Ass Play

Updated: MAY 10, 2021
Reviewed by Jon Pressick
on May 10, 2021

Ass play is an umbrella term for sex practices focusing on the buttocks and anus. These can include a variety of activities, from external stimulation to penetration. Ass play can be as simple as lightly, or firmly, slapping a lover’s buttocks or massaging their butt cheeks. It can involve rimming or licking the opening of the anus. It can involve penile penetration or the insertion of fingers or sex toys, such as butt plugs and dildos. While penetration is often a feature of ass play, it is not essential.

Ass play may be a part of foreplay or a standalone activity. People can enjoy ass play on their own or with partners. While it was once commonly associated with homosexual males, people of any gender or sexual orientation can enjoy ass play.

The buttocks and anus contain many nerve endings that can make people feel sexually aroused when stimulated through ass play. The ass is also home to the prostate gland, which can bring pleasure and even orgasm when stimulated, much like the G-spot.

Ass play can also be incorporated into BDSM scenes. Spanking and paddling are popular external activities, often associated with discipline and humiliation. Anal hooks can also be inserted and then attached to other bondage equipment.

Lubricant is highly recommended for penetrative ass play. It makes insertion more pleasurable and reduces the risk of anal tearing. Silicone-based lubricants are very effective because they last longer than water-based lubricants. However silicone lubricants they can degrade silicone toys. When using silicone dildos or butt plugs, switch to water-based lubricant.

Anal play is a more formal synonym for ass play. Ass play is sometimes called arse play, particularly in the United Kingdom and Australia.

More About Ass Play

While ass play isn’t as taboo as it once was, the historical hang-ups around it can also add to its appeal. Parents teach young children that they shouldn't play with their asses, so breaking this social rule, alone or with a partner, can be psychologically thrilling. Opening the mind and enjoying the sensory pleasures of ass play can be incredibly liberating.

Ass play is best when you’re totally relaxed. When you feel anxious, your sphincter muscles may contract. This can make penetration difficult and uncomfortable. Focusing on your breathing can help settle any nerves you have. Engaging in couple’s ass play only with trusted partners can also help you stay calm and have the best experience. Implementing a safe word can also help you feel confident that your play will stop or slow down when you want it to. The giving partner might also perform a sacral massage first. Massaging the lower part of the back can naturally lead to ass play once the receiving partner feels relaxed.

Just as with penetrative vaginal sex, warming up with gentle ass play can prepare you for more intense ass play to come. Spend time on external stimulation before attempting anal penetration. It’s also a good idea to ease into penetration. Inserting a finger or small butt plug to relax the anus before attempting penetration with larger toys or anal sex can enhance ass play.

Taking a more active role can also help people receiving anal penetration relax. The receiver can take control by guiding the penetration. Setting the depth, angle, and speed of penetration ensures ass play is pleasurable for both parties.

While lots of people love it, ass play is not for everyone. Some people feel they can never properly relax during this sexual play. Others simply don’t like the way it feels. If you or a partner feel this way, respect your boundaries and move on to another sexual activity you both enjoy.

If you do want to experiment with ass play, make sure you stay safe. The ass harbors bacteria that can spread if you’re not careful. Never transfer fingers, sex toys, or penises used for anal penetration to the mouth or vagina without thoroughly cleaning them first. Condoms are also important for reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases during anal sex.


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