Written by Domina Doll, 21st April 2023

Medically reviewed by Dr Megan Fleming, 24th July, 2023

36 Anal Play Tips for Beginners and Lovers of Booty Play

The best anal foreplay tips and techniques for stimulating your butt for anal orgasms, including hygiene, foreplay, and prepping, either solo or with a partner.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro at butt-loving, anal play can ultimately spice things up in the bedroom during solo sex or anal sex with a partner. After all, the anus is full of rich nerve endings that, when stimulated correctly, can lead to powerful orgasms and pleasure. Oh yeah!

And the great thing is, we all have a butt, so everyone can enjoy anal play, whether it is anal massage and foreplay, or penetration play with a penis or a toy.

There are multiple ways to stimulate the anus and enjoy anal pleasure. In this anal play tips guide, we’ve included 36 ways to enjoy anal pleasure, with links to more comprehensive guides as well.

How do you say, “I love anal play?” Let us count the ways.

What is anal play?

First of all, what is anal play? While most people’s thoughts go straight to anal sex, there are a lot more exciting things to explore, including anal foreplay.

Doughnut innuendo 2

To get specific, anal play (also called butt play and booty play) is any sexual behavior that encompasses pleasuring the anus through erotic stimulation.

This could involve using your tongue or mouth (rimming), your finger (fingering), penetration with a penis (anal sex), or a strap-on (pegging), prostate play (for receivers who have a penis), or solo sex with an anal toy (aka anal masturbation).

Now that we’ve introduced the basics, let’s dive into these ass play tips… But first, time to bust some anal sex myths.

Lube up every time


Always remember that, because the anus is not self lubricating like the vagina, lube is a must. And in particular we always recommend anal lube, with enhanced its thickness that helps provide longer-lasting, cushioned glide during anal sex and anal play.

Read more about anal lubes in our The Best Anal Lubes guide.

Busting myths about anal play

Anal sex has historically been quite taboo, and it has only been in the past few years that this backdoor pleasure has come out of the closet. It is not surprising then, that there are also many myths associated with anal sex that can cause a lot of confusion among beginners.

Read on as we bust some myths about anal sex, including what type of people do it, whether it is dirty, or hurts, and some other general misconceptions.

“Anal play is only for certain people”

In a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 44% of men and 36% of women reported having anal sex at least once in their lifetime. Most of the people in this survey identified as heterosexual, which reveals that anal sex is not just an activity enjoyed by gay men only. In fact, Lovehoney’s Scientific Advisor and Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute, Dr. Justin Lehmiller says, “The vast majority of people who practice it are not gay.”

Many heterosexual men enjoy being the receiver of butt play as well, including prostate massage and getting pegged. And heterosexual women love it too. According to a study by the NSSHB, 93% of women who received anal sex had an orgasm.

These studies show that there is a great diversity of sexual practices among adults regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

“Anal sex is always painful”

Anal sex may be a bit strange feeling at first, and even uncomfortable for beginners. But it should never hurt. If it does hurt, then you are probably doing something wrong.

If you ever feel any pain during anal sex, then stop right away.


Anal sex should always be about pleasure. To ensure that anal sex doesn’t hurt, follow these guidelines:

  • Always use anal lube

  • Go slow

  • Start small

  • Relax

  • Remember to breathe

  • Communicate with your partner

Read on for more anal play tips later in this article.

“Anal play is dirty”

While poop is a factor when it comes to anal sex, there is very little fecal matter in the lower part of the rectum itself. And with proper preparation and cleaning, anal play does not need to be unhygienic.

Check out our guidelines on how to prep for anal sex below.

“Everyone likes anal sex”

Just because we all have a butt doesn’t mean we all will enjoy or even want to try anal sex. Again, this comes down to our diverse sexual preferences, kinks, and fantasies.

Some people are just not that into it. And that’s fine. So don’t feel pressured into trying anal sex if you do want to, and likewise, don’t try to coerce your partner into doing any sexual activity they don’t want to do, including anal sex.

Diverse delights: Types of anal play

We have already alluded to the fact that anal play isn’t only about anal sex. There are so many diverse delights you can enjoy pleasure via booty play.

Let’s break them down.

Anal sex

Okay, anal sex is all about anal penetration, either with a penis, or a strap-on dildo. Technically, anything that encompasses penetrating the anus could be considered anal sex.

Want more tips? Then our How to Have Anal Sex guide is just for you!


