Anal lube for newbies
June 4, 2011 9:33 AM   Subscribe

What are best practices for applying anal lube? (NSFW)

My partner and I will soon have anal sex for the first time. YAY! I feel like I've read just about everything that can be read on the topic, but I'm still left a bit bewildered on the lube question, where there's lots of "there's no such thing as too much lube," but not a lot of clear direction on where it's actually supposed to GO. I realize that one couple's MMV widely in this area, and that over time we'll learn what's best for us, we should just experiment and enjoy, yada yada... but I'd love to get a running start with some road-tested insight.

Places where it seems like the lube could/should be applied: (a) on the visible exterior of the anus, (b) on the penis (head or shaft or both), (c) inside the rectum, (d) inside the rectum and worked into the walls with a finger, or (e) some magical combination of the above.

What's the approach that has worked best for you? If we did only (c) or (d) just prior to an encounter, might that be enough for "spontaneous" anal sex without further lubing up? Do any folks recommend those syringe-like applicators (shooters)? If you had to pick one, what's the #1 most important place that the lube is deployed? Are there any other tips/tricks you've only learned from experience?

FWIW, research has thus far been leaning me toward Pjur original bodyglide (we are long-term/monogomous/tested and will not be using a condom), but any other product recommendations are most welcome. Particularly/ideally some that have an okay taste? (blushes)

Thank you so much in advance. You're about to help put some really big smiles on two adorable people's faces.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

In my (limited to 1 partner, only occasional, she's generally the instigator, though we have also played on me with toys) experience, there's no such thing as "spontaneous" anal sex, it's one of those things that progresses slowly and takes a while. It's not "squirt some lube and hop on", it's "work lube around the anus, slide my penis up and down the crack to get lube on it, tease around the entrance, slide a little more to get more lube goin' on", and so forth.

And it's not just a matter of getting lube in all of those places, but in relaxing all of the associated areas. From my own experience playing on me with toys (and this is may be a good exercise for you to understand some of the mechanics), even with things fully lubed up my body can clamp down and reject something, or it can accept it, and sometimes the differences between those states are subtle and I'm not consciously aware of it.

So: a, b, and probably a little d, although you can in theory also get it there with a penis.

My experience with anal sex is that it's kinda like sex with a condom... no, wait, hear me out: If you're focused on the end goal, it's hard to keep it sexy. If both partners are focused on exploring all the sensations and communicating them to each other then it works, otherwise it's work.
posted by straw at 9:53 AM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Not sure if pjur is silicone based, but I'd recommend going with a silicone based lube. They won't dry up and go tacky. The only issue is they are a little harder to clean up after, nothing a little soap and water can't take care of though.

If you use silicone lube remember NOT to use silicone toys as well.

As for ingestion, I'm sure a little won't hurt, but it doesn't taste very good, but not unpleasant.

Anal is so situational and personal that there really aren't hard rules for how much to use. Really just play around and see what works.
posted by TheBones at 10:24 AM on June 4, 2011

It's not clear from your question as to whether you've experimented with something a little smaller than a penis yet. You don't need to, per se, but I'd advise that you do, just so that you can get used to the sensations. A finger or a small butt plug (or something of that sort) would be ideal. Anal sex can be quite pleasant, but if you're rough or rushed, it can really take the fun out of it, especially the first time.

My suggestion for lube is to lube anything that will come into contact with something else. This means the entire length of his penis and as far inside your anal cavity as his penis will go. Pay especial attention to your anal sphincter. Once he's "through" that, it gets much easier.

Cleanliness is always an issue with anal sex. You might find it convenient to wash yourself internally by using your fingers in the shower. Do this after a bowel movement, obviously. You might also find an anal douche easier, but only ever use water. You do NOT want anything soapy up there.

The syringe applicators can be useful, but I find fingers are better. You have more work to do, but it's much easier to ensure it goes where it's supposed to go. Scissor your fingers.

