Anal 101: Everything You Need to Prepare!

In sex, preparation is key. Without it, things can immediately descend into chaos. Any stimulation might not feel good, penetration might hurt more than necessary and infection comes at a higher risk. That's why it's incredibly important to prepare the body for sexy time, so it can perform at its best, without regrets.

But if there's anything that needs more preparation than the rest, it's the anus. That's because it's a highly sensitive area like the vagina or penis. Touching it feels good but only if done right.

That's what we're going to talk about here! We're running down Anal 101 which is everything you need to know in order to prepare for the best anal ever.

What is Anal Play?

What is anal play anyway? According to Planned Parenthood, it's defined as "penis-in-anus (butt) intercourse."

If anal play is defined as such while traditional intercourse is defined as "penis-in-vagina", then shouldn't it have the same preparation process?

Not necessarily. Based on the same article, the anus doesn't produce its own lubrication unlike the vagina so stimulation and penetration will be harder to do. To mitigate this, the best route to take is to apply much lube onto the area to ensure that despite the positions and techniques, the anus will be safe from ripping apart.

What to Do Before Anal Play?

What to Do Before Anal Play

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, it's incredibly important to prepare your body before engaging in any form of sex, especially anal play. Before hitting it from the back, it's crucial to take the time and do these steps as mentioned in Self in order to attain the smoothest, stress-free experience, even when it's one's first time getting into anal:  

  • Decide on the kind of anal play. Just like vaginal intercourse, there's a variety of options an individual or a couple could do in anal and that includes:

    • Penis-in-anus

    • Toy-in-anus

    • Finger-in-anus

    • Mouth-in-anus

It's important to consider at which stage one is at when it comes to sex because if they're still at the beginner stage, then starting small like using the mouth and fingers to stimulate the anus is recommended. On the other hand, if one has a lot more experience with how their body responds to different forms of pleasure, then leveling up to trying a toy or penis in the anus would be the perfect spice to add on.

  • Get as much lube as possible. As mentioned previously, it's important to have more lube than less because the anus doesn't get slick as a vagina does so it needs support in that aspect. It's much better to add too much than to end up with too little and expose your anus to the possibility of it getting hurt or worse – contract a sexually-transmitted-disease (STI). It's also important to choose the type of lube as some kinds might be allergic to oneself or one's partner. There are three types: oil-based, water-based and silicone-based. Apart from advice from a medical professional, consider also the main properties of each lube:

    • Oil and silicone-based lubes are thicker in consistency and longer-lasting but oil-based lubes can break down a condom and silicone-based lubes shouldn't be used when toys are involved as it can erode their material.

    • If one's participating in anal with toys in hand, then they're better off with using water-based lube. Just keep in mind to re-apply it more often than the rest.

  • Make sure your toys are safe for anal. While this may sound like common sense, it's important to remember the fact that toys must be made with body-safe and non-porous materials to ensure that no bacteria will enter the toy and your body!

  • Also get some condoms too. That's because you can never be too sure! It's always better to use a lot of protection than to throw everything to the wind. Again, make sure that the condom material is compatible with your lube and isn't allergic to oneself or to your partner.

  • Remember that most of the body's toxins escape out of the anus. Yes, that includes poop. Engaging in anal opens up the possibility of encountering poop…and that's okay. It shouldn't be used to shame oneself or one's partner because it's the body's natural product of digestion and clean-up.

  • Clean up as much as possible down there. This is perfectly connected to the previous point. Since poop is imminent, the best course of action is to clean-up the anus as much as possible. Enema is the best way for this as it involves "pumping water or saline into the rectum to dissolve any stool that's hanging out in there, making it easier to poop out."

What if There's Only a Day to Prepare?

Healthline has an answer for that! Just in case one finds themselves agreeing to a spontaneous meet-up for the sole purpose of getting wild and dirty on the behind, there's still a way to prepare the anus and end up confident in engaging in anal play!

Start with setting the scene. The date arrives inside and before they do any foreplay, politely stop them to go for a quick bathroom break.

