Everything You Need to Know About Anal and Using Anal Toys

Key Points

  • Anal play carries a stigma but has the potential to bring amazing pleasure to anyone willing to try.

  • Before engaging in anal, understand the basics of safety, hygiene, and consent.

  • The easiest way to explore anal for the first time is with a finger or butt plug, either alone or with a trusted partner.

  • Once you unlock the world of anal fun, explore the potential of fingers, tongues, toys, and penile penetration. 

What rumors have you heard about anal sex? That it hurts, it's dirty, it should be for marriage, that it's homosexual (as if that's an insult). Plenty of misinformation flies around the internet and society. Forget everything you know about anal and come to this sexual celebration with an open mind.

In "Anal August" of 2023, a survey by HER revealed that Gen Z is quite keen on anal sex. Most of them have tried it and enjoy it. Props to the new kids for being adventurous and indulging in pleasure!

Anal Sex

Anal sex, a practice that has been around for centuries, involves the insertion of a penis, sex toy, or other objects into the anus for sexual pleasure. Its origins trace back to ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans, who embraced a variety of sexual activities. Today, anal sex is enjoyable for people of all genders and sexual orientations, and it serves a multitude of purposes.

First and foremost, anal sex provides a unique form of sexual stimulation. The rectum is full of sensitive nerve endings that, when properly stimulated, lead to intense pleasure and even orgasms for all genders. Additionally, some people find that anal penetration creates a sense of intimacy and trust in their sexual relationships. It's a way for couples to explore new sensations and deepen their connection.

Anal pleasure comes from penetration by a penis, dildo, butt plug, anal beads, finger, or anything else that safely goes up there. Stimulation to the anus also feels amazing for many. This includes the pressure of a finger resting on the anus during other sexual activity, stroking of the anus, or licking (often called a rim job). The best way to know what kind of anal sex is good for you is to try by starting slow and exploring.

But why does it feel good? Well, the anal canal is rich in nerve endings and surrounded by muscles that contract and relax, enhancing the sensations. For some people, the taboo nature of anal sex adds an element of excitement and thrill. The prostate is accessible through the anus for men, creating the legendary P-spot that leads to orgasms for some.

According to doctor of human sexuality and expert sex coach Dr. Emily Morse, "If you’re a vulva owner, using an anal plug during masturbation can change the angle of your vagina, for new sensations you may have never experienced… That will enhance the angle of the vaginal canal, making the vaginal slope more steep (and opening up more pleasure possibilities). So if you’ve ever wanted to experience a G-zone (aka g-spot) orgasm before but couldn’t quite get there, this could seriously help."

Before diving into anal play, it's crucial to prioritize safety and comfort. Proper lubrication is a must to prevent discomfort or injury, and open communication with your partner is key to ensuring a positive experience. Using barriers like condoms and gloves reduces the risk of sexually transmitted infections or the introduction of bacteria, while relaxation techniques and a slow pace ease any initial discomfort.

Remember, everyone's body is different, so what feels pleasurable varies from person to person. Exploring anal sex must be consensual, informed, and approached with respect for your partner's boundaries. With the right precautions and an open-minded attitude, anal sex is a playful and enjoyable addition to your sexual repertoire.

Hygiene, Safety, and Consent

A primary concern of anal sex is the safety and hygiene of it. After all, it doesn't seem like the sexiest place at first. With proper preparation and precautions, anal sex is easily accessible, clean, and enjoyable.

Consent and Communication

Discussing consent for anal sex with your partner is a crucial and sensitive conversation — approach it with care and respect. Finding the right time and place for this discussion is essential, ensuring you both have privacy and ample time without distractions. Don't open the conversation during a sexual encounter, as it's difficult to have a clear and open conversation while sexually charged.

Start the conversation by expressing your love and admiration for your partner, emphasizing the importance of open communication in your relationship and perhaps your sexual excitement for them. Let them know that you would like to talk about an intimate topic, assuring them that you value their feelings, boundaries, and comfort above all else.

