In case you weren’t already aware, playing with your butt can create the type of pleasure that makes you walk around the entire next day grinning to yourself like, “Wow, that happened.” (If you were already aware of this fact, my biggest congratulations to you and your backside.) See, your anus and its surrounding skin have a bunch of highly sensitive nerves that can take you on a pretty wild ride, depending on how your body works. For some people, it’s even possible to reach the back of the clitoris through the adjoining anal wall. (Yup, your clitoris isn’t just that external nub above your vagina—it has internal components, too. Surprise!)
This doesn’t mean you should pe right into butt play without the proper prep. If you do this, it might not be enjoyable, which could put you off something you might otherwise be into. Plus, it could really hurt. As a sex coach and educator, it brings me great joy to offer up the following tips on how to explore your butt in the safest—and most fun—way possible.1. Make sure you actually want to try butt play.
Sometimes it might feel like everyone is obsessed with butt stuff. It gets a starring role in a whole lot of porn; and it’s even become more of media darling recently, with more publications (hi, including SELF) talking about why anal can be such a pleasurable activity. But none of that matters if you aren’t remotely drawn to the idea.
In my line of work, I often speak with people (especially cisgender women) who are only having anal sex for their partner. If your interest in anal is solely because you want to please a partner (or worse, because your partner is pressuring you to try it), it’s really unlikely to be fun or pleasurable. Anal play should be something you’re curious about or excited by if you’re going to try it.
So, explore your reasons for wanting to explore your butt. If it sounds sexy to you and you like the idea of giving it a go, that’s a great sign.2. Have an open conversation with your partner ahead of time.
If you feel really safe and comfortable experimenting with a bit of anal stimulation in the moment, that’s up to you and your partner. But I really recommend sitting down with your partner beforehand and talking about anal play. Be open and honest about wanting to try something a little new. Anal play can feel great, so there’s nothing wrong or weird about wanting to give it a spin.
It might help to know your stuff before you have this conversation. Read a few articles on butt play. Ask a few experienced friends for tips. You won’t be an anal scholar after basic research (if only), but you’ll be more prepared to start your journey.
Consider coming to your partner with ideas, too. Perhaps there is a butt plug you’d like to try. (I’m a big fan of the b-Vibe Novice Plug and Doc Johnson’s various anal sex trainer kits). Or maybe there’s a hot clip of anal sex you want to share with them. Whatever the case, talking over exactly what you want to do (and laying ground rules like what you’ll say if you want to stop) can make the whole experience much better.3. Don’t stress about the poop thing too much.
Anal newbies regularly ask me if they need to do an enema before any butt play. Some people decide to use enemas to flush their rectums with water or saline and basically clean themselves out as much as possible before anal, but you do not need to do an enema if you don’t want to. I promise you this isn’t necessary. (If trying an enema would really make you more comfortable, that’s fine, but you shouldn’t do them more often than once every couple of months, as SELF previously reported.)