Anal beginner

13 Sex Positions for Great Anal Sex

Published: APRIL 27, 2023 | Updated: MAY 15, 2024
These anal sex positions are sure to please backdoor enthusiasts of all experience levels. Add patience, communication and time, and you'll be on your way to enjoying the best butt sex your body can have.

There are a lot of reasons why people love anal sex.


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For one, the anus and rectum contain a high concentration of nerve endings -- which means this area packs some serious pleasure potential. Others may enjoy the intimacy and trust required for engaging in this sexual act with a partner. Additionally, some people may find anal sex taboo or exciting due to cultural or personal beliefs.

When it comes to anal play, it's impossible to over-emphasize the necessary components for a safe, pleasurable time: communication, relaxation and lubrication (lots of it!). In addition, it's important to note that everyone's body and experiences are different, and what feels pleasurable or uncomfortable for one person may be different for another.

READ: How to Do an Enema Before Anal Play


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Before diving in, however, remember that everyone's experience with anal sex is different. Finding what works best for you and your partner may take some experimentation and practice. For example, suppose you find it difficult to relax enough for comfortable anal penetration in an upright sex position. In that case, Carol Queen, Ph.D., Good Vibes staff sexologist and curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum, suggests trying a different position where the receptive partner can lie down and relax -- little adjustments can make a huge difference.

Add patience, communication and time, and you'll be on your way to enjoying the best butt sex your body can have.

Here are 13 anal sex positions that can help make the experience more fun -- and provide some options for spicing things up.


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Beginner Anal Sex Positions

Missionary Position

Missionary Sex Position: the receptive partner lies on their back while the penetrating partner lays on top of them and penetrates them.

How It Works: In the Missionary position, the person being penetrated is on their back, and the person penetrating is on top, thrusting into their lover.

Why It's Great: "If you are the one being penetrated, you can easily use your legs to regulate the depth of penetration from your lover, allowing them to go as deep or as shallow as you like," says Sexologist Marla Renee Stewart, MA, sexpert for Lovers sexual wellness brand & retailer. "It's also a great way for your lover to see themselves penetrating you, which can be very arousing and help them get closer to climax." Stewart adds that this position can be just as fun going slow as it is going fast.


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READ: Slow Sex: How to do Foreplay Right.

Modify It: If you want to incorporate toys into this position and you have a vulva, Stewart says incorporating your favorite sex toy could be great for helping you to relax your anal sphincter for easier penetration.

"Using an air pulse toy, like the We-Vibe Melt, if you like suction, or a nice hand-sized wand, such as the Lovers Wonder Wand, is a great asset to your pleasure," Stewart says. "If you have a penis, adding a pocket stroker, like the Zolo, can be a great way to add to the experience if you want to get your genitals involved in the party."


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Either way, Missionary is an excellent position for folks who like multiple forms of stimulation.

Spoon Position

Spoon Position: both partners lay on their side facing the same direction. The partner in behind penetrates the partner in front anally.How It Works: In the Spoon position, "...both partners lie on their sides facing the same direction, with the receiving partner positioned in front of the penetrating partner," explains Melissa Cook, an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and writer with FunwithFeet.

"The penetrating partner can then enter the receiving partner from behind, with both partners able to control the depth and pace of penetration," says Cook.


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Why It's Great: This is an excellent position because it is highly flexible, comfortable, and accommodating to couples of varying sizes. Spooning is great for anal sex on a lazy day when you want to take your time and enjoy each other. In addition, it doesn't require a lot of acrobatics or physical exertion.

READ: The 6 Best Sex Positions for Morning Sex.

Modify It: Cook says this position can be modified and adapted to suit more experienced partners' preferences as well. "For example, couples may choose to use toys like butt plugs or vibrators to enhance the sensation and pleasure of anal sex in this position," she says.

Or, Cook notes, others may experiment with different angles and positions, such as raising one leg or adjusting the angle of penetration for added stimulation.

Going For It Position

Going for It Position: The receptive partner lays on their back on a flat, elevated surface such as a table. The penetrating partner stands in front of them, holding the receptive partner's ankles on either side of their own hips.

How It Works: In the Going for It position, Searah Deysach, sex educator and owner of the sex shop Early to Bed, explains that the receiver lays the top part of their body across a table or counter top allowing them to be penetrated from behind.

Why It's Great: Deysach says this position allows easy access for their partner while the receiver has something to grip onto and hold up their weight.

