The ultimate guide to trying anal sex for the first time

Perhaps it was the chess grandmaster accused of cheating via the medium of anal beads, or maybe the extensive social media talk about pegging, but 2022 seemed to be all about taking the back door.

According to Lovehoney, this year will see anal play re-emerge further in our sex lives, with men and women alike exploring previously uncharted erogenous zones.

Yet, as vlogger, blogger and bestselling author Calum McSwiggan argues, this desire to experiment is still considered taboo.

‘I think a lot of people are fine to talk about it behind very closed doors,’ says Calum on the Smut Drop podcast. ‘But when it comes to public conversations, people aren’t so open about it. And I want that to change.’

If we’re not honestly talking about anal sex, we’re not learning the right way to do it, which leaves room for dangerous practices and misconceptions to take over.

So to avoid an awkward trip to A&E after your first foray into back passage fun, here’s everything you need to know.

Get comfortable

Calum’s first piece of advice when it comes to anal sex is to get comfortable and have ‘a bit of play by yourself’ to get used to the sensation. This will also help you get past stigma-filled misconceptions.

He explains: ‘This idea that it has to hurt, that it has to be uncomfortable, it’s a complete fiction.

‘I think it’s a bit of a vicious circle, because people think, oh no, this is going to hurt… then they tense up and that just makes it worse.’

If you’re looking to get started with anal, your best bet is to do so in a safe and relaxed environment. Get yourself a prostate massager (which can be used even if you don’t have a prostate) and take some time to learn what feels good.

Then, if or when you try partnered anal sex, it shouldn’t feel so intimidating.

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To douche or not to douche?

Many people are trepidatious about anal sex because they’re afraid there may be an ‘accident’ – and no, we don’t mean injuries, which we’ll also discuss.

The concern that your partner may encounter your bodily waste in the bedroom is a valid one, but it doesn’t need to put an end to your experimentation.

Calum recommends douching for anyone worried about hygiene before anal sex, as it can give you peace of mind while you’re in the throes of passion.

That said, it’s not a prerequisite.

‘If it gives you a clear head and enables you to relax and open up, then sure, give douching a try,’ says Calum. ‘But I don’t think anyone should ever feel like it’s something they have to do.’

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Get used to penetration in stages

A great anal sex experience can come down to your mindset, so Calum advises starting small (with no pressure or expectation) and building up to what feels good.

There are a number of training kits available that include different-sized buttplugs, and these can help you get acquainted with being penetrated.

Calum says: People are thinking what they’re doing is stretching out their anus, essentially. That’s not my view on it.

‘It’s it’s more about the psychological, it’s about getting used to the sensations and allowing yourself to relax into it.’

The We-Vibe prostate massager is another toy worth giving a go. Because of its small size and the fact it’s designed to stimulate this area, it’s a less intimidating option if others are scaring you off.

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Avoid injuries with plenty of lube

One of the most important tools in your anal arsenal is lubrication.

According to a Lovehoney survey, 8% of us have experienced an anal tear during sex – and nothing kills the mood like a painful injury to the butt.

‘All the lubricant in the world is your friend,’ says Calum, adding that water based options are generally a safe bet.

Never use oil based lubricants like petroleum jelly, as these can reduce the effectiveness of condoms and expose you to STIs or bacteria. Depending on the toys you’re using, you may also find silicone-based lubes are better or worse suited to your needs.

Aside from the type you use, Calum’s advice is to ‘be generous with your lube quantities,’ in order to keep things flowing nicely.

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Don’t worry about bells and whistles

Because of the mystery around anal sex, there’s a tendency to overthink it or place unnecessary expectations on ourselves.

In reality, there’s no prescriptive, one-size-fits-all way to try anal play.

Forget fancy pillows and specific positions: as long as you’re practicing safe sex where both partners’ needs are prioritised, that’s what matters.

‘It’s all about experimentation and finding what works for you,’ adds Calum. ‘Because no two bodies are the same.’

Smut Drop

Smut Drop is a weekly podcast with host Miranda Kane from Metro.co.uk, touching on sex, dating and relationships.

With no holds barred, it’s the home of sex positive chat, where Miranda will be joined each week by sexperts and special guests to explore the world of the erotic.

And we want to hear from you, too! As part of our podcast we’ll be sharing listeners’ experiences, thoughts and questions on a different theme every week.

So if you want to be involved in something brilliant – either anonymously or using your bold and beautiful name – drop us an email to [email protected] or slide into our DMs on Twitter @smutdrop.

With new episodes dropping every Wednesday, you can download Smut Drop from all your usual places.

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