Anal sex for beginners - What you need to know about performing anal sex for the first time

Last updated: 13/3/2023

Anal sex is often associated with a 'forbidden' form of sex. And for many, it's a form of sex that they don't talk about openly. This is often because it is associated with pain, bad hygiene or embarrassment. But anal sex has become more and more popular over the years.

You can read more about the reasons for this here, as well as learn more about what anal sex is, how you can best prepare yourself with a sex gel, and what you need to be aware of.

Read by Anne Thestrup Meimbresse

Anne, Varde Pharmacy
Anne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products.

What is anal sex?

Anal derives from the Latin word for rectum; anus. Anal sex is therefore sex in the area of the anus. Anal sex does not only consist of penetration of the anus, by tongue, penis, sex toys or other means, but is characterised by any sexual touching around the anus. It can also include kissing, touching and fondling. Both men and women can engage in anal sex.

What does anal sex feel like - and why should you do it?

The area around the opening to the rectum is extremely sensitive because it is a zone on the body with a lot of nerve endings. That's why it can be a wonderful sensation to be touched there. Anal sex differs from vaginal intercourse as the man's penis is more tightly enclosed by the rectum.

Men also all have a prostate: a walnut-sized gland, located in the lower abdomen. When a man is sexually aroused, the gland swells slightly because it receives an increased blood supply. From the rectum, the prostate can be stimulated - this gives great pleasure and a different and perhaps even more powerful orgasm than the traditional ejaculatory orgasm.

Women can also experience a stronger orgasm than with regular intercourse, as the G-spot in the rectum is stimulated. The rectum is also close to the vagina and clitoris, and touching the rectum stimulates the back wall of the vagina and the tissue surrounding the clitoris.

Do women like anal sex?

Many men like anal sex - perhaps because it seems forbidden, daring and naughty. Many women also like anal sex. But at the same time, there are also many women who don't because they see it as unhygienic.

This is often due to ignorance, and you can read more about how to prepare for successful anal intercourse with your partner below.

Anal sex without pain - thorough preparation for anal sex is essential

For anal sex to be a successful act for both parties, you and your partner need to prepare thoroughly. If you don't, it can quickly become a painful experience for both of you. That's why you can benefit from these tips on how to perform anal sex:

Anal sex hygiene – how to rinse the rectum

Many women in particular fear that they are not sufficiently clean in the rectum and that it will lead to an embarrassing situation if the man pulls out with feces on his penis. But in most cases, there is nothing to worry about. Unless you feel the need to go to the bathroom, the lower part of the rectum is pretty clean.

If you do feel a bit uncomfortable, take a shower and wash the area thoroughly before the act. When you feel clean, you'll also find it much easier to feel relaxed enough to perform anal intercourse. Wash thoroughly around the anus and just inside so that you are ready to receive your partner. Use an antibacterial intimate soap to prevent bacteria and ensure good hygiene. This way you can enjoy anal sex without any embarrassing situations. We recommend Intim Wash for washing the intimate area before anal sex.

A bowel rinse is also another option to feel completely clean and fresh. However, remember that you shouldn't have a colonic irrigation too often. The rectum doesn't just harbour bad bacteria, it also harbours good bacteria that help maintain a healthy and natural bacterial flora. Flushing too often will also make the rectal mucosa thinner and more delicate.

Intimate wash against odour and genital itching

Intimate soap for women and men, for daily washing of the genital area


Take your time

One of the most important factors for successful anal sex is that you and your partner take your time. Patience is a virtue when it comes to anal sex. If you are going to penetrate your partner, it is important that he or she is completely relaxed and feeling extremely aroused. If this is not the case, anal sex will be painful.

Therefore, spend plenty of time on foreplay. Caress each other and make sure you warm each other up well. For good and successful anal sex, it is important that the sphincter muscle in the rectum relaxes completely. If it doesn't, it can quickly turn pleasure into pain - the function of the sphincter is to guide something out of the bowel, not into it. It is designed to keep feces in the bowel unless you are not sitting on a toilet. The muscle automatically shuts off as soon as something tries to enter.

Therefore, the sphincter needs to be made tired and relaxed so that it allows something to enter the bowel instead of coming out. Play and work the muscle with your fingers until it eventually loosens up. Massage around the rectal opening and familiarise it with the act by gently inserting one or more fingers. It takes a long time to make the stubborn muscle tired and relaxed - so again, patience is important.