If the date isn't blind by the horny yet, and one finds themselves inside the bathroom, it's ideal to either expel the poop or any bodily waste naturally or through an enema.

But just in case the date is alluringly impatient, the best course of action is using wet wipes to clean your entire behind, with special attention to the start of the show: the anus. Then, the trick is in setting the expectation so that the date is aware of the lack of preparation because there was simply no time.

Once in bed, make sure to use that lube for what it's worth! Pour it over the anus and work it in gently with fingers. Again, this makes sure that either the penis or a toy can slide in smoothly and lessen the overwhelm that naturally happens when engaging in anal play.

In case your date has a penis, then make certain that they're wearing a condom to avoid any transmission of diseases as well.

If one's wary of dirtying the bed mid-sex, then lay down a blanket or towel to protect it before engaging in anal foreplay that usually involves the fingers or mouth stimulating the hole and getting it as loose as possible.

In the words of Cosmopolitan: "whether they're using their penis or a strap-on/dildo, going slow will allow you to have the time to adjust to the size and sensations without becoming overwhelmed or off-put by the feeling."

Doing it slow will allow the opportunity to try different anal sex positions such as:

Back It Up

Back It Up

Looking an anal sex position suitable for beginners? Back it Up has you covered! It's meant to target shallow anal penetration. Most of the nerves that deliver pleasure to your brain are located around the sphincter muscles. This makes shallow anal penetration ideal, as it delivers a great amount of pleasure without having to penetrate deeply or thrust too hard.

The Doggy

The Doggy

Yes, this classic "all-fours" position is elevated because instead of pleasuring the vagina from behind, it's the anus – giving that pleasurable twist to a timeless position.

The Missionary

The Missionary

Indeed, it is still possible to do anal play while being in missionary! The difference lies in the intent. Just make sure that if one's inserting a penis, toy or strap-on, it's sliding inside the anus and not the vagina.

What if There's More Time to Prepare?

If time is on one's side then participating in a thorough preparation process (like the one mentioned above) is recommended! But here are some additional tips from Healthline to set the anus up for success:

  • Learn the anatomy of the anus. Doing so will give one the working knowledge on what feels good and the assurance that stimulating certain parts will feel good and avoid as much hurt as possible.

  • Train the anus. Yes, the anus can be trained to take a penis, toy or strap-on! It's best said by Healthline as: "gradually stretching the anus with a set of anal dilators or plugs, in varying sizes, starting with the smallest and working your way up over time to a larger size."

  • Invest in a sex throw. This is the cover that's meant to prevent any bodily fluid getting to the bed. It's waterproof and wide enough to cover most of a mattress, definitely taking away the worry of ruining the mattress forever. No more shelling extra cash on unintended purchases – all because one needed to get their anus pleasured to the moon and back!


Does one need to shave or wax down there for anal?

Not necessarily! It all boils down to preference because body hair doesn't impact the effectiveness of anal play!

Does one need to orgasm first before engaging in anal play?

Again, not necessarily as it all boils down to preference. If one thinks an orgasm can help them loosen up, then by all means go for it!

What happens if the partner encounters poop post-anal?

Then, that's okay! Remember that fecal matter is natural for everybody. If there's an encounter after anal play, then it's best to clean up right away and engage in aftercare so that both partners don't have to worry over something that happens to everybody.

What if there's blood from anal play?

Then it's better to be safe than sorry and stop the play all-together. If possible, consult with a medical professional as soon as possible to rule out any harm or infection.


There you have it, everything you need to do for the best anal play experience! Remember, the core of good sex, even in anal, is communication, patience and teamwork because both partners are working towards a guilt and stress-free experience full of pleasure!

Tina Young

Tina Young has always been passionate about exploring sexuality and empowering others to explore and express their own sexual desires. She is an experienced sex toy reviewer, examining people’s relationship with pleasure and the expression and fulfillment of their desires through sex toys. Tina is also a sex coach, helping individuals understand, express, and become comfortable with their own sexuality.