Yes, anal masturbation is a thing—and you should definitely try it.

By Gabrielle Kassel
May 21, 2020
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All the commotion around partnered anal play is fine and dandy until you're single AF or a solo sex queen missing anal Os. Or, ya know, it's the middle of a global pandemic and social distancing orders are keeping you from shaking hands with anyone else...let alone exploring your back door with them. No doubt, partnered anal play is tricky from 6 feet away.

Luckily, another person is not a prerequisite for anal play. Enter: anal masturbation, the underrated, oh-so-fun way to explore the pleasure-potential of your butt.

What Is Anal Masturbation, Exactly?

It's pretty much what it sounds like. Anal masturbation is self-pleasuring that specifically incorporates your butt in some way, shape, or form. "External stimulation, stimulation of the rim, internal stimulation, and self-penetration all qualify," says Lisa Finn, a sex educator at sex toy mecca Babeland.

What Are the Benefits of Anal Masturbation?

The short answer? The benefit of anal masturbation is the same point of any sexual play: Pleasure! After all, the anal opening and anal canal walls are rich with nerve endings practically begging to be stimulated.

For folks who eventually want to explore partnered anal play, the benefits of solo anal go way beyond that, says Pam Costa, Silicon Valley-based holistic psychologist and sex coach. Often, couples try to do too much too soon—immediately rushing into anally masturbating with a penis or dildo.

But the anal sphincter is a muscle, and just as you train your other muscles to contract and relax, you need to train your sphincter. "Solo anal play allows you to practice relaxing those muscles" and to incrementally increase to the size of whatever is going in (that is, if your anal masturbation includes penetration—because it doesn't need to), explains Costa. "This comes in handy during partnered (and multi-partnered) anal play and increases the likelihood it will feel good," she adds. Because, in case you didn't already know, anal sex isn't supposed to hurt.

"During solo anal sex, you don't have to be concerned about anyone else, so you can completely move at your own pace without feeling any pressure to move faster or perform comfort [aka pretend you're enjoying it] for a partner," says Finn.

How to Anally Masturbate

Ready to learn how to anally masturbate? Scroll on for your step-by-step guide to jilling off, anal-style.

1. Stock up on lube.

"The butt does not self-lubricate like the vaginal canal," explains Finn. And, babes, lube is what makes anal play so damn pleasurable in the first place!

Without lube, skin-on-skin and silicone-on-skin can create a lot of uncomfortable friction that can cause micro-tears and fissures in the anal canal. Ouch. "Beyond this, the slickness of lube will help with sensation, ease of insertion, and seamless movement in and out of the body," she says. So you always want to ensure that you have an ample supply of lube when playing anally to reduce the friction and increase the pleasurable sensation of glide.

Before choosing a lube, you'll want to think about how, exactly, you're planning to play anally. Most high-quality anal sex toys are made of silicone (like these sex educator–recommended anal sex toys), and silicone toys are not compatible with silicone lube, because it'll break down the material of the toy.

So if you're planning to use a toy: Opt for a water-based lube like Sliquid Sassy (Buy It, $13, babeland.com) or Good Clean Love (Buy It, $16, babeland.com), both of which have a gel-like consistency.

If you're not using a toy: A silicone-based lube (which is generally thicker) like Uberlube (Buy It, $20, babeland.com) or pJur Back Door (Buy It, $29, babeland.com) is best.

Oh, and you might as well invest in the largest bottle available. Even if the whole anal masturbation thing doesn't work out, lube makes all types of sexy play better. Trust. (More recommendations here: The Best Lubes for Anal Sex, According to Experts)

2. Start with your go-to moves.

"Before you even think about touching your bum, turn yourself on doing what you usually do to get in the mood," says Finn. If your solo sessions usually involve your handy-dandy wand vibrator, your clit, and some porn, start there. If they involve a metal wand, your G-spot, and audio erotica, start there.

