By Natasha Weiss

Exploring Pleasure and Getting Comfortable with Anal Play

Anyone can experience deep pleasure from anal play, but new frontiers can come with a lot of questions. Let’s dive into the ins and outs of anal play. 

The Ins & Outs Of Anal Play

Our bodies are playgrounds for pleasure. 

We’re capable of feeling intense, wonderful, mind-bending sensations throughout our many curves and crevices. Yet many of us stick with what’s familiar.

Let’s be clear – there’s nothing wrong with that, but you may be missing out on forms of play, pleasure, and exploration.

Specifically of the *anal* variety. 

Whether you’re brand new to anal play or have dabbled in it here and there, we’re here to ease you into it. Because trust us, you’re going to want to take your time

Here’s your guide to the ins and outs of anal play!

The anatomy of anal

Anal is the great equalizer. Anyone can love it, no matter what “equipment” you’re working with. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have to love it. To each their own, but if something isn’t working for you it may be because you need to educate and prepare.

So what’s going on inside there? Why does anal feel amazing for some and awful for others?

Let’s get down to it. 

For cisgender men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB), anal pleasure mostly comes down to the prostate, a little gland designed to produce and propel semen. This gland is located deep in the groin between the penis and the rectum. 

The prostate is also full of nerves and can lead to intense pleasure when stimulated. Besides the prostate, there are sensitive nerve endings in and around the anus, all of which can be pleasurable when stimulated.

What about cis-women and AFAB (people assigned female at birth)?

Having a prostate is not a prerequisite to enjoying anal play. Everyone has a generous amount of nerve endings in and around the anus. People with vaginas also have the A spot, a pleasure hotspot along the vaginal wall that you can indirectly stimulate through anal play.

There’s plenty of pleasure to go around, so why isn’t everyone into anal?

Again, there’s no shame in enjoying anal play or not enjoying it, but if you haven’t found pleasure from it, it could be because:

  • You’re not warming up enough
  • You’re not doing it with a partner you trust
  • Of previous injuries or bad experiences
  • Of shame you’re carrying around sexuality and anal play

Unblocking shame with anal play

For something that can bring so much satisfaction, there can also be a lot of shame with anal play. This can be different for everyone and can get in the way of exploring and experiencing this type of pleasure.

Where does this shame come from?

Where do we start?

Sexual shame is nothing new. It can come from your family, from society, from the media, from your own trauma and experiences

We can carry even more shame around anal pleasure because it has this added layer of being *taboo*. People have connotations that it’s dirty or that it’s bad. Cis-men may be carrying internalized homophobia or fear around being perceived a certain way.

Look, at the end of the day – this is your body. As long as what you're doing comes with enthusiastic consent, it’s all neutral. None of it is shameful or should be hidden. Pleasure is pleasure, including anal pleasure

Taking the time to tap into this source of pleasure can even help to release shame, we like to call this “de-armouring”. This is the process of using anal stimulation to notice areas where you’re carrying tension or shame, breathe into the sensation, and work to dissolve it.

Sometimes the act of facing something you’re holding shame around is enough for it to dissipate.  

Practical steps for preparing for anal

We know talking about this can bring up a lot.

So let’s get into the nitty-gritty, practical tips on how to prepare for anal:

  • Communication. If you’re exploring with a partner, you’ll want to clearly communicate first to set expectations and boundaries. You may want to discuss “I’m nervous about so and so because…” or “I’d love to start with a finger, but nothing more than that today”.
  • Get warmed up. Trust us, you do not want to dive headfirst into anal play. Get turned on by connecting with your and your partner’s bodies, making out, and touching yourself or each other. Whatever gets your engines revved. Many people ask about douching, while that’s certainly not necessary, you may feel more comfortable after giving yourself a thorough cleanse in the shower before and after.
  • Use lube. The anus is not self-lubricating. You will need lube for anal play. We recommend Yinn’s Oil Based Lubricant, a silky-smooth blend of organic argan, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, and seabuckthorn oils.
  • Try toys. There are many ways to explore anal play. Fingers, penises, and of course – toys. One of our favorites is The Aura, a 100% body-safe glass wand with two different-sized blooms at each end to explore different levels of sensation.
  • Practice safe sex. If you’re having sex with a partner, it’s important to get tested for STIs, discuss your status, and use condoms. You can spread STIs through anal sex, and the delicate tissues of the anus can even make you more susceptible to them. Change condoms and/or toys if you’re switching between the penis and vagina to prevent UTIs and yeast infections.

  • One last tip, and probably the most important one – go slow. This isn’t a race or a marathon. You’re here for pleasure, you’re here to connect with yourself and your body. So take your time and enjoy the process!

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    March 05, 2024