What to Do After Anal Sex

Using a condom, finger cot, or dental dam during anal play greatly reduces the risk of STIs. It’s also important to have an open conversation about consent and expectations with your partner before attempting anal sex for the first time or with a new person.

A little bit of bleeding after anal sex is totally normal, and can be made less painful by applying lots of lube.

1. Wash Your Butt

Whether you’re trying out new anal toys, spanking techniques or even ass fisting, it’s important to take the time to clean your booty thoroughly before you head down there for a session. This helps reduce the likelihood of infection, which is especially a risk when you’re using a latex barrier and your anus hasn’t been exposed to other people’s bacteria before.

The anus and rectum are the final parts of the large intestine where your body eliminates solid waste, which means there’s a pretty good chance that if you don’t clean down there well, you’re going to poop during anal play. It’s a scary prospect, but it’s also a possibility that you’ll need to accept.

The best way to make sure you’re ready for the pooping part is to use a barrier, such as a condom, finger cot or dental dam, and go to the bathroom 30-60 minutes before anal sex. This allows you to empty your bowels and wash the anal area with soap and water or unscented baby wipes. This is also an opportunity to check your bottom for any sensitivity or soreness that may impact your pleasure.

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2. Apply Lube

The anal area can be painful without lubrication, and lubricant reduces friction that can cause pain. Water-based lubricants like Chiavaye are a good choice because they don’t contain any chemical ingredients that could trigger a reaction in some people.

Silicone lubes last longer and are more durable, but they can be trickier to clean up, so make sure you have some gentle baby wipes on hand or plan on taking a shower after anal play. And be careful not to use oil-based lubes—that could trigger a condom malfunction.

It is normal to experience a little blood your first few times having anal sex, especially if you are aroused and don’t apply enough lube or take it slow. But it shouldn’t hurt, and if it does, you should talk to your partner and see what can be done to help.

Some people also find that anal sex makes it harder to pass a bowel movement. This is because the anal area is normally free of feaces from the rest of the digestive tract, but with regular anal sex, it can become impacted.

3. Take a Bath

Taking a shower or using baby wipes to clean up before and after anal sex can help reduce the possibility of poop-related incidents. Getting consensual with a partner and talking about expectations, desires, and concerns can also go a long way to making the experience more enjoyable for both parties.

A little bleeding your first time or two is not unusual, but make sure you use lots of lube and apply it regularly to avoid irritation. Taking it slow and doing small movements can also ease the pain of anal penetration. And if you have trouble reaching the anus, try spooning or doggy style to find an easier way in.

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Remember, anal sex isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK. It’s worth experimenting to find what feels good for you and your partner, but it’s important not to push too hard or you might cause a lot of discomfort. If it hurts, stop and take a break. As sex expert Rebecca Dakin previously told Bustle, the key to enjoying anal sex is relaxation through plenty of foreplay and a generous supply of lube.

4. Apply a Barrier

Even if you’ve applied plenty of lube, the anal passage is delicate and can tear or be cut during penetration. That can increase the risk of infection and microbe transfer.

A barrier — be it a condom, finger cot, dental dam, or whatever else you choose — can greatly reduce the risk of anal sex infections and STIs, but remember to use one when switching from anal to vaginal or oral play. A barrier is also recommended when switching partners to decrease the risk of transmission of STIs.

If you’re unsure whether to use a barrier, try gently introducing your partner to the anal passage with a finger (though keep nails trimmed) or small sex toy. Gradually increase the size of your anal toys as you move to deeper penetration, only if and when you feel comfortable.

Don’t forget to lube the outside of your anus and your partner’s penis during foreplay, too. Stimulating the bottom’s penis during penetration can trigger the bulbocavernosus reflex, which tightens the anal sphincter and makes it more difficult for the top to penetrate fully.

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5. Clean Up

It’s pretty common for ody fluids to make a cameo during coitus. They may even play a starring role (spit play, anyone?). But what about when they show up in solid form, like poop? Anal sex can lead to microscopic tears in the rectum that, if bacteria from fecal matter gets into them, can cause infections.

That’s why it’s important to wash up after anal sex. A quick rinse with water is perfect, or a few gentle, unscented baby wipes are good in a pinch. It’s especially important for uncircumcised men to do so, as they’re more prone to infections and balanitis — an inflammation of the head of the penis – from bacteria buildup in the area.

It’s also a good idea to wash sex toys frequently, and after every use, to prevent spreading germs. And if cum or semen stain your sheets, wash them immediately. A cycle or two in the laundry will get them clean. And never go from anal to vaginal sex without thoroughly cleaning up in between, as this can introduce bacterial species from your anus into the vulva, causing infections such as a yeast infection or urinary tract infections (UTIs). Having fun isn’t worth getting sick.

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