They say that the brain is the biggest sex organ. But when it comes to anal, it may also be the greatest deterrent. Desire may begin in the mind, but so does anxiety. If you’re freaked out about anal or stressed to talk to your partner about it, you’re not going to feel very turned on. More importantly, you’re not alone. Most people have some trepidation about backdoor and feel like it might be painful, messy, dirty, wrong, or just really f-ing complicated. The biggest challenge when initiating acts of anal is that most of the information is very anal-sex centric; treating anal play like an inevitable road to full penetrative anal sex (be it with an anatomical penis or strap on).

In order to get out of your head and into your butt, take the pressure of anal sex off the table for a while. People can spend a fair amount of time exploring their sexuality on their own before “losing their virginity.” It can be the same with anal. Allow anal play to be a coming of age journey for your bum.

Ass play should be just that–play. It’s not a series of steps only taken on the road to anal sex. This is a non-linear opportunity to enjoy an erogenous zone. Think of anal play like “Choose Your Own Adventure” where the following are just some of your options!

Anal tips

This is often seen as Phase One of an anal sex game plan, but it can also be a standalone experience. To prepare, consider a little mental masturbation. Think about anal play and give yourself space to imagine it. Do this while actually masturbating and let your hands explore your gorgeous ass. Give it a squeeze. Drip a little water based Jelly lube down your butt crack and just experience that feeling. Rub it in like a nice massage. Maybe slide a finger towards your anus and apply soft pressure to wake up all those nerve endings you’ve heard so much about. Press in softly. Press in more firmly. Keep working that frontend masturbation. Repeat as needed and desired.

Anal tips

Do this alone a few times before inviting your partner into your anal exploration. After you’ve had time to think and fantasize about anal, it’s easier to later articulate while keeping the element of play in the conversation. Keep it lighthearted and open when telling your partner that you might like using a toy while they lick your butt crack and try to be receptive to their response. No pressure! (It just makes you clench up your anus, anyway.)

Once you allow for physical exploration, it becomes easy to recognize what feels right for your body, separate from what you think you should or shouldn’t want. When you bring your partner into preparation and exploration, it can be as simple as verbal play and sharing fantasies. Let them know you’re not ready to physically engage in anal play, but that you’d really like to start fantasizing about it. It’s incredibly erotic. For example, you can be having your usual sex and start moaning in their ear that you want them to think about your pretty little butthole when they orgasm. It is truly possible that a verbal invite will be an added layer when they climax.

Remember! Preparation also includes washing your anus and genitalia with fragrance free, body-safe cleanser before and after exploration. Sanitize any toys, use condoms, and if anything goes in the booty, clean it before putting it in anyone’s vag or mouth.

Anal tips

Play grab ass. Put your partner’s hand on your butt and ask them to give it a squeeze. Get into some spank action. Have a naked massage night and ask your partner if they’d like you to focus on their glutes (bonus points for sexy spa role play). Celebrate the derrière! Again, this is one incredibly fun thing on its own that can lead to another form of sex, a killer massage, or anal fingering.

If it leads to fingering, remember to use lube, go slow and press gently around the rim of the anus. We have two sphincters, so if your finger or theirs seems to slip in easily to the first knuckle, pause here and press the outer edges in a tiny circular motion. Check in verbally on how this feels for you both. Once you slide in further (mid knuckle) you should be past that secret second sphincter. Once insertion is comfortable, doing some in-out penetration is usually pretty comfortable, if not totally hot. This can be done while making out, getting oral, or having sex.

Anal play toys

Unbound romp

Use lube, start small, go slow. It’s pretty simple. There’s no hard and fast rule that you have to try a finger before you can use toys–just use a non-porous toy with a small tip (like the silicone Romp). Don’t worry about sticking it in all the way, either. Lube it up and rub it down the length of your crack, dip a bit of it in, remove, repeat. Cocktail your toys and get a clit vibe or sucker going while you also play with your sweet new butt plug. Always use an anal toy that has a flared base or handle so that it doesn’t get lost in your rectum.

This exquisite word means “rimming” or licking of the anus. You probably have a friend who talks non-stop about how amazing it is and another one who is horrified by the idea of it, or some who give but don’t receive. This is all great! Everyone can make their own call when it comes to tonguing the tuchus. But if you’re feeling ready to try it, then carpe diem!

cat/cow pose

We can’t go over all the cool compound activities or approaches to take on how to incorporate this into your sexual repertoire, so here’s a lesser-known tactic to consider. Blend analingus with mutual masturbation and talking dirty. Get on all fours (cat/cow pose to the yogis), or any pose that makes you feel sexy while also drawing attention your protruding butt. Play with a vibrator and do some deep tongue kissing with your partner. They may also be using a toy or masturbating with their hands. As you work yourselves into that deep pleasure zone, aka the plateau phase, simply ask them to lick your ass. Remember how we talked about casually mentioning analingus? This, my friends, is a call back.

anal sex

This is not the final frontier. The aforementioned steps are recommended before getting into anal sex, but you might stay playin’ in those realms for years before going for Greek. Maybe you never go there.

As in life, ass play is about the journey as much as it is the destination, so enjoy the ride.

Stephanie Salyers is an author, content creator and SAR certified sexuality educator based in Los Angeles. Her ability to blend sensuality with humor and pop-culture enables her to bring a fresh perspective to a variety of projects. This hybridity can be seen in her graphic novel NVRLND. As a contributor for Unbound, Stephanie loves working with badass babes dedicated to revolutionizing the sex industry. Find Stephanie on Instagram and Twitter for more information on upcoming projects and events.

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