Anal fingering is pretty much what it sounds like: inserting one finger or more into the anus for the purpose of stimulation. This is one of the best ways to massage the P-spot or prostate as well.


Rimming (Analingus)

Analingus (also called rimming or tossing a salad) is the practice of stimulating your partner’s anal opening with your tongue and/or mouth. It can include licking around your starfish, as well as penetrating the anus with a tongue.

Check out Lovehoney’s Guide to Rimming.

Prostate stimulation

Penis owners have a prostate gland (or P-spot), which when stimulated can lead to powerful, full-body, multiple orgasms. The P-spot can be stimulated using fingers, anal penetration with a penis or strap-on, or using a prostate massager or butt plug.

The prostate can also receive stimulation indirectly, by pressing up into the perineum with your fingers.

Read our Lovehoney blog all about Prostate Orgasms.


Pegging is a term that refers to the act of female-to-male strap-on sex within a heterosexual relationship. However, any activity using a strap-on with your partner could be considered pegging, regardless of gender or sexual preferences.

Enjoy our Beginner’s Guide to Pegging for hot tips on how to do it!

Anal toys

Oh, where to begin! Anal sex toys, butt plugs, anal beads, anal training, anal vibrators, and more. There is such a huge variety of anal sex toys to experiment with either solo or with your partner.

Let’s check them out!

Anal play toys to try

Anal sex toys are a very specialized type of toy designed specifically for anal penetration (obvs!). Why is this important? Well, the anus can actually suck a toy up inside the rectum. Anal toys are designed with a flared base, or a way of stopping the toy from roaming too far inside during play. Make sure the toys you use for anal penetration always have a flared base, arm, or safety retrieval ring.

tracey cox butt plug 500x

Butt Plugs

Butt plugs are some of the most popular of anal play toys, due to their versatility and various designs. They can be used for anal training to slowly allow your butt to get used to anal sex, or many other types of anal play. Some folx enjoy using them in power-exchange relationships of dominance and submission, and others may like them as an added sensation during other types of sexual activities.

Anal plugs often come in various sizes (small, medium, and large), and different materials (silicone, glass, metal, plastic). But they all have a basic teardrop shape with a flared base to keep them in place.

Check out our article on [Butt Plugs 101 for Beginners](Butt Plugs/blog/first-time-butt-plug-101.html)!

anal beads 500x

Anal Beads

Anal beads are a greater starter toy for beginners as they are not too intimidating due to their long, thin design. They consist of several pleasure beads on a long silicone string that is inserted inside the anus one by one. Upon orgasm, you remove the string to intensify pleasure.

Try more anal fun with our Beginner’s Guide to Anal Beads.

prostate massage toy 500x

Prostate Massagers

Prostate massagers are made specifically for penis owners and are used for stimulation of the P-spot. Many of them have a pivot point at the base that can be used to create a rocking motion to massage the prostate gland by using the muscles of the anus. Therefore, they can be used for hands-free pleasure.

Not sure how to use one. We’ve got a guide for that as well: Lovehoney’s Beginner's Guide to Prostate Massagers.


Vibrators & Dildos

Numerous types of anal vibrators and butt play dildos can be used for anal play. The most important thing to remember is that they should have a flared base.

Many dildos, including strap-ons, have a suction cup or flared base so they can be mounted against a wall or flat surface, or used for strap-on play and pegging.

53214 Tracey Cox Supersex Flexible Tip Anal Douche 250ml split

Anal Douche

Anal douches are used to internally clean out the anus before anal penetration. Some people like using them for sexual reasons as well. Keep in mind, however, that anal douching or having an enema before anal play is not a prerequisite and comes down to personal preference.

See more about anal douching below, or read our Beginner’s Guide to Anal Douching.

Anal play tips for beginners

Anal play doesn’t have to be complicated. But there are a few best practices to follow. Here they are to get you started.

1. Prepare

Preparation starts with getting all the facts on anal sex education, which you are doing right now. So, congrats on that!

Here are our top anal play tips on how to get prepared for ass play pleasures.

2. Once more: Lube, Lube, Lube!

Our number one tip on how to get the most out of anal play is to use lots of lubricant. Unlike the vagina, the anus does not self-lubricate, which means you need lots of lube to prevent pain, discomfort, friction, and tearing. Anal tissues are thin and can easily tear if you don’t use lube, or during rough anal sex. We recommend anal lube, which is extra-thick for cushioned, long-lasting glide.