Create an atmosphere of trust and openness as you start the conversation. Make it clear that you intend to discuss your desires and boundaries honestly, without judgment or pressure. Begin by acknowledging that anal sex is a sensitive topic, and different people have varying levels of comfort and interest. Encourage your partner to share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

If you both are new to anal sex or have limited knowledge, consider learning together. Explore educational resources, articles, or books about anal play better to understand the subject and its potential risks and pleasures. Express your interest in exploring anal sex, but be sure to clarify that it's okay if your partner isn't interested or if they need more time to consider it. Make it clear that their consent and comfort are your top priorities.

Discuss boundaries and limits. Ask your partner about their comfort level, what they may be curious about, and what activities or precautions they'd like to consider. Discuss the importance of safe practices, including proper hygiene, the use of lubrication, and the importance of going at a pace that feels comfortable for both of you.

During the act, check in with your partner to ensure they feel comfortable. You or your partner may change their mind in the act! You both have the right to say no at any time, and you should always honor the other's consent.

Ultimately, respect your partner's decision, whatever it may be. If they're not comfortable with the idea of anal sex, that's perfectly okay. It's essential to accept and support their choices without pressure or disappointment. Perhaps you compromise and start with a finger or a butt plug to gauge your comfort levels. Be open to options and another perspective!


Engaging in anal play is a pleasurable and intimate experience, but it's essential to prioritize safety and comfort for all involved. Injury, small cuts, and even lost toys are risks of anal play! If you engage in anal play with multiple partners or have any concerns about STIs, consider regular STI testing to ensure your sexual health.

Follow these steps to keep everyone safe and focus on the fun.


Adequate lubrication is your best friend when it comes to anal play. The anus does not self-lubricate, so using a high-quality, water-based lubricant is crucial to prevent discomfort or friction. Apply it generously to your finger, sex toy, or condom. A lack of lubrication can lead to micro tears or even worse cuts.

Organics Water-Based Lube
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by Sliquid 

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Anal Silicone-Based Lubricant
$14.99 ($1.87 / Fl Oz)

by #LubeLife 

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Anal Lube Water Based Lubricant
$20.99 ($0.66 / Fl Oz)

by Lynk Pleasure Products 

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Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant
$14.45 ($4.82 / Fl Oz)

by K-Y 

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Some people use desensitizing lube for anal sex or flavored lube if you're engaging in oral. Just make sure it's anal-safe!

Anal-ESE Flavored Desensitizing Gel

by Nasstoys 

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If using sex toys, ensure they're suitable for anal use. These toys typically have a flared base or handle to prevent them from getting lost inside the rectum, which is important for safety. They often have an ergonomic shape suited for anal pleasure, as opposed to a vaginal dildo.

Keep your fingernails trimmed and filed to prevent accidental scratching or discomfort. If you have long nails, consider using a latex or nitrile glove for extra protection. Gloves also protect from potential messes getting on your skin and are more hygienic when worried about STIs or other bacteria.

If you're using fingers, toys, or engaging in any form of anal intercourse, using condoms, gloves, dental dams, or other barriers is advisable. This helps reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and makes clean-up easier.


Start slowly and gently when inserting anything into the anus. The anal sphincter muscles need time to relax and adjust. Pushing too quickly or forcefully causes discomfort or injury. Encourage your partner to relax their body and mind during anal play. Massaging other erogenous zones, deep breathing, and creating a comfortable, intimate atmosphere can enhance relaxation.

As a receiver, you must feel calm and relaxed during insertion, especially your first few times. Many find it helpful to push out, as if you're going to the bathroom, to open the sphincter.

Pain during anal play is a sign that something isn't right. If your partner experiences pain, stop immediately and check in with them. Pain indicates that you need more lubrication, or it may be a signal to halt the activity altogether.

