These days, it’s safe to say that anal sex is a lot more commonly enjoyed than it used to be, but it’s still not quite mainstream yet. That said, it’s not uncommon for the average person to have a few questions, especially if they have little to no experience with anal.

How can beginners make sure their early experiences with anal are positive ones? What makes the difference between a good experience and a great one? If someone’s interested in giving anal toys a try, which options are the best bets? Here we’ll explore the answers to all of those questions and more.

What Are the Most Common Misconceptions About Anal Sex?

People are a lot more open to talking about anal sex than they used to be, but it still doesn’t come up in everyday conversation often enough for people to feel like they know all about it. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most commonly held misconceptions about anal and separate fact from fiction once and for all.

  1. Anal sex is painful.

People that either don’t like anal or are adamantly against trying it in the first place usually feel that way for one reason – they’re convinced that anal sex hurts and not in a good way. While anal sex certainly can hurt if it’s done improperly, it’s not supposed to and it certainly doesn’t have to.

In fact, many people find anal sex to be incredibly pleasurable, women included. Some women even report having orgasms that way, so yes – anal just might be the best experience you’re currently not having in bed. The key to success is to start slow and use plenty of lube.

  1. Only “sluts” like anal.

Yes, even here in the 21st century, people still sometimes believe liking something that feels good automatically makes a woman a slut! In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.

According to various surveys, anal sex is consistently voted the number one taboo sexual activity heterosexual couples would like to try. That would mean pretty much everyone’s a slut, which is ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with liking to feel good or being interested in exploring new ways to experience pleasure.

  1. Anal can damage you physically.

When you get right down to it, any sort of sex can potentially damage you if you do it improperly. You’re not any more likely to injure yourself or damage your body having anal than you will any other type of sex though.

If don’t use enough lube, you could wind up with abrasions or some discomfort. However, the same thing can easily happen during vaginal sex if you’re not wet enough. Just make sure you’re using enough lube and it’s all good – real lube capable of really doing the job, not just saliva or something else that’s not really made for the purpose.

  1. You don’t need to use a condom when having anal.

One of the perks of anal is that there’s little to no pregnancy risk involved. It should go without saying that a condom is necessary anyway though. Most STDs – including HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia – can be transferred via anal sex, especially if any broken skin or abrasions do occur. If you’re in a situation that would call for a condom if you were having any other type of sex, use a condom if you’re having anal as well.

  1. Once a man experiences anal, it’s all he’ll ever want.

Yes, guys admittedly love the additional tightness the anus brings to the table as compared to the vagina. However, one isn’t really a substitute for the other. Most guys like vaginal sex way too much to want to give it up. Anal is more like a special treat to be enjoyed every so often in addition to everything else.

  1. Anal is dirty. (Yes, that kind of dirty.)

Most people unfamiliar with anal assume that anything to do with the anus and rectum has to add up to poop literally everywhere. In actuality, the lower part of the rectum – the part that’s actually involved in anal – usually contains little to no fecal matter, so it’s not anywhere near as filthy as you’d think.

Still not convinced? You can make sure you’re squeaky clean down there by also making sure you have a bowel movement first and then following up with an enema.

At the end of the day, it’s understandable if you’re apprehensive about trying anal. However, it’s also worth noting that enough people find it sublimely pleasurable to make it worth trying if you think you even might like it.

Doing Anal Right: What to Keep in Mind

So let’s just say you’ve decided anal is your bag. Or maybe you’ve already done it, liked it, and want to make sure it keeps getting better. Whatever the case may be, keep the following tips in mind to ensure a comfortable, mind-blowing experience for everyone involved.

  1. Lube is really, really super important.

We touched on how important lube is above. However, it’s important enough that it bears repeating. In fact, lube is twice as important when it comes to anal sex as it is for vaginal sex since your anal area doesn’t generate its own lube. It’s definitely the key to making sure it feels as good as it should.

It’s also important to choose the right lube. Skip the thinner lubes in favor of the thicker options. They don’t dry out as quickly. Also, water-based products are probably best. They won’t compromise the integrity of a condom or any toys you might want to use and they’re a lot easier to clean up after you’re done.

  1. Relaxation is as important as lube.

If you’re super nervous or anxious about the experience, it’s probably not going to go well. Your PC muscles are capable of rendering your anus virtually impassable if they tense up too much.

That said, consciously relax. Then relax some more. Set the mood a little with some wine and romance if that helps. A lot of foreplay is pretty helpful as well. The more primed and ready you are by the time you get right down to it, the more likely you are to be properly relaxed and into what’s going on.

  1. Start small. Then upgrade.

The chances are pretty good that you didn’t rush from 100% inexperience straight into ultra-freaky, super rough vaginal sex. You started slow and got used to things a little at a time. Why should anal sex be any different?

Try a little external stimulation first. Then move up to inserting a finger or maybe a small toy. Once you’re used to those sensations, feel free to go all the way.

  1. Additional stimulation never hurts.

Yes, there are definitely women out there that have experienced the fabled anal orgasm. Don’t go into the experience expecting to have one though. It’s perfectly OK to indulge in a little additional stimulation to make sure the whole experience is as pleasurable as possible.

Feel free to ask your partner to rub your clit (or else you can do it yourself). A vibrator can be an awesome addition to an anal session as well. You can stick to external stimulation if you want, but using it to engage in a little double penetration action can be really pleasurable for both partners.

Anal Toys: Which One Is Right for You?

Anal toys aren’t just for experienced anal sex lovers. They can be a great way to introduce yourself to anal play either alone or with a partner. Here’s a closer look at a few of your options.

  1. Anal Beads

The opening-and-closing sensation associated with anal beads is really unique and can be very pleasurable. Beads also come attached to a low intimidation factor, so they’re a great first toy for beginners.

  1. Anal Vibrators

Men can experience just as much pleasure from being on the receiving end of an anal session as a woman can. Anal vibrators can provide excellent prostate stimulation for men. They feel good to women as well.

  1. Butt Plugs

Butt plugs can be an awesome way to get used to anal penetration. They also come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and textures, so they’re a great way to explore different sensations either on your own or with a partner.

  1. Anal Dildos

Anal dildos are a lot like regular dildos, only designed to help you make the most of anal sex in particular. They can also be inserted into wearable harnesses to make using a dildo on a partner a little more fun.

At the end of the day, anal play can be an awesome way to enhance your sex life. Start wherever you’re comfortable and be sure to always communicate with your partner in regards to what feels good and what doesn’t. It won’t be long before you’re wondering why you didn’t give it a try a lot sooner!