LHYL TVC stills 3 bath940x500

3. Relax

Relax those booty muscles! Yes, relaxation is the key to enjoying pleasurable anal penetration. The anus has a tight sphincter and muscles right at the entrance to keep poop inside until you are ready to go to the bathroom. This needs to loosen up a bit for anal penetration to be successfully accomplished. If you are tight, tense, or nervous, this is going to translate into a tight butt, which is going to make anal sex painful.

So, take a nice long bath, relax, or try some meditation, and chill out.

4. Remember to breathe

Remember to breathe. Slow, deep breathing during anal sex helps you to loosen up and relax. Try taking a deep breath to ease into penetration and you’ll find things will go much more smoothly.

5. Go slow

As far as anal sex is concerned, going slow always wins the race. Take your time, warm up, and enjoy the experience. No need to rush towards the finishing line (climax) as anal sex is meant to be savored. And you should not only start slow but also start small and work your way up in size/girth.

6. Anal foreplay

Before you dive into anal sex, make sure to prep with anal foreplay first. Do all the things that turn you on. Try anal massage, rimming, and fingering to get you started. The hotter you are, the better your experience will be.

Find out how in our guide to Anal Foreplay.

7. Perineum play

The perineum is that erogenous zone just behind the balls and before the anus in penis owners, and between the vulva and anus in vagina owners. It has lots of erotic nerve endings that can be turned on in preparation for anal sex. Massaging this area is a great way to warm up to ass play, and begin stimulating the P-spot indirectly.

Press one to two fingers up on the perineum to put pressure on the prostate gland. This can lead to orgasms without using penetration.

oral sex

8. Tongue play

Licking, sucking, and rimming the anus can be super-hot for the receiver, and is a great way to warm up to penetration. For the giver, use a dental dam to cover the area if you don’t want to come in direct contact with the anus, or you can also use thin plastic wrap as a barrier as well. Or try some flavored lubes to turn analingus into a peachy dessert.

9. Anal fingering

Anal fingering is a great way to begin anal penetration. Make sure your nails are trimmed (or use a glove), and use plenty of lube.

Massage around the anal opening and between the cheeks with your hands and fingers, and then lightly press on the anal opening with your finger perpendicular to the entrance. Wait for that little starfish to wink open and allow your finger to slide inside, slowly, one inch at a time.

Take breaks to allow your partner to get used to the sensation, then go a bit deeper. You can also wiggle your finger around from top to bottom and side to side, to slowly stretch the anus so it can accommodate more.

10. Practice makes perfect

As with learning any new skill, becoming a pro at anal sex take practice and time. Make it a regular part of your sexy play and over time you will perfect anal play and pleasuring.

11. Start with small toys.

Don’t go for that giant dildo you have been admiring for quite some time, to begin with. A small butt plug is perfect for beginners, and an anal training kit is even better to gradually train your butt to enjoy bigger toys and penises.

12. Try a Vibe

Many anal toys have vibrating settings, like butt plugs and prostate massagers. Turn up the pleasure with some sexy vibrations for additional stimulation.

2019.05.14 LH Day 01-902-b

13. Talk dirty

Anal sex is a bit taboo, and that can actually be a part of the turn-on. Talking dirty during sex as you relate your sexy fantasy to your partner can be hot!

14. Shower sex

Sex in the shower is on many people’s bucket list, and what better way to get clean and have fun at the same time? Keep in mind that silicone lube is water-resistant and works better in the shower or bath.

Check out our guide for having Great Shower Sex as well as safety tips and the best sex positions!

15. Suction cup dildos

Suction cup dildos are an awesome addition to your butt play toys, especially if you want to go solo. Wet it and stick it to a hard, flat surface and enjoy hands-free anal penetration without a partner!

16. Strap-on play

Strap-on play is an exciting way to change up the power dynamics. Strap-ons can be used by vulva owners to peg and penetrate their partner, or for penis owners who want to enhance penis size or the hardness of their erections.

17. Have a bowel movement

Try having a bowel movement an hour or two before anal play to remove the risk of unwanted accidents happening during play.


18. Anal hygiene

When it comes to anal play you want to be particularly diligent in cleaning your butt out thoroughly. Thankfully, this can be as easy as taking a bath or a shower and a little mild soap and water. Cleansing wipes can also be used in a pinch for a quick refresh.

