For some women, anal sex is at the very top of the pleasure menu. For others, it’s firmly in the no-no-never zone. Taboos, fears, or past bad experiences around anal touch has made them shy away from exploring it. And with good reason – anal sex done badly is really painful. So is anal sex pleasurable for women? To arrive at an enthusiastic YES, it helps to understand how anal sex for women works, what feels good and what to consider with anal pleasure and health.

Why Anal Sex Feels Good for Women

Anal touch of all different kinds spells pleasure for many women because there are so many nerve endings in the anus. But that’s not the only reason.

Turns out, the clitoris is actually much larger than once thought and has legs branching off into the walls of the vagina. Anal stimulation therefore not only adds pleasurable intensity to the anus – it also brings stimulation to the clitoral legs. Gentle anal probing can be one way to more deeply arouse and engage the clitoris.

In addition, since the membrane between the anus and the vagina is quite thin, anal penetration at the right angle can also stimulate the G spot. The sheer intensity of sensation from anal penetration definitely helps many reach deep orgasm – which makes anal sex for some women a favorite go-to in bed.

Anal play can also be psychologically arousing. Because anal sex for women is still somewhat of a societal taboo, the thought of breaking that taboo provides excitement for many. Then there is the dynamic of dominance and submission. The idea of giving over all parts of their body to a partner can be a huge mental turn on. Still, other women like to play anally and vaginally at the same time because they imagine being penetrated by more than one person (and many enjoy the actual experience too).

Types of Anal Play

So anal sex for women is a win-win then? You bet – as long as it’s done right. There are many right (and wrong) ways to stimulate a woman anally, but if you stick to the basics you’re guaranteed a fun time.

  1. Start with anal touch or massage – There are some great books available that teach the tools of anal massage. You can start by massaging and relaxing the butt cheeks, before bringing in the lube and moving to make circles around the anus. Go slow and be gentle and communicate before you proceed to light probing and stretching.
  2. Maybe try some oral-anal stimulation (sometimes called “rimming” or analingus) – Some people really enjoy having their anus licked or penetrated by a tongue. Make sure the anus is very clean if you are going to do this to avoid contact with fecal bacteria. The best way to experience oral-anal stimulation is by kneeling or lying on your stomach while your partner licks and penetrates your anus with their tongue. Try combining this with masturbating your clit or using a vibrator for that extra bit of pleasure.
  3. Anal penetration – It can feel really good to have something inserted into your anus and rectum. Whether you prefer a finger, butt plug, dildo, or penis – you want to find something that has the right width for you. Make sure also your toy has a wide base. Butt plugs are specifically designed with a wide base so they won’t get sucked up into your anal cavity (and have to be removed by a doctor). Once the toy is inserted, you can engage in other play as well, including vaginal intercourse or oral sex.
  4. Anal intercourse – While some women only want static penetration, others enjoy full anal intercourse. It can be helpful to just put the tip of the penis into the anus at first and then have the woman move her body towards it at her own pace. Being too quick or impatient with the insertion process is the main way women have a painful experience and give up on anal sex altogether. By letting her drive the pace of insertion, she can slowly adjust her rectum to stretch herself. Once inside, it is better to stay inside. If the penis comes all the way out again, it may need to go through the slow insertion process again as the anus tends to go back to its natural tightness very quickly.

How to Initiate Anal Play with a Woman

There are two great ways to initiate anal sex with a woman: talk and test. If she likes to talk, bring it up and let her share her stance on it. Respect and accept her feelings about it and don’t try to talk her out of them – just listen and make space for them. If she gets really embarrassed talking about sexual topics, test the waters during oral play instead. Slowly and gently stroke her anus externally, and if she stays relaxed, keep going until it’s obvious she is into it. Then – and only then – can you experiment by putting your finger inside.

Ongoing communication, asking for feedback, and listening to her body language during any anal insertion is very important. If you want her to answer YES to the question “Is anal sex pleasurable?”, you need to above all else communicate. More communication means less pain and more pleasure. The more pleasure she has, the more likely she will be to want it again and again.

Anal Pleasure and Health

To make sure you also stay healthy during anal pleasure, the first rule of anal play is to use a lot of lube. The anus is not self-lubricating – spit or her natural vaginal lubrication are not enough for her to have a truly delightful experience. Lube will reduce the chance of injury or tearing as well, and therefore helps to minimize the potential for sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Some people prefer silicone lubricants while others choose a water-based lube. Both of these are compatible with condoms.

Since the anus is full of mucous membranes and much more likely to tear than the vagina, the risk of HIV transmission through anal sex for women is higher. There are two ways to protect yourself against HIV transmission via both anal and vaginal sex:

  1. Properly using a condom. This means pinching the tip, rolling it all the way down, and using enough lubrication so it won’t break.
  2. A newer prevention method for HIV is pre-exposure prophylaxis (also known as PrEP). PrEP is a drug treatment via a daily pill that can protect against HIV. It’s only recommended for people who are participating in high-risk sexual activities such as having sex with IV drug users or people who are HIV positive.

Another aspect of anal pleasure and health is to make sure the anus is fully warmed up before engaging in any kind of penetration. This means using lube to massage the opening of the anus until it is relaxed. Warm up prevents tearing and infection.

Finally, make sure that anything you are inserting into the anus has been thoroughly cleaned or sterilized. Any sex toy you purchase includes safe cleaning instructions which you should follow before and after use. Make sure to also wash your hands and penis thoroughly before engaging in anal sex with a woman.

For optimal anal pleasure and health, it is very important to remember that if you put something into a woman’s rectum, you shall never put it into her vagina afterward. Make sure to use a different finger if you are going to stimulate her ass and vagina in the same sexual encounter. If you want to have first anal and then vaginal intercourse, wash very well with soap and hot water in between. She might otherwise get a yeast infection or a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Finally, if you are going to engage in oral-anal licking or penetration with the tongue, it is essential to ensure the anus is very clean – both externally and at the opening. Make sure you wash it thoroughly with soap and water. Many diseases are passed through feces –  including different types of hepatitis and intestinal parasites – so it’s essential you practice oral-anal sex with care.

How a Sex Coach Can Help Around Anal Sex For Women Issues

For some people (both men and women), anal sex is one of their deepest desires. Yet it is also an incredibly delicate topic. If you want to talk to your partner about having anal sex and are worried about how they might react, it can be helpful to discuss it in the presence of a sex coach. A sex coach can alleviate fears and misconceptions as well as talk you through all of the different options for anal play.

The bottom line is – anal sex for women can be great if approached right. Get informed, communicate, prepare – and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

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Danielle Harel
Danielle Harel, PhD is the Co-creator of the Somatica® Method and the Co-Founder of the Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching. She has her own private practice in Sunnyvale, where she supports her clients in having amazing sex and relationships as well as passion-fueled lives. She has published original research on Orgasmic Birth and is the co-author of two books, Cockfidence - The Definitive Guide to Being the Man You Want to Be and Driving Women Wild and Making Love Real - The Intelligent Couples Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion. Danielle Has her Masters in Clinical Social Work From Haifa University in Israel and her PhD in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS). She is a Clinical Sexologist and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker. Danielle is a Certified Body Positive Facilitator and took many trainings in embodied and mindfulness based therapeutic approaches such as Hakomi.