Anal play refers to any sexual activity involving stimulation of the anus. Some forms of anal play include:
- Anal sex
- Anal fingering
- Use of anal toys, including strap-ons, butt plugs, anal wands, and anal beads
- Analingus or rimming
- Anal fisting
- Anal douching
Why People Enjoy Anal Play
Anal play can be very pleasurable as this area is full of nerves. Anal stimulation can directly stimulate the prostate, commonly known as the P-spot, and indirectly stimulate the G-spot and parts of the clitoris and vagina. Stimulating these areas can be intensely pleasurable and trigger orgasms. As the anal sphincter is smaller and tighter than the opening of the vagina, anal penetration can also feel really good for givers and receivers.
People may also have psychological reasons for enjoying anal play. Because anal play has been taboo for many generations, many people enjoy feeling like they’re doing something illicit or forbidden. They may also feel free knowing that anal play has a very low risk of pregnancy.
How common is anal play?
It can be difficult to gauge how common anal play is, as many people are private about their sexual habits. However, in 2019 Future Method interviewed more than 880 American adults about their experiences with anal play. They found that 72% of Americans had tried anal sex at least once, with more than 25% giving and receiving anal sex. As it turns out, Americans have anal sex an average of 2.56 times per month. When these statistics are broken into binary genders, men have anal sex an average of 3.13 times a month while women have anal sex 1.66 times a month.
The survey also found that anal sex was much more prevalent among gay men, with 100% of those surveyed saying they’d tried it. More than 94% had bottomed, more than 90% had topped, and nearly 85% had tried both options. The gay and lesbian population also have anal sex 6.91 times a month on average, compared to 3.05 times for bisexual people, and 1.85 times a month for straight people.
While anal sex is the most common type of anal play, it’s not the only anal play Americans are experimenting with. Nearly 53% said they’d used anal toys or fingers to stimulate themselves, with nearly 49% saying they’d used anal toys and fingers to stimulate someone else. Roughly 42% of people had either tried giving or receiving analingus, or both. Nearly 17% of Americans had tried pegging. Millennials are more adventurous than Generations X and Z, with more of this demographic trying almost every type of anal play than their older and younger peers. The only exception was trying anal toys or fingers for self-pleasure, which was most common among Generation Z.