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Q: I want to try anal but never have before. What should I do/try the first time to avoid pain?

A: Anal penetration can be a thrilling and pleasurable activity alone or with partner(s). But getting started can be daunting because of the idea that anal sex hurts – and it can if not done properly. Yet with a little know how and some good lube, you’ll be well on your way to a pain free and (hopefully) fun experience.

Before getting down to what you need for a positive experience, I do want to note that while some folks love anal penetration, others try it and decide it’s not for them. Both are totally ok!

So if you try these suggestions and you just aren’t feeling it, there isn’t anything wrong with you – your body may not enjoy this kind of stimulation and you can continue to explore other types of play.

So what do you need for first time anal play? The number one thing is LUBE – and lots of it! The anus does not self lubricate so if you don’t use lubricant you could end up tearing the delicate tissues of the anus and rectum.

What kind of lube should you use? Well, that’s up to you. We generally recommend a thick water-based lube like Sliquid Sassy for first timers because it provides a nice cushion that protects the anal and rectal tissues. It is also compatible with any anal toy you might choose to use so you don’t have to worry about material interactions. It does, however, absorb and dry out after a while so you will need to reapply it periodically depending on how long your play session goes. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can also try a thicker silicone-based lube like ID Velvet. It has the same cushioning properties as Sassy but it is silicone which doesn’t dry out. The downside here is that silicone lube can’t be used with silicone toys; so if you are using a silicone anal toy you will either have to put a condom on it or use a water-based lube instead.

Ok, so we’ve got lube covered. Now what? The second thing you need is time. Yep. The anus is a fickle creature and sometimes decides that it doesn’t want to play. I used to work with a sex educator who’d say that you need to “wine and dine the ass” and they weren’t wrong. You see, the anus is comprised of two sphincters

– the internal and the external sphincter. The external sphincter is under your control – you can tighten and relax it at will. The internal sphincter is not under your control. If the internal sphincter decides that it doesn’t want to relax, there isn’t much you can do to change its mind and you don’t want to force penetration if the internal sphincter isn’t relaxed because that is going to be a one way ticket to Painville.

So what do you do? Relaxing activities like deep breathing, a warm bath or shower, or a massage can help the entire body relax which, in turn, can help the internal sphincter relax. Foreplay and external anal massage can help as well. If you are playing with a partner, you can visually see when the anus has relaxed enough for penetration when it purses out almost like lips look when you blow a kiss. This relaxation may take some time the first couple of attempts. You might find there are some days when your body just can’t relax. That’s ok. You can always try again later. Just remember not to force it!

Finally, you can invest in a good beginner’s anal toy for both solo play and play with a partner. If you have never experienced anal penetration before, the sensations can be overwhelming. Playing with a small toy can help you get used to the sensations and then you can work up to a larger toy or penetration with a partner if you choose.

In the silicone category, we really like the Little FlirtThe Booty Plug, and the Luxe Rimmer Kit for beginner options that are on the smaller side, flexible, and easy to clean. But remember what we said about silicone lube? These silicone toys are a no-go with silicone lube; so if you really like silicone lube, you might want to go with a stainless steel plug like the NJoy Small Pure Plug. It is still small in size and easy to clean, plus it will give you some added weight and pressure which can be really pleasurable for some folks.

I hope this helps you in your journey. The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, stop. If something feels really right, then keep going!

If you have any other questions, our helpful staff educators are always here to help!

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