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How does anal sex work?

stel in bed

Anal sex is when fingers, or a penis, go in the anus. Young people don’t all have anal sex. If you think you'd like it, try it out. Use a condom: there is a bigger risk of catching an STI with anal sex.

With your finger

The anus and the surrounding area are good places to touch. Stroke your partner’s anus with your finger to get them used to the feeling. Men have a sensitive spot called the perineum. It’s the piece of skin between the anus and balls. Moisten your finger with saliva or lubricant. If you both enjoy this, you can put your finger in your partner’s anus and move it up and down slowly.

With your tongue

You can also touch the anus with your tongue. Licking the anus is called rimming or anilingus. This can give you a great feeling.

With your penis

Want to go further? Then you could gently push the tip of your penis into the anus. Use a condom and lots of lubricant! Do it very gently so that you can both get used to the feeling. The initial contact causes the anus to squeeze tight. This is a reflex of the sphincter (circular muscle in the anus). Wait a bit, and then carry on. Does it still feel good for both of you? Then the man can push deeper in the anus, and gradually make faster strokes.

Tips for anal sex

  • Only have anal sex if you really want it!
  • Start carefully; give each other enough time to relax.
  • Always use a water-based lubricant.
  • Always use a condom. If it tears, go for an STI test.
  • Are you worried about hygiene? Go to the toilet first if you need to, and take a shower together before you start.
  • Use a fresh condom if you move from the anus to the vagina. Or wash your penis first if you've had anal sex without a condom.
  • If it doesn’t go well, do something else that excites you both.
  • If you don't like it, just say so. You don't have to like everything.

Are you worried about hygiene?

If you have anal sex, some poop sometimes appears. Doing one of the following will easily prevent that:  

  • Wash the anal area well with a wet flannel.
  • Have a shower together first.
  • Do an anal douche with a spray or nozzle. You don’t need to do this if you’ve already pooped or don’t feel you need to go. Don’t share anything you use to clean your anus with anyone else. If you do want to share something, clean it properly first. 
  • Don’t douche immediately after sex. 
  • Douching too often could cause bowel problems. And a higher risk of an STI.
  • If you douche too deeply, you could stimulate your bowels too much. And that will give you the urge to poop.

Remember that most fingers and penises are not long or thin enough to get to where the poop is in the anus. 


Are you a woman, and have you had anal sex with a man? Remember this: you can't actually get pregnant from having anal sex. But if the semen runs out of your anus to your vagina, you can get pregnant!

Ready for more?

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