Home lifestyle Everything you need to know about trying solo anal play

Everything you need to know about trying solo anal play

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New to anal masturbation? Here’s where to start (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Let’s talk about the butt.

Don’t be scared. We’ll take it slow.

For many, our first venture into the realm of anal play is with a partner, delving straight into ‘trying anal’ as a way to take a sexual relationship up a notch. This can go poorly – the nerves around a new sensation can make you tense up, causing difficulty sliding anything into the anus and frustration all round.

Far better, we reckon, to test the waters alone first, to figure out what feels good and get used to what anal feels like without another party as the audience to your self-discovery.

But even delving into anal play alone can feel a bit nerve-wracking, prompting a hurried Google search for how on earth to get started.

We’re here to help, with a beginner’s guide to approaching anal play solo.

What is anal masturbation?

Exactly what it sounds like, anal masturbation is the actual of sexual self-exploration using simply your body or toys, but focused around the anus.

It doesn’t have to involve penetration – surface-level touching counts, too.

Why should you do it?

‘One of the biggest appeals of anal masturbation is that it allows the individual to explore an often untouched erogenous area at their own pace to establish what they do and do not like,’ says Mia Sabat, in-house sex therapist at Emjoy.

‘While it’s often assumed that anal sex is an act that must take place between two people, the reality is that we can often experience anal sex alone – and enjoy it. Any act of masturbation is an act of giving yourself pleasure, so this naturally applies to anal play too.’

Masturbation is a great way to figure out what you like and what feels good. You might discover that anal, perhaps a previously unexplored area, feels fantastic, and can then bring that knowledge into sex with a partner.

Or you might try it solo, hate the sensation, and decide against it. At least you know, and were able to work that out without the stress of dealing with another person’s feelings.

What are the benefits of anal masturbation?

Pleasure! For many people, anal stimulation feels absolutely wonderful, thanks to nerve endings throughout the region.

Just like ‘regular’ masturbation focused on your genitals, anal masturbation can relieve stress, boost your mood, increase your sexual confidence, and even help you sleep.

‘If you want to masturbate, and are curious to discover more about you and your sexuality, then masturbation can only be beneficial to your mind and body,’ says Mia. ‘It’s natural to be curious about your body and the range of pleasures it can experience, and it’s time to let go of the shame that surrounds anal masturbation.

‘Not only is masturbating pleasurable, but it helps us look after our minds and bodies, and connect with our sexuality by helping us get to know our body and desires better.

‘Anal masturbation especially is exceptionally pleasurable, thanks to multiple nerve endings located throughout the region. With adequate dilation and lubrication, anal sex both alone or with another person can be an extremely pleasant experience.’

Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with (Picture: Ella Byworth/ metro.co.uk)

How can you get started with solo anal play?

We’re not overstating this: relaxation is key. If you’re tensed up and not in the mood, anal play of any sort will not be enjoyable, simply because of how the muscles around your butt function.

Mia explains: The first and most important thing is to be relaxed and to not feel pressured in any way to explore this part of your sexuality if you don’t want to. As long as you are doing something you want to do or try, you are in control.

‘Anal sex, in any form, needs relaxation. It is important for it to be a joyful experience, and for you to feel at ease about the process.

‘Take your time before starting and awaken your excitement with erotic fantasies, movies or books before beginning anal play or penetration.

‘Physically, you can start by playing with the buttocks: stroke the entire area and place your hands on the folds where the legs and buttocks meet.

‘Then slide your fingers along the fold, from the inner thigh to the outer area, and repeat this movement as many times as your body asks to help you warm up.

‘Then, slowly massage your lower back, caressing the outside of your anus, and moving at a pace that makes you comfortable and excited. Once aroused, you can think about moving towards penetration, if that is what you want to do.’

Start small and slow – one of your fingers is an easy starting point, wearing latex gloves or a condom if you’re nervous about cleanliness – and build your way up to larger buttplugs and dildos.

What are the best toys for anal masturbation?

An important thing to note: you should only put things in your anus that are designed to be put in there.

That’s because anything that isn’t a toy designed for anal play may get sucked up inside you and be tricky to get out, causing damage and requiring a rather embarrassing (and likely painful) hospital visit.

You need something with a flared base or something to hold on to at the end, for easy removal.

It’s also crucial that toys don’t go from the anus to the vagina, so we’d recommend having separate toys for those two areas.

‘I would recommend beginners first try using a plug, or several of different sizes of plugs, to experiment with pleasant, progressive dilation,’ says Mia. ‘These types of plugs are designed to be safely left in the anus or used during anal play, which means all you have to worry about is having fun and enjoying yourself.’

What lube should you use for anal play?

