Anal sex is nothing to be ashamed of – and can be a really enjoyable experience. The key is to take it slowly, relax and use lots and lots of lube. Having anal sex without preparation or enough moisture can be incredibly painful – and can even tear the thin, delicate skin inside the anus.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it safely and enjoy it at the same time.
Once you are relaxed enough, penetration will be a lot easier.
If anal sex is incredibly painful for you, you are not prepared enough for it – and you shouldn’t carry on until you are.
It’s important to have mutual trust and respect with your partner, and to only do what you are comfortable with.
We spoke to nine women who have had anal sex, to find out what led them to do it, what it felt like and whether they enjoy it.
Here’s what they said.
‘It was like a backwards poo’
‘My ex wanted to do it. And I guess I was curious too but I doubt I would have pushed it if he hadn’t.
‘It was like a backwards poo.
‘Barely got an inch in before I ran off screaming.’
‘I decided it wasn’t for me at first’
‘Me and my boyfriend tried anal a few months into our relationship when we were drunk. We were having normal sex and he randomly asks me can I put it in your bum? So me being drunk was like yeah, why not?
‘Very strange sensations. I felt pain, nothing, then pain again, then it felt ok, and then nothing. After that I decided it wasn’t for me.
‘However, a year and six months into our relationship, we broke up and recently got back together and to spice things up we decided to try anal again, and ever since we got back together three weeks ago we do anal every time we have sex.
‘Not being on any contraceptive makes it easier for him to not worry about cumming because obviously you can’t get pregnant through bum sex.
‘I actually quite enjoy it now, there’s discomfort at first, but then it feels really good!’
‘I think it feels good because it feels wrong’
‘I had never tried anal sex up to meeting my partner. My ex was very unimaginative in the bedroom. When he suggested we try anal I was excited and nervous at the same time. He didn’t go blindly in – we worked up to it using plenty of lube and slowly bigger toys.
‘When we eventually did anal it was amazing and still is.
‘I’m not sure why it feels so good. I sometimes think it feels good because it feels wrong.’
‘It can add another dimension to sex’
‘I have anal sex fairly regularly as part of my sex life.
‘Anal sex has never really scared or put me off or anything so when I started having sex it didn’t seem that big of a deal to have anal sex too.
‘I tried it initially because I bought a butt plug and really enjoyed that sensation, so anal sex made sense.
‘It’s hard to describe the feeling other than different. I think also that the “taboo” of it sometimes adds to the pleasure. It can just add another dimension to sex, which is exciting to me.’
‘It was about getting off on the power’
‘I am a lesbian and my girlfriend and I have tried it.
‘For us, it was about getting off on the power; the person giving it feeling as though they have total control and can do what they like to the other, and the other person being completely submissive.
‘We only did this once we were at a point in our relationship where there was complete trust and mutual respect.’
‘We absolutely loved it’
‘Me and my ex-partner absolutely loved it. I love it, I think the stigma towards it is starting to fade and it’s becoming a subject people aren’t scared to approach (well I know I’m not,I’m very open about it).
‘The stigma that you’re gonna poo on someone is bizarre, if you feel unwell it’s a no go but I don’t think women know that you can clean yourself out and that doesn’t have to be just for anal.
‘Anal is a different kind of orgasm for me and the fact you can have your front played with at the same time fascinates me.’
‘Painful… and messy at times’
‘It was painful… and messy at times but we persisted. Wish I’d known about lube. Went years without trying it again until I met my husband – as our relationship and trust deepened I wanted to try it again.
‘We were living abroad at the time without access to sex shops or online ordering so when he went to Korea to visit a friend I asked him to come back with souvenirs of lube and poppers (to help me open up).
‘We’re not frequent with it but when I get super horny and kinky, we get “the box” out. The key is lube, lube, lube!’
‘I HATED it’
‘I hated it. Tried it more than once. It did absolutely nothing for me and I’ll never do it again.
‘Tried it the first time because my ex was obsessed with it and I really liked her. Next few times were with guys who were insistent that she just did it wrong. ‘
‘Outside of it being painful, it also just felt like I had to poop. No part of it was enjoyable to me.’
‘It’s a regular part of our sex life’
‘I’d tried anal once with an ex-boyfriend but I guess I wasn’t relaxed enough for it and I didn’t really enjoy it. But then I met my new boyfriend and we discussed it before deciding to give it a go.
‘But we did it properly this time – we used lube, toys and did some foreplay to relax me, and then when we did it we went slow.
‘It ended up being really enjoyable, it’s a sensation I can’t really describe, like all of your senses are suddenly heightened. It’s an overwhelming feeling but I really like it.
‘Now, it’s become a regular part of our sex life!’