So you want to incorporate anal play into solo (or partnered) sex but don’t know where to start? That’s okay! The key is to find anal sex toys that can help you prep, pay attention to how your body responds, and go slow and steady. If you want to experiment with anal sex, it’s always a good idea to add some toys to your arsenal to ensure your first time is smooth and fun, and feels good.
“Exploring solo is a great way to start, even if your goal is anal intercourse with a partner,” says Carol Queen, staff sexologist at sex-toy retailer Good Vibrations. “[When you’re] solo, you get to choose your toys and timing, go slow, learn your responses, and familiarize yourself with the sensations of anal insertion.”
When you’re exploring anal pleasure for the first time, it’s important to be as relaxed as possible, make sure you have a ton of personal lubricant, and if you plan on graduating to anal penetration with another person, we cannot stress how important communication is.
Why do you need lube for anal play?
Unlike the vagina, the anus doesn’t self-lubricate, so feel free to go a little wild with the slippery stuff. Which lube you should get is based on what material your toys are made from. If you have silicone toys (and a lot of toys are silicone), try not to use silicone-based lube; go for water- or gel-based lubes. “Lube is a must and should be applied to the anus, the toy, or the body part you’re using to insert and stimulate, and—if you have a lube shooter—into the rectum itself—more lube is almost always better,” Queen says.
Start with small anal sex toys.
You may want to start with smaller and thinner butt plugs, anal dildos, and vibrators for masturbation or partnered sex—but make sure they have a base so they can’t slip all the way in. Once you’re feeling good, you can always work your way up to larger ones.
The key to enjoying anal play is staying relaxed.
If this is your first time experimenting with butt play, you might feel tense and nervous, and that’s totally natural. If you have a vulva, you were probably a little tense and nervous when you first started using penetrative vaginal toys or having partnered vaginal sex. It’s the same with anal sex—and practice makes perfect.
Queen gave us some tips, advising that you should “be in a comfortable spot where you feel safe; make sure you are with a person you can trust; take deep breaths; really take your time” and adding, “Beginner anal is not quickie material. When it’s time to play with a partner, they must go slow, and the person being penetrated is in charge—the person with the anus says when they are ready, how deep, how fast, and when it’s time to stop.”
Put the numbing cream away.
You might be tempted to use a numbing cream so that you feel less discomfort while you insert toys or have sex with your partner, but it’s actually not a good plan. According to anal-toy seller B-Vibe, using numbing creams can increase the chances of your actually hurting yourself. “[Numbing creams] make it easy to keep going even when the lube has run dry or your body tightens up, so it’s a lot more likely that you’ll hurt yourself,” B-Vibe’s blog explains, adding that it’s similar to a visit to the dentist. If you’ve ever been given Novocain before getting a filling, then you may have accidentally bitten your cheek, not even knowing you hurt yourself. Hours later, your pain receptors are no longer blocked, and now they’re communicating with your brain that, whatever you did to yourself, it hurts.
Plus, it’s good to know when you’re in pain so you can add more lube, adjust positions, slow down, or just stop entirely. Anal sex shouldn’t hurt; it’s not a BDSM situation for most. With practice, lube, and prioritizing relaxation above all else, anal should be pleasurable and awesome. If anal doesn’t feel good, you shouldn’t have to feel like you need to soldier on.
If you feel like you’re ready to add the best anal sex toys and accessories to your cart, here’s where you can start.