17 Anal Foreplay Tips for Beginners

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Butt stuff remains one of the most divisive sexual acts. Those who love it, really love it. And those who don’t, really don’t. But you’ll never know what category you fall into unless you try it for yourself. Not only do you need to be lubed up (independently with lube since your butthole doesn’t self-lubricate like a vagina), but you’ve also got to relax your butthole muscles for the best experience. We know ass play can be intimidating to a newbie, but there’s no reason to go into it unprepared. If you take your time with anal foreplay (fingering and rimming), your odds of enjoying it are a lot better. Here, several sexperts break down their best anal foreplay tips for beginners.

1. Get a water-based lube. Dr. Jill McDevitt, sexologist, says to secure a quality water-based lube ahead of time. This’ll make rubbing and massaging even better. Even if your foreplay doesn’t involve penetration for now, lube makes everything better and can increase sensitivity. We like Lelo’s water-based lube, as it’s slippery enough that it won’t gunk up on you, and it looks chic AF.

2. Get some toys in there. Dr. Jill also recommends trying a vibrating anal toy with a broad head. “Simply place the head against the anal opening but don’t insert, or glide the toy in a circle around the opening. External anal vibrations adds completely new sensations. Alternate between the vibe and your finger to really tease.”

3. Pay attention the buttcheeks too! Just because your ultimate goal is the butthole, doesn’t mean you should totally ghost your partner’s buttcheeks. Dr. Sadie Allison, founder of TickleKitty.com and Author of Tickle My Tush–Mild-to-Wild Analplay Adventures for Every Booty recommends starting off with a sensual booty massage. Using lube, “place your thumbs in the creases where the legs meet the butt cheeks and glide your thumbs along the crease from the inner thigh area to the outer side. Lift and repeat. Then, put your palms together in ‘prayer position’, placing them on their tailbone and gliding up and down their buttcrack. “

4. It shouldn’t hurt. This is where lube comes in. It should basically just feel like you might need to poop. You don’t! (I hope you don’t.) “Relax your muscles, and breathe,” advises Dr. Emily Morse, sexologist. “Use a lot of water-based lubricant.”

5. Try it on your own first. You know how it’s basically impossible to tickle yourself? This isn’t the same, but trying anal foreplay out on your own is informed by a similar mindset. You won’t be surprised as much by your own, um, touch. It won’t be the same as it would be coming from a partner, but it’s a good way to feel out if you’re into the sensation.

6. This is a case where shower or bathtub sex might actually be good. Normally shower sex is bad and very hard to successfully pull off. But because relaxation is so key here, trying anal play in a place where you’re more likely to feel calm and loose is helpful. Plus, if you’re worried about cleanliness (which isn’t a real problem, but it’s an understandable concern), moving things to a place where you’re already getting clean helps out.

7. Start small. The whole point of anal play is to keep it simple before working your way up. “To prepare a bottom for sex play, start with fingers, tongue, or a very small sex toy designed for butt play,” says clinical sexologoist Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce. “An option is to purchase a Butt Plug Kit that uses several plugs, of graduating sizes, just for this training.”

8. The person doing it should err on the shallow side. Everything that goes in should be “just the tip.” The nerve endings you’re trying to stimulate are in the anus — hence the moniker “rimming” — and not all the way up there, which is generally the painful part and also the part that makes you feel like you need to take a huge dump. Imagine it like a basketball hoop, and the ball should just be rolling around the rim of the basket, not actually making the basket. Does that help? I know nothing about basketball.

9. There shouldn’t be any rapid-fire movement immediately. Vigorous jamming of fingers anywhere should not happen immediately. “So much of sex is fast — especially in porn — but anal play has to be prepped,” says Morse.

10. You can vary up positions. No, not all butt stuff needs to be done doggy style. It’s true it might be a little harder to get some solid eye-contact going on when face-to-anus things are happening. But! There are a variety of positions to try, like lying on your back with your hips elevated, or sitting on his face in reverse cowgirl. Move around until you find one that makes you feel most at ease.

11. Communication is key. The only way to know what works and what doesn’t is to be totally honest with you partner about what they’re doing. Dr. Pierce stresses the importance of always being tuned in to how the other is feeling and being vocal about your preferences.

12. It’s not dirty. As clinical sexologist Dr. Kat Van Kirk says, the anus and the lower part of the rectum actually have very little fecal material in them, which means it tends to not be nearly as dirty as you think.

13. That being said, you can totally clean things up. The key to anal play is comfort, so do whatever you need to help with any lingering anxiety. “Using an anal douche is not harmful if only done once in awhile and might help you relax your concerns about your bowels,” advises Dr. Pierce. You can use something as simple as warm water for a quick cleanse too.

14. It feels best when there’s some additional stimulation going on. Vaginal, clitoral, nipple-centric — whichever feels best for you. While some women only need butt play à la carte, most women can’t come from anal stimulation alone. “The anal part is something that’s an accent. It adds to the overall experience,” says Ian Kerner, sex expert, researcher, and author of She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman. (Incidentally, women who have had anal sex report more frequent orgasms than those who haven’t.) That being said …

16. If you try it a few times and hate it, don’t keep trying it because you think it’ll eventually be tolerable. “Assuming you have a considerate lover who’s invested in you feeling good, I think you’d know within the first five times whether you like it or not,” says Kerner, explaining that this depends on a variety of factors. “I’ve encountered women who hated receiving oral sex initially but love it now, and it was because they were self-conscious. It depends on your levels of inhibition, your feelings about your partner, your feelings about your body. If all these things are good to go, and you just don’t like the sensation, you’ll know pretty fast.”

17. You don’t need to get a wax. “Most women don’t get Brazilians simply to engage in anal foreplay,” says Kerner, based on his research. #Yep.

In conclusion, “Sunset,” a user on this weird forum I found while trying to gather more seasoned #ButtholeWisdom for you guys, says: “if you are very feeling good with your patner [sic] and you know him or her very well, i think it’s a very lovely situation.”

I agree with Sunset.

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