In fact, if you're someone who usually goes for multiple orgasms (hey, some of us are one-and-done summers, and that's fine too!), Costa suggests bringing yourself to orgasm once or twice before even venturing to the back door. "The more turned on you are before you touch your butt, the better," she says.

3. Experiment with anal massage.

You don't have to go mining for treasure inside your anus to hit pleasure gold. As rimming (aka oral-anal sex) has shown anyone who's been lucky enough to try it: External anal play can feel pretty damn orgasmic. "The anal sphincter has over 4,000 nerve endings, which means even the outside of your anus has a high capacity for pleasure," says Costa. She recommends padding your fingertip with lube and massaging/tracing/touching your anal sphincter. Try circling the hole, moving over it diagonally, tapping it, and rubbing it until you find what feels best for you. (Related: How to Have Amazing Hand Sex with Any Body)

Hygiene tip: Trim (and file!) your nails to a silky-smooth finish before going near your bum. The tissues around your bum hole and lining your anal canal are delicate. Rocking acrylics? Pad the underbelly of your nails with cotton balls, then don on a finger cot (a finger condom) or latex glove, suggests Finn.

Oh, and it should go without saying, but please wash your hands. Street soot, face moisturizer, and food residue can all irritate the anal canal and mess with the anal ecosystem. (Ditto goes for your vaginal microbiome, FTR.)

4. Feel good? Graduate to anal fingering.

As you're massaging your hole, you'll literally be able to feel the hole start to relax and open. So, if you feel inclined, go ahead and nudge a finger in. Anal fingering is a great way to introduce your bum and all its peachy glory to penetration. "Fingers are free and you can manipulate them more than you can a sex toy, so they are a great place to start your solo anal journey," says Searah Deysach, a long-time sex educator and owner of Early to Bed, a pleasure-product company in Chicago.

To try anal fingering, first: Add more lube. Then, breathing deeply, begin to gently, and slowly push your finger inside. "Some people like an in-and-out motion while some people will find that rotating or swirling their finger along the inside feels good," says Deysach. "If you stroke toward the front of your body, you may even indirectly hit your G-Spot, which can be a lot of fun!" (Related: How to Find your G-spot)

During your first anal fingering session, you probably want to stick with just one finger. But next time, "feel free to experiment with adding more fingers if you enjoy girth and a feeling of fullness," says Finn. (And again: lube!)

5. Or bust out a toy.

Butt plugs. Anal beads. Suction-cup dildos. As long as the toy has a flared base to keep it safely anchored outside the body, it's fair game for anal masturbation. While you don't get the same feedback with a toy as you do while anal fingering, some people prefer the sensation of a toy to the bony feel of their hands or simply prefer it over self-penetration. (Did you know being afraid to finger yourself is somewhat common?)

To figure out which anal toy will work best for you, think about the sensations you like best.

6. Add your other erogenous zones.

While orgasm from anal stimulation alone is absolutely possible, the most common way vulva-owners orgasm is through clitoral contact, says Costa. That's why she recommends layering clitoral, G-spot, or nipple stimulation on top of the anal stimulation. "Don't limit yourself to just the anus! The more erogenous zones you can stimulate at once, the better," she says. So go ahead and use one of these sex educator-approved clit vibrators, or your fingers to circle, tap, and rub your sensitive nub or nips.

Just remember: "You never want to put a finger that has been in your butt back into your vagina," says Deysach. "The transmission of bacteria from back to front can be harmful, even if it is your own body." (In turn, it could cause a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.) One workaround is to wear a glove when you're touching your butt, and taking it off before migrating north. Or, using your left hand for your front-hole, and right hand for your back.

7. Bring what you learned to partner play.

There's no reason that anal masturbation has to lead to butt stuff during partnered play, says Deysach. But (!) if you enjoy anal masturbation and want to incorporate your peach into your partnered activity, have at it.

As she says, "Now that you know what you like anally, you'll be better equipped to guide your partner through a pleasurable anal experience." Your own peach, as they say, is your O-yster... (Next up, maybe try pegging or these best sex positions to try with a butt plug.)

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