19. Anal Douching

Do you need to use an anal douche or enema before engaging in anal sex?

Absolutely not. Using an anal douche is a personal preference, and can be safe every once in a while, but it shouldn’t be a regular practice.

Many experts say to stay away from douching as it can destroy the microbiome of the rectum, leading to an increased risk of getting an STI.

20. Use protection

Anal sex is a high-risk sexual activity, so it is important to use protection, either in the form of a condom or a dental dam, to keep you and your partner safe. This will also limit the exchange of feces and bacterial infections.

Don’t double dip

Avoid going from anal penetration to vagina penetration with a penis or a toy. Harmful bacteria in the vagina can lead to bacterial vaginosis (BV), which causes a nasty infection, vaginal pain, and itching.

22. Avoiding potential risks

Along with using protection, take it easy during anal sex. While some love it rough, and we’re not knocking that, forceful penetration in the anus can lead to anal tears and fissures.

23. Steer clear of numbing lubes

While you may be tempted to use a desensitizing lube to numb your butt during anal sex, most sex experts advise again it. This is because you want to be able to feel what is going on back there and know if there is pain that may lead to tearing or damage.

Remember, anal sex is not supposed to hurt if you are doing it right.

How to talk about anal play

Telling your partner that you would like to try anal play can be a little awkward and vulnerable. Still, open communication around sex, including telling your partner your likes, limits, and fantasies, is the first step to having better sex.

And don’t forget, in order to engage in any type of sex you need to have your partner’s consent as well. Reading our guide on How to Introduce Anal Sex Toys to Your Relationship can help.


24. Breaking the ice

Never break the ice in the heat of the moment. Wait til a time when you are both chilling to bring up the conversation.

25. Discuss boundaries and desires

It is important to have personal boundaries when it comes to sex. If you are a no-go on backdoor play, let your partner know.

26. Consent

Ask for permission and be respectful of your partner’s body. Nuff said.

27. Have the receiver guide the penetration

When engaging in anal penetration, the receiver should always have control over the depth, speed, and force of penetration.

28. Establishing trust

Open communication in a sexual relationship establishes trust. With trust, both partners are usually more open to exploring their boundaries and limits.

29. Be open.

Be open to exploring new things with your partner. If you are not sure about anal penetration, maybe try anal massage first to see where it may lead.

30. Normalizing anal play

Don’t judge your partner for their sexual desires or fantasies. We all have fantasies, and that is a part of the fun. Be considerate, empathetic, and understanding if your partner does bring up something you think may be unusual. Chances are you may like it too.

Anal sex positions

POTW-Lusty Lean

31. Anal Sex Positions

There are lots of positions that work well during anal sex. The top three are Doggy Style, Receiver on Top, and Spooning.

Exploring on your own


32. Go solo

If you are just beginning your anal play adventures, it is recommended to try it by yourself first. This gives you more time to slowly explore what feels good and what doesn’t. It also takes off the pressure of performing for your partner.

Once you have learned what you like, you can then communicate what you have learned about your body, desires, and pleasure to your partner.

Find out more ways to explore in this Anal Masturbation guide.

33. Benefits of self-discovery

Going solo allows you to be both the giver and the receiver. This helps you know what your partner may experience on the receiving end of ass play.

34. Stimulate other erogenous zones

You may not experience an anal orgasm the first time you try anal play. Stroking your penis or clit during anal play can help rewire the brain to eventually bring more orgasmic pleasure to your anus. Do the usual things that make you climax, which in turn will train your brain into eroticizing anal play.

Proper cleaning and maintenance

fresh toy cleaner 500x

35. Proper cleaning and maintenance

Don’t forget to clean your toys and yourself after anal play with a sex toy cleaner. Even if you don’t see a mess on your toys, there are still germs there.

Anal aftercare

womanizer-toys-1e3-lYkJsfs-unsplash (2)

36. Anal aftercare

What is anal aftercare? This is when you take care of yourself, and your partner after having anal sex. Because anal sex can leave you feeling vulnerable or even sore, cuddling together, talking about the experience, or having a nice bath will make your experience much more positive.

Is anal play safe?

For the most part, anal sex is considered safe, but there are some risks including contracting STIs, tearing the thin lining of the anus, and other factors.

Read more about this topic in our guide Is Anal Sex Safe?

Want more?

Read more Anal Sex Advice from Lovehoney

Go get it Go get it