While the vagina has natural lubrication, the anus does not. That means that lube isn’t an option, but a necessity.

‘If lube isn’t used, your experience with anal pleasure will likely cause small fissures (tears) in the tissue lining your anus, which will result in pain, discomfort and even bleeding,’ says Mia. ‘Not only will this be unpleasant experience, but it will likely deter you from engaging in anal-focused sexual experiences in the future.’

Have a search of your preferred sex toy sites and you’ll find plenty of lubes specifically designed for anal sex.

A note: while numbing options might sound appealing for those feeling a bit nervous, we wouldn’t recommend them. It’s important that you can feel what’s going on down there, including pain – which is a sign to stop what you’re doing.

Keep an eye on the type of lube you’re using, too. Water-based is safe for use with both condoms and toys, but isn’t as long-lasting, so you’ll need more of it, silicone-based works with condoms but not with silicone toys (friction causes break down), and oil-based lasts longer but doesn’t work with condoms or toys as again, it can cause breakdown.

If you’re sticking to manual stimulation with your fingers, oil-based is a good shout. If you’re bring toys or condoms into the mix, go for water-based.

Lube is key (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Do you need to do an enema?

Nope, you don’t need to. It’s your body and you’re the one exploring it – it’s really up to you how to prepare.

We’ll answer the big question: yes, you might see some poop. It’s normal and to be expected, and frankly, if you’re deeply uncomfortable with the idea of fecal matter being anywhere near you, anal play might not be for you. Poo comes out of your anus. Accept that, move on.

While enemas sound like an appealing way to clear all risk of poop, they can bring more risk than they’re worth.

‘I highly recommend against the use of enemas,’ says Mia. ‘While some think that enemas make anal play more hygienic, this is a highly misunderstood concept.

‘Enemas bring many negative side effects as they can damage the area, irritate cells in the rectum, generate excess mucus and cause dryness in the rectal area which can cause fissures, and lead to the spread of STIs.

‘Ultimately, it’s important to remember that anal sex is anal sex: let go of any stigma, shame or embarrassment surrounding fecal matter, remember it’s a natural part of anal play, and don’t let it hold you back from enjoying a truly pleasurable experience.’

How should you prepare for anal play?

We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again: relax and prepare mentally, first. Make sure you’re in the right headspace before you get going.

Then it’s on to the physical bits.

You might feel more comfortable going to the toilet and having a shower first, to lower your chances of encountering large amounts of poo.

Clean your hands and fingers well, trim and file your nails to get rid of sharp corners or edges that could cause injury, and cover with a condom or latex gloves for extra comfort.

Make sure your toys are clean before use and you have a good lube stash.

What should you do for aftercare post-anal play?

‘When you finish an anal sex session, it is good to clean up in the same way you would after any other session,’ says Mia. ‘For example, if toys have been used, it is good to wash or wipe them thoroughly and make sure they are clean from both body fluids and lubricants.

‘When it comes to the body itself, a normal cleaning without exaggeration or extra force will be more than enough. Don’t be intimidated if fecal matter appears during or after intercourse – it’s a natural to be exposed to small amount of visible or invisible fecal matter when engaging in anal sex of any sort. Simply wash yourself externally with soap and water, and you’ll be clean as ever.

‘After anal sex, you may feel like you want to go to the bathroom or experience sensations similar to flatulence – this may feel slightly irritating or embarrassing, but there’s nothing to worry about – there is no risk of incontinence with anal sex.’

Go slow (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

What are the signs that anal play has gone wrong?

If at any point you feel sharp pain, stop. Don’t try to ‘push through it’ or assume pain is just part of the experience.

‘If you take your time to enjoy foreplay, focus on pleasure and use lube, you shouldn’t experience any soreness or discomfort during or after anal sex,’ says Mia. ‘If you find yourself feeling tender or uncomfortable after engaging in anal sex, you should consult your doctor, and reflect on your technique to see what might be the cause for your discomfort.

‘Small tears can occur during anal sex, just as they can during vaginal intercourse, but know they heal quickly, with the greatest threat lying in the increased risk of contracting an STI.

‘It is very rare for anal sex to result in physical trauma, though it isn’t uncommon to experience haemorrhoids after engaging in anal play, which sometimes require an over-the-counter treatment or a doctor’s opinion.

‘If you are in continuous pain or lose control of your bowels, you could have a fissure, which should be treated by a doctor. Avoiding extreme practices like fisting, engaging in anal sex with a lack of dilation, or having anal intercourse without lubrication are the best ways to keep your health front of mind.

‘Taking anal sex slowly, and at a pace that only results in pleasure, rather than discomfort or pain, will help keep you and your anus healthy throughout your experience.’

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

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