In this episode, we get to talk about what it means to try the “butt stuff” or anal play or anal sex.

Foreplay, Masturbation, Penetration, Oh my!

Consider the following things:

  • Just like your genitals, learn what feels good, what works for you, and use lubricant.
  • Start slowly! Communicate with your partner!
  • I mentioned lubricants (we have no affiliation setup with these companies!): Yes! Yes! Yes!
  • The partner who is being penetrated MUST be in control! Saying STOP is OK! You have to set ground rules for this experience!

Here's some tips:

  • No need for waxing, enemas, or pre-maintenance.
  • Porn isn't real! It's a performance and not sex you would normally have with your partner!
  • Small toys are great to start with!
  • Breath!

Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts (iTunes).


Hey everybody! Welcome to Sex: The Podcast. Erika Miley here. I just want to kind of give you a little bit of an overview of what's to come in this episode. This episode I am going to talk all about the butt. Butt stuff, yes. Yay! So this is going to be like a mini-course about the very introduction to playing with the butt! I hope you all stick around till the very end, we'll chat a little bit about the how to’s and the do not do’s and I hope all of this information is helpful to all of you. Stay tuned, here we go!

Hey everybody! Welcome to the butt stuff episode. My name is Erika Miley and I wanted to talk a little bit about what does it mean to start the process of trying anal sex or trying anal play for the first time. Oftentimes what happens with my clients, what happens with friends, is that I hear two things: I hear either they are never going to try it and tell me all the horror stories of the first time they ever tried it and they are like, “Nope! Nope, never again, this is awful, this is just traumatic.”, or I hear that maybe someone did give them some information and then it worked out…okay. So, my aim for this episode is that at least you know where to begin, especially with the butt!

Now with the butt, you have to do some things in advance in order to be able to have anal sex, Anal sex is not something that you can — I mean you can try and just do — but it typically doesn't work out well for those who try to do that. So, I want to start with a little bit of basic anatomy. You don't need a ton of anatomy to understand this, but it is good to understand that our body has sphincter muscles all over and that the butt is not alone for that. Now, as far as sphincter muscles go in the anus, you have two that you will have to learn to be able to relax and do that with your partner.

First, there's the outside sphincter muscles that you can see. That takes some finesse! The butt is not like the vagina, where the vagina is made to be able to adjust and if you have a good lubricant it adjusts fairly quickly, hopefully with lots of fun foreplay, but today we are focusing on the butt. The butt requires more finesse, I’m gonna say that again, I’m probably going to say that a hundred times.

So, you have to begin with the outside of the anus and you do not begin with penetration. That's the first direction I'm going to give here: do not begin with penetration! You need to spend some time and be very aroused before you can engage in penetration with the butt. If you just go for penetration, it is going to hurt, you might cause some bleeding. I told you all the story in the beginning in my introductory episode about where I really got a lot of my inspiration from Sue Johanson. She used to talk about the butt and say, “gently, Bentley”, so I am going to give you all that same instruction. Be very gentle with yourselves. You need to be highly aroused, as I said before, and a little bit of romance would be helpful in this situation, and patience, and even what might be helpful is to have a different kind of orgasm before you begin in butt play.

So, the other part is trying to get to know who your butt is first. It might feel strange. Just like any other new thing with sex, trying something yourself might help you relax because then there's a lot less pressure. Try gently massaging that outer area and the opening of your anus the next time you're masturbating. Just start to get familiar with that part of your body, and guess what? You might feel really awkward, or you might feel naughty, or you might feel, I don't know! Everybody has a lot of feelings wrapped up around learning new sexual things and so this, just like all the others, will be very similar.

Also, you need a good lubricant. I'm actually going to do an entire show about lubricant here in the near future, but specifically for the butt you need a good lubricant. There are great companies out there that make wonderful lubrications. There's a couple of lubricant companies that — they're not supporters of the show by any means–but hopefully I'd like to interview one of them so here's the shout out for that. The company that I really like is, I believe they are a British company, and their products are very good because they consider what chemicals they put in their lubricants that can be better body tolerant. Because if you think about it, all of the lubricants that we use they have chemicals in them and you're putting them inside your body so you need to be able to trust that whatever you're putting inside your body is not going to harm you. So, I also have been checking out a company called Sustain, I would check them out as well. And I will put all of these, I don't know, maybe some other options, in the show notes so stay tuned and check it out on the website

Now, all that being said, if you can start getting acquainted with your butt yourself, being able to get comfortable with that. Sometimes, this process can be messy! So, keep in mind that this is your butt, and there's poop in there, and everybody poops is not a surprise to anyone. This process might be messy, so making sure that you have proper sheets and blankets, or even if you feel like it's necessary to put a towel down so that if there is a mess or anything left behind that you feel like you can launder it without any problems.

