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Some people have a knee-jerk response to any intimate contact involving the anal region. Yet anal sex, when done safely and with the right preparation and technique, can be immensely pleasurable between consenting adults.

Since a sneak attack may be too shocking, start with a conversation to get a few boundaries established. Don’t rush into any sexual practice that might trigger anything unpleasant, but you may be surprised to find that there’s often a great degree of curiosity about this particular taboo.

You may find touching, finger-play, rimming and using toys fun and satisfying – proceed with respect and love, and learn as you go. If you want to try penetration, take your time, use lubricant, let the tissues stretch to accommodate the insertion, and take it easy to get used to the unusual sensations. It can be extremely enjoyable.

And if it isn’t, slow down, or stop – you can revisit it in conversation and then again in another intimate moment. It may take a little rehearsal to discover the best way to appreciate anal sex, but for many lovers it’s worth the learning curve.