Anal Sex Guidelines

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Dear Sex Counselor,

My partner and I want to explore anal sex, but we have a bunch of questions for you ...


Ok, then let’s go question by question:

Do we always need an enema before anal sex?

No, that’s a personal decision, and there are health reasons NOT to do that. Enemas can damage the surface skin of the rectum.  Some people feel more comfortable knowing that the rectum is completely cleaned out. But if you use condoms, even over toys, it really doesn’t matter. Some people find enemas to be a turn-on, which is really a separate issue.

Should you always have bowel movement after enemas are administered?

Only if there is something to come out. If you’ve already had a bowel movement, and you normally only have one a day, you may not have anything but the water come back out.

Should we start out small when when putting something in a butt?

That’s another personal choice - whatever is most comfortable for the recipient. If the person is comfortable with two fingers at a time, or a two-finger-wide toy, then start there. If she or he is most comfortable with one finger, or a one-finger-wide toy, start there.

Is there any difference between what can go in a woman’s vs. man’s butt?

No, not really. The biggest difference between men and women’s anal anatomy is that men have the prostate gland that is stimulated during anal penetration, and women do not. So many men experience additional pleasure from anal stimulation. For both men and women you want to use toys that can bend as your rectum bends, or toys that are short if they are straight and stiff.

Can I explore anal play by myself, or should I always have a friend assist me?

It’s absolutely fine to explore anal play alone. There are tons of toys out there to help you explore anal pleasures. Check out the "Exploring Anal Play and Pleasure" section of our site (you’ll find it in the "Adult Toys and Playthings" section) - plus, you can explore using any of our silicone dildos in the dildo section of our site.

What other important things do I need to know? We used tons of Vaseline, and we cleaned all items and fingers with soap and water after exiting one person and before entering someone else.

If you are sharing toys, you really should cover them with unlubricated condoms, rather than just trusting soap and water to clean them.

You may want to try a nice thick water-based or silicone lubricant as well, instead of Vaseline. It’s better for your toys, and easier to clean up. For anal play, we recommend something thick and long-lasting, like Slippery StuffSex Grease, or Sliquid Organics Gel. It’s especially important to use lots of lubricant during any anal activities, since the anus and rectum don’t produce their own lubricant. Just remember - if you’re using silicone toys, don’t use them with a silicone-based lubricant, or they’ll melt!

Thank you again for helping me out.

Hey, I’m happy to help, as long as you all are enjoying yourselves and it’s always consensual.

The Sex Counselor