Modify It: You might want to put a blanket or towel on the countertop for comfort, but Deysach notes that you may also find the slick coolness feels good against your skin. Also, you can experiment with the way the receiving partner is facing -- lying on their back versus their stomach may switch up the sensations.

Afternoon Delight Position/Scissor Position

The Afternoon Delight Position: The receptive partner lays on their back with their knees in the air and their feet flat on the ground. The penetrating partner lies on their side, perpendicular to the receptive partner, and penetrates them anally.The Afternoon Delight Position.

The Scissor Position: The receptive partner lays on their back with one leg extended and the other bent. The penetrating partner lies perpendicular to the receptive partner, straddling the receptive partner's extended leg to align their genitals for penetration.The Scissor Position.How It Works: The Afternoon Delight position and the Scissor position are quite similar; the variation you choose will depend on what's most comfortable for your and your partner's bodies.

For this position, the bottom partner lies down on their back with one leg thrust out and the other bent at the knee, bringing the bent knee as close to their shoulder as they can get it, explains Lyndsey Murray, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and owner of Relationship Matters Therapy. "The other partner then lies on their side facing the bottom partner perpendicularly and penetrates the bottom partner at this angle," says Murray.

Why It's Great: Murray says this position allows for deeper penetration because of the larger opening the bottom partner has created by raising their legs, which can lead to a mind-blowing sexual experience.

READ: Go Deep! The 8 Best Sex Positions for Deep Penetration.

Modify It: For more skin-to-skin contact, Murray suggests partners lie completely side-by-side -- as in, both partners on their side, facing the same direction, one in front and one behind, where the partner in the back has their stomach facing their partner's back. A dildo or strap-on would also work well in this position.

Hits the Spot Position

Hits the Spot position: The receptive partner lays on their stomach and the penetrating partner sits on their knees behind them. The receptive partner wraps their legs around the penetrating partner's torso.

How It Works: In the Hits the Spot position, the receptive partner lies face-down on the bed. "If it's uncomfortable to turn their head to one side, they might want to 'recline up' onto a pillow [so] that they can raise their chest enough so that they don't need to turn their head," says Carol Queen, Ph.D., Good Vibes Staff Sexologist and Curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum. Queen explains that receptive partner's legs can be spread (in which case the insertive partner will kneel between them) or closed (in which case the insertive partner will place their knees to either side).

"The bottom's hands can be tucked under them for stimulation, stretched out in front of them (which would give them a bit of leverage if they wanted to thrust back against their partner), or at their sides," says Queen.

Why It's Great: This is a super easy position for beginners to explore anal play for bodies of all strengths and abilities.

Modify It: Queen suggests raising the receptive partner's butt by using a sex positioning wedge -- like one of the Liberator shapes. (Here it is in plus size.) This makes access easier while still allowing the bottom to relax and feel supported.

Intermediate Anal Sex Positions

Bind and Bang Position

Bind and Bang Sex Position. The receiving partner lays on their back with their hips propped up in the air by the Wedge. Their wrists are bound to the Wedge. The penetrating partner kneels up against the Wedge for sex.

How It Works: The Bind and Bang position adds a pillow or wedge to the traditional missionary position to create more space around the receiving partner's penis or clitoris. This little extra bit of lift will also allow for the use of hands or small toys.

Why It's Great: "Many find that adding a pillow or sex wedge beneath the receiving partner's pelvis makes the penetration angle more pleasurable," says Sarah Melancon, Ph.D. and sexuality and relationships expert for SexToyCollective.com. For example, she says, a study published in December 2022 found that using a pillow in missionary position increased blood flow to the clitoris, which may increase pleasure. "This study focused on vaginal intercourse, but the same mechanics would likely apply to anal sex as well, as it relates to the combination of gravitational and thrusting force," says Melancon.

Modify It: As its name suggests, this position lends itself well to a bit of bondage. Try fastening the receptive partner's wrists to the headboard above you, or -- if you're the lucky owner of a Liberator Black Label Wedge -- to the anchor points on the side of your sex furniture.

Doggy Style Position

Doggy Style Position: The receptive partner is on all fours and uses a wand massager to pleasure their clitoris. The penetrating partner kneels behind them and penetrates them.

How It Works: In Doggy Style, one person bends over, crouches on all fours (usually on their hands and knees), or lies on their abdomen for sexual intercourse, other forms of sexual penetration or other sexual activity, explains Melissa Stone, sex and relationships expert at Joy Love Dolls.

