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Anal Sex & Analingus

Dr. Lisa Lawless

Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert

Plum, Anal SexAnal Play

Anal sex is simply the stimulation of the anus and/or rectum. It doesn't always include anal intercourse, but it can. Penetration is typically achieved with a penis, anal-safe dildo, or fingers.

Anal Penetration In Women Vs. Prostate Stimulation

Only cisgender men and people assigned male at birth have prostates. It is also known as the Male G-spot or P-spot (Prostate Spot) because it is similar to the G-spot in a female. When you stimulate both the head of the penis and prostate, it is similar to stimulating the clitoris and G-spot on a woman. It can lead to intense orgasms, so men often sexually enjoy prostate massage.

Prostate Diagram Prostate Massager

Cisgender women and people assigned female at birth have a G-spot (paraurethral/Skene's glands). The vagina and anus nerve centers share several common walls and paths. When stimulated together, women can experience enhanced pleasure through anal penetration. Thus, double penetration (simultaneous insertion into the rectum and vagina) can be an extraordinary sexual experience for a woman. Women also may enjoy exclusive anal stimulation, both around the rim of the anus and through insertion and penetration.

Skene's Glands and Vulva Diagram

This guide will explore basic anal stimulation and penetration.

Safety & Anal Sex Hygiene

Become educated about STDs if you are having anal sex. Also, avoid Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) by wearing condoms and avoiding cross-contamination of anal sex toys and those used clitorally or vaginally.

Preparation For Anal Play

  • To prepare for anal sex, the first thing the receiver needs to do is relax. Clenching the sphincter muscles due to being tense will certainly cause pain.

  • A hot bath or a sensual massage is a great way to relax. You can also lightly play with the anal rim before slowly penetrating. Make sure to use ample lubricant.

  • Make sure to discuss anal sex and be educated about it before starting to prevent a painful experience, as this can cause a long-term fear of the act unnecessarily. Discussing in advance a plan if pain occurs how to keep things relaxed and fun is an excellent place to start before any physical activity begins.

Bowel Movements

It's a good idea to have a bowel movement at least an hour before anal sex (if possible). This decreases bacterial contamination as well as messes that may not be desirable.

Cleaning Your Anus

Try to clean your anus thoroughly with hot, soapy water before any anal activities. A great alternative are disposable wipes; many people use them instead of toilet paper to clean up after a bowel movement.


An enema is when distilled and purified water is put into the rectal opening, held for a few minutes, and released. It helps to aid in constipation and remove fecal matter before anal sex. Some people find anal enemas sexually stimulating in addition to the mere cleansing aspect. Enemas do not eliminate all bacteria and germs from the anus and rectum.

Cleansing enemas (small volume enema) that use less than 500 ml of fluid are used to clean the lower part of the colon. Always follow instructions carefully with your enema prior to using one. You should consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have about performing an enema on yourself. See our How To Talk To Your Doctor About Sex for more helpful information.

Managing Bacteria

The entire anal region has a variety of bacteria inside and just outside it. You will want to be careful to avoid getting that bacteria into other orifices of your body to prevent infection. When you choose to give someone analingus (oral sex of the anus), you may risk getting sick from the bacteria present, no matter the hygiene of the recipient. You may want to use a finger or anal sex toy with lubricant for a similar effect without the risk.

Anal Safe Sex Toys

If you use a sex toy to stimulate yourself or your lover anally, you must ensure that it is safe to use. This means that the material should be nonporous to not harbor bacteria, fungi, mold, and viruses. It must also have a flared base or handle that will keep the sex toy from traveling up the rectum and becoming irretrievable. If you do not ensure these safety precautions, you may end up requiring surgery to address the damage caused or to retrieve the sex toy. Below you will see an x-ray of a person who did not practice safe anal toy play.

X-Ray of Sex Toy Stuck In Rectum

Please see our guides on Anal Safe Sex Toys for more helpful information:

Preventing Anal Trauma

The rectal area is a sensitive area of the body, and the deeper you go, the more it is spread open, the more you will feel. Make sure to avoid any sharp objects and do not thrust rigid items quickly into the rectum as you can cause serious damage. Another thing to consider is allergies to certain ingredients in lubricants, condoms (spermicide), and sex toys (like latex).

