Sex + Dating

Everything You Need to Know Before You Try the Butt

Becki Kozel/Thrillist

We live in an ass-obsessed culture. Entire careers have been built on them. And yet, we’re a little anal (!) about talking butt stuff in the bedroom.

The thing is, the backdoor typically has a tighter guest list than the main entrance. And with good reason! Turning that one-way alley into a two-way street is an act of trust. So whether you’re taking your relationship to the next level or just looking to update your sexual iOS, here are some pro tips that will make the experience memorable for all the right reasons.

Becki Kozel/Thrillist

Hang out on the porch first

Even if your partner agrees ahead of time that the butt is metaphorically (and perhaps literally) on the table, treat it like you would any other sexual encounter. Foreplay isn’t an option, it’s a prerequisite! Unless you’re making porn, in which case, everyone’s getting paid. The point is, whoever’s taking one for the team needs and deserves some stimulation beforehand (and during) in order for it to be enjoyable. You may even want to try getting them to orgasm before venturing rearward. That area is notoriously tense, so pleasuring your partner in other areas is one of the most natural ways to loosen things up. For the record, so is a couple of drinks.
 

For the love of God, knock

No one sticks it in someone else’s butt “by accident.” That would be the physiological equivalent of a hole in one, so stop using that as an excuse. It’s rude and it hurts. Also, there’s a four-letter word for penetration that occurs without consent. Don't be that guy. If you’re eager and not sure if your partner is down, use your words like a sexually active adult and ask.
 

Start small and slow

Introducing something smaller like a finger (or two) can help get things going. There are sex toys explicitly made for this purpose, but why not use the 10 toys God gave you? Whatever you do, do NOT go all Drake on a girl (or guy). Taking things from zero to 100 real quick is going to be painful, unless you’ve been practicing. Even then, what’s the rush? Getting it in is actually the hardest part. After that, move slowly to give your partner time to adjust to the sensation. You’ll develop a rhythm naturally. But if at any point they tell you to stop, get out of there like it’s a hotel that charges for late checkout.
 

Lube isn’t (just) for pussies

For first-timers, lube is essential. Don’t be a hero. You’re not doing yourself or your partner any favors by gritting your teeth and taking it like the power bottom you’re not. If you’re using condoms, use a water-based lube. Certain oil and petroleum-based lubricants may cause a condom to break. There’s also a natural alternative I can personally vouch for: coconut oil. Go for the unrefined (preferably organic) kind. Just don’t confuse it with the jar you use to cook with. While there’s a debate as to its safety when used with condoms, coconut oil is a great option for people with sensitivities or personal objections to the ingredients in lube.

Becki Kozel/Thrillist

The condom conundrum

While it would be socially irresponsible of me to tell you not to use condoms during your backdoor excursions, I will tell you that it’s relatively common for them to break. It’s not one’s fault, just anatomy. That area is tighter than TSA; even with lube, latex is no match for the human sphincter. Personally, I don’t love the idea of any remnants of a foreign object floating around my lower intestine. So whether you use condoms or not, it’s imperative that you and your partner be very real with one another about your sexual health before you get down... or behind. The unfortunate fact is that given the nature of the tissue back there, certain STDs are more easily contracted anally than they are vaginally or orally. So check yo’ self and your partner before the two of you wreck your medical histories.
 

Prepare yourself for the aftermath

Before it was an entrance, the backdoor was an exit... and we all know for what. Understand that you may leave the festivities with an unwanted party favor. This has never happened to me personally, but I lived in West Hollywood long enough to hear a few stories. If it does happen, don’t be a dick about it. Also, if this is your first time on the receiving end, you may notice some very light bleeding afterward. Don’t panic or get on WebMD. This is very common and is the result of minor tears called fissures. But if the bleeding exceeds anything more than what you’d expect from a bad paper cut, or if you’re in any serious pain, seek medical attention.
 

Make it your last stop on the tour

It’s like the saying goes: once you go back... you don’t go anywhere else until you wash your penis. Again, this isn’t porn, and no one is getting paid to go ass to mouth. It almost definitely won’t kill you, but it’s not a fun way to get E. coli. That’s what taco trucks are for. Also, going from anal to vaginal penetration can be a recipe for a UTI. So hole-hop at your own risk if you’re not rinsing off in between.
 

Don’t judge yourself for liking it

While it’s definitely not everybody’s cup of tea, anal sex (I’m out of innuendos) can help deliver some incredibly powerful orgasms for men and women alike -- and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Even if it doesn’t always feel great, it can still be incredibly intimate. That’s precisely why, despite all the gross stuff I mentioned, people still do it. So if you’re curious, take the plunge. Just remember to ask first.

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Julia Reiss is a writer and stand-up comedian who’s just trying to make the world a better place, one dick joke at a time. Follow her on Twitter: @thereisspiece.