Anal sex can be a pleasurable and fun part of anyone's sex life, regardless of sexuality or gender identity, but before you get started there are a few things you should bear in mind.
As with all sexual activity, the most important thing is enthusiastic consent. It is important to make sure that both you and your partner are happy and willing to engage in anal sex. Don't feel pressured into anything you're not comfortable with and equally don't exert pressure on anyone else to have anal sex if they don't seem keen. Remember that if you change your mind at any point during sex that is absolutely fine; it is your right to withdraw consent at any time.
If you both feel comfortable about having anal sex then you can start thinking about how to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As with all sexual activity, unprotected anal sex carries the risk of passing on STIs. In fact, because the anus is not naturally lubricated and is more prone to tearing there is actually a higher risk of infection than with many other types of sexual activity. To protect you and your partner it's really important that you use a condom when having anal sex - if you are a straight couple swapping to vaginal sex use a new condom to avoid transferring bacteria. If you are having anal-oral sex or 'rimming' it is still possible to pick up an STI so use dental dams to protect yourself. Likewise, if you are using sex toys as part of anal sex, make sure to clean them thoroughly before and after use because they can also carry STIs.
To make anal sex more pleasurable it is a great idea to use lots and lots of lube. As mentioned before, the anus is not naturally lubricated and the muscles are very tight so it can sometimes be hard to penetrate - lube helps a lot with this problem. Even if you are using a sex toy or a finger, lube can still make things a lot more fun and fuss free for both parties. Lube is also great in terms of safety as it minimises the risk of any tearing. Just remember to make sure that the lube you use is water based as oil based lube can damage condoms!
So consent, condoms, lube and you're good to go. However, if you try anal sex and you don't like it or you don't want to try it at all, that's fine. You shouldn't ever feel pressured into any sort of sexual activity by your partner, your friends or the media. Equally, if you love anal sex, that's cool - keep yourself and your partner safe and have lots of fun.
We would like to put out a warning that there is a growing trend in young people for anal sex to be forced upon women by their male parter. This is an issue we hope this blog addresses when talking about consent being of up-most importance with any type of sexual activity. It is okay to say no at any time. If you need to talk to anyone at any time, please talk to the many people willing to listen and believe you- This Is Abuse.
Here is the AFP guide to anal sex toys for beginners.
Here is a good video that goes in to more detail about how safe anal sex is done best :