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Anal Sex Positions

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Updated April 09, 2014

It is a myth that pain or discomfort is always part of anal sex. Anal sex does not have to, and should not, hurt unless of course consensual pain is part of the goal of what you and your partner want (and in that case you need to be sure you know how to reduce the risk of harm).

Part of what goes into having comfortable and pleasurable anal sex is finding the right position. The three essential elements for any good anal sex position are that it allow the receiver to be relaxed and physically comfortable, that it gives the person doing the penetrating access to the area, and that it be a position that's easier to get into and out of, since often anal sex is slower and takes a longer time. If you're thinking about trying anal sex and aren't sure about the best position, know that the best one is the one that's best for you. And if you need a place to start, below are some of the most common positions.

Rear Entry or Doggy Style:

The rear entry position (also called doggy style) is probably most associated with anal sex. People seem to like this position for the depth of penetration it allows, for the fantasy and psychological aspects of being behind a partner, as well as for the leverage or traction that it offers both the giver and receiver. It may not be the best choice for first timers. This is because the position doesn't allow you to easily see your partners face, or even see much of their body other than their back and bum. When you are starting out you want to be able to get a lot of feedback, verbal and non-verbal, from your partner.

Knees on Chest:

The knees on chest sex position or other variations with the person being penetrated lying on their back with their legs up, can be great for people new to exploring anal sex with a partner. Both partner’s bodies are close to the ground which allows for more relaxation and less work. It also allows for plenty of physical touching which is so important during anal play to and it’s easy for either partner to use a sex toy to add to the stimulation. Placing a pillow under the lower back of the partner being penetrated can be helpful.

Side by Side Spooning:

Not the easiest anal sex position, side by side spooning, where both partners are facing the same direction, may still work for anal penetration. You can vary this position by having one partner almost on their knees penetrating the other partner who is lying on their side. The partner being penetrated can spread their legs in a scissor fashion. This position allows for a great variety of angles of penetration without having to switch positions. It also has the benefit of allowing both partners to lie down, which will work better for some bodies.

Receiver on Top:

Often it is recommended for people being penetrated for the first time (whether it’s anal or vaginal penetration) that they start out on top. The benefit of the on top sex position is that the person on top has complete control of the angle, speed, and depth of penetration. While this can work with anal sex some people find that they are less able to relax their anus and sphincter muscles when they are sitting up. It’s most important that the person being penetrated can relax completely, so this position may or may not work for any individual.

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