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Thinking about anal sex for the first time? From how it feels to how to do it, we worked with sexpert, Charlotte Creplet, to get to the bottom of the questions around anal pleasure for vulva owners!
First things first, sex is sex - be that solo, partnered, intercourse or outercourse. Take the same approach when it comes to ‘anal sex’, and the pleasure possibilities might increase. Anal play is another way of discovering yourself, your body and what you do or do not enjoy. Remember, just like anything in our sex life - nay, life in general - you don’t have to enjoy it, and you absolutely won’t if you force yourself to do it. Listen to your body.
This is a beginner’s guide on how to do anal , for people with vulvas!
Much like the vagina, most of the anal nerve-endings are not that deep inside. And, you guessed it, the outer part around the anus, called the perianal region, is also very erogenous. There’s a lot of nerve endings that can make the stimulation of both regions very pleasurable. That being said, we all experience pleasure in different ways, it’s down to personal preference - some of us might really like anal stimulation, and some of us really not.
Real, informative sex education is key to helping you understand your body, so here’s a look at the anal anatomy through a pleasure-based lens and why some of us may really like anal sex...
The anus, or what’s visible between the butt cheeks, is the opening to the rectum. It is made up of two muscular rings: the internal and external sphincter. The anus is rich in nerve endings, most of which are centred just around the opening. And this is why anal stimulation can be so pleasurable.
At the base of the spinal cord lies the pudendal nerve. This main nerve helps us feel pleasure during orgasm, because it’s smaller nerves attached to the bladder, anus, and the clitoris - all of which help send signals to the brain about what feels good.
Here we can also find the PC or kegel muscles. They stretch from the pubic bone to the tailbone, forming the floor of the pelvic cavity. If you’ve ever squeezed out that last drop of pee, you were using these muscles. They also contract during orgasm and sexual pleasure.
The perineum, also known as the perineal sponge, is located just at the bottom of the vagina opening and the anus. It’s made up of blood vessels, nerve endings and erectile tissue. When aroused it becomes swollen with blood, compressing the vagina and vestibular bulbs, creating a tighter feeling.
Now you know how and why anal stimulation can feel so good, here’s some butt stuff to consider before going straight to penetrative anal…
If you are curious to try anal, here are some tips to make it an enjoyable experience and maybe unlock more of your pleasure potential…
Although anal sex can be super pleasurable for vulva owners, it doesn’t mean you have to like it. Listen to your own body and desires, even when with a partner - penetrative sex, anal or vaginal, should please you as much as it does them.
Simple but essential: just relax. Not only will it help you enjoy the moment, but it will also help your body - and your anus - be less tense. The more you are relaxed and comfortable, the better the experience will be. Breathe, don’t overthink, just enjoy the moment and all the sensations of this intimate time with your partner.
Don’t try anal without taking the time to prepare your body. And for that, outercourse is key. It will increase your desire and awaken your body to new sensations. Kissing, caressing, licking… the more aroused you are, the more you will be ready to enjoy this new experience. Clitoral stimulation is a no-brainer for vulva owners, and don’t forget you can also try massaging the perineum and around the anal opening with a vibe to get comfortable with exploring a new erogenous area.
Don’t be shy with the lubricant; the more you use, the more enjoyable it will be. Anal sex requires good lubrication, so be sure to use one that is water-based (condom & sex toy friendly). A thicker, gel-like liquid will provide good cushioning, friction-free sensation and is less likely to dry up quickly. On that note, be sure to reapply during penetration too - lube isn’t just a starter!
When it comes to anal penetration, the first step can feel uncomfortable: inserting the head of the penis or toy. Breathing deeply and relaxing can help a lot. After this first step, the pain (if any) should stop. Otherwise, pause for a moment, and take the time to increase your desire with other types of stimulation. Come back to anal play when you are really aroused and excited. Remember, anal is not a quickie, but a slow and sensual sexual experience.
Many people with vulvas say that the position is what makes the difference. The most common anal sex positions? Lying flat on your stomach is a favorite to get started. After a while, some experiment with doggy style as it puts the receiver in complete control of speed and depth. Being on top also gives you this type of control and guidance of rhythm. If you are the receiver, a missionary position with your legs straight up in the air and knees bent, can be pleasurable but takes some warming up to do.
Each of us has our own preferences, and you must test different things to know what you like best. Which, can also change with different partners, and types of penetration ie penis, strap-ons, toys. Just like with vaginal penetration, external clitoral stimulation can really boost pleasure and increase likeliness of orgasmic penetration. So, think about positions that allow for your clitoris to still be reached by you or your partner.
Use a condom for protection, and never go from anal penetration to vaginal penetration with the same condom, finger or toy. Change the condom first. You can even jump in the shower together to take the session to a new place, and keep clean at the same time.
Make sure you and your partner talk, and ask how it is. Use words and sounds to communicate whether something feels good or uncomfortable, this is a sensual experience that you’re experiencing together for the first time.
Many vulva owners are afraid about the risk of pooping during anal sex, or whilst giving anal penetration with a strap on or toy. Besides the fact that it is rare, remember that your partner is aware of the small risk - and it’s a decision you’ve taken together. You’ve both already decided that the pleasure potential outweighs any awkwardness! If there is a misfortune, it’s totally natural. Just be respectful of keeping proper hygiene.
Still not ready to try yet? Or, tried it but didn’t like the experience? It’s no big deal. Really. Anal sex is not for eveyone, and your partner must respect that it is just not your cup of tea. Listen to your body, and know that your pleasure is no less important than your partners!
Learn more about our pleasure anatomy with Vulva Talks, a free sex education platform for people with vulvas.
Cheesy puns aside, a lot of people associate using lubricant with sexual dysfunction, a sign of ageing or some kinky sex play.
Mention lube and two things spring to mind – ‘anal sex’, and ‘she’s not turned on’. And while the original use of lube was penetrative sex, if you only stick to those uses you are missing out on a whole lot of fun!
Beyond creating sensual products for women, we like to sit and write about female sexuality. This week, let’s talk oral sex!