The receiving partner might find it more comfortable to be in control of how fast it all moves. Do not rush.
posted by Solomon at 10:28 AM on June 4, 2011

Tristin Taormino, avowed anal sex enthusiast and expert, advises "on not in" for lube. I can't find it on her site right now, but I know it's her quote.
posted by Gilbert at 11:02 AM on June 4, 2011

Lube on the visible exterior of the anus and also on the object or body part to be inserted works well for me and my partners. I've tried internal pre-lubing well in advance of an expected encounter and it just didn't work out--I definitely needed more lube, and more on the exterior, as soon as things got started.

The lube shooters are a pretty neat idea, but the only people I know who use them use them for anal fisting. For most people they seem like overkill for penetration with a penis, finger, or plug.

I love love LOVE the Pjur lube you're talking about. It has a relatively neutral and inoffensive taste--I mean, it still tastes like you're licking lube, but it's not particularly unpleasant, certainly not enough to make me stop whatever I'm doing when I happen to taste it. ;) It's also a nice high-quality, long-lasting lube (and has other great uses as well; I'm a fan of using it for massaging body parts that I may later want to put a condom on, since most massage oils aren't condom-safe--though it sounds like that's not an issue for you). In general, you look for silicone lubes that have dimethicone as one of the first couple-few ingredients and are free of ingredients intended to relax, numb, or flavor. Water-based lubes aren't quite as long-lasting, especially since rectal tissue absorbs water like whoa, but if you're going to be using silicone toys (most of which don't play well with silicone lube) or if water-based is all you can find, then the thicker the better. Many water-based lubes contain glycerin, especially the ones that taste better, and while glycerin isn't the evil terrible vagina-destroying substance it has the reputation for being, it's still a good idea to avoid it if any of the partners involved are female-bodied and prone to yeast infections.

I've found that sometimes we need a little extra lube added after things get going, and then we usually add a little more around the outside of the anus and a little more to the object or body part inserted.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:36 AM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Maximus is the easy clean-up thick lube you are looking for.

On, not in.
posted by rr at 11:57 AM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Apply liberally to the head of the penis and your external anal area and have him use the head of his penis to ... what's the word I'm looking for? kind of brush it sloppily around like a paintbrush. Don't "rub it in" like you'd apply lotion to your hands.

Keep a towel/washcloth handy and the lube nearby. If you need to add more lube during sex, have him back up a bit, but not slide out, and apply it to his shaft, and then resume. The towel is so that you're not shy about using too much lube for fear of it getting on the sheets, and so you can relax about "other stuff" getting on the sheets. or maybe I'm just ocd

Every adult store has samples of lube. Pick up a few and see what you like. I wouldn't use any with "flavorings" or scents on my anal area; it's too prone to irritation.
posted by desjardins at 12:20 PM on June 4, 2011

Oh, and I recommend against any products designed to numb your anal area, because you don't want to not be able to feel pain. You can expect some degree of discomfort on your first time, but if you feel actual, unintended pain, that's a sign that you need to stop and adjust or reevaluate. I also recommend against heavy drinking for this reason, although a glass or two of wine will adequately relax you.
posted by desjardins at 12:23 PM on June 4, 2011

Have a sex towel underneath you both. That way, you can use as much lube as you want without worrying about the sheets.

Lube up his penis. A little bit on the outside of your anus. Push a little more inside, before he starts—not too much, just enough for the walls.

Relax, take it slow, just the head at first—if you have him go too far too fast, the pain might be a bit too much and you might want to put a full stop on things. You can always try again later, don't be discouraged if this happens.

Relax, have him go a bit deeper. Add lube to his shaft as needed. Once he is all the way in, go slow. As you adjust, you'll know when he can go faster.

If he pops out, just relax. It'll be easier for him to reinsert this time around.

We use Astroglide, which doesn't taste great, but it cleans up nicely. Avoid oil-based lubes.

