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How to Prepare For Anal Sex

Before You Dive Into Anal Sex, You Need to Be Sure You're Properly Prepared

If you and your partner are ready to try anal sex, there's a lot of pleasure to be had, but there are also potential risks that involve some planning and preparation before getting started.

Safety is paramount with any type of sex. Sexually transmitted infections can be transmitted through anal intercourse just as they can through vaginal intercourse, and in some circumstances, transmission is higher. "Ensure all your partners, whether you are having vaginal, oral, or anal sex, have up-to-date testing for STIs. Anything, including a penis, that goes in the rectum should be thoroughly cleaned before being inserted in the vagina," San Diego-based gynecologist Dr. Christine Sterling said.

First, clean up. We probably already know that we will want to clean up after, but we should be doing so before as well. "Take a warm shower, relax your body, and clean carefully in preparation," psychologist and sex expert Antonia Hall said. It's very helpful to prepare your body so it's relaxed. When bathing, making sure to clean your genitals and anus, Hall said.

Then, you want to be sure to incorporate foreplay. "The genitals swell from front to back, so make sure there's plenty of stimulation to get blood flow into the area. Use lots of foreplay and some vaginal sex [if possible] to help get your body ready," Hall said. One thing to try is rimming. "Rimming is when a partner licks the area around your anus, and it can help relax the area and increase stimulation," Hall said.

Don't forget that lube is your friend and you should use a lot of it. "Silicon lube can work better than water-based for anal, because it doesn't break down as quickly or get sticky," Hall said. Lube is very important, so use more than you might think is necessary. It'll make it a more pleasurable experience for both of you.

Breathe deeply so you're relaxed. Play with what works best for you. Continue to keep your body relaxed as you prepare for penetration. "It can also be helpful to have a vibrator or fingers stimulating your clitoris as your partner slowly and gently enters you. Some people prefer to be on top so they can control penetration," Hall said.

Go slowly, so you don't tear delicate tissues in the anus. "The walls between the anus and vagina are thin, so penetration should be done carefully," Hall said. Anal tearing will be the reason for bleeding or pain later, so this step is very important.

But remember to clean after, just as you did before. "Of course, anything that's been inserted anally should be washed properly before it's inserted anywhere else," Hall said.

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