If you want to try anal sex but don't know where to start, this is a perfect introduction for you. Trying anal sex for the first time might seem a bit intimidating, but with the proper information, you can set yourself up for pleasure and fun. Whether you are a woman who is interested in trying out anal sex or a partner who isn't totally sure what to do, these five rules of anal play will help guide you.

Please note that although anal sex is for all genders and sexualities, this particular article is focused on those who identify as women and are in a heterosexual relationship. The language in this article will reflect that, but don’t hesitate to replace the pronouns to better reflect yourself and your partner(s).

1. Forget What You've Heard

Anal sex gets a bad reputation for a few different reasons. The main reason is that anal sex is often portrayed in porn as a power-dynamic with the woman being submissive to the man's desires. Anal sex is never talked about in movies, even "coming of age" movies that are filled with new sexual experiences. When anal sex is discussed among women or in magazine articles, it is often done in a negative fashion. There is so much "It hurts," "It's gross," "You're a slut," or "I only do it to please my man" dialogue. Unfortunately, anal sex isn't something that women openly admit to trying, never mind openly admit to enjoying.

Well, you have to forget all of that. A one-sided representation of anal sex has made its way into society and stuck. There are so many benefits of anal sex - including the possibility of intense pleasure. It is also a great way to target your G-spot (in certain positions like doggy style). The power-dynamic is not necessarily a submissive one (although if you enjoy being submissive, this can work for you). The woman is often in control. And, while you might have been told that anal sex is anti-feminist, there is nothing more feminist than taking control of your own pleasure. Additionally, because anal play is deemed "naughty," it can spice up your partnered session in ways that will it even hotter.

Basically, ignore the messages of shame and look for articles about women enjoying anal sex. It will most likely change your opinion about it.

2. Prepare for it - Mentally and Physically

There are a few things that you need to prepare for. First, you need to read enough about anal sex to feel comfortable trying it. You should read about relaxation techniques, lubricant usage, safer sex options, and different positions. Note that there will be a large emphasis on using a lot of lubricant and going slowly. If there isn’t, change your information source.

Second, you also need to physically prepare for someone to go in and around your butt hole. This can be a big point of self-consciousness for some women who have been told to hate their bodies and bodily functions their entire lives. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about, but do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. You can do research about hygiene and you can decide if an enema is right for you (enemas are not a requirement). You can also tame your butt hair if you desire, but please note that there is nothing wrong with butt hair if you choose to keep it (it can actually be really hot).

Third, you need to mentally prepare for anal sex by trusting your partner and allowing him to be inside of your butt. Anal sex is all about trust. Sharing your newly found information with your partner is highly recommended (especially the necessity of lube and slow insertion).

3. Make Sure to Warm Up

You can’t typically jump straight into anal sex. Yes, porn performers make it look easy. No, you shouldn’t try the same at home.

The main goal is to get turned on. You can masturbate or enjoy other forms of sex with your partner, but you need to become aroused to get your body and mind ready for anal play. If you aren't turned on, it will be more difficult to enjoy the experience. Being sexually excited will ease the stress and let you both enjoy the whole experience a lot more. There is no need to rush - take your time and make sure you’re having fun.

Other forms of anal play can be incorporated too! This includes analingus (basically oral sex for your butt hole), which will allow you to get more comfortable with your partner being so close to your butt. You can also introduce butt plugs (with a flared base), which will allow you to get used to the sensation of something inserted into your butt. Playing with your butt in ways that aren’t “penis in anus” are excellent ways to overcome some fears and get more comfortable with the idea and the new sensations.

4. Don't Forget It's About Pleasure

While you're focusing on anal sex, you might forget other parts of your body. Anal sex doesn’t mean forget about everything else. Depending on your position, your partner can help stimulate other pleasure zones or you can do it yourself. You can always use your hands or a toy to stimulate your clitoris or G-spot. Your partner can tease your nipples or kiss your neck too! You don't need to have double-penetration, but you also don't need to focus solely on the sensations in your anus. Enjoy the moment, which might include other forms of pleasure.

You can also change positions if one isn't working for you. Often, we think of doggy style for anal sex, but there are plenty of other great ones that are possible. Some are even considered better for beginners, including when the woman "sits down" onto the man's penis. This means that the woman is completely in control of speed, depth, and the angle. If you're going to enjoy it more if you’re in control, then go for it!

5. Communication - Before, During and After

Communication is essential throughout the entire process. Before you begin, talk about how to prepare for anal sex as well as how the act makes you feel. During, discuss the sensations and your comfort, including if your partner should go faster or slower or reapply lubricant. After, talk about what you liked or didn't like and how to improve for next time (if you're both willing to try it again).

Communication about pleasure can be complicated for women. Our pleasure is often dismissed or we are made to feel embarrassed about verbalizing our desires. However, preparation and communication are essential for anal sex to be successful. Talking about it will benefit everyone involved. You will enjoy it more and your partner will love that you are enjoying it. It's a win for both of you! And who knows, maybe if you talk about it, he'll consider pegging!

Anal sex can be a lot of fun and a great addition to your sex sessions, whether it is thrown into the mix every time or only done occasionally. You might not love it your first time, but many people find that they experience intense pleasure from anal sex once they get used to it. If you prepare both mentally and physically, then you will set yourself up for success. This guide is just a starting point for women or their partners who are interesting in trying out anal play. Take this information, build on it with your own research, and then let us know how it goes!