Q: Do I have to use an enema before engaging in anal play?
A: No, enemas aren’t a necessary prerequisite, although the feeling of being totally cleaned out helps some people feel more comfortable with anal stimulation and/or penetration. (Enemas are also enjoyed by some as a form of erotic enjoyment all its own.) A bath or shower provides sufficient cleaning, and it has the added benefit of relaxing anal muscles.
Q: Is anal play painful?
A: Pain resulting from any sexual activity is a signal that something is not right, and we recommend discontinuing any practice that hurts. However, there is a difference between pain and the discomfort that most beginners experience as their bodies adjust to this particular set of new sensations. Anal play should not be painful, and it is possible to eliminate discomfort by going very slowly, using lots of lubricant, and experimenting with small toys or fingers before progressing to the insertion of anything larger.
Q: If a man enjoys anal play, does this make him gay?
A: Absolutely not. The anus and perineum are rich in nerve endings, which makes the anal area extremely sensitive to pleasurable stimulation of many varieties, and acknowledging this fact has no bearing on a man’s sexual orientation.
Q: Is anal play dangerous?
A: All sexual activity carries with it an element of risk, and this is no exception. Unprotected anal intercourse or analingus (“rimming”) leaves one open to transmission of STDs, and the tearing of delicate tissues in the anal canal and rectum can cause lasting damage. However, all of the risks associated with anal play are easily mitigated with the liberal use of latex and lubricant.
Q: What toys are best for anal play?
A: A few key features make the difference between an anal toy that is both safe and fun to use and one that is uncomfortable and/or potentially dangerous.
- The shape of the toy is an essential factor. Look for toys with flared bases, handles, or retrieval cords. This prevents them from getting “lost” when they are inserted.
- We strongly recommend the use of toys made from 100% silicone because silicone is nonporous or can be sterilized by boiling or bleaching in 10% solution. This must be taken into particular account if the toy is going to be used also vaginally or between multiple partners. For those not partial to soft toys, glass is an excellent choice, as it too is nonporous and easily sterilized.
- Be aware of other characteristics that can add to (or detract from) the comfort level and enjoyment of anal play. Choose a toy whose size is appropriate to the experience level of the person(s) who will be using it, and, before use, examine the toy for rough seams or bumps that need to be removed with a nail file.