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Everything you need to know about Anal Play

Everything you need to know about Anal Play

How to get started…(with anal play)

So, you have decided that you would like to dip your toes (or should we say booty) into anal play with your partner but you aren’t sure where to start. Like with any great chat about sex, this initiation of the backdoor with your partner must be first spoken about, outside the bedroom - as opposed to, mid-way through a hot and steamy sesh, suddenly laying down the drop sheet, whipping out the lube and a butt plug faster than you can say “I’M CUMING.”

Having a conversation before engaging in anal play with your partner, allows them to think about it without the pressure to say yes in the heat of the moment. An example of how you could approach the topic of anal play with your partner is; “I've been curious about exploring anal play together, and I was wondering how you feel about trying it with me?”

This allows your partner to share their thoughts because trust me if you slide the suggestion of anal play into the dirty talk mid-sex, most likely your partner will be physically shutting up shop (if you get my drift).

If you do get the green light to reverse park it, it’s important to discuss each other’s boundaries beforehand, for example; “I’m comfortable with fingers being inserted but nothing bigger for now.” As a sexologist, I recommend using the traffic light system, green is for keep going, orange suggests that you are hitting your threshold and red means stop. This is an effective tool for communicating your boundaries in the moment so that you and your partner have a safe, comfortable and pleasurable experience together.

Preparation leads to relaxation

It’s important to keep in mind that anal play should be a comfortable experience for everyone involved, all you need is a little preparation. Key essentials you will need are a good quality, body-safe lubricant (and lots of it…it should be a slip-and-slide down there), wipes (for clean up before, during and after anal) and condoms to protect you and your partner from contracting a STI.

Set the mood, an essential when it comes to anal play. Light a candle, put on a slow, sexy playlist, dim the lights, and create a space where you and your partner can feel relaxed. The ring of muscles at the base of the anus can be quite tight, and trying to force something into those muscles without lube or foreplay can cause pain. To have a pleasurable anal play experience, I recommend going slowly, taking time to build arousal and using LOTS of lube. Don’t try to force your way into the anus or push past the pain. It’s about the journey, not the destination!

To wash or not to wash?

The question on everyone’s minds…my advice? It’s a personal preference. Yes, anal play can get messy but does it have to be? Not at all! After trying anal, most people are genuinely surprised by how little mess (if any) there was during play. There are so many things that you can do to minimize the mess and feel sexy the whole time. Some things I’d recommend are: · Empty your bowels 30 minutes before you plan to have anal · Unless you are an acrobat, don’t attempt to wash your nether regions by performing a handstand in the shower. Instead, I recommend enlisting the help of your anal copilot and turning it into some cheeky foreplay. · You could also invest in an enema or a douche to use 1-2 hours before you plan to have anal (always follow the directions for use). · Keep those wipes near and dear at all times. These will be your bestie before, during and after anal play. · Finally, if you are switching between anal and vaginal play either with a toy, penis or finger, wash and wipe thoroughly before switching holes. This is as important as lubing it up…and you know how I feel about that. This will stop you or your partner from getting a pesky UTI.

Three techniques to get you started

There are many ways to enjoy anal play whether it be non-penetrative exploration (a good starting point) through massaging the outside of the anus or penetrative exploration with a penis, fingers or toy. The key is to start slow and gradual, working your way up to build arousal (with LOTS of lube). Try:

Ringing the doorbell

Press the pad of your thumb on the anus (like you are ringing the doorbell – Ding dong), then introduce stimulation, exploring rhythm, speed and pressure as you stimulate the anus. Similarly, you could try this technique with any of our vibrators.


Massage your index finger around the rim of the anus using a circular motion. You may wish to decrease the size of these circles, pressure and speed. If your butt play partner is enjoying this, you could slowly start to press your index finger into their anus.


Using your tongue or lips, gently stimulate the nerve endings around the outer rim of the anus and perineum. Feel free to get juicy with it, more lubrication equals a more pleasurable anal play experience!

