A Beginner’s Guide to Rimming and Analingus

Rimming can be intensely pleasurable and many people find anal stimulation a real game-changer… But why? And how do you do it? Here’s your guide to rimming for everything you need to know.

What is rimming?

Rimming - also known as analingus, anal play, or anal stimulation - is the act of using your mouth, tongue, and lips to stimulate your partner's anus. It’s known as rimming because it’s the rim of the anus that’s licked to pleasure your partner. The act of rimming can stimulate all parts of the anus, and lube can be used to enhance the experience.

What is rimming good for?

Rimming is performed on an incredibly sensitive area that delivers nerve-rich stimulation. Whatever your experience or sexual preference, rimming is a powerful pleasure that you won’t regret trying.

Analingus feels good because the anus has so many sensitive nerve-endings, which means rimming can be incredibly pleasurable for both men and women. Lots of couples enjoy analingus during foreplay or as a sexy accompaniment to oral sex. For a more intense feeling when you’re rimming, you can tease other parts of the body with bondage toys like handcuffs or nipple toys too.

The act of analingus is exactly the same for both genders and all sexual orientations - the only difference is the other parts of the body that you can incorporate while rimming (more on that later). Everything from the safety elements to the lube is broadly the same when considering analingus for penis and vagina owners.

Is rimming safe?

With the proper preparation, yes, rimming is safe, but due to where the anus is and what comes out of it, the area can hold more bacteria than other parts of the body, and rimming can increase the chance of you coming into contact with this bacteria.

But don't worry - by following some basic hygiene precautions before and during rimming, you can enjoy safe and satisfying anal play.

Here’s our 3-step guide to rimming safely:

Ensure the anus is clean: Wash the anus with unscented soap and warm water, or for a more intensive clean, use an anal douche to get squeaky clean for anal play. If you usually like to tame or get rid of body hair before oral sex, you might want to try shaving your anus, too - you might not think you have a lot of hair there, but you'd be surprised!

Use a dental dam: A dental dam is made from protective material and acts as a thin barrier between your tongue and your partner's anus. This not only protects you from STIs but can prevent harmful bacteria from entering your system if you want to stick the tongue inside the anus as opposed to around it (although we'd recommend sticking to the latter). Some dental dams are also flavored and can make the experience tasty for the licker.

Avoid vaginal oral sex: Anal bacteria isn't vagina friendly. Follow the same cautionary measures you would take when having vaginal sex after the penis has been in/around the anus by avoiding vaginal oral sex after rimming.

Don’t avoid the warm-up: We often get asked ‘is it safe to rim a woman’? Well, the answer is the same for anyone, you want to feel relaxed and aroused before you start to avoid any mishaps. Anal penetration can often be painful to begin with, so use clean fingers or sex toys to get used to the sensation.

Should I use Lube for rimming?

You don't have to use lube, but adding lube into any sexual activity - not just rimming - is always recommended to enhance the experience.

Flavored lube lends itself particularly well to rimming - especially if it's your first time trying it. If you think you'll be progressing onto penetration with your tongue, fingers, toys, or penis, then start with a long-lasting lubricant which you won't need to reapply as often.

If you're going to try anal penetration, make sure to choose a lubricant specifically for anal play (they're thicker with more 'cushioning'). And, check that it's compatible with any toys or condoms you may be using.

How to initiate rimming?

When it comes to rimming, communication is key. Obviously, not everyone is in a relationship where they can sit down over dinner and discuss analingus in detail. However, communication can be just as powerful when it's non-verbal. Use body language to tell your partner what you do and don't enjoy.

If you want to receive rimming, respond positively to all activity in this area or gently lean into your partner as they give you oral sex. Now, we're not advising that you shove your butt in your partner's face, but a subtle movement here or there will give them the message that you're happy for them to make their way further south.

If you'd like to give your partner some oral action in that department, start by paying them a little more attention around the anus and gauge their response. Moans and leaning into your touch are good. Moving away or directing your attention elsewhere might signal that they're not up for anal play.

