Anal Sex: The Ins… and Outs


According to a national survey from 2010, 40 percent of women between the ages if 20-49 reported having anal sex. Almost a decade’s worth of social media, virtual reality, and Netflix booms later, that number has probably gone up. SO, now that anal sex is totally not taboo and almost passé, it’s important to talk about safe practices. We sat down with Dr. Leah Millheiser, Director of Sexual Health at Stanford University, to talk about everything anal sex. She says that if you prepare the right way and take the proper precautions, anal sex can be a healthy and enjoyable experience that adds diversity to a woman’s sex life.


  1. Be a willing participant: If you’re not into anal, that’s perfectly fine and no one should EVER pressure you into going somewhere that you’re not comfortable going. If you are wanting to try it out however, being relaxed and comfortable is the key to an enjoyable sexual experience. Communication is everything!
  2. Use a latex condom: STD transmission can happen more easily through anal sex because you’re more likely to experience tearing and bleeding. This includes the transmission of HPV, which can cause anal cancer, just as it can cause cervical cancer.
  3. Try to have a bowel movement in preparation: clearing out the rectum can improve your experience, making it more comfortable and less messy. You can also use an enema to clear the bowel if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.
  4. Use a silicone lubricant: unlike the vagina, the anus has no natural lubricant, so make sure the area is well lubricated.
  5. Warm up: you or your partner can first try sticking a finger inside the anus or use smaller toys that are specifically designed to help you get used to the sensation.
  6. Only use toys specifically designed for anal sex: these toys have stoppers or rims that prevent them from becoming completely lodged inside the rectum.
  7. Try different positions: the more traditional position is doggy-style, but missionary and being on top are also options. If you’re on top, you have more control over pressure and speed.

Have fun and stay safe!