Use a good lubricant for anal sex

Another key ingredient in anal sex, besides time, is lube. The mucous membrane of the rectum is extra thin, so it doesn't secrete secretions like the vagina does. That's why anal sex requires lubrication - and lots of it. Lack of moisture and lubrication is one of the most common causes of pain during anal intercourse.

For example, you can use Australian Bodycare's Intimate Glide, which is a gel for sex. The gel provides plenty of moisture so that everything glides much more easily. At the same time, Intim Glide counteracts the bacteria that can cause problems with itching, irritation or other unpleasant discomfort in the rectum and on and around the penis after sex. Therefore, the gel also helps to ensure good hygiene during sex. Apply generous amounts around the anus and on the man's penis to make sure you are well covered.

Water based lube to prevent vaginal dryness

Natural intimate gel to stop irritation before, during and after sex


Move gently with relaxing anal sex positions

Let the penis slide gently into the rectum without the man pushing too hard. This is also where things should be gentle. Once the penis is gently inserted into the rectum, move slowly and gently back and forth.

Good positions for anal sex are when the woman or man is lying on their stomach or when you and your partner are spooning. This allows your partner to lie still and relax. If he or she is on all fours or in other positions, it requires strength in the legs and thighs - and this means that the sphincter muscle is tightened. And that makes it much harder to enjoy the act. You and your partner can experiment with this once you've found the right rhythm.

Take small steps at a time. If your partner isn't ready to move, you can also just lie still and let your sphincter and rectum get used to the new sensation. With small steps, it will be easier to get into seventh heaven.

Washing after anal sex

If you and your partner want to switch to regular vaginal intercourse after anal sex, it is important that you remember to wash your genitals beforehand. One hole at a time. If a man's penis is inserted into a woman's vagina after a trip to the rectum, she risks getting a vaginal infection. This is due to foreign bacteria and the different environments of the two intimate areas. If you use a condom, remember to change it if you switch from anal sex to vaginal sex.

If intercourse stops after the anal part, it's still a good idea to go to the toilet so that you can empty out any leftover lubricant and semen to prevent it from becoming an infection.

Always use an antibacterial intimate soap to clean your genitals. An antibacterial intimate soap fights bacteria and thus prevents unpleasant problems resulting from anal sex. Try the antibacterial intimate soap from Australian Bodycare, which contains natural Tea Tree Oil. This soap fights bacteria and keeps the intimate area healthy and clean. Good hygiene is always important before and after anal sex.

Intimate wash against odour and genital itching

Intimate soap for women and men, for daily washing of the genital area


Problems with itching and irritation after sex

There are several reasons why many people experience problems with itching and irritation after sex. It could be due to a tear in the skin, poor hygiene or something else. Either way, it's very bothersome and uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can help the problem with Femi daily, which gently yet effectively relieves discomfort around the anus - read more here.

3 product kit for intimate care and hygiene

To prevent vaginal dryness, genital itching, vaginal smell or other intimate discomfort

£29.99 £34.99

Is anal sex dangerous?

One of the dangers of anal sex is that the sphincter can rupture. But as long as you make sure you warm up the sphincter well so that it relaxes completely, and you use plenty of lubricant so that the penis is not pushed into the rectum, there is no danger of a ruptured sphincter.

The mucous membrane of the rectum is very thin - and therefore more vulnerable to attack by bacteria and viruses. It is therefore also one of the major concerns about anal sex. It is one of the reasons why the HPV virus spreads. The virus can cause cervical cancer in women and rectal cancer during anal sex. This is why it is recommended to always have anal sex with a condom - read more below.

Unprotected anal sex without a condom

If you have unprotected anal sex without a condom, there is a risk of spreading the HPV virus or contracting HIV or other STIs. And because the rectal mucosa is particularly thin and delicate, there is a slightly higher risk of contracting STIs if you have unprotected anal sex.

Therefore, anal sex can be dangerous if you expose yourself to the risk of infection. For example, you can get HIV if your penis gets a little blood on it from your partner's rectum - that is, if they themselves are infected with the disease. HIV is transmitted not only through blood, but also through semen and pre-cum.

Because the lining of the rectum is so thin, this means that both semen and pre-cum can easily penetrate the delicate membrane and enter the bloodstream. Even if there is no tear on the mucosa. This is why it is extremely important to use a condom during anal sex - especially if you have not been tested for STIs or are with a partner who has not been tested. It is the most effective way to enjoy anal sex while minimising the risk of contracting STIs.