, it’s talked about on the reg. Which is why we have decided to dive into the world of anal, and give you the answers to all the questions you've had about it, but never actually asked out loud.

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To get some ~sexpert~ advice on the topic, we spoke to Alicia Sinclair, the founder and CEO of b-Vibe. She is the holy grail of butt knowledge, and gets reeeeal candid, so strap yourselves in folks!

So, here is everything you need to know before you give anal a go, from busting sex myths to actual advice. EDUCATE YO-SELF!

Is anal sex pleasurable for women?

“The idea that women don’t enjoy anal sex takes away their sexual agency as beings with their own sexual desires and complex sexuality,” says Alicia. And the assumption that there’s zero fun times for ladies during anal is factually incorrect. Sure, there will be people that don’t orgasm from it — much the same as there are some people who don’t get any sexual stimulation from nipple play and some women who can make themselves come purely through nipple play — so don’t assume that there’s a one-size-fits-all logic with anal sex, but also don’t rule it out as a pleasurable pasttime!

There are several reasons why anal play can feel pleasurable in the female body, and one of the main reasons is because (fun fact) you can actually reach your clitoris through your arse.

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This is because the clitoris is more than what you see on the outside — the tip of the sexual iceberg, if you will. “It’s shaped like a wishbone and for many, it extends all the way down to the anus. Surprisingly, it’s possible to stimulate the clitoral “legs” through anal play. Since the clitoris has over 9,000 nerve endings, that's a lot of potential for pleasure,” Alicia shares.

Do you have a G-spot in your bum?

Another reason why anal can be extremely pleasurable for women is because there’s actually a G-spot in your arse — it’s called the A-spot! Here’s everything you need to know about it, from the oracle of bum knowledge, Alicia Sinclair.

What is the A-Spot?

“Technically known the anterior fornix erogenous zone, the A-spot is a pleasurable patch of sensitive tissue right at the inner ends of the vaginal tube between the cervix and the bladder. It’s also referred to as the female degenerated prostate because of its precise location and ability to be stimulated similarly to the male prostate (or the male G-spot).”

How do you reach the A-spot with your fingers?

“Curve your fingers into a bit of a hook and reach in about an 1-1.5 inches inside vagina. Tilt them upwards as if you were pointing towards your belly button. The first patch of tissue will feel almost a little bit spongy, and that's the G-spot. Then, if you go back about an inch to two inches, you’ll reach the A-spot.”

How do you reach the A-spot during sex?

“The A-spot is a pleasurable patch of sensitive tissue right at the inner ends of the vaginal tube between the cervix and the bladder. Sensation around that area can stimulate orgasms in the vagina. When it comes to positions, those that allow for deep penetration, like doggy style, are best for hitting the A-spot. Not everyone reaches an orgasm from stimulating the A-spot, but even so, it's often a highly sensitive and pleasurable area that can be reached via anal play.”

What’s the difference between the G-Spot and the A-Spot?

“Stimulating the G-spot might be better for the main act, while the A-spot would be more ideal for foreplay. The A-spot is more for creating greater intensity of sensation and lubrication, so you may or may not experience an orgasm from stimulating it, but you might find that it heightens sensitivity and sensation.”

Do straight men like anal sex?

One of the wonderful things about anal play is that folks of any gender or sexual orientation can enjoy it — it’s not exclusively great for gay men.

Sure, there may be some semi-homophobic fears surrounding receiving anal sex as a straight man, but the important thing to remember (or to reiterate to your partner if he is feeling bashful about the whole thing) is that the sensations and experiences that feel good to you often have absolutely nothing to do with your gender or sexual orientation. To break it down in simple terms, it’s kinda like how the food you enjoy has absolutely nothing to do with the person you are eating dinner with.

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However, from a physiological perspective, according to Alicia, “the prostate is best stimulated through the anal canal, and a lot of men report that orgasms that come from prostate stimulation (AKA with a little booty play) feel bigger, more expansive, or full-bodied.”

Does anal sex hurt?

You have probably heard anal sex horror stories or simply thought about something going up your bum as being incredibly sore and uncomfortable, but really most bad experiences are due to a lack of understanding about how to make anal play enjoyable.

There are a few different reasons why anal sex might not feel good. One of the most common ones is a stingy or friction sensation. That’s because there isn’t enough lubricant, so you’ll want to add a little more. Don’t tolerate or endure the discomfort because all that does it make your body tighten up more. Adding more lube will make it feel much better, so don’t hesitate — grab that bottle and lather up the tush!

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It’s also a good idea to avoid going from zero to penis-in-the-butt. This is because the entry point (your sphincter) is pretty delicate and prone to ripping if you’re not nice to it. So, you need to build up to a penis, starting with something smaller, like your fingers, then maybe a bullet, and then — if you’re feeling ready, and have armed yourself with lube — go for the full peen.

If you want a bit of practice to get used to the sensation, try a small vibrating butt plug like this as it’s only the size of a finger and the vibration will help your butt muscles relax.

Will you shit yourself if you have anal sex?

Funnily enough, booty hygiene is one of the most common concerns about anal sex. However, you should be confident in the fact that it’s extremely rare for you to actually shit yourself during sex (woo!). BUT a bit of poop here and there may be transferred to fingers or dicks during anal, if you haven’t had a full colonic before having sex.