After anal play, engage in aftercare by offering comfort, affection, and emotional support. Clean up thoroughly, wash your hands, and dispose of any barriers used. Following these safe practices and maintaining open communication with your partner ensures a more enjoyable and risk-free experience during anal play.


Hygiene during anal play is often stressed about too much, although it's something you must prioritize nonetheless. Ensuring proper hygiene during anal play is essential for comfort and safety.

Start by washing the anal area with mild soap and warm water before engaging in any anal play. This helps remove any bacteria or debris from the surface. Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel.

Some people prefer to use an enema or anal douche to clean the rectum more thoroughly. This reduces the risk of surprises during anal play. Follow the instructions on the product carefully and use lukewarm water. Overusing enemas disrupts the natural balance of the rectum, so it's best to use them sparingly and not as a routine. Perhaps just for a special occasion!

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after anal play to prevent the spread of bacteria. Disposable gloves provide extra protection and ease of clean-up. If you switch from anal to vaginal or oral play during the same session, change condoms or gloves to prevent the transfer of bacteria from the anus to other parts of the body. If you're not using protection, wash between switches. While this feels disruptive, it's crucial to sexual health.

People that frequently engage in anal sex may bleach their anus for aesthetic purposes. If you're ready to be an anal star (or literally an anal porn star), look into it. Although, it's not necessary and perhaps even dangerous.

Introducing Anal Play

Forget all the rumors you've heard about anal sex being scary, icky, uncomfortable, gay, or whatever other tales society spreads. Anal feels good for many people that are willing to try! Now that you know the ins and outs of safety, hygiene, and consent, how do you make anal feel good?

Just like with anything, practice makes perfect. Start with these basic approaches and keep exploring to find exactly what brings you and your partner(s) blissful pleasure. Incorporate anal play into other parts of sex, for example, when in reverse cowgirl position, to make the most of your resources.


Stimulating the anus with your finger is a perfect introduction to anal play solo or with a partner. Start slowly by gently placing your fingertip against the anus. Start with slow, steady pressure and start to make circular motions. Use a bit of lube or saliva (only by asking first) to reduce friction and increase pleasure.

If playing with a partner, pay attention to their response and adjust your pressure and speed accordingly. See how their body moves, the noises they make, and anything they say. Ask for verbal reassurance: "Do you like that? or "Does that feel good?" Explore different pressures and movements with your finger to see what works best.

If you're doing it on yourself, listen to your intuition to progress or stay where you are. Be a bit risky if you want and push your limits. It's only you here anyway!

If the receiver likes it and wants to go further, slowly insert your finger into the anus a little bit. Move it circularly or in and out to explore different sensations. If all goes well, keep getting a bit deeper. Take your time!

If your finger is in a prostate owner, press forward towards their prostate to search for the P-spot. You're not digging for gold! Keep it light, gentle, and slow.


If you love oral sex and you're introducing anal play into your life, analingus is perfect for you. Just the way the mouth feels soft, supple, and heavenly on your genitals, it feels on your anus. Start the process just like oral sex, kissing around the region and warming up the lucky receiver. Incorporate your hands by touching their thighs, bum, genitals, and anus. If you want to perform oral sex on their genitals, do that first! You should never lick other genitals (especially a vagina) after licking a butthole.

Start with gentle, soft licks on the anus and progressively apply more pressure and movement according to their reaction. The classic technique is to lick in circles around the anus. Try spirals getting progressively closer to the opening, work your way back out, and come back in. This creates waves of intensity and tease as you play. Play with different pressures, strokes, and perhaps some penetration with your tongue if you're both keen.

Anal Toys & Our Recommendations

The world of anal toys is quite vast. Butt plugs, anal beads, prostate massagers, dildos, and more. If you've explored some other anal play and want to kick it up a notch, introduce anal toys! Anal toys come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, catering to different preferences and levels of experience.

