Beginners anal advice

Q&A: Does Anal Sex Hurt?

Dear Sh!

Both me and my partner are curious to try anal sex and the idea of it really turns me on but also I’m really scared it’s going to hurt.  It seems like a common  acceptance/joke that anal is always painful and yet lots of people also seem to be doing it, so I’m really confused – do they just grit their teeth or is there really pleasure ( as in my  fantasies) to be had?

Maybe it’s a pain/pleasure thing? If so, I’d really like to know before I get any deeper ( so to speak!) as pain really isn’t my thing!

I’d be grateful for any advice you can give.



Hi Sandra,

You’re right, from jokes and sitcoms to more highbrow knowledge imparting there’s an accepted ‘truth’ that anytime anything goes up  the bum is going to hurt like hell!  And yet, from porn films to colonic irrigation, there’s plenty to suggest that anal can be pleasurable and completely pain-free.

The key to the difference is relaxation. Lets take this away from the sex for a minute and think about this in terms of colonic irrigation (where the practitioner puts a a pipe up your bum and washes you out from the inside) No one is going to pay good money to have this done if it’s painful, are they? The practioner knows you must be relaxed and creates an environment to ensure you are. She explains what will happen, so you are fully informed – no sudden movements or nasty surprises! She’ll use lube and patience and most crucially, you will be in charge.

So, take all and transfer it over to anal sex and you’ll see there are 3 elements to ensure it is pain-free;

Without all three, anal sex will hurt. The biggest barrier for first-timers is the anxiety that it WILL hurt, which, of course tenses everything up and ensures it does – a viscous cycle if ever there was one!

The pain comes from the internal anal sphincter muscle which must be very relaxed for pain-free anal sexPain is your body’s warning system to stop or slow down.

The problem is that the receptive partner doesn’t actually have any conscious control over relaxing this muscle. If it constricts  involuntarily, forcing anal sex will hurt. This is why you must try to be really in-tune with what your body is telling you and able to communicate it to your partner.

It’s crucial that the receptive partner of anal sex controls the pace…

At the beginning it may feel really alien to your body to have something going up your bum and we’d suggest that before you try with a penis or dildo, you experiment first with a finger, a small, slim butt plug or anal vibrator.

A vibrating anal toy is a great way to explore your derriére desires for the first time as vibration is excellent for relaxing those extra sensitive anal nerve endings as well sending pleasurable thrills throughout the whole pelvic area.

We also think it’s better for newbies to explore the sensations on your own, rather than with a partner, as this removes any pressure or impatience to ‘get on with in’ because, when you’re aroused, you may feel ready to involve your partner before you actually are. Playing solo ensures you can concentrate wholly on yourself and the sensations you’re feeling…

Anal lube is simply extra thick and/or super slippery so toys, fingers or penises stay coated for longer. The key is to ensure everything glides and never drags; gliding is the physical equivalent of relaxing, whilst dragging is the equivalent of tensing ( remember, tensing = possible pain) which is why using lube, and LOTS of it, frequently re-applied, is essential.

It can take a long time for your body to become accustomed to, and really relax into the sensations of anal play, so never think of it as a race, but more like a meander…

Once you feel ready to involve your partner, communication needs to be added to the mix. We know that talking about sex can be hard but it is key to ensuring anal sex  is a positive experience for both partners and one you’d like to try again and again…

You could start off giving them a one woman performance on your newfound anal confidence with your toys or fingers. This will show your partner the kind of pace and depth you find most arousing. Before inviting them to become involved in a more ‘hands on’ (or penis/dildo in!) capacity, talk and agree together that you are in control of the action and pace. If you need to slow down or stop altogether, it’s much better to do so.  Gritting teeth or soldering on is totally counter-productive because that’s likely to be the very  last time you ever want to try anal sex!

In terms of positions, ‘doggy-style’ maybe the anal position that springs first to mind, but actually this isn’t the best, especially for newcomers.  Being on top, where you can lower yourself onto your lover or toys is another way for you to feel and be in control of pace and depth.

We hope this has helped give you the confidence to go ahead and explore turning your fantasies into pleasurable anal reality!

Have fun


All names are changed for the purposes of anonymity.