Anal Sex Prep Guide: Part 1: Anatomy, Prep and Protection
Part 1 of The Anal Sex Series
FIVE MUST-DO STEPS TO PREPARE FOR ANAL SEX
It seems my blogs about bottoms are highly popular (you saucy little things). So this is part one of a four-part series designed to guide you safely through an enjoyable anal exploration and answer all the questions you’ve ever had about anal sex.
This blog talks about how to prepare for anal sex - BEFORE you even think about actually doing anything. Because, unlike other sorts of sex, there really is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to do it and it’s not something you barge into (ahem).
Both get tested for STIs and HIV
There’s a higher chance of catching an STI or HIV with anal sex than during other sexual activities (oral, vaginal, fingers etc) because the rectum is delicate and tears easily. Tiny tears allow STIs to easily enter the bloodstream. The way to avoid putting either of you at risk is to be screened for all STIs and HIV.
Even if you're both given a clear bill of health, this only (obviously) means you’re safe not to use protection if you’re in a monogamous relationship. If you’re not, or have doubts, use condoms for anal intercourse and a cut up condom laid over the opening of the anus for rimming (putting your tongue inside). If you worry you’ve already put yourself at risk, visit a sexual health centre and tell them you’ve had anal sex. You can have an infection-free vagina and still have an infection in the rectum.
Address any fears
If you don’t prepare for anal sex, then yes it will bloody well hurt. But if you’ve done your preparation (which is what this is all about), are aroused, lubricated, take things slowly and gently and give feedback every step of the way, it shouldn’t be painful. Lots of people - women included - enjoy the experience, though it is something that takes practice and a bit of getting used to. As with any sexual activity, there are some people who won’t like it, for their own personal reasons. If your partner gives it a go and really dislikes it, find something else to try. Never force anal sex on anyone.
Educate yourselves on anatomy
The anus is the small, puckered opening. Just inside are the sphincter muscles. The external sphincter is under your control: you can squeeze and release it voluntarily. The internal sphincter works involuntarily and on reflex. When you first start anal play, the internal sphincter often closes because it senses something unusual trying to invade! The more you gently play around the area, the more it will relax. The anal canal (1.5 inches) connects the anus to the rectum which is nearly 5 inches long. The anus and anal canal are packed with sensitive nerve endings, so like being stimulated with fingers, tongues, toys and a penis.
There are two major differences between having anal intercourse and vaginal intercourse: the rectum doesn’t lubricate and it’s not a straight tube. It’s a bendy ‘S’ shape. Explore with your fingers during anal play to get a sense of where things are and how they work. The main difference between men’s and woman’s bottoms is that his ‘G-spot’ - the prostate gland - is located inside his.
Take a test run with a douche
The biggest fear most people have about anal sex and anal play is that there will be evidence of (how do I put this delicately?), well, poo. The good news is, this problem is easily sorted. Simply empty your bowels first and then give the whole area a good wash with warm water. Still a bit nervous? You might want to consider using an anal douche - flushing the rectum with water - which is why I’ve included one in my range.
The Supersex Anal Douche is easy to use: fill it with room temperature water then sit on the loo. Put a little lube on the flexible tip, then gently and carefully insert the tip inside. Squeeze the bottle gently so the water flows inside, wait a few minutes, then bear down to empty your bowels (if the water hasn’t already come out). Repeat until the water runs clear.
If you’re going to douche, do it about half an hour to an hour before the session and don’t over-do it (too much will irritate and wash away the protective mucous lining of the rectum).
I’d suggest having a trial douche before your sex session, so you’re not nervous on the day and know how your body will react.
Stock up on lube
Don’t even think about having anal sex unless you have a good quality lube to hand. The rectum isn’t self-lubricating and saliva just doesn’t cut it (and things like Vaseline and olive oil eat condoms and can cause infections) so you’ll need to invest.
Silicone-based lubes are great because they last longer, are thicker and nice and slippery. But they damage silicone toys - which lots of people do use to prepare for anal sex - and can stain the sheets. Water-based lubes are good all-rounder lubes, so chances are you already have some. If you’re prepared to keep topping up, they’re fine for anal sex (just make sure you stop to top up whenever there’s so much as a hint of feeling dry).
My Supersex Anal Lube is safe to use with toys, long-lasting and doesn’t contain glycerine (which can cause yeast infections). Apply liberally before you have anal intercourse (to the anus and penis) and reapply during the session.
Again, test run a few lubes before your anal session to make sure you don’t have any sensitivity to the lube you intend using. As I said earlier, without lube there won’t be any anal intercourse happening, so it’s crucial to get right!
Part two of The Anal Sex Series will focus on basic techniques for fingering, rimming and anal intercourse - look out for it at the beginning of August. For more advice on getting started with anal play, see this advice from the archives.