Butt Plugs

Butt plugs are one of the most popular anal toys. They come in various sizes, from small and beginner-friendly to larger and more advanced. To use a butt plug, start by applying plenty of water-based lubricant to the toy and the anus. Start with a smaller plug if you're a beginner or a training kit to work your way up. For a cute and beginner-friendly option, try our favorite Lovelife Dare Butt Plug.

For the more adventurous, check out the b-Vibe Rimming Plug 2.

Rimming Plug 2

by B-VIBE 

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Gently insert the plug into the anus, ensuring the flared base remains outside the body to prevent it from getting lost. Go slowly and allow your body to adjust to the size and sensation. Once inserted, leave the plug in place during other sexual activities for added stimulation. This provides a full feeling and often stronger orgasms.

When you're done, carefully remove the plug while pushing your anus out, as if you're going to the bathroom. Don't forget to clean up!

Anal Beads

Anal beads are a series of connected, spherical beads for gradual insertion and removal. Start by lubricating the beads and the anus generously. Gently insert the first bead, allowing your body to adjust to the sensation. Gradually insert more beads, pausing between each one to assess comfort. Leave the handle sticking out, saving you an awkward trip to the ER.

When you're ready, gently pull the beads out during climax for an enhanced experience. Anal beads aren't the best toy for an introduction to anal play. Try finger and plug-play before progressing here. Although if these ventures go well, try our favorite Eden Pleasures Anal Beads — suitable for beginners and beyond!

Anal Beads
$8.99 ($8.99 / Count)

by Eden

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If you want the one-two punch of a plug + anal beads, consider a flexible silicone toy with both.

Vibrating Anal Beads Butt Plug
$18.99 ($18.99 / Count)


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Prostate Massagers

Prostate massagers stimulate the prostate, a highly sensitive erogenous zone in the male body. These toys are suitable for beginners and pros, with different models and types to accommodate different users. Start by applying a lubricant to the massager and the anus. Insert the massager with the curved end facing the front of the body (towards the prostate). Make sure the base rests comfortably on the outside of the body.

Experiment with different angles and vibrations to find what feels best. Always use caution and go slowly, as prostate stimulation can be intense. Try the very popular Aneros Helix San Trident Prostate Massager.

Helix Syn Trident Prostate Massager

by Aneros 

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Anal dildos are similar to regular dildos and have a flared base or handle for safety during anal play. They can also attach to a harness for strap-on play and pegging. First, ensure the dildo is clean and well-lubricated. Insert it into the anus gently, going at a pace that feels comfortable. Slowly move in and out, progressively getting deeper. Control the depth and speed to match the comfort level and preferences of you or your partner.

For beginner-friendly and versatile dildo play, try our recommended Tantus Silk Dildo.

Sex/Adult Toys Silk Dildo
$35.99 ($35.99 / Count)

by Tantus 

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Penile Penetration

Now that you're a master of fingers or toys up the bum and you want to take it a step further, explore the joys of penile penetration. Just as you explore penetration with other things into the anus, start with foreplay and plenty of lubrication. Start slow, inserting just the tip and ensuring the receiver feels relaxed and comfortable enough. Move gently back and forth, slowly going deeper and deeper.

Feed off of each other's pleasure through body language and verbal cues. If you're unsure how your partner is feeling, ask them! Anal sex is often highly enjoyable and considered quite an intimate experience by those who engage. Once you get into it, there is so much to explore. Try different positions during anal; doggy style is quite popular. Be adventurous and add a third for the Eiffel Tower! Add toys, try double penetration, and stimulate other parts of your body simultaneously.

As with any sex, take time to cuddle and connect in the aftermath. Clean up thoroughly and highlight to each other what you did well.

Relax and Enjoy

All consensual sex is good sex. If you're extra nervous about anal, start solo or with a trusted partner. Your body is likely to impress you with the pleasure hidden here. If you're curious and ready to go, just grab some lube and get at it! 

For more recommendations on sex toys and guides on how to use them, subscribe to Cupid's Light

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