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Buying Guides - Easing into anal. Your guide to back door pleasure

Interested in adding something new to your lovemaking or solo sex experience? Thought about backdoor play but don't know where to start or whether you should?

We've done some thorough research, so have a read and see how you feel. We think you'll want to jump on the anal bandwagon with bells on!

Debunking the myths
While most people think anal sex is a practice more common for gay men, there are also a hellova lot of straight men and women who enjoy it too! Research shows that up to 50% of women have tried anal sex at least once during their life, and it rates in the top ten (straight) male fantasies too! Despite the taboo nature of anal play and the misconceptions that it is painful, dirty or unsafe, it can be an extremely satisfying and a healthy part of your sexual repertoire (whether practised alone or with a partner). Anal play is also perfectly safe as long as you use common sense and follow some basic precautions.

Easing into anal
For the beginner, the idea of engaging in anal play can be scary and painful, as well as extremely exciting! To practice positive play with fingers, toys or a penis, simply follow our no-nonsense guide to easing into anal and take a tip when it comes to tried and true tricks and toys available to help you in your quest to conquer the last sexual frontier:

Always practice safe sex
The anal canal is usually very clean as faeces aren't stored in this area; they're stored further up in the rectum and bowel. But for comfort, make sure your bowels are empty. If you'd prefer to douche prior to playing, we've got a range of inexpensive and effective douches and enemas available for anal amateurs and officiardos alike.

And remember, any type of anal penetration absolutely, positively needs lubrication because the rectum doesn't produce any natural lubrication of its own. You may therefore find a thicker lubricant most effective, possibly with a desensitiser in the formula. Water-based lube is generally the best choice for anal insertion because it won't destroy latex or make condoms unsafe.

If you're with a new partner, or regularly use condoms as your contraceptive method, it's also a good idea to use a lubricated condom. Anal sex is a high-risk behaviour for the transmission of HIV, plus the extra lubrication will aid your entry, especially the first time. Always put a new condom on if you switch from anal to vaginal intercourse to prevent the spread of bacteria to the vagina and keep a stash of condoms handy when playing with anal toys as they make cleaning up after sex a breeze!

Be sure to wash your anal toys before you use them for the first time and immediately after each use before putting them away to play with another day. Using an antibacterial wipe or vibe cleaner is just the thing for keeping all your sex toys safe, hygienic and in tiptop condition. adultshop.com stocks a number of tried and tested products which are ideal for the job, many of which are anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Some cleaners are also alcohol free and contain no perfumes or fragrances, which means they're not only safe to use on your latex and silicone toys, they're also perfect for using directly on sensitive or irritated skin.

Getting started
If you're looking to introduce anal play into your lovemaking, discuss exactly what you and your partner want and do not want from the activity before any action takes place. Anal play involves a whole spectrum of activities from lightly touching the anal opening during sex or masturbation through to anal penetration. By discussing what you and your partner feel comfortable trying beforehand, you'll be properly prepared when you get down to business. And keep in mind that while some people enjoy anal penetration, many just like to dabble in anal play. Regardless of how far you'd like to take anal eroticism, it's crucial that you always allow the receiver complete control over the play.

Put aside a couple of hours where you won't be disturbed and can totally relax. Grab a couple of towels, some good quality lube and perhaps an erotic movie or three! If it's your first time, you'll need patience, a very open mind, and the thorough removal of any expectations. Everything you do should be slow, careful and – hopefully – very exciting for you both! Above all else, relax and enjoy every sensation anal play has to offer. If you're nervous, then you're bound to be tense and that area is already tight enough without consciously squeezing it any tighter in anxiety!

Communication is also very important. Talk to one another and monitor your responses. Gauge your levels of comfort and pleasure by continually checking with each other that it still feels okay. The anus is not as responsive as the vagina, so relaxation and timing is the key to enjoying a you-beaut backdoor bonanza! Taking a hot bath together or sharing an erotic massage can help. Concentrate on sending sexy messages to the anus and abdomen area, and you're on your way to warming it up for the main game. Once the body is relaxed, you can progress to introducing a toy or two.

Access all areas
Most butt plugs have been designed for beginners and are a great way to experience anal play for the first time. Always use toys with a flared base or wide handle so they don't get lost in the rectum. This one is pretty self-explanatory - you'd be pretty miserable if you lost something up there! Anal toys with a graduated or tapered tip are also ideal for going up the dirt road as they make insertion much, much easier. adultshop.com has a great range of plugs, beads, dongs and dildos to arouse and excite anal amateurs and officiardos alike. We'll look at them later in this guide.

Again, you'll need to be relaxed as you or your partner slowly, slowly insert the toy into your bum. Make sure the toy has plenty of lube on it (you might also like to prime the anal area with lube before inserting anything more). Breathe deeply and relax your sphincter muscles with each exhalation. This will make them quiver involuntarily – which will add to the new and exciting sensations. Carefully push the toy completely and comfortably inside the anal canal. Now rest, and continue your erotic play as before while your body gets used to it. Keep the erotic stimulation up on other parts of your body and you'll soon build yourself into a rhythm.

