Whether you’re new to anal sex or a pro, knowing how to get ready is key to safe and satisfying backdoor play. Indeed, preparation is just as important for safety as it is for comfort and pleasure.
Here, we’ll learn how to prepare for anal sex.
Anal Sex Prep: What You Need to Know
Anal sex is a common sexual practice across different genders and sexualities. Engaging in a few practices beforehand can help everyone feel more comfortable and less inhibited. It can also prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Decide on Your Type of Anal Play
Knowing what kind of anal you’re interested in can help make the experience easier and more fun. Here are some of the most common types of anal play.
- Penis in Anus: Quite self-explanatory, P-in-A sex is what most people think of when talking about anal sex.
- Toy in Anus: When it comes to anal sex toys, your options are many. From realistic anal dildos to vibrating butt plugs that can be controlled remotely, you have a range of products to choose from.
- Digital Penetration: If you’re a beginner, feeling a toy or penis in your anus can be quite intimidating. Using your fingers is one of the best and safest ways to try out anal sex. This gives you the chance to be both the giver and receiver, which can be super-helpful when trying it out with a partner.
NOTE: Make sure that your hands are thoroughly cleaned and your nails neatly trimmed.
- Oral: Also known as anilingus, rimming, or ‘tossing salad’, it is where a person stimulates the anus of another by using their mouth, including lips, teeth, and tongue. If the receiver has had normal, regular bowel movements, this act is usually hygienic. However, it’s always advisable to use an anal douche or enema (if your doctor advises) to be safe.
2. Clean the Anus
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anal has the highest risk of transmitting HIV/AIDS if either partner is infected and no condom is used. The receptive partner might be at risk because the rectum’s lining is quite thin, and HIV can enter their bloodstream through rectal mucous membranes.
The giving partner may also be at risk because HIV can enter their body through the urethra or open cuts or scrapes on the penis. It can also spread other infections, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella, and giardiasis. Using a condom can prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Cleaning up before and after anal sex also reduces exposure to some deadly bacteria and parasites.
Rectal douching, also known as anal douching, is the act of inserting water into the rectum and anus to clean them, typically in preparation for anal sex. While there are many popular anal douches, avoid the pre-filled ones since they come with some negative effects.
NOTE: Certain studies state that rectal douching can increase the chances of getting an STI. Consult your doctor before using one.
An enema is the introduction of a fluid, or occasionally a gas, into the rectum and large intestine via the anus to either administer medication or flush out colon contents.
When using an enema kit at home before anal sex, follow the user manual carefully. Do not add any solutions to the kit or force more water through the anus than recommended. Always use lukewarm tap water or a saline solution that comes with the enema kit.
- Other Options
If you’re not in favour of using an anal douche or enema, simply clean your anus in the shower immediately before anal sex. You may also consider wiping the rectum with organic (chemical-free) intimate wipes to ensure there’s no stray fecal matter. Following a high-fibre diet to help with firm and regular bowel movements will also keep the anus clean and reduce the risk of a messy encounter.
- Cleaning the Penetrating Toy/Penis
Cleaning the penis will not contain the spread of STIs, but cleaning it, sex toys, and other penetrative objects can reduce the spread of certain bacteria and parasites. The right cleaning technique depends on the material of the toy:
- Glass and stainless-steel toys: Clean with mild soap and water.
- Hard plastic: Wash with antibacterial soap or wipe with antibacterial wipes.
- Silicone: Boil for 5–10 minutes or wash in the dishwasher. Antibacterial wipes or soap can also clean silicone.
- Electrical toys: Unplug the toy, and follow the user’s manual cleaning instructions. Do not submerge the cord or any electrical parts in water. Pat with a clean cloth and allow it to dry thoroughly before using.
- Porous material toys: Follow the user’s manual. Typically, one should use soap and water on leather and nylon toys; use only water for vinyl items.
Be sure to wash all parts, including fabric attachments. For example, wash a cloth strap-on harness in the washing machine if the label indicates it is safe to do so. Clean each product immediately after use to avoid bacterial growth. It is safe to use condoms even while using sex toys, as this lowers the risk of spreading germs and infections.
- Stock Up on Lube
Unlike the vagina, the rectum isn’t self-lubricating, so use lots of lube when experimenting with anal play — even if you’re using dildos or fingers. Oil- and silicone-based lubes are thicker and longer-lasting, making them great for anal play. However, when using silicone anal toys, avoid silicone-based lubes, as these can damage them.
NOTE: If you’re using condoms (on a penis or a sex toy), make sure that your lube is water-based, as oil-based lubes tend to degrade latex.
Anal sex presents a higher risk of infection than other sexual practices but can be safe and highly enjoyable if done right. If you experience pain, bleeding, or other issues during anal sex, consult your doctor.