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Assume the Position: Anal Experts on the Best Positions for Anal Sex

Though it takes a little more lube and communications than other forms of boning, anal can be immensely pleasurable whether you bend yourself into a ‘modified praying lotus’ or not

There are many differences between us, but if there’s anything we all have in common, it’s an anus. Why, then, are we so confused about how to have fun with them? In our new bi-weekly column, Getting Anal About Anal, a rotating cast of sex workers, physicians and self-proclaimed “bottom supremes” will share their advice and musings on the body’s most mysterious pleasure-hole. This week: Anal sex positions. 

There’s no feeling quite like being fucked in the ass. When done right, it’s a pretty transcendental experience for both giver and receiver, whether there’s a prostate in the mix or not. It’s a delicate art, though, and one that requires plenty of lube, communication and maybe even a little practice with your favorite anal sex toys first.

Once you’ve got those basics down, there’s a world of anal pleasure waiting to be unlocked. But with an abundance of butt-centric positions at your disposal, which come with the sex-ed seal of approval?

According to Edwina Caito, in-house sex educator at sex toy site BedBible, the perfect position really depends on your mood. Personally, when she’s “so horny she could swing from the ceiling fan,” she advises to start doggy style and then modify it slightly, so the giver is on their knees with the receiver sliding back and forth on their cock or strap-on. “This allows [the receiver] full control over depth and speed of penetration,” she explains.

For those wanting more eye contact, there’s the “dirty cowgirl/cowboy” position –– basically, climb on top of your partner, straddle them and slide them inside. “Starting chest-to-chest, you can control how quickly your partner enters and you can kiss, touch and turn up the arousal factor,” Caito explains. Fans of the sweeter stuff can also start with spooning and then slowly ease their partner into their butt. Start with dry-humping, slick on lube — silicone or oil-based is best for anal — and then go deeper. “This position is especially comfortable if your partner is well-endowed,” Caito advises, as there’s less chance of deep penetration.

There are some no-gos when it comes to anal, though –– namely, using numbing creams to dull sensation. “Always listen to your body,” explains Sunny Megatron, certified sex educator and host of the American Sex Podcast. “Anal tissue is delicate and easy to damage, so if you can’t feel the initial signs of discomfort and you keep going, you could cause serious injury.”

With that in mind, Megatron co-signs doggy and spooning, but adds another position to the list. “In the ‘knees to chest’ position, the receiver lays on their back and pulls their knees up toward their chest,” she says. Similar to squatting, this helps straighten the natural curve of the rectum, allowing for easier entry. This allows for deep penetration and eye contact. Plus, like any position where the two of you are face-to-face, it lets you read each other’s facial expressions and body language to see if everything’s feeling okay. “Try putting a pillow under the receiver’s butt for the best angle,” Megatron adds. 

For her part, sex educator Rebecca Lowrie advises straight-up doggy as her preferred recommendation: “It allows the receiver to be as active as they wish.” Of course, your favorite position now might not be your favorite forever. “The best positions are the ones that feel good to both partners at the same time, but that can be different on different days, because our bodies change daily,” she explains.

Notably, anal sex has no gender –– no matter what’s between your legs, there’s a butthole between them, and there’s an endless realm of sex toys ready to crank up the back-door pleasure. “We can’t talk anal without giving a shout-out to strap-on sex,” says Poppy Lepora, in-house sex educator at U.K.-based online sex store Self & More. “When it comes to pegging, missionary is a beginner-friendly position for the person wearing the strap,” she says. In a nutshell, the giver gets on top of the receiver and eases inside. Again, this lets you use your partner’s facial expressions to tell you whether you’re hitting the right spots.

Consult the Kama Sutra if you absolutely must, but the majority of sex experts are agreed that the classics –– doggy, missionary, all-fours and an escalating spooning session –– are still the hallmarks of great anal. As long as you lube up liberally, communicate clearly and never “double-dip” –– sliding your junk or toy into someone’s vagina and then their butthole –– you’re in a pretty sweet position.

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