So, the other thing to consider is thinking about if you're going to go for penetration. Thinking about making sure that you're not going to Taco Bell first and having all of the bean burritos, that is also something to think about. This is a different process than the other sexual patterns that you might engage in, so being mindful about what foods you're eating right before it might be helpful for this.

Now, next you start with the outside first. So, external stimulation first. You have lots of nerve endings down there, you have nerve endings between, for both male bodies and female bodies, there are lots and lots of nerve endings. One of my favorite sex researchers is Dr. Emily Nagoski, and she talks about how we have all the same parts just in different organizations, and if that's the case, we have lots and lots of nerve endings and we have lots and lots of nerve endings in the butt! Especially right outside, that's why you start with that external stimulation

first. It helps you get to be more comfortable with it, and it starts to loosen those muscles so that you can relax. You can have your partner start gently massaging outside of the anus, and have that person, whoever that is, start very slowly. Pause, gain some consent, “Hey, does that feel good? How is this feeling for you?”. Check in, and please be vocal if you start to feel funny.

Also, back to the lube. Be sure to have enough lube on hand because you're going to have to use lubricant more than one time during this process. The anus doesn't have its own lubricant the way that maybe a vagina does, and the vagina only has a limited amount, so you're going to want to make sure that you're using lots and lots of lubricant. You can use different kinds, and we will talk more about lubricant in that future episode. Also, be sure — this is a big deal — if that partner that you have has a penis, they must use a condom. Must! There's no not using a condom, they must use a condom. The reason that is is that you cannot go directly from vaginal sex to anal sex and then back again, because you're taking all of that bacteria and then basically rehoming it into the vagina. So if if that's something that you want to engage in, going from vaginal to anal sex and back again, you have to change the condom every time.

Now, that being said that condoms will actually be helpful because it will be helpful in protecting your partner as well. Just in case there's any scratches or anything like that, you are dealing with bacteria and you want to be safe, right? So, the next piece is back to talking a little bit about relaxation. Those muscles are much tighter than muscles that you have probably ever worked on before, so becoming comfortable with learning how to relax. It might hurt a bit, and so when you start feeling uncomfortable or feel pain it's okay to back off, and it's okay to stop, and go slowly. The key is to stop when you need to. This is the part that often people don't think about very often, that they think the person who is doing the penetrating has the control, when in reality; you, the person who is being penetrated has to have the control. You have to! Especially when you begin, because you have to be able to say, “this is okay”, “this isn't okay”, “I'm feeling pain” or “I'm not feeling pain”. Some of those horror stories that I mentioned before that people have, often they feel only pain, and honestly they experience bleeding, they experience some feces, things like that, and I really don't want this experience to be that way for you. You might still experience some feces, and you might actually have some pleasure as well. Be okay with being able to gently guide your partner. This is a slow process and takes time. This is definitely the time when you will want to be able to say, “this is okay” and “this isn't okay” and get very comfortable with how do I feel with laying sexual boundaries with my partner.

So, also, the next part of this is other types of stimulation. If you're if you're engaging in anal stimulation and then also engaging in some other form of stimulation, like clitoral stimulation or vaginal stimulation, that will allow you to experience pleasure and also relax about the butt, which is great! It's really important to relax while you're trying these things out, and when you can't, that's when you pause, right? Here's the first don't, and it doesn't mean that you don't ever do this, it just means that it's not necessary. You do not need to wax, you do not

need to get an enema, you don't need to do any of those things. Those are unnecessary. Sometimes, people think, “I have to do some sort of maintenance first before I ever try this”. That's not the case!

