Anal sex has been mainstream for a while now, its popularity driven by both sex-positive advocacy and the ubiquity of internet porn. It isn’t considered “cool” to admit you’re apprehensive about anal, even though it can be an intimidating prospect.

This, however, hasn’t stopped people from putting things in their butts and having a great time doing it… for millennia. And the experts know that the key to good anal – not merely tolerable anal – is patience and conscientious preparation.

Taking certain steps ahead of time can go a long way towards truly enjoying butt stuff.

Read: 7 Tips for Having Anal Sex That Doesn't Hurt.

When thinking about prep, consider that your delicate rosebud may be reluctant to have anything shoved into it. (Or maybe the spirit is very willing, but the flesh is less accommodating.)

The anus and rectum aren’t self-lubricating, and the anal sphincter can be the first thing to lock up when we’re anxious or stressed. So, a two-pronged (heh) approach is key: address the stress, and address the limitations of your anatomy.

Fortunately, one of the great things about our sex-pos age is the abundance of available tools, techniques and accessories that can help with both.

And even if you’re an old hand at anal, there may be some delicious and surprising options you’re not yet aware of...

Getting Your Head In The Butt Game

It won’t feel good until you feel good about it, period.

If you and your partner are both anal novices, the “top” part of the equation might have some pretty unrealistic porn-informed ideas about how it’s gonna go. Keep in mind that porn actors are professionals who do a lot of off-camera preparation, including slow warmups and stretching with toys.

Read: The Beginner's Guide to Anal Stretching.

If anyone expects you to jump right into a marathon ramming session, they might not be the person you want in your behind. Think “slow” and think “patient.” Communicate, and make sure you’re on the same page.

Also consider taking your cue from the pros: practice on your own. It’s funny that sometimes we’re shy about doing things with ourselves that we wouldn’t be with someone else – but getting comfortable with yourself pays dividends. Experiment with lubes, plugs and fingers, and take your time.

Learn how your body responds and you’ll be able to communicate better with your partners, ensuring a naughty good time for all.

And when you’re getting down to business, consider pitching in! Gay men will probably already know this, but others may not; masturbating while receiving can be the key to taking an anal sesh from ow to oooh.

The Anal Arsenal: Tools, Toys and More

For practicing on your own or fooling around with a partner, there are approximately a million gizmos you can use to convince your butt that it does actually want things in it, very much. Plugs, dildos, vibrators… you can find abundant, comprehensive reviews from the experts on this very site.

But you know you should only use anal toys with flared bases, that were specifically designed for the purpose, right? Right?

This is not the time nor the place to improvise with common household items. Butts have a tendency to engulf inappropriate objects and not let them go. Don’t end up as one of those funny emergency room stories. (Nobody ever in the history of everything has believed the “I fell on it” excuse.)

Moving on, you’ll also need lube, and a lot of it. Silicone lubes are generally recommended for anal, because they’re thick and viscous and they stay put, but this is largely a matter of personal taste.

Don’t use silicone lubes with silicone toys, and don’t use oil-based lubes with plastic toys or latex condoms.

Cannabis: When Lube Aint Enough

Last but not least, consider some chemical help! A glass or two of wine or a toke of weed are well-known to help set the mood – cannabis especially is legendary for its aphrodisiac powers.

Read Sex on Weed: 7 Ways Cannabis Enhanced My Sex Life.

However, you might run the risk of seriously hurting yourself if you get too intoxicated – and consent issues can arise as well.

To access some key benefits of cannabis without getting loaded (or arrested), CBD can become your butt’s best friend. This nonpsychoactive cannabinoid combats inflammation, relieves pain and — most important of all — relaxes smooth muscles (that’s the involuntary type of muscle that the anal sphincter is made of).

Best of all, CBD does all this without getting you high.

CBD Suppositories: Bliss Bullets

Although you can take CBD oil as an oral tonic, you can cut out the middleman and put CBD right where it counts with rectal suppositories — legendary cannabis & sex brand Foria makes a CBD suppository that ships to all 50 states and around the world.

When inserted 10-20 minutes before sex, these slick little bullets deliver a 100mg dose of broad-spectrum CBD directly to the receptors in your tender bits. Foria is offering a 15% discount for Kinkly readers – just use code KINKLY15 at checkout.

If you live in California or Colorado, you can get a little wilder and add THC to the mix with Foria’s dispensary-only suppositories Explore – which will relax and arouse the entire pelvic region with moderate to no intoxication.

Or you can make your own if you’ve got the ingredients.

Anal can be daunting… but with the right help, happy butts the world over agree that it’s a challenge well worth taking on.

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