A Guide to Anal Play -- Playboy Interview

Although I don’t exactly think of myself as an “asshole expert,” I know a thing or two as a sex educator about anal play, especially for beginners!

This was my first time being interviewed for Playboy Magazine, and I appreciated the opportunity to share my two cents on this topic with writer Allie Volpe. Below are some snippets from the article and some tidbits to get you started on trying out anal play.

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“You’ve thought long and hard about your butt and have come to the conclusion that it hasn’t gotten the attention it rightly deserves: You’re ready for some anal play. 

Luckily, social taboos that once surrounded butt stuff are far less prevalent. No longer met with a grimace, more people than ever are deciding to give some love to the rump. According to Skyn Condoms’ 2017 Millennial Sex Survey, 36 percent of respondents reported engaging in female anal sex while 15 percent said they engaged in male anal sex. Though not restricted to penetrative acts alone, anal play—which can include sucking, kissing, and massaging—is great for stimulating the many nerves around the anus.
But with greater sensation means more sensitivity. The anus is one of the most delicate regions of the body and if it is not treated with the loving care necessary, the results could be...messy. The anus doesn’t self-lubricate like the vagina, and the tissue inside the anus is thin and more prone to tears, so preparation is a must. Before getting busy with your booty, Playboy lists how to properly ready yourself (or your partner) for penetration:

Communication Is Key

Want to try some butt stuff with your partner? Have a conversation about it first. “Don’t penetrate anything in anybody’s body without talking first,” says Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD, sociologist and sexologist, and author of the forthcoming book From Madness to Mindfulness: Reinventing Sex for Women. Since everyone has varied sexual histories and experiences, what may seem fun to you could be a no-go for your partner, so get their explicit consent first.

Discuss your motivations for wanting to go there. Both of you need to be all in, Gunsaullus says, in order to ensure the level of comfort and relaxation required for a pleasurable anal experience. “Your chance at having pain or displeasure or tearing is so much higher if you’re mentally not into this,” she says. “Make sure you’re doing this for yourself as a conscious choice as something you’re interested in exploring and you believe it can be pleasurable.”

Try to Multitask

You want to ensure you’re highly aroused and blood is flowing to your genitals for a better anal play experience, Gunsaullus says. Pairing anal play with clitoral or nipple stimulation or engaging in dirty talk can heighten the experience all around. However, for penis-havers, stroking the penis may result in some butthole clenching, Gunsaullus continues, so it may be best to leave your member alone if you’re looking for anal penetration. 

If one of the keys to anal play is relaxation, there’s no greater period of tranquility than post-orgasm. “Bring yourself to orgasm before experimenting with penetration so that you benefit from the elevated endorphin and oxytocin levels post-orgasm,” O’Reilly says.Rather than go straight for doggie style, Gunsaullus recommends the receiver lay on their back and hike their hips up (or prop them up with pillows) for easier access. “Having eye contact and them being able to see your face and get feedback,” Gunsaullus says, “you’re more likely to have that teamwork aspect.”

Read the entire guide to anal play for beginners article with Playboy.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Keynote Speaker, Sexologist, & Sociologist