Why It's Great: Doggy Style is an excellent position for anal sex. "This position allows for deep penetration and gives the receiver a lot of control over the angle and speed," says Stone. "Plus, it's a great way to add some variety to your sex life!"

READ: Doggy Style Position: How to ACTUALLY Make it Feel Good.

Modify It: If the receiving person doesn't want to be penetrated deeply, consider using an OhNut. This stretchy wearable buffer allows partners to customize the depth of penetration.

Little Lift Position

Little Lift Position: The receptive partner lies on their stomach with their hips propped up with a pillow or piece of sex furniture. The penetrating partner straddles them and penetrates them from behind.

How It Works: Doggy Style is a classic anal sex position. But, in the Little Lift Position variation, the receiver's head and upper body are lowered onto the bed.

Not being face-to-face with your partner means they might not see if you are making a face if something hurts or if it feels extremely "so good, right there, keep doing THAT," so be sure to be vocal about what feels good and what doesn't.

Why It's Great: Lying on some pillows (or, better yet, a sex Wedge, like Liberator's) will help support the receiver during anal sex. At this angle, prostate and G-spot stimulation is enhanced, as these are closer to the surface in this position.

Modify It: Inka Winter, sex educator, counselor and director of ethical, feminist porn for women, adds that this position also works great for adding clitoral stimulation with hands or a toy. Winter puts a bunch of pillows under her stomach to prop her up (versus the pelvis), so she can use the other arm/hand to reach between her belly and the pillows with a toy. "Adding clitoral stimulation to anal sex is everything!" says Winter.

Bonus: Winter has a great intro to anal play scene on her website, ForPlay Films, which features erotica by women, for women, called "Valentine au Derriere."

Lap Dance Position

Lap Dance Position: The penetrating partner sits in a chair with their hips close to the edge of the seat. The receptive partner sits on top of their hips, facing them, with their hands on the penetrating partner's knees to support their own weight.

How It Works: The Lap Dance position is super simple: Sit on your partner's penis or dildo.

Why It's Great: "This is a great option to allow the receiver to control the depth and speed of penetration," shares Searah Deysach, sex educator and owner of the sex shop Early to Bed. "I love that this also works if the bottom partner has limitations that make thrusting hard. As a bonus, the receiving partner has really easy access to their own bits in front for extra stimulation."

Modify It: No modifications are needed for this one, but Deysach notes that the receiver can easily use a vibrator or masturbation sleeve while in this position.

Eiffel Tower Position

Eiffel Tower Position: The receptive partner stands with their feet in a wide stance, bending over at the hips. The penetrating partner stands behind them, with their feet wide, holding the receptive partner's hips for stability.

How It Works: According to Sasha Linch, sexual educator and author of Furnpeak, this position is like. standing Doggy Style -- with one partner bent over and using the ground as support. "The partner in the back should help support the one in front and be mindful of hard thrusting," says Linch.

Why It's Great: This position is super hot because it gives the person on top all of the control. Also, the bent-over partner's butt is right there, so your partner can play with your cheeks.

READ: Exploring Anal Play Without Penetration.

Modify It: Linch suggests using a sex pillow, wedge or stool for those engaging in strap-on play. You can also use toys such as nipple clamps to add to the experience, she says.

If bondage is your thing, consider having the penetrating partner hold the receptive partner's wrists to achieve the Handcuffs position.

Advanced Anal Sex Positions

Rider-on-Top Position

The cowgirl position: the giver lies down and the receiving partner straddles their partner and sits in a kneeling position, with their legs on either side of their partner’s hips.

How It Works: "Imagine both the partners meet face-to-face, touch each other's palms and lock fingers together," says Madelaine Ross of The Dildo Hub. In the Rider-on-Top position, Ross explains, the giving partner lays down while the receiving partner sits on top of them

Why It's Great: Ross praises this position because the receiving partner controls the situation.

Modify It: Ross says you can rest on your knees for deeper penetration or squat down for complete control over the inserted length.

Feeling adventurous? Add a cock ring to the mix -- especially if it vibrates. "The vibrations and additional stimulation of the clitoris could lead to exploding double orgasms," says Ross.

Standing Wheelbarrow Position

Standing Wheelbarrow: The penetrating partner stands upright. The receptive partner places their hands on the ground and wraps their legs around the penetrating partner's hips.

