Anal Sex Pros and Cons
By Isabelle Uren / September 13, 2021
Who doesn’t love a pros and cons list! And while we don’t think you should base your sexual decisions on a pros and cons list, we hope this gives you the information you need to work out if anal sex, in its many forms, is something you would like to try!
Anal sex is as inclusive as it comes; all you need is an anus and the desire to stimulate it! Anal play can be extremely pleasurable for anyone regardless of gender, genitals, or sexual orientation. You don’t even have to engage in penetration to enjoy anal sex.
What is Anal Sex?
While we’ve come to understand the word sex in terms of penetrative sex, that is only one of the many activities that belong to the broad and bountiful category of sex!
And while we’re on the topic, penetrative anal sex includes penetration with anything, although I strongly advise sticking to fingers, tongues, penises or sex toys such as anal beads, anal dildos, or prostate massagers!
The Benefits of Anal Sex
- Make the most of those sensitive spots
The area around the anus is loaded with sensitive nerve endings that can feel fantastic when touched. Stroking, licking, or using a vibrator on the area around the anus can be very pleasurable.
- Pleasure for penis owners
Anal can stimulate the prostate gland. If you were assigned male at birth, you have a prostate gland, which is located just in front of the rectum. Both internal and external anal play can stimulate the prostate gland and even allow you to experience a prostate orgasm.
For some people, this can give them a whole new type of orgasm and one that can happen independently of ejaculation! Many men describe a prostate orgasm as a whole-body phenomenon. Men’s Health got 10 men to share their prostate orgasm experiences, and they sound pretty incredible!
- Pleasure for vulva owners
If you have a vulva, as well as all the deliciously sensitive nerve endings around your anus, anal sex can stimulate the vaginal wall, giving you a new way to orgasm. You might also want to consider double penetration toys, using a double dildo or a double ended vibrator in your vagina to increase the sensations.
- Increased intimacy with a partner
Engaging in anal sex requires a certain amount of trust and relaxation and make take some time to reach full penetration. It’s a very intimate experience to share with a partner that can help show your trust and care for each other. The act of experiencing something new together can also be a great way to bond with your partner.
- Variation in the bedroom!
Sometimes we get stuck in a sexual routine and while that can be great, it can get a bit boring. Anal sex gives you a whole new way to play with your partner.
- New sex toys to explore
With anal sex comes a whole thrilling world of anal sex toys for you and your partner to enjoy. From butt plugs and anal beads to probes and vibrators! Check out the section below for our top anal toys!
- No risk of pregnancy
As Lily Allen once said, “You can’t get pregnant in the bum bum,” or something to that effect! Yes, you cannot get pregnant from anal sex, although you should always practice safe sex, (i.e. condom use) to prevent the risk of STIs. You also need to be careful that no semen makes its way to the vagina. If there’s one thing to be said about sperm, it’s that they are very determined!
- Alternative to vaginal sex on your period
If you haven’t tried vaginal sex on your period, it can feel really great and even help with period pains, so I recommend giving it a go, but I also understand that it’s not for everyone! If you don’t enjoy penetrative sex while on your period but still want penetrative sex, anal sex can offer an alternative.
The Drawbacks of Anal Sex
There are some things to consider before trying anal sex. Like any sexual activity, there are some risks, but luckily with the correct safety precautions and preparation, you can enjoy safe anal sex.
- The poop fear factor
Of course, any activity that involves your anus comes with some risk of a bit of mess, but there are some ways you can prepare for anal sex to minimize the risk. The first is making sure to empty your bowels before anal sex. The next is having a warm shower and using your finger and the warm water to gently rinse the area around and just inside your anus. You can also use an anal douche to flush the area just inside your anus, but this is by no means necessary. One with a flexible tip will be the most comfortable to use.
- It can be uncomfortable at first
While anal sex should not be painful, it can be uncomfortable at first, especially if you are not relaxed. You’ve got some pretty powerful muscles, including your sphincter, that do a great job of preventing any accidents but they also need to learn to relax to make anal sex enjoyable. This is why foreplay is super important.
- Risk of sexually transmitted infections
Anal sex carries a higher risk of STIs, as the skin is more fragile and prone to tearing, making it easier for STIs to spread. It’s important to always use condoms and remember not to share toys unless you use a fresh condom for each person. Dental dams (terrible name, I know) are great for practicing safe oral-anal sex (a.k.a. Rimming or analingus).
- Risk of UTIs or bladder infections
If bacteria from the anus is transported to the vagina, it can cause infections, such UTI’s. Nothing that has been in an anus should then go in a vagina. This means using fresh condoms on a penis or a toy that has been in an anus and washing your hands after anal play. To sum up, if you put it in the b-hole then the v-hole, you’ll get a sore p-hole.
