Cartoon image: A woman relaxing in a bubble bath with the text below saying "Easing Worries."
One major mental hurdle that stops many in their tracks is concerns related to cleanliness and comfort. These anxieties create unnecessary stress even before the play begins, setting the stage for a potentially less enjoyable experience. Fortunately, we can find ways to ease these concerns.
When it comes to concerns about cleanliness, it's essential to accept that our bodies can sometimes be unpredictable, and that's okay. If you're not ready to adopt a carefree mindset of "whatever happens, happens," there are practical solutions available.
The simplest way to address the perception that anal play is "icky" is by using a barrier method. Condoms, gloves, and dental dams not only make cleanup a breeze but also provide added safety when incorporating oral or vaginal penetration into your play. Want to switch between activities? Remove the barrier. Want to go back to anal? Simply put on a new one. Keeping cleansing wipes bedside can also add an extra layer of comfort.
For those seeking a more thorough approach, consider incorporating an enema. Although it requires some planning ahead, it can provide a heightened sense of security. If you're new to enemas, start with a small and gradual approach. You don't need to clean out too much, as excessive water can lead to discomfort and cramping, which won't help you relax. Remember to use plain water without additives. It's a good idea to try this well before your first or next anal session to know what to expect. The One Way Valve Douche by California Exotics, with its tapered plastic tip and silicone reservoir bulb, is an excellent option for controlled and comfortable use. Moreover, both components are made of non-porous, body-safe materials and can be sanitized between uses.
Collage of cartoon images: A pump-style bottle, condom, douche, and water splashes. Text reads "Prepare Yourself."
Once you've achieved a sense of mental calmness, it's time to address the physical aspect. Physical comfort begins with the use of high-quality lubricants—plenty of them. You may need more than you initially think, so don't hesitate to reapply as needed. Anal play should never be painful; there's a significant difference between "Hmm, that's different!" and actual pain. Many discomfort issues during anal play can be attributed to inadequate lubrication.
The choice of lube for anal play is a matter of personal preference. Some lubes are specifically formulated for anal use, as they tend to be thicker and longer-lasting. However, if you already have a preferred lube that makes you comfortable, there's no reason you can't use it for anal play. The key is to ensure that there is an ample and continuous supply of lubrication. Lube applicators can be particularly helpful in this regard. The anal region does not self-lubricate, and its internal tissues readily absorb moisture. Combined with the tightness of the sphincter, this can lead to insufficient lubrication reaching the inner anal area. Lube applicators allow for precise and direct application of lubricant, ensuring a consistently slippery experience throughout the session.
Collage of cartoon images: Craft supplies like scissors, pencil, tape, paintbrush, glue, markers, and a paint tube. Text reads "Tailor Your Comfort."
Now that you're mentally relaxed and adequately lubricated, the final piece of the puzzle is positioning. When people think of anal sex, they often visualize the receiver positioned on all fours, while the other person stands or kneels behind them—a classic position known as "doggy style." While this position can be fantastic for some, it's by no means the only option for anal play. Exploring different positions or making minor adjustments to familiar ones can significantly enhance both partners' comfort levels.
Another classic position is "missionary," which is often overlooked for anal play. While the basic missionary position may suffice, there are endless variations that can be explored. These include the receiver's legs together or spread in a wide V, one or both legs raised, ankles hooked around the waist, or even stretched up towards the neck. Each of these adjustments can alter the angle and depth of penetration, as well as engage different muscle groups in the body. Sex harnesses, typically associated with kink, can also serve practical purposes. For instance, the Super Sex Sling from Sportsheets can help support the receiver's legs, reducing the need for them to hold their legs up during the session. Alternatively, they can place the balls of their feet inside the cuffs for added comfort. Positioning aids like those from Liberator can lift and support the receiver's hips, offering more comfortable angles for both partners. In the missionary position, the receiver can relax their legs and core muscles, resulting in a more relaxed pelvic floor and minimizing discomfort. This position can also enhance intimacy, as both partners face each other.
A position you may already be familiar with is the "riding" position, where the receiver is on top, facing the direction of their choice, and straddling their partner. This position grants the receiver full control over the depth and speed of each thrust, both physically and mentally reassuring for those with concerns about their partner's movements. It also creates more space between the bodies, making it easier to introduce toys that may be challenging to reach in other positions. While riding can be physically demanding and make it challenging to relax the anal muscles, tools like the Lovebotz Bangin' Bench can provide a bouncy seat for added support.
Although anal sex might not immediately evoke thoughts of cuddling, the "spooning" position can be a comfortable option for both partners. In this position, the receiver can be angled in various ways, curled up in a ball, with legs fully extended or anywhere in between. They can be rolled forward onto their hips, lying straight on their side, or leaning back into their partner, with their top leg draped back over the giver's body. This position offers flexibility for both partners to explore, accommodates the use of toys, and allows for individual control over thrusting speed and intensity. It's perfect for a leisurely session where neither partner needs to exert effort to maintain balance—just relax into the bed and move at your own pace.