Exploring the pleasures of anal play as a couple

Anal. There we said it.

It’s not taboo, it’s not just “butt stuff,” and it’s definitely not something people are suddenly into. Anal sex and anal play are fun, pleasurable, and deeply satisfying things to do with a partner (or on your own—everything is possible.) It’s a beautiful way to connect and show each other another level of intimacy and care, or rebuilding intimacy, too. It’s absolutely a way to spice up your sex routine if you’re game for it.

Perhaps you’ve been curious about anal play for awhile, or maybe it’s something you do on the regular. In any case, we’ve got all angles covered here with some sex tips on how to ensure there’s less shame around anal play in your couple, and more ways to have fun when you have sex, however you like it best.

What is anal play?

Briefly, anal play refers to stimulating the anus, which is a part of the body—similar to the clitoris—that has an abundance of nerve endings making it sensitive and exciting.

Anal play does not equal anal sex, which is an important distinction. It’s not wholly penetrative. If you’re new to all things anal, approaching it this way is likely very beneficial for you because you can take it slow, see what you like, and work up to penetration if that’s something you’re into.

How to do anal play as a couple

It’s less of a tip and more of an imperative: always talk to your partner before starting any new sexual exploration. How often you have sex or the methods, positions, toys, and any other devices that go into sex are all conversations to be had, and anal play is up there.

Below are some key tips to help you do anal play as a couple (and make it last longer!)

  1. Go slow and explore. If this is your first time doing anything anal related, go slow. Consider it a small part of your foreplay. Perhaps you just run a finger down your partner’s anus while you’re kissing to see how it feels for them. It can be as simple as that in the beginning.
  2. Try digits instead of toys first. Sex toys can be a great part of anal play, and if you’re comfortable incorporating them early on, go forth. But if you’re not, consider having your partner use a finger at first, maybe two if you’re comfortable, to play with the anus.
  3. Use lube. The anus is a very small opening that does get wider but, like penetrative vaginal sex, there can be friction and pain if it’s dry. Always use lube when engaging in anal play. You’re likely to have heightened sensations and don’t need to worry about causing friction. Try our water-based lube, K-Y® Lubricant - Naturals®* suitable for use with latex and polyisoprene condoms.
  4. Try exhilarating oral. If you’re already down there giving oral sex to your partner, there’s an opportunity to scooch further and try some oral on the anus. The perineum, too, is very sensitive and can benefit from this type of stimulation.
  5. Have fun! If you take anything away from this list, it’s to have fun when you’re doing anal play with your partner, because that’s the point! After talking through it, going slow and exploring, try to let go and give in to whatever sensations arise.

*Ensure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the product label.