There’s no right or wrong way to approach anal play but a little prep goes a long way. Especially if you’re giving it a go for the first time, it can be daunting but there’s so much pleasure to be had. Here’s some groundwork to get you going:
My Anal Kit
Including: Soap and water, wet wipes for nearby, toys in varying sizes, YES BUT lubricant, CBD oil, lavender essential oil and herbal tea.
One of the ever-present anxieties surrounding anal play is cleanliness. Acknowledging that the anal canal’s primary purpose is excretion is key. It sounds crude but accepting your body’s natural functions is necessary if you’re going to enjoy sensual play and not get distracted by qualms about what might happen. Including your anus in masturbation familiarises you with the way your body works. Helping you to let go in the moment.
This being said, if your system is regular, faeces isn’t normally stored in the rectum unless you’re expecting a movement. Try to go to the bathroom (if possible) 30 – 120 minutes before you start, this should leave your rectum clear. The anus can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so cleaning the outside with a mild soapy water or a non-perfumed wet wipe, is advisable too. For peace of mind, some people prefer to douche or enema. This isn’t necessary, but if it aids you to relax, then you can buy kits from the pharmacy. It's nice to keep some wet wipes nearby for afterwards too.
Lubricant is the first thing anyone will tell you about butt stuff. Unlike the vagina, the anal canal isn’t
self-lubricating, the tissues inside the rectum are also less elastic and therefore more vulnerable to tears and fissures. This is why it requires lubricant and a lot of it!
The anus lends itself to a thicker lube in order to create a smoother friction barrier. Silicone-based formulas tend to be thicker and therefore they glide well, they also last longer on the surface of the membranes and work with condoms. However, they aren’t compatible with silicone or rubber toys. Water based is another good option. It’s easy to clean and condom safe but try to choose one that’s heavy, the thicker the better. I would recommend “YES BUT" which is a viscous water-based lubricant that covers all the bases. It’s balanced to match rectal pH which is neutral compared to the comparatively acidic vagina. It's also certified organic and much like Fine Bone made from sustainable, ethically sourced ingredients. win win!
The anus is made up of 2 sphincters which form a muscular ring at the base of your rectum. The external sphincter is the “hole” that we recognise on the outside of the body and the internal one is about 1 – 1.5 inches inside. Relaxing these sphincters (particularly the inner one) is key to avoiding pain and enjoying pleasurable penetration. Setting the tone can help, be that lighting a scented candle or having a large glass of red. You become more relaxed the more aroused you are, so starting small and engaging in all areas of foreplay is essential. If you’re with a partner then communicate… For me one of the loveliest things about anal play is the intimacy of checking in with your partner’s experience. Remembering there’s no aim and you can stop any time you like.
If you feel stressed, the body can go into panic mode. In this situation the sphincters and pelvic floor clench up and that’s why people sometimes experience a cramping pain if they go from 0 – 60 too speedily. There are a lot of plug sets on the market, which come in a range of sizes from small to large, so that you can “train” the muscles to accommodate larger girths step by step.
And it works both ways. There’s a lot of evidence that anal play can actually help to make you feel more relaxed as a person. In Jack Morin’s book Anal Pleasure and Health: A Guide for Men, Women, and Couples, he suggests exploring your anus is a good method of de-stressing your body both physically and mentally on a day to day basis.