- Lack of natural lubrication
Unlike the vagina, the anus doesn’t not self-lubricate so using lubrication is essential. Not only does a good slick of lube help things goes smoothly, so to say, it also reduces the risk of micro-tears due to friction. Water-based lube is a great option as it’s condom and silicone sex toy compatible whereas silicone lube is condom safe, but can’t be used with silicone sex toys. And don’t forget to reapply. No lube Scrooges here, please! Lubrication applicators are great for getting lube where it needs to be!
- Possible loss of bowel control
Anal sex can lead to some loosening of the muscles that keep your poop in, resulting in some level of anal incontinence or leakage. This varies greatly from person to person and might be improved with pelvic floor exercises.
How to Prepare for Anal Sex
The right preparation can make a world of difference when it comes to enjoying anal sex. Following these simple steps will help you feel ready and confident and minimize the risk of any unwanted mess.
- Wash your anus and surrounding area with warm water and fragrance-free soap. The easiest way to do this is in the shower, using your fingers to gently rinse your anus.
- If you want to, you can use a douche to clean the lower section of your rectum to clear out any traces of fecal matter. Opt for a douche with a flexible nozzle and use some clean, warm water to flush just the lower section of your rectum.
- If you are using anal sex toys, prepare a place to put them when you are not using them, such as a towel or plastic tub at the side of your bed that can be washed after.
- Put down a towel to protect your bedsheets.
How to Make Anal Sex Enjoyable
- Choose a time when you are feeling relaxed and ready.
- Take time to prepare properly.
- Enjoy foreplay with your partner. Massage their butt cheeks, lower back, perineum (taint), and anus to help them prepare for anal sex.
- Use plenty of lubrication and reapply as necessary.
- Start slow and small with penetration and slowly work up to bigger things.
- Practice aftercare. This is different for many people but can involve cuddling, talking about your experience, and having something to eat or drink.
- If you are considering anal sex, including pegging, check out this fantastic guide with more details on how to prepare for pegging.
Tushy Teasing Toys for Anal Sex
b-Vibe Anal Training Kit
b-Vibe is dedicated to sharing the wonders of anal sex with the world and you can really feel it in this anal training kit.
The kit comes with everything you need to start enjoying anal sex, including a really helpful guidebook on anal play.
The three different size silicone butt plugs are great for working your way up to anal sex with a penis or dildo and the lube applicator ensures you are fully lubricated and ready to play.
Anal training kits are the perfect place to start with anal sex. They usually include a range of different size toys with different functions. If you aren’t sure which one to buy, we rounded up the best anal training kits on the market to make it easier for you!
Guide: What Size Butt Plug Should I Buy?
Lovehoney’s Butt Tingler
Vibrating toys can add some buzzy bliss to backdoor play that feels incredible and can even help to relax your muscles. Lovehoney’s butt tingler has 10 vibrating functions for you to explore and is the perfect size for anal sex toy beginners. There are plenty of options when it comes to anal vibrators. If you aren’t sure if an anal vibrator is your cup of tea or you aren’t sure which type to go for, check out this expert advice about anal vibrators from Edwina.
Guide: How to use an anal vibrator
Lovehoney Curved Suction Cup Dildo
This smooth silicone dildo is perfect for anal sex alone or with a partner and can be slipped into a harness or enjoyed hands-free with the suction cup. The curved shaft makes it great for massaging the p-spot and the thin, tapered end makes for easy insertion. It can also be done with a P spot vibrator. At 7-inches, this dildo is best for people with some anal experience. If you are looking for something smaller or bigger, there are plenty of anal dildos of all sizes to choose from!
Common Anal Sex Questions
What does anal sex feel like?
Anal sex is different for everyone, but it can feel a little unusual in the beginning. As the nerves around the anus are stimulated, you might notice that your muscles tense at first, but then you will most likely enjoy the sensation and feel more aroused as you relax. When you begin penetration, you might feel like you have to poop, but this is normal, as you are using the same muscles. Penetration can feel uncomfortable at first for some but should never be painful. As your muscles relax, you will be able to enjoy all the sensations of anal penetration.
Why do people like anal sex?
The anus is an erogenous zone that can feel wonderful when stimulated. There’s also a slight taboo around anal sex that can make it feel exciting. It also provides different sensations for both partners, making it a great way to add something new to your routine.
What to eat before anal sex?
While there’s no diet to follow, eating a healthy diet to keep your bowels regular can lower the risk of any mess during anal sex. You also want to avoid any foods that have a laxative effect beforehand. Common culprits include spicy food, coffee, alcohol.
What is the best lube for anal sex?
Water-based lube is a great all-rounder, as it can be used with condoms and silicone sex toys. You can buy thicker water-based lubes that are better for anal sex.
Silicone lubes are condom safe but can degrade silicone sex toys, so only use this if you are not using silicone sex toys. Silicone-based lubricants tend to have more slip than water-based lubes.