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First Time Anal Sex

What You Need to Know


First Time Anal Sex
David McGlynn/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Answering Your Questions

One of the biggest obstacles to safe and fun first time anal sex is the amount of misinformation out there. It’s hard to enjoy yourself if you’re worried about searing pain, mountains of fecal matter, a lifetime of incontinence, or what your sexual activities may or may not mean about the rest of your sex life. The good news is that anal sex can be completely safe and very fun, with no ill effects, as long as you have the information you need, and the desire to do it. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about anal sex from first timers.

The Most Important Part of Good Anal Sex

There’s one thing that’s more important than anything else if you want to have safe and pleasurable anal sex. Lubricant is important. Having protection like gloves and condoms is essential. But the number one thing you need if you want to enjoy anal sex is desire. You have to want to have anal sex and be excited about learning about it before you do it. You can have doubts or concerns. There’s no way of knowing you’ll like it until you try it. But if you don’t really want to try it, if you’re just going along with a partner for their sake, it’s going to be a whole lot harder to have it safely and to enjoy it. This is true for all sex. Because anal sex requires you to really relax, and to listen to your body, if you aren’t motivated to do those things (and desire is a great motivator) you should think about waiting or just doing something else.

Much Ado About Poo

Few of us are raised with positive feeling about fecal matter. Coming into contact with a bit of unwanted excrement is a common fear for people who haven’t had anal sex before. The truth is that unless you go looking for it, or intentionally make sure it’s there, there isn’t a lot of fecal matter involved in anal sex. But there is a little. The rectum and anal canal are not a storage space for feces, they are a passageway. So if you’ve had a healthy bowel movement that day, and do a little external wash up (maybe put your finger inside your anus a little way while your washing), there shouldn’t be more than microscopic fecal matter in your rectum. If this is a concern for you, read more below. If you or your partner think it’s more than you can handle, you may want to hold off on the anal sex for now.

Bad Combinations: Drugs, Alcohol and Anal Sex

This is not about morality, it’s about pleasure and health and safety. You can more easily hurt yourself having anal sex than vaginal sex, and one important way to keep yourself safe is to pay attention to your body while having anal sex. If you feel pain, you need to slow down, add more lube, talk a bit with your partner and/or switch up what you’re doing. But if you’re drunk or high you’re less likely to notice pain (or you may be more likely to ignore it). It’s probably not realistic to think that you’ll only have anal sex when your stone cold sober, but the first time you have anal sex, and the first time you have it with a new partner, it’s really important to be able to feel your body.

Start with Your Fingers

If you’re going to have anal sex with someone else, I highly recommend you try it on your own first. Whether you plan on being in front or behind, knowing your own anal anatomy, how it responds to touch, and how it feels to be penetrated anally, will make you a better anal sex partner. Anal masturbation is also a good way to give yourself space to discover other anxieties, concerns, turn ons, etc...as these may come to mind when you’re by yourself. You may find you don’t like taking it but you do like dishing it out. Regardless of whether you ever want to do it again, trying it once on your own is a good first step.

Lots of Patience, and Lots of Lube

After desire, the two required ingredients for every anal sex encounter are patience and lubricant. Forget everything you’ve ever learned about anal sex from pornography (almost none of it is representational of good sex and most of it is dangerous). With anal sex you have to start slow and build slow. And you have to use a good quality lubricant suitable for anal sex, and reapply lube during anal sex.

How Do You Do It?

The problem with telling someone how to have anal sex the first time is that it’s easy for them to think that what you're saying is the "right" way or the only way. There’s no one way to do it, and the best way can only be figured out by you and your partner. But before you're comfortable enough to improvise and try new things, first time anal sex can be a mystery, so here are some guidelines and tips for the first time, along with recommended resources for even more tips.

First Anal Sex Without Second Thoughts

It’s not realistic to think that every sexual experience you have will be one you’ll treasure the memory of forever. Many of us live with some sexual regrets. But there are things you can do to reduce the chance that the first time will be one you’ll regret for years to come. Worrying about sexually transmitted diseases or other negative physical consequences is a great way to reduce the pleasure you can get from anal sex. And anxiety about performance or expectations about earth shattering orgasms can also take away from the fun and pleasure. Plan ahead on both fronts and consider the possibility that if you can’t talk to your potential partner about these things, or if they’re unwilling to talk honestly with you about them; they may not be the right person to be having anal sex with. Also, even though lots of people have their first anal sex following the use of some drugs or alcohol, if your goal is to have pleasurable, safe, and fun anal sex you’re better off not being high or drunk the first time you do it. Learn more:

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