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Why Does Anal Sex Hurt?

5 Reasons Anal Sex Might Be Painful For You

Anal sex has a bit of a learning curve, and as you give it a try for the first time, you may find it's a bit painful or uncomfortable in the beginning.

"It's no surprise, and it's totally OK if anal sex isn't as easy as 1-2-3 for you in the beginning. You're not alone with the ouch, but if you're worried about the pain or discomfort of anal sex, you might be missing a few steps," says Bethany Ricciardi, one of's sex and relationship experts. There's a number reasons you might be hurting during anal sex. Here's what to watch out for so you can enjoy it.

You're Skipping Foreplay

A lack of foreplay and proper blood flow can make anal painful and far more challenging. "The genital area fills front to back, so it takes a good amount of foreplay to have adequate blood flow into the area and be ready for penetration," says psychologist and sex expert Antonia Hall.

You're Not Using Lube

It's always important to use lubricant during anal play. "Unfortunately, our rectums don't naturally lubricate themselves. This is why anal lube is essential," says Ricciardi. Not using anal lube can lead to pain for the giver and the receiver. If you're using lube and still experiencing some pain, you can always use numbing lube or anal relaxing lube, says Ricciardi. "Anal sex toy kits also have everything for newbies when it comes to exploring anal stimulation," she adds.

You're Not Relaxing

"The anal sphincter [the muscles around the anal cavity] needs to be relaxed in order for penetration to occur," says Hall. Take deep breaths, and stimulate other erogenous zones, like the clitoris and nipples, so your focus is on pleasure and you can loosen up.

You're Not Switching Up the Angles

Make sure the person being penetrated is in a comfortable position (doggy style or on your side often work well) and supported by pillows and that the person penetrating is approaching gently, allowing the receptive person to set the pace. "Backing into their partner rather than being thrust into can help prevent pain and injury," says Hall.

Remember the area is delicate. "The tissue lining inside the anus is thinner and more delicate than your vagina, so it's important to go slowly, especially the first few times. A small amount of discomfort can be normal, but if there's continued pain, you should stop to prevent injury," the expert adds.

You're Not Easing Into It

No matter how you start, take your time when experimenting. You want to be careful not to damage or tear your butt by forcing something that is too large into your anal area. "You can try things like anal plugs or beads, vibrating or nonvibrating. Sex toys like this are perfect to practice stretching yourself to your desired size," says Ricciardi.

Butt toys are also a great addition during your regular intercourse. "Anal toys will be an amazing introduction to dual stimulation. If used properly, these sex enhancers can also deliver outstanding orgasms. Anal beads were designed to be inserted into the anal canal and then removed slowly; butt plugs feel best when removed during or right before climax," says Ricciardi.

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