Welcome to week two of Anal August! This week we’ll be diving into two prevalent questions in the world of back-door intimacy – why would someone want to engage in anal sex, and how does one explore it safely? Both questions have a plethora of answers; like most sexuality related topics, it’s not black and white.

Reasons for engaging in anal intercourse vary. Interestingly, anal can have a host of health benefits, including pain relief from headaches or menstrual cramps, better sleep, stronger immune system, boosted libido, improved blood circulation, and more. There are benefits specific to prostate stimulation as well, like improving erectile issues. 

Health benefits are a fun and salubrious side effect to sex, but most of us don’t treat sex like a trip to the pharmacy. More personal reasons for exploring anal might include trying to improve your chances for orgasm. The anus hosts tons of sensitive nerve endings, and is also connected to the G-spot which can lead to orgasms for people with vaginas, and the prostate, which can lead to prostate orgasms (yes, they’re a thing) for those with a penis! 

Another well documented reason to pursue fun in the bum is the sense of naughtiness that comes with sex that’s still often considered taboo! While we want to smash stigma, we still acknowledge that tasting forbidden fruit can be a big turn on. Straight women, who experience a hefty portion of anal shaming, might find eroticism in reclaiming power and agency through unapologetic enjoyment of anal sex.

Safety tips for anal should always be considered before diving in. Take a peek at the Center for Positive Sexuality’s 4C’s for guidance: consent, communication, caring, and caution. Reaching a new level of sexual intimacy requires a healthy amount of consent and communication. It can be a process working your way up the anal sex ladder – it’s good practice to start with just playing around the rim, working your way up to small butt plugs, and perhaps eventually to full penetration. Each new step should be accompanied with check-ins with your partner (and yourself!) – anal play should be enjoyable, not painful, so communicate, take care, and be cautious throughout. 

Using lube and barrier methods for anal are both crucial because the skin in that area is sensitive, and very prone to tearing, making it more vulnerable to infections. Lube can reduce the risk of tearing, while barrier methods can prevent the spread of infection. And whether you’re using a penis or a dildo, anal is a one-stop-shop, and you should never go from anal to another type of sex without proper after care!

As always, sex, whether solo or with partners is meant to be a fun time. If you try something and it ends up not being for you, that’s okay, too. You can try again in the future, or not.

Written in large part by Olivia Poulin, our amazing intern!