Have fun!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:14 PM on June 4, 2011

Welcome to the world of anal sex. Female here, I love it! You'll want to lube up his penis and the exterior of your anus. You can also have him lube up his fingers and insert a bit inside the anus. Go slow and try to relax. Really, it's a great sensation once you get into it, but if you go too fast, it might turn you off. If it feels excessively painful, you need much more lube. Sometimes I have my partner spread my butt cheeks and pour some lube in the area and massage it in.

As far as insertion - have him insert a little at a time and make sure you have control of how fast you are going. Sometimes it's easier if he inserts a bit and then you back up a bit into him. Proceed like this until he's all the way in and then he can slowly progress his speed. This is not something that he should jackhammer away at, because that will not be pleasant on your first time around. Good luck.

Oh, and I like Sassy intimate gel - booty formula.
posted by Sal and Richard at 2:14 PM on June 4, 2011

The advice that I've received and has been successful is to "Add more lube than you think you'll need, and then double it."
posted by klangklangston at 4:29 PM on June 4, 2011

Like straw, I'm worried about your vision of "spontaneous" anal sex. It sounds like you've got it in your head that someday you'll be able to just tear each other's clothes off and start buttfucking away. And I'm here to tell you, that will never happen, no way, no how, no matter where you apply the lube.

I mean, okay, if by "spontaneous" you mean something like this...
[A and B are sitting together on the couch]

A: Well golly gee, sweetcheeks, we appear to have the house to ourselves.

B: Goodness gracious, cuddlebutt! Indeed we do. What would you say to a bit of anal intercourse?

A: Jumpin' Jehosaphat, kittenpants! That's the best idea you've had all week!

[A and B leap to their feet. They fling their clothes off, race to the bathroom to wash up, fling down some old towels on the bed, and spend the next half hour eagerly and spontaneously necking and lubing up before the actual humping begins]
...then yes, you can definitely be as spontaneous as you want. And trust me, "spontaneous" anal sex in this sense of the word is an absolute blast. But it's less like a spontaneous blow job and more like spontaneous overseas travel, so set your expectations accordingly.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:44 PM on June 4, 2011 [7 favorites]

I am so calling my husband "kittenpants."

Anyway, I have to disagree with nebulawindphone. It can be fairly spontaneous (assuming lube is handy) if it's something you're used to doing. It will likely be much more involved on your first try. In fact, do not be discouraged if he cannot fully (or even partially) penetrate you the first time. Take it sloooooooow. But with practice, you can definitely jump right into things. It's 110% about the mindset. Oddly enough, Zen meditation has helped me a lot with anal sex because it makes me more aware of my body and its reactions, and I have an easier time relaxing. If you have trouble relaxing your muscles and he has trouble penetrating you, breathe deeply and envision a circle getting wider and wider.
posted by desjardins at 5:31 PM on June 4, 2011

Really, going slow and communicating with your partner are best bits of advice here. Also, it's OK to stop if it's not going well. For one reason or another, it might not be that great for either of you. Don't force yourself if you think your partner will be disappointed.
posted by SPrintF at 5:44 PM on June 4, 2011

Agreed with desjardins, it is possible to have a spur of the moment anal quickie if you have a bit of experience and use plenty of lube.
posted by idiopath at 7:11 PM on June 4, 2011

Pjur Original Bodyglide here too. On not in. Take it slow. All fantastic advice above.

If you find yourself clamping, pause, and possibly try to bear-down a little, like you do when you poop, it relaxes the sphincter.
posted by Sportbilly at 7:24 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Sportbilly: "try to bear-down a little, like you do when you poop, it relaxes the sphincter"

One of the worst miscommunications of my young life was telling my partner to bear down and push (without the "this is why"), and only finding out later that she thought it was because I wanted it tighter even though it was hurting her (and of course she didn't even mention it was hurting). I don't really miss being young and dating young women actually.
posted by idiopath at 11:11 AM on June 5, 2011

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