Exploring anal: a guide for people with penises

Exploring anal: a guide for people with penises

To celebrate our new Normal x Abbie Chatfield modular butt plug collab, Option A, we’re talking everything anal. Explore Option A and all of our guides to anal right here!


Anal can be the best you've ever had. Many people with penises say that through anal they've experienced full body orgasms, intense waves of pleasure and a whole new type of orgasm. And we know that many people are curious but they don't know where to start! So let's look at how you can turn your desire for anal into a reality. 

We’re going to explain absolutely everything you need to know about anal: from pleasure, to anatomy basics, tips and everything else in between.


(Although the information in this article is relevant for everyone, we’ve written this for people with penises. If you have a vulva, you might find this article more useful.)




“Many people with penises can experience full-body, intense pleasure and even orgasm from prostate stimulation that may not even involve stimulating the penis at all,” says NORMAL sex coach Georgia Grace. 


“They may not get erect or ejaculate, but they can have an internal, full-body orgasm that is often likened to stimulating the g-spot.”

Although we do a deep dive into anal anatomy here, we want to quickly cover the basics of your anatomy ‘down there’.

When we talk about the anus, we’re talking about what’s commonly called the ‘bum hole’. The anus contains two tight, ring-shaped muscles called the sphincter that help keep it closed when it’s not in use, and beyond these muscles are the rectum and colon.

The anus contains thousands of hypersensitive nerve endings, so it can also feel really, really good when stimulated. People with penises, also have a prostate: a little gland that helps the body to make semen. This can also feel really good when stimulated, and some people with penises say that they can even have extra-powerful orgasms from prostate stimulation. 

If you’re keen to find your prostate, try pressing around your perineum (the area between the anus and the testicles, or balls) or inserting a finger an inch or two into your anus. The prostate should feel small and relatively firm—it’s roughly the size of a small stone fruit (and kinda feels like that too!).

If you’re totally unfamiliar with anal anatomy but you’re keen to learn more, why not get up close and personal with yourself? Using a small mirror or even just your hands, explore the area and get to know this part of your body.





Our top Anal tips! 


Ok so by now you probably get it - anal can feel great! Whether you're new or a seasoned pro - here's a few techniques to try!


  • Massaging the butt. Yes, you can try this with a partner—but it’s great to do solo as well! Using massage oil or body lotion, gently rub and squeeze the upper thighs and bum cheeks. See what kind of touches feel good here: little pats? Slow strokes? Gentle pinches? It’s your body—do what feels good for you.


  • Touching the anus itself. Get up close and personal with your anus and try touching, tapping, or gently stroking the hole. See what feels good, and go with it—and remember that if penetration doesn’t appeal, you don’t need to go any further than the outside. We recommend only using lube for this, as massage oils and body lotions should not be used on the delicate skin of the anus.


  • Using toys. Vibrators are massively underrated! If you own a vibe, switch it on and see what the sensation feels like on your thighs, bum, and anus. Find out what speeds and vibrations feel good for you! Remember that if you’re going to use a toy inside your anus, it should always have a flared base to help with retrieval. 


  • Penetration. Penetration is only a small part of anal play, and it isn’t for everyone—but if you want to explore it solo, you can and you should! Apply a lot of lube to a small toy or your finger, and gently press in to the anus. It’s normal for this to feel unusual or even a tiny bit uncomfortable at first, but if you feel any pain or serious discomfort, don’t go any further.


How much lube is enough? We reckon that there’s no such thing as too much lube. The anus is not naturally self-lubricating, so it’s necessary to add lube to prevent tearing and chafing the delicate skin of the anus. Add some, add a bit more, and then add some extra.




Debunking common anal myths 


Sadly we see how myths get in the way of people exploring pleasure - let's debunk the major ones.


Myth: you’re more likely to get STIs from anal.


Reality: no more or less likely than from other types of sex.


STIs such as herpes, syphilis, gonorrhoea, and HIV (just to name a few) can be contracted during anal sex, just like they can be contracted during any other type of sex. If you haven’t had ‘the STI talk’ with your partner yet, we recommend wearing a condom for penetration and using a dental dam for rimming to reduce the chances of STI transmission.



Myth: liking anal makes you gay.


Reality: not true.


This myth is really pervasive, and we want to debunk it not because we think there’s anything wrong with being gay—there isn’t—but because we know that it can prevent people from exploring something that might be fun and pleasurable for them. The only thing that makes you gay is deciding for yourself that you are gay.


“Liking anal sex doesn’t say anything about your sexuality,” says Normal sex coach, Georgia Grace. “Your anus is simply an erogenous zone, and it feels really good to touch it.”


Myth: if you have a lot of anal sex, your anal muscles will get ‘loose’.


Reality: not true!


This is one of those urban legends that’s been around forever, and we’re happy to say it isn’t true. Remember that your anus is made to open and close regularly—it has to do this when we use the toilet! The muscles there are strong, and will easily return to their regular shape and size. 



Myth: anal only feels good for the penetrator, not the receiver.


Reality: totally false!


Of course, if you’re someone who doesn’t like anal, we’re not about to try to convince you to try it again and see if you like it. But if you’re nervous about anal because of the myth that it won’t feel good—we say, give it a go! Anal can be incredibly pleasurable for receivers of all genders, but for people with prostate glands it can feel especially good.


Leaving taboos behind to explore more pleasure


Anal play is something that can still feel taboo to talk about. The sexual politics of the anus can be extensive, particularly for people with penises: some people are worried about exploring the area because of what they feel it might imply about their sexuality, while others might feel comfortable receiving anal but not penetrating a partner—or vice-versa.


We would never encourage anyone to try something that they’re flat-out uncomfortable with, so if you don’t think anal is for you then it’s definitely not something that you have to try.


However, if you’re curious about anal but have held back from exploring it because you’re worried or nervous about what it might mean if you like it, we’d like to encourage you to take a chance and explore it in a way that feels safe and comfortable. This might mean playing solo, exploring some erotica, or even talking about it with a trusted partner.


“Obviously anal sex still feels a little bit taboo,” says Abbie, “But it also can be some of the best full-body pleasure any of us can experience.”


Many people even report having orgasms from anal play or penetration alone. Just remember to use lots of lube, keep it slow, and check in regularly with your partner (or yourself).

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