Related: 7 Sex Positions That Are More Fun Than Doggy Style

Related: 7 Sex Positions That Are More Fun Than Doggy Style

So when it comes to anal sex, what exactly can you do to make it easier? How can you make sure both you and your partner have a stellar anal experience? We asked Alicia Sinclair, a sex coach and CEO of the anal wellness brand, b-Vibe, to give us some of her best tips for easier anal.

Be prepared

You can’t just go sticking things into your anus. You will wind up in serious pain, and even put yourself at risk for injury.

Before you attempt anal sex for the first time (or if you haven’t done it in weeks/months), anal training might help. Sinclair says to start with fingers (you can use latex gloves, if you’d like) to work the anal muscles and then move up to small butt plugs. (Try this Nu Sensuelle vibrating mini butt plug from the Women’s Health boutique.)

You can also try beads, “[Choose] something with graduated sizes, like anal beads,” Says Sinclair. “This allows the user to start with the smallest beads and then works towards a larger beads as they become comfortable with the sensation. One good example is the Triplet Beads from b-Vibe, which have the added benefit of vibration-something that can actually help your muscles relax.”

The anus is not malleable in the same way as a vagina. It doesn’t naturally stretch and return to form. It needs to be prepared for larger objects to be inserted. How long your anal training will take depends on your body. Do not get impatient. You may need to play with toys for a few days, weeks, or even months until you’ve accustomed your anus to accepting penis-sized objects without serious discomfort.

Your safety and comfort should be your top priority. Go slow. The slower the better. “You should never go from zero to penis. It will mostly likely hurt and create a negative first experience,” Sinclair says.

Lube, lube, and more lube

Sinclair says her motto is, “slow and slippery.” The more lube the better. The anus doesn’t naturally lubricate like a vagina. It requires a lot of extra help to accomodate toys, plugs, beads, dildos, and penises.

“If you’re going to have penetrative anal sex and you’re not using a silicone sex toy, then a silicone lubricant is your best answer because silicone doesn’t absorb into the body. It stays very wet and slick for a long amount of time. Water-based lubes can dry out,” Sinclair tells us. “If you’re using a butt plug or a sex toy that’s silicone, then I would recommend a high-viscosity water based lubricant.”

Consider cleanliness

To enema or not to enema, that is the question. Sinclair tells us that the choice to do an enema is entirely up to you and your comfort levels around, well, poop. “What cleaning decisions you make really depend on how well you know your body, especially your digestive system and your comfort levels surrounding hygiene,” Sinclair says. “You are, of course, inserting something into your anus, so sometimes, people prefer to clean up before anal play.”

If you want to do an enema, that is entirely up to you. You are not, by any means, required to do an enema before anal sex. If you have a partner who insists on your doing an enema when you don’t want to, show the scrub the door instead of your backdoor. Sinclair says that a thorough rinse in the shower will suffice nicely.

Should you choose to do an enema, do so safely. Give yourself the enema one to two hours before anal play. “You only need to use a couple of cups of water because you’re just rinsing out the last six to eight inches of the rectum. In fact, if you use too much water, you can stimulate your digestive system and make things messier.” Sinclair advises. “Use warm water only and check it against your wrist. Enema bulbs are often the easiest way to do this. You can try a reusable one, or you can use a disposable enema.” (You can buy a bulb enema on Amazon here.)

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