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Anal August may be coming to an end, but the fun shouldn’t have to stop

Aug 29, 2023

Anal August may be coming to an end, but the fun shouldn’t have to stop
  • TLDR; There’s no such thing as too much lube. 

    When I think of August, a few things come to mind: the nostalgic end-of-summer feels, evenings spent waiting for the train at humid subway stations, a higher-than-usual electricity bill, and, of course, Anal August! 

    If you’re not mega-online, hearing that August was literally declared as National Anal Sex Month might be news. And while the name is pretty self-explanatory — anal play is anything butt* straightforward. 

    So, what better way to celebrate another Anal August than through a little anal education lesson and answering some of the internet’s most frequently asked questions about safe anal play? 

    What is Anal Play? 

    The world of anal is much more vast than many people know. It’s not only penis-or-sex-toy-to-butthole. There’s a whole wide world of anal-related exploration and pleasure to be unlocked. 

    Anal play is any sexual activity that involves your butt! It can be done solo or between two or more consenting adults. It’s something that many people report feeling curious about but maybe a little scared or even embarrassed to try. We have years of homophobic laws and negative press to thank for that! 

    But anal doesn’t have to be scary. With the right prep, an open mind, and a caring and attentive partner — it often leads to some pretty remarkable moments of unrestrained pleasure. 

    Anal play doesn’t always require penetration! Just clean hands and a healthy amount of lube. There are plenty of ways to ease into the world of butt stuff, and many of them have nothing to do with anything going into you if you’re not ready for that. 

    We’re here to talk about some of our all-time faves and how you can try ‘em at home (if you want to):

    Feeling Around the Rectum

    This might be gently resting a finger by, on, or around the rectum — and applying slight pressure but not enough to “go inside.” You can brush against the area and gently massage the perineum (the area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva).

    Anal Fingering

    Apply generous amounts of lube (spit works too if you and your partner are into that), and begin by lighting feeling around the area. Start inserting a finger inside your partner’s anus slowly, and you can either do a gentle and small “come hither” motion with your finger or ease into circling around the prostate or the front wall of your partner’s anus. 

    Once you’re both feeling good and more comfortable, you can choose to do a slightly faster vibrator-coded up-and-down motion. If that still feels a little too advanced, you can always opt just to stick the tip of your finger in and almost flick your fingertip up and back down slowly, over and over. Enjoy! 

    Rimming/ Eating Ass

    Eating ass, rim jobs, rimming, and analingus are all different names for the same thing: licking, kissing, and/or sucking on your partner’s anus. You want the receiver to be comfortable and able to relax into the sensations, so having them lay on their stomach with a pillow under their pelvis or in doggy, chest against the bed are two fool-proof options. 

    You can start by incorporating some light massaging around the area, kissing around the area, or even incorporating some fingering/hand job/vibrator action into the foreplay. Ease into using your tongue and licking small circles around the rectum. You can also flatten the top of your tongue against their rectum as you lick up and down. 

    Don’t be afraid to ask for pointers! On speed, technique, and position — and to let out a little moan or two. Reassurance is never a bad thing when we’re giving or receiving. 

    Anal Sex Toys 

    I am a big advocate for trying things on my own first. A little dress rehearsal moment, if you will. Whether you plan on using an anal toy on someone else or on the receiving end — it never hurts to familiarize yourself with it solo to get the hang of it all. 

    Make sure you use a lot of lube. I mean, to the point where whatever toy is in your hands is actually dripping with lube. Dripping. Drenched. Lather. This is not the time to ration. 

    Ease into it by ensuring you spend enough time with foreplay and that you and your partner are both very aroused before you penetrate! As always, begin with gentle motions and ease your way in. 

    Some of the most popular and common anal sex toys include anal beads, vibrating butt plugs, prostate massagers, and strap-ons.  

    Strap on’s can be great for anal sex, but they can also feel a little intimidating if you or your partner are new to anal play! Remember, you can use sex toys to help enhance your experience — they don’t always have to take over if it’s not for you.

    Anal Sex with a Penis

    Safe sex is non-negotiable. Make sure you and your partner(s) have all been tested if you won’t be using protection or wear a condom! 

    The actual lay of the land here is similar to if you’re using a strap-on or penetrative sex toys — as in, they require a lot of lube and easing into the act itself. 

    You can always start by rimming or fingering and then slowly insert the tip of your penis in before going in all the way and checking on your partner to ensure everything feels good and comfortable throughout. 

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. How do I know where to start?

    Well, it’s really up to you and your partner(s)’ comfort levels! I always encourage people to start with feeling around and anal fingering before bringing more things into the equation. Once you both feel comfortable, you can begin exploring things together and widen your horizons! That being said, it’s really up to everyone’s personal preference! If the only play you’re interested in is anal sex — more power to you! Just make sure you and your partner are on the same page and that a safe word and boundaries have been established. Take it slow, lube it up, and enjoy yourselves! 

    1. How do I prep?

    As with any other sexual act, the #1 prep involved should always be getting tested! Make sure you have plenty of lube, condoms, wet wipes, and a towel for the event! Beforehand, most people opt to douche or clean their butts with mild soap and water in the shower before any sort of anal play. You can also try anal training kits where you dilate your anus with different-sized butt plugs to prep and minimize any sort of discomfort. Remember to make pleasure the point! That, and some after-care. 

    1. What’s clean-up like?

    It depends! Usually, a post-anal shower is in the works. Many people prefer to lay a towel down since it’s easier to clean up than changing the sheets. If the mess is minimal, you can do a little sink shower with soap and water and thoroughly wash your hands. The most important thing to remember here is that if you’re playing with a butt and butt-things emerge, it’s not the end of the world. We’re all grown; we all knew what we were getting into. There’s nothing a shower and a quick load of laundry can’t fix, so try your best to let yourself sink into the moment and be present with yourself and your partner. 

    1. How can I do butt play on my partner if they have a prostate and I don’t?

    All of our advice still applies! The only difference here might be that, if your partner is on board, you might want to focus any penetration on the prostate instead of the front wall of the rectum. Talk to your partner about what they prefer regarding sex toys, fingering, or rimming, and incorporate other elements throughout, like perineum massages, ball-play, licking, and hand jobs! 

    1. Who is anal play for?

    Like all sex, it’s for any and all consenting adults who want to have it! 

    1. Does anal play hurt?

    It can hurt, but that’s why we emphasize copious amounts of lube, a lot of foreplay, and using butt plugs and other smaller things to start your journey. If, at any point, it begins to hurt, it’s okay to say stop! If you’re the one penetrating, always ask your partner how they’re feeling, if you can slow down, be easier, or if it’s feeling pleasurable. 

    1. Can I get an STI from anal?

    Yes, you can! You can get STIs from anal sex, so please get tested and use protection! 

    If you’re using a condom, water-based or silicone lubes are the way to go! Do NOT use oil-based lubes, vaseline, lotions, or oils as lube if you’re using latex condoms because it makes them more susceptible to breakage. 

    In a month that conjures up images of summer’s end and warm, hazy days, another unconventional association has taken center stage: Anal August. Let this be a celebration of knowledge, an invitation to embrace a more inclusive and informed perspective on intimate exploration. After all, pleasure knows no boundaries, and understanding is the gateway to empowerment.

    Daniela Ochoa-Bravo is a writer and creative based in Brooklyn, born in Bogotá. She is the Founder and Editor of Colectivo Tabú, a project dedicated to democratizing the publishing industry by creating a space where the works of emerging and established artists can seamlessly coexist alongside each other.

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