Though we’re not suggesting having a colon cleanse before every session, Alicia recommends “a bowel movement and a wash before your anal adventure.” AKA a shit and a shower before sex is a must to prevent any poop appearances.

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…If you are going to use an enema in preparation of anal sex (for a squeaky clean canal), this is what Alicia suggests:

Does anal sex damage your arsehole?

One of the common misconceptions is that anal sex will weaken or damage the anal muscles. While it is possible to hurt yourself if you aren’t paying attention to what you’re doing, or if you’re forcing your body (or your partner’s body) to do something that doesn’t feel good, the overwhelming majority of people having anal sex will not experience any permanent damage to their body.

Incontinence is typically the main concern regarding damage. This is specific to the common belief that the anal sphincter muscles become weakened. There’s no evidence to support this and odds are that if you follow the correct steps, all your butt stuff will continue to work just fine.

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Another worry could be physical trauma to the anus. Alicia explains that “small micro-tears inside the rectum are relatively common during anal sex, just small micro-tears occur inside the vagina during vaginal sex. These small tears usually heal quickly and have no long-term effect on the body.” Phew!

Do you need different condoms for anal sex?

Probably not, as most modern condoms are latex and will provide you all the STD-prevention that you need. However, if you are picking out rubbers for your backdoor booty sesh, it’s probably best to go for condoms that come with lubricant to keep everything smooth for entry.

You should also avoid any condoms that offer warming or cooling sensations, as these use chemicals which are not a good idea to introduce to the anal cavity. Basically, they can cause some serious burning or itching, so best to dodge them if you can.

The main thing to note re: condoms and anal sex is that YOU STILL NEED TO WEAR THEM. We know that you can’t get pregnant from anal sex, but you can very easily catch a sexually transmitted infection through booty time, so keep 'em wrapped up at all times!

What do you need to do after anal sex?

First, relax…

The penetrating partner should recognise that their endorphins and adrenaline are likely to be lower than their partner who just received anal sex. So “givers” should be patient and respectable of the emotional place of the “receiver”. If you were the receiver, be aware that you may need some time before you feel sore or before you know exactly what you want next. That’s okay. Just relax and bask in the after-anal sex glow.

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Take care of the tush

“Anal tissues are delicate and it’s normal for them to be a little sore after sex. Gentle baby wipes can easily clean up, while an Epsom salt bath can feel purifying, pampering, and practical for sore muscles,” Alicia recommends.

Praise your partner

Anal sex can make someone especially vulnerable. So, remind your partner about all the things you liked about having anal sex with them. Compliment time, folks!

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Keep it Clean

“The anus contains specific bacteria that shouldn’t be shared,” explains Alicia. “Clean up should be the final, and important, step in your aftercare routine. Launder dirty towels, properly dispose of used condoms, and thoroughly wash your toys in soapy hot water.”

What you need to know about using an anal sex toy for the first time

When it comes to butt stuff, you need to educate yourself and get your head in the [anal] game. The good news is that you’re already reading this post, meaning you’re invested in learning about how to do this arse marlarkey right. WELL DONE YOU!

“Anal sex can be daunting, especially if you've been exposed to the endless misinformation and taboos out there about it. One of the most important parts of being able to enjoy the experience is educating yourself on what to expect. Take some time to research any subject that you might make you nervous — whether that be hygiene, sensations, or psychological aspects. Don't rush into it if you don't feel ready,” says Alicia.

One way to know if you’re ready, is by experimenting by yourself first, with anal sex toys. When you're on your own, you can experiment with different sensations and, if you're comfortable, sizes of anal toys, to prepare yourself.

Also, experimenting with anal toys by yourself is a great way to get familiar with all the elements of anal sex — in particular: Anal hygiene. The more comfortable you are with the functionality of your anal passage, the more you investigate into what and where feels good, the more relaxed you (and your booty) will be.

To be frank about the hygiene side of things, you’re gonna be a bit freaked out the first time you see poop on your finger or on your anal sex toy. It’ll be a shock, but that’s okay. The more you see it, the more used to it you’ll be, so that when it happens during sex with a partner, you won’t want the ground to swallow you up whole.

As for what toys you should try, remember to start small and build your way up. We mean this in the big picture terms of not launching in with a 10-inch monster dildo, but also that you’re probably going to have to start small and build up every single time you have anal sex. Your butt isn’t like a memory foam mattress, it won’t stay in the shape it was last penetrated in. So, ideally, you need to go from finger, to toy, to dick each and every time.

What anal sex toys you should try

Following the rule of starting small, a good first toy to try are anal beads. Yes, you should take some advice from Fifty Shades of Grey sex and give anal beads a go! Opt for one that progresses in size, so that the top bead is the smallest, and you can work your way to the biggest. We recommend these Tripet Anal Beads as a good first-timer toy as it’s the right size and it vibrates, helping your anal muscles relax.

As mentioned before, a smaller plug, like this Novice Plug, is a good starter toy that is only slightly larger than a finger.

When you’re experimenting with anal sex toys, don’t forget the potential for exterior anal pleasure too! There are tons of nerve endings located at the entry of the bum — which is why people of all genders enjoy “rimming”, as it keeps all the fun at the entrance.

You can simply use your vibrating anal sex toy around the rim of your arsehole to stimulate those nerve endings, but if you find that rim play is for you, then give a specialised rimming sex toy a go. One like this Petite rimming plug has vibrating features in the tip and the shaft that may tickle your fancy.