Does anybody out there really want to eat the same meal day after day after day? Wouldn’t you prefer to mix things up with a different oral sensation from time to time? Well, if you’re used to setting the table for fellatio or cunnilingus every night, maybe it’s time to head out back and have a rimming picnic!

Simply put, rimming, or analingus, is using your tongue and lips to stimulate another person’s anus. But even as our sexual boundaries become more and more flexible and different types of sexual play become more commonplace, many buttholes and tongues still straddle the fence. Some folks have definitely gotten right into it while others are hesitant. And some remain completely disinterested.

What's the deal with rimming?

Those who have tried analingus - giving or receiving - will often use their mouth in another way: to sing the praises of this very intimate sex act. Both the inner and outer part of the anus have many sensitive nerve endings, and the skin surrounding it is also quite tender. If you’ve tried other types of anal play and penetration, you’ll already be familiar with the gentleness needed to maximize pleasure and comfort. But it is this tenderness that makes rimming a truly roll-your-eyes back experience.

Whether you have explored anal touch or not, rimming is an entirely different adventure. Going down on someone’s ass or getting yours eaten connects one of the most sensitive parts of the body with one of the most delicately tactile. Your anus offers many different paths to sensation and pleasure and your tongue, as evidenced by the popularity of oral sex, offers many sensual possibilities. Rimming is a very diverse and individual sex act that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

Why Rim Jobs Get a Bad Rap

Really though, the hesitation or lack of interest is pretty understandable. Even when embodying a sex-positive attitude, the idea of licking someone else’s ass is not the easiest idea to wrap even the most open mind around. Knocking on the backdoor with fingers, toys or a penis? These give a little more distance and separation, while still providing pleasure. But going down in browntown? That’s a different story.

“People have legitimate hygienic fears, particularly getting poop in our mouths,” relates Carlyle Jansen, author of "Anal Sex Basics" and owner of Good For Her. “Sometimes we are more concerned about it when rimming another, sometimes we are nervous about a partner encountering our own dirty anus and feeling embarrassed by that. People who tend to be 'gassy' also worry about farting when a partner is down there. It is hard to relax when feeling anxious.”

These concerns cause many folks to not even attempt rimming, whether as a giver or a recipient.

Read: Rimming Risks: and How to Play Safer

Comfort Is Key

Eric of The ‘O’ Box blog shared his trepidation with performing analingus for the first time with his wife, Sara. “I was a little nervous and hesitant that I may encounter something that could turn me off. But knowing she showers regularly and that her beautiful little asshole was clean, I led with more confidence.”

Comfort is one of the key factors in a truly mind-blowing rimming session. Both people need to feel good about the situation. One key bit of anatomical information to remember is that feces are generally not present in the rectum near the anus. If you have not had a recent bowel movement, any fecal matter is generally not residing too close to the rimmin’ perimeter. Instead, it sits higher in your system, in your colon.

That said, there are ways to prepare your body to be the salad your partner wants to toss. Some relate to hygiene and some come down to just knowing your body.

“Have a shower before rimming and wash well,” Jansen suggests. “Or even just lean your butt over a bathtub and give a wash or use a baby-wipe. If you are worried about farting, be up front about your current gastrointestinal situation and skip it for the day. Or bring your partner up for a kiss when you feel it coming so that you can pass gas more discreetly.”

Read: Because You Wanna Know: How to Do an Enema Before Anal Play

The possibilities of farting or being unclean are common fears, but they are concerns that can, often, be known to you even before the opportunity for asslicking action is broached. We are, after all, the most knowledgeable about our own bodies. As Jansen notes, if you’re feeling a bit gassy, or otherwise gastrointestinally challenged, your most prudent course of action might be to limit the arse action. If you’re planning ahead for some raunchy rimming during the coming weekend, try not to eat foods that might irritate your digestive system in the days leading to your hoped for fun.

Unfortunately, given the nature of the multipurpose orifice you’re hoping to play with, well, sometimes shit happens. Sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. When you need to put the brakes on things, discuss it with your partner.

Use That Tongue for Talking

“A good thing to remember,” Eric reminds us, “is to communicate with each other. With good communication each of you should feel more comfortable moving forward and enjoying the experience to the fullest.”

Now, the endgame of this tickle-your-end-game is not just warnings and cautionary tales - it's fun and amazingly sensual.

“Slow down. There are so many nerve endings in the anus that it can feel even better to go slower (similar to the difference between a fast and slow massage)," Jansen said. "And if you are using a dental dam or other barrier, put some lube on the underside and tuck the barrier into all of the nooks and crannies. Your partner will feel a lot more this way rather than stretching the dam over the area.”

And don't be afraid to try a variety of different techniques, communicating with your partner along the way.

“There are many different techniques when providing this oral treatment, whether it be using the tip of your tongue, the flat surface, flicking it up and down or side to side, using circular motions and so on," Eric tells us. "The main thing is to listen to your partner and how they respond to your technique.”