How it Works: To get into Standing Wheelbarrow, "One partner gets into the downward dog yoga position while their partner stands at the end of a bed and grabs their partner's legs so they can wrap them around their waist," says Lisa Lawless, Ph.D., CEO of HolisticWisdom.com.

Why It's Great: This sex position requires physical agility and stamina. Whoever is at the bottom (the person being penetrated) must have strength in their core and shoulders to sustain the position. "[The Standing Wheelbarrow] involves a deep thrusting motion for vaginal penetration that stimulates the G-spot, and can be done anally as well to create a fun sexual experience," explains Lawless. "It increases the likelihood of internal G-spot orgasms for partners with a vagina and offers the potential for intense prostate orgasms for anal penetration." However, Lawless warns maintaining this position can be challenging, requiring shoulder strength and flexibility.

Modify It: Lawless suggests modifying the position by resting your upper body on the edge of the bed or a table to reduce pressure on the arms.

Seated Wheelbarrow Position

Seated Wheelbarrow Position: The penetrating partner sits on the edge of a soft surface, such as a bed or couch. The receptive partner straddles their hips, facing down, and places their hands on the ground for support.

How It Works: For those who may find it challenging to get onto the floor, Lawless says the Seated Wheelbarrow position can be a good fit. This one is most easily started on a bed or a chair, with one partner leaning over the edge while the other is in a Reverse Cowgirl position. This allows for a gradual and comfortable transition into the position.

Another approach, Lawless suggests, is to have one partner seated on the edge of a piece of furniture while the other partner straddles them, facing forward, and gradually works their torso down to find the floor for balance and support.

Why It's Great: Lawless says the Seated Wheelbarrow can be a great starting point for more physically able people. She explains that you get the benefit of deep penetration in this position: "It is less strenuous, physically, than the standing wheelbarrow so that partners can engage in the position more readily and for a longer duration."

How to Prep for Anal Sex

Every attempt at anal is different, so try not to put too much pressure on each session. Developing the comfort and experience necessary for dealing with the back door takes time.

READ: The Beginner's Guide to Anal Stretching.

Queen says that standing, kneeling and basically holding your body up against the pull of gravity will make it more challenging to relax (overall, and more specifically the pubococcygeus, or PC, muscles). She adds, "This is even true of being on hands and knees -- even though that's often thought of as a really basic position for anal sex."

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for anal:

  1. Communicate with your partner. It's important to discuss your desires, concerns and boundaries with your partner before engaging in any sexual activity, including anal sex.
  2. Use lubrication. The anus and rectum do not self-lubricate like the vagina, so using a water-based or silicone-based lubricant is vital to reduce friction and prevent injury.
  3. Start slow. Begin with smaller objects, such as a finger or small toy, and gradually work up to larger objects or penetration. Take things at a pace that is comfortable for both partners.
  4. Practice good hygiene. Make sure the anus and surrounding area are clean by showering or bathing beforehand. You may also consider using an enema before engaging in anal sex to reduce the risk of surprises.
  5. Use protection. Use a condom to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  6. Relax. Relaxing the body and muscles around the anus is essential to reduce discomfort or pain. Take deep breaths, focus on relaxation techniques, or engage in foreplay to help you relax.

Queen says it's common for people to compare anal positions to penis-in-vagina (PIV) positions but ignore the role of muscle tone in exacerbating the conditions for discomfort with anal intercourse.

"Basically, the more the receptive partner can relax -- not just their pelvic floor, but all their muscles -- the easier it might be to achieve the level of relaxation that lets anal be truly pleasurable," says Queen.

Conclusion

The more you know: If you're into anal sex -- or want to be -- two standout resources can help make it as safe and pleasurable as possible. Check out "The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure" by Charlie Glickman and Aislinn Emirzian and "The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women" by Tristan Taormino.

Looking for more sex position ideas? Check out our Sex Positions Playlist.

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Ryn Pfeuffer

Ryn Pfeuffer is a versatile print and digital writer specializing in sex, lifestyle, and relationship topics. She got her start in the mid-90s at the Philadelphia Weekly, managing a 10-page section of the newspaper and more than 500 lonely hearts.Her professional stock skyrocketed when she started writing a saucy (and pre-Carrie-Bradshaw-era) dating advice column called “Ask Me Anything.” She appeared regularly on local radio stations and late-night TV as an expert on everything from grooming...

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