Do not insert anything large, straight, hard or sharp into the rectum. Remember the anus curves to the right quite dramatically - using short, bendy, soft toys accommodates for this fact. 4" is the ideal length for an anal toy. Used incorrectly long toys can tear the fragile anal tissues and/or wreak havoc with the lower intestines.

The last frontier
Once you're completely relaxed and trust your inquisitive nature to find out more, it's time to try anal penetration – penis style! The key again is to go slowly. Allow one another to adjust with each centimetre of entry. Ideally you should be in a position where the man has controlled access to penetration, but the woman also feels some control. This includes both rear-entry, as well as the sitting position, with the woman's back to the man. Both the woman and the man should be active participants in guiding the penis in, and both partners should talk, continually checking with one another that it still feels okay.

It's a good idea for the fella to play with his penis around the anus before penetration to stimulate the area and get her aroused. He should then try to penetrate, literally one centimetre or half a centimetre at a time, stopping frequently to allow the woman to adjust to the "full" feeling in her anal canal. Again, you might want to try relaxation and breathing techniques (slow, steady, deep breaths) to help relax all the muscles in the body.

Anal play should NOT be painful. Foreplay is important in any kind of sexual activity but particularly for anal play. In order to enjoy anal play the muscles that control the anal opening need to be relaxed. You need to be mentally and physically prepared for anal play. Iif you are comfortable with the thought of anal play and are sufficiently aroused there is no reason for anal play not to be enjoyable. And remember, if anal play is painful or uncomfortable at any time - stop!

Practice makes perfect
The experience of anal stimulation and penetration will feel different from woman to woman and from man to man. It should feel great, it should feel sexual, but it should also feel very different from your run-of-the-mill sexual experiences which might be a little unnerving at first. Don't be disappointed if the earth doesn't move for you or your lover the first time you engage in back door play though. It takes practice, communication, and loads of foreplay to hit all the right buttons.

Of course, you aren't expected to try it each and every time you wind up horizontal with your mate, but it's a nice thing to add to your repertoire. And if it doesn't work, try not to feel a sense of failure. Many women (and men) like to please their partner and are curious about trying anal sex, but it's not always for everyone.

The low down on getting down
There are a number of erotic toys available that are suitable for anal play. These include butt plugs, anal beads, dongs and vibrators.

Butt plugs
Butt plugs are toys that are specifically designed to be inserted into the rectum during masturbation or genital stimulation. Butt plugs come in all shapes, sizes, and colours and are made from many different types of material. In addition, some have ridges to stimulate the nerves in the anal opening and some are curved to follow the natural shape of the rectum.

Anal beads
Also known as love beads or oriental beads, anal beads are strings of marble like beads that are inserted into the rectum then pulled out one by one at point of climax. adultshop.com's great range of anal beads is ideal for your first foray into anal play.

The vibe's the thing
Toys that are designed to stimulate the vagina can also be very effective when used for anal play. Vibrators can be applied to the outer regions of the anus, which are very receptive to stimulation. Dildos or dongs are also ideal for penetrative anal use - especially the smaller, softer ones. Both manual and vibrating toys can help you adjust to the new sensations you'll feel when you start exploring anal play. adultshop.com has a fantastic range of vibrating bum chums.

When it comes to deciding which anal toys are best for you, think about the type of stimulation you'd like to experience and what you will be comfortable with. If you're unsure, an anal toy kit offering various options is a great way to experiment and help you find exactly what turns you on.

Hit the spot
It's also important to remember that the highest concentration of nerves is around the anal opening, and in men the prostate is located just a few inches into the anus. Some guys like intercourse, while other boys enjoy rimming, but most boys will enjoy having their love button massaged and our range of super safe prostate stimulators is ideal for this! Toys specially designed for prostate play have a handle and a perineum stimulator which act as an anchor, keeping the end outside where it should be! Specially designed prostate stimulators are impossible to lose and boast a super smooth shaft and seam-free head so nothing on the toy can tear or damage the sensitive tissue in the anal area, unless improperly used.

You don't need big or long toys to fully enjoy anal eroticism. Remember that the rectum is curved - try different positions and angles to see which is most comfortable and pleasurable. Relax, go slowly, be gentle and start small. Have fun and experiment with different types and methods of anal play and you're bound to find something you love! Finally, remember that anal play together with direct genital stimulation guarantees an explosive orgasm!

Get even more out of anal play
Have you experienced the intensity of anal pleasure? Are you ready to take things up a notch or two?

Good news - there are plenty more naughty games you can play! Why not try:

  • Switching roles. Invest in a strap-on and transform from receiver to giver. The prostate is considered to be the male g-spot, and there's only one way to get to it!
     
  • Double penetration. A vibrator or dildo can be inserted into the receiver’s vagina while the giver penetrates the anus. This gives the receiver a full-up feeling and provides stimulating sensations.
     
  • Heavy-duty lubricant. Do you prefer harder, deeper thrusting? For comfort without loss of sensation try a lubricant, spray or cream designed for more intense anal penetration, such as a comfort spray that takes the "ouch" out of hardcore anal play.
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