5 Things You Need to Know Before You Try Anal Sex

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By Hannah Norling | Originally Published February 27, 2018 on Health | Featuring Dr. Sherry Ross

How many women are having anal sex? According to one 2017 survey of millennials, 35% of sexually active women do it “at least some of the time.” That lines up with a Centers for Disease Control report, which shows that 36% of women have done it at least once. 

But whatever the number is, one thing’s for sure: Once-taboo anal sex is edging into the mainstream among heterosexual couples. Unlike penis-in-vagina sex, anal sex inspires lots of fear-mongering and myths. Hey, we’re not here to judge. But we do want to clear up the confusion if you’re thinking of giving it a try. Here are five things to consider.

It might hurt, so go slow

While the vagina is elastic and accommodating, the anus and rectum have thinner skin and don’t share that same flexibility. If you’re interested in trying anal play, a good way to get acclimated and avoid pain is by first inserting a finger or using a butt plug, advises Nebraska-based certified sex therapist Kristen Lilla. When you feel comfortable enough to move on to your partner’s penis, start off slowly, and make sure you communicate how you feel and if he needs to put on the brakes.

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