Stop When It Hurts

Anal sex should not cause pain. We do not recommend using desensitizers with benzocaine not to feel pain. If you are attempting to expand your anal opening and rectum to accommodate a larger penis or dildo, do so gradually by using a dilator set or smaller dildos to stretch the tissue slowly. It is essential to listen to your body to avoid causing damage.


Desensitizers can contain numbing drugs, including lidocaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, and prilocaine. The FDA has said that consumers should be cautious about using them without medical supervision because they have health risks, such as irregular heartbeats and even death. Please see our Desensitizing Lubes Guide for more information.

Oral Anal Sex

Analingus is licking or inserting the tongue into the anus to provide pleasure. Positioning where the receiver's butt cheeks are naturally spread, such as kneeling on all fours (doggie style) with their legs spread apart or on their back with their legs up in the air (again, legs spread apart), makes the anus easier to access.

Performing oral sex after analingus is not something that should be done as it may transfer harmful bacteria into the urethra (where urine comes out). This can cause a severe urinary tract infection which will have to be treated with antibiotics. One thing you can do before attempting oral sex after analingus is to brush your teeth and tongue and use a product such as Listerine thoroughly.

Condoms For Anal Sex

On February 23, 2022, U.S. regulators officially authorized a condom (ONE Male Condom) for anal sex, not just vaginal sex. Before this, there was never a condom specifically for anal intercourse because the CDC and other health authorities recommended condom use during any type of sex, not exclusively anal sex.

Due to the risk of STDs, condoms are an essential part of anal sex in casual relationships. It is also suitable for couples because the bacteria from the anus can get inside the urethra of the man's penis and cause a UTI - Urinary Tract Infection. When using condoms, make sure to use water-based lubricants with latex condoms, as an oil-based lube will break down and destroy the condom. If using polyurethane condoms, please see our article: The Myth About Polyurethane Condoms & Lubricants.

Fingering Techniques


This is a great way to introduce someone to anal sex to play with the rim of their anal opening. You can start slowly on the rim, stimulating the rich nerve endings there, and then work your way inside when they are ready. Making circular motions is often a nice rhythmic way, and making sure you use lubricant is essential.

Ringing the Bell

Take one finger and push on the anus without penetrating it, as though you were ringing a doorbell. Hold each push down for a second or two before releasing. You can vary the speed and pressure to make it more interesting.


This is when lubrication is essential. Start slowly inserting a little bit at a time into the anus while moving in and out. Once far enough in, you can build speed and pressure.

Multiple Fingers

Once a beginner is comfortable, you can add more intensity if you desire. Adding fingers as well as pushing against the walls while inside will add intensity. Some people even go as far as anal fisting. This is only for those well educated in fisting and taking precautions as it is a highly risky activity for infection, permanent damage, and trauma.

Anal Stimulation With Oral Sex

While performing oral sex, it can feel arousing for some to receive stimulation to their perineum, anus, and rectum. You can use fingers or a sex toy to stimulate the anus and begin circling the outer rim of the anus. If you decide to penetrate, use lubricant and slowly insert your finger or the sex toy upward about an inch and check in with how your partner is doing. If you continue to penetrate, proceed slowly.

During orgasm, the perineum and the anus can become highly charged orgasmic centers of pleasure and help provide intense orgasms. Another technique is to use anal beads, insert them during sexual play and pull them out at the moment of climax.

Anal Stimulation With Vaginal Sex

While performing vaginal intercourse, it can feel arousing to have simultaneous stimulation to the perineum, anus, and penetration to the rectum. You can use fingers or a sex toy to stimulate the anus and begin circling the outer rim of the anus.

Some sex toys allow for double penetration of two dildos at one time or the combination of a penis and dildo for double penetration. If you decide to penetrate, use lubricant and slowly insert your finger or the sex toy upward about an inch and check in with how your partner is doing. If you continue to penetrate, proceed slowly.

Penis Rings With Anal Stimulators

In Closing

Anal play can be pleasurable and healthy if you take precautions to ensure safety. Be careful to nurture and protect your health, understand risks, and be empowered through sex education.

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