How to Give a Rim Job?

Asking yourself, what’s a rim job done well?? It’s one filled with the perfect tongue technique that has your partner shaking with sensation. Want to know how to perform analingus on your partner? Lovehoney's handy video has all the top tips you need to give a pleasurable rim job.

What rimming techniques are there?

If you're going to try rimming, it helps to know what to do with your tongue as well as how to pleasure your partner in other ways.

Of course, there's no right or wrong way - it really depends on what’s enjoyable for your partner. Here are some tongue techniques for rimming as well as other parts of the body you can incorporate during analingus to give you some ideas.

1. Up and down


How to Rim

Gently move your tongue up and down along the anus with a flat tongue or flick the tip with the same movement in quick motions and vice versa.

2. Side to side


Guide to Rimming

Move your tongue in lateral motions across the anus, either quickly or slowly.

3. Full circle rotations


Guide to Rimming

Move your tongue around the anus in clockwise motions and then go the other way in anti-clockwise motions. You can also try tiny circles at the tip or big circles around the wider anus area.

4. Semicircle


Guide to Rimming

Try licking one side of the anus in a half-circle shape and then do the same on the other side.

5. Flat and pointed


Guide to Rimming

Alternate between a flat, wide tongue for gentle strokes, and a stiff, pointed tip for pinpoint precision.


Mix it up

Play the rusty trombone

Rimming is sometimes referred to as 'playing the rusty trombone', which is when the person who is giving the anus oral attention also reaches around to the penis and makes rapid stroking movements up and down the shaft. The mouth-to-butt coupled with arm actions resembles someone playing a brass instrument.

Use your breath

Gently blowing hot and cold air onto the anus can intensify the sensations and heighten nerve endings. Alternate licks and blows for incredible pleasure.

The more you focus on the anus, the more aroused and sensitive to touch your partner will become, so a touch here and a stroke there can really boost those tingly feelings. Here are some other parts of the body you can involve while performing analingus:

The inner thigh

The inside of the leg, from the anus to the knee, can be very sensitive. Try gently stroking or tickling this area up and down in long motions.

The Butt: Give the butt cheeks a little squeeze, or if your partner prefers something harder and you're in a position to do so, try light rimming.

For women

Try tickling or massaging the clitoris, fingering the vagina or stroking and pinching the nipples.

If you still want more from anal play, you can try adding some anal sex toys or rimming toys into the mix, like a rimming butt plug or an anal douche.

Remember, if you're exploring rimming, try alternating tongue movements and applying different pressures and speeds to see which your partner prefers. Some people love repetitive movements, while others prefer a variation, so keep this in mind when you're experimenting.

Best sex positions for rimming

What’s a rim job position that will provide the most intense experience?

There’s no surprise that the right position can heighten your experience, and that’s no different when it comes to rimming. Whether you like it intimate - both pleasured at the same or more anal action - the right position can take you there.

We’ve listed our three favourite sex positions to help you get comfortable with rimming, but more importantly, let you feast like a pro.

1. The Rimming 69

same-sex-06

This position involves one person giving a rim job whilst the partner performs oral sex. A double-ended win

2. Face-sitting

face-sitting

The receiver sits on the partner's face whilst receiving a rim job. A great one for those who loved to be smothered by the booty.

3. On your front

rimming-dogg

One person is on all fours whilst the partner is giving lots of anal play. For beginners on the receiving end, you can take this position to your stomach and put a cushion under your hips to elevate your booty and give yourself a comfortable ride.

Remember, rimming is all about communication and enjoyment. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner if you want it harder, faster, or for them to stop altogether. Take things nice and slow and make sure you’re on the same page.

More Sexual Happiness Advice

You can never know enough about sex, right? Join us on our sexploration journey via the thriving Lovehoney forum, our weekly Sexual Happiness podcast and our blog.
Forum-Advice-card

Lovehoney Forum
Podast-Advice-card

Sexual Happiness Podcast
Blog-Advice-card

Lovehoney blog