Also, find a physical position that you can be comfortable in. Often times with my clients they will say things that they've seen in pornography and think “Oh, I have to do it that way”. No, not at all! You will hear this from me many, many times, I heard a pornstar who was interviewed and she said, “Porn is a performance. It is not the sex that I have with my partner.”, and I just thought it was just a really good way to conceptualize this. What you see in porn is a performance, and it won't necessarily go that way in real life. I want you to be able to enjoy this sexual part of your life, and being comfortable is going to be a big piece of it.

A good place to start might be with a toy! You can start with something small. There are toys that are great, and they are a great silicone product that would be safe to be able to use on the outside of the anus, and then there are other toys out there that are like butt plugs and are small and you can use them on the outside of the anus, and they are built so that you could also use them on the inside of the anus. If you do not feel comfortable putting a penis in the anus, you can feel comfortable with maybe a small toy. You can start there. This is about being comfortable and getting comfortable with your body, this isn't necessarily about how “Oh, how big of a thing should I put in there?”. Make sense?

The next piece: make sure that you are breathing. Sometimes, and this happens in exercise too, I know that I've had trainers tell me, “be sure you're breathing”. Sometimes I thought in my head, “well, that's silly, of course I'm breathing”. No! Sometimes, actually when we're concerned or we are scared we will actually hold our breath, so be sure to practice relaxing your breath, and relaxing your anal muscles, and breathe.

Next, be open, and it is funny that I have to say that, be okay with having an orgasm. You might have an orgasm from anal play, and it is possible, and you might experience some pleasure from this experience, so be open to it. You never know what might be pleasurable to you and your partner until you try it, and you try it in a way that you can feel comfortable. Oftentimes, bad experiences might happen because a person might be too excited, and may be very very eager to just penetrate and just go at it, and that's not how the butt works. The person who is being penetrated may not be able to handle that, so having conversations around consent before you engage in this is going to be really really important. So that you can, for lack of a better way to put it, pump the brakes if that's necessary.

Also, thinking about clean up before you even engage in this. I kind of mentioned the sheets, but also thinking about it might be helpful to have a towel that you're comfortable cleaning up with, or also maybe having some of the wipes that are disposable nearby, that also

might be helpful to you. So that you can feel like okay, I've cleaned up, or at least can feel comfortable engaging it knowing that you have an exit strategy.

It is also, I want to say this, that it's okay if it ends up being that anal sex is not for you. It's okay if you want to stop things and say “no, this isn't what I want to be doing”. This is something that is not for everyone, and it's not for everyone to try. There are many clients I've had in the past who have a lot of trauma around their butt and so it doesn't have to be for you. That's okay, and if you're curious, it can be.

I also wanted to dispel a little bit of a myth that I have heard many many times, that if I have anal sex, then that means I'm still a virgin, because I haven't had vaginal sex. Here's the thing folks: sex is sex. The end. Virginity is one of those social constructs that we have, and I will have an entire episode dedicated to that because that is one of my soapboxes, those who know me know that, and probably rolling their eyes already. So, again, at the end of the day, if this is not for you, that's okay. Also, this is an opportunity for you and your partner to practice communication. Letting each other know what you're comfortable with and what you're not comfortable with. This is not an easy thing to do, and both of you could get hurt if you're not careful.

So, all that being said, I hope these tips have been helpful. At some point we'll probably go in further depth, pardon the pun, about anal sex, but I just wanted to give you kind of like a mini course to be able to go, “okay, I know where to at least begin”. Thank you for joining me today, I look forward to continuing to go down this journey with all of you. Thanks, talk to you all soon.

Thank you for listening to Sex: The Podcast. I’m Erika Miley and you can find me and all of the things about my practice, The Center for Mental and Sexual Health on my website You can also get in touch with me through email.. You can also find us on Facebook. You can find this podcast on pretty much every place that has podcasts, Google Play or iTunes, hopefully we'll get on some of the others here pretty quick. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I am also taking a few more clients if you are in the state of Washington, only taking a few more, and I've got some groups starting up here pretty soon about body dysmorphia. I've also got a group, it's going to start in March, about women and losing their sexual spark, so that sounds like any of you please feel free to get in contact me, I'd love to have you.

Thanks so much you all, we will see you next time.

How you can support the podcast​

Patreon is a great way to show your support. For as little as $1 a week, you directly help me pay for editing costs, bonus content, and much more.​