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Unbound's Guide to Anal Play

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Welcome to the Unbound Guide to Anal Play!  Just so we're all on the same page, we like to roll anal sex and any other types of anal stimulation under the umbrella term "anal play" in order to be more inclusive and to open the meaning up a bit. Whether you're new to everything here or just looking to brush up on backdoor pleasure, we're glad you're here. 

Let's lay down some ground rules to start, just because you're curious about stimulating a certain area of the body, doesn't mean you need to engage in every activity under the sun that has to do with that part. You might be interested in some level of anal penetration, like a finger or a small plug but not interested in using something larger or thrustier (not a word but you know what we mean). There's nothing wrong with that. Everyone has their own tastes, preferences, and speeds. If you're a solo explorer, anal play can be a really great way to explore your pleasure without a partner. If you're exploring with a partner, make sure you communicate your interests and boundaries and understand the boundaries set by your partner.

Let's talk pain: stay away from any anal numbing creams. You need to be able to assess pain and discomfort because it’s your body’s way of signaling when something is too much. Numbing creams can make you more susceptible to anal tearing and injury because you won’t know when to stop. It’s important to learn how to work with your body and take it one step at a time.  One of the most important things we can understand about our bodies is how to read pleasure and pain.

The anus is not self-lubricating like the vagina, so you'll always want to use lube. We recommend a gentle water-based lube like Jelly. If you're totally new to anal play or it's been a while, start small and start slow. 

And finally:

Will there be poop? 

It’s safe to say that whenever an instrument enters an orifice on the body, some remnants might be present when said instrument is removed. Ear wax, discharge, saliva, boogers–if something is going in, chances are, a little extra might come out too. It is normal and not something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. You poop, we poop. If you’re worried about germs associating with using anal play, consider using a condom or gloves and remember to wash your toys thoroughly after use with warm water and mild soap.


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Empty your bowels 12-24 hours before to avoid any extra pressure 

Avoid high-fiber foods or poo-inducing foods.  Don’t fast either. 

A little soap and water to clean up in advance. 

Don’t cross-contaminate.  If something has been used for anal play, consider it out of play for further use until properly cleaned.


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Every asshole has an internal sphincter and an external sphincter. The job of these contracted circular muscles is to control poo exiting the body. The outer gets all the glory as its movement is voluntary whereas the internal is involuntary.

Most people experience pain during anal sex when they are unaware of the internal sphincter–it’s sort of like a hidden barrier. The safest way to prep for anal is to lube up a finger or small butt plug, and rub it gently around the anus to massage and relax it before pressing in. Imitate a “ringing the doorbell” motion and use about the same amount of pressure. When the anus is relaxed, the finger or toy may slip in surprisingly easily. This is what happens right before someone gets hurt. Be cautious when proceeding and remember that the second sphincter is not yet prepared. It’s best to pause when you are up to the first knuckle (or about one inch deep) and continue the light circles and gentle pressing to allow your internal sphincter to relax. Then decide if going further is a good idea. Sometimes it’s not and you have to stop, wash hands, and go back to other types of erotic play.


The prostate is an almond-shaped gland located between the bladder and the penis.  Start with an external massage around the perineum (skin between the scrotum and anus), using two lubricated fingers.  Next, insert your fingers until you are about an inch into your partner’s anus.  Gently press in forward “come hither” motions (you should be pressing towards the front of your partner’s body).  As you explore, you’ll discover the round bulb of tissue that is the prostate.


a note on anal bleaching

Due to an increase in melanin in the area, you might notice that that area around your anus is slightly darker than the rest of your skin. Although you rarely see this in porn, it is normal and there is nothing to be ashamed or worried about. While there are ways to remedy this, many of them are painful, expensive, and put you at a greater risk for infection. Proceed with caution or your life.


With excerpts from "Everything You Wanted to Know About Anal But Were Too Afraid to Ask" by Stephanie Salyers


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