From booty beginner to anal-aficionado

You’re knee-deep in the world of anal play at this point…did someone say ass-pert? The sky's the limit when it comes to anal play (it’s one very versatile hole). So how can you level up in the back door department? Try:

Blended pleasure

This involves stimulating not one, but two erogenous zones at a time (tell your partner to clear their schedule…you both are going to be there for a while). You could stimulate the clit, penis, nipples, ears or anywhere else on the body that makes you feel aroused whilst pleasuring the anus either through massage or penetration.


For the seasoned folk, start slow and of course use lube (buy in bulk if you have to beforehand, and put in a 7-litre bucket to be prepared). As a general rule of thumb, the person receiving sets the pace. Always work up to penetration with a penis or toy. Start with massaging the external part of the anus or penetrating with a finger, gradually moving up in size. If at any point there is pain or discomfort, stop or slow down.

All Things Butt Plugs

A butt plug is a type of anal sex toy with a flared base (this is a must for anal play) and a cylindrical head, it may or may not vibrate and is inserted into the anus. Butt plugs are a versatile toy that can be used for training (queue song “Let’s get physical”, a headband and some Lycra please), solo or with your partner.


Anal play is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll often see in porn, the focus is on anal penetration being hard and fast and while this may feel exhilarating, the anus requires training to get there (it’s a series of muscles after all). Training for anal penetration is a combination of utilizing relaxation techniques (breathe baby, breathe), physical exercises and of course pleasurable experiences. To get your sphincter muscles acquainted with the sensation of anal penetration, I recommend ‘warming up’ by working your way through a couple of butt plugs of varying sizes. Focus on breathing and calming the mind, start small, lube up (you’ll be dreaming about lube, I’ve mentioned it that many times) and gently insert the tip of the plug into the anus until you feel the ‘slimmest’ part of the butt plug held by the anus. You can keep it sitting here (continue with the grocery shopping…I’m joking…or am I?), and move on to pleasuring other erogenous zones, masturbate or try slowly (I’m talking snail’s pace) thrusting the plug in and out to stretch the elasticity of the sphincters. Now, this isn’t one of those things where you do it once and the next minute you’re riding an X-large penis in the booty hole…it takes time and patience. The first couple of training attempts, you may not be able to fully insert the butt plug and that’s totally ok!

Solo Play

Butt plugs can be a spicy way to switch up your solo play and a great foundation to test the waters of anal play in the comfort of your own company. I’d recommend leaving the butt plug inserted in your anus whilst stimulating other erogenous zones. For vulva owners, try using a vibrator on your clit, leave the butt plug in and then in the final moments of climax – slowly pull the plug out (it takes a little bit of coordination but thank me later…).

Couple’s play

Incorporating a butt plug into anal play with your partner is a game-changer. Why? Because everyone has an anus (so everyone can experience the pleasure of wearing a butt plug during sex) and secondly butt plugs stimulate the prostate gland, which can lead to some intense, full-body orgasms for both vulva and penis owners. Some people like to wear their plugs for the duration of sex (it gives that feeling of being full), and others like to insert and remove the plug at the peak of orgasm. To take it to the next level, you could try double penetration. For vulva owners, combining a butt plug in the anus with a penis, sex toy, or fingers in the vagina can achieve one of the most pleasurable orgasms (who’s in?).

Benefits of anal play

When given the preparation it deserves, anal play can lead to some pretty intense orgasms. Need I say more?

Anal play can be awkward, messy and unpredictable but it’s important to remember that as long as you and your partner actively communicate, consent and use safe practices then you can both have a really pleasurable, relaxing and authentic experience together.

P.S. Did I mention you’ll need LOTS of lube?


Read more on Stimulation:

Looking for more tips on how to level up your play in the bedroom? Check out our blog on ways to spice up your sex life, our guide to Foreplay as the Main Event or find out all you need to know about mutual masturbation.

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