How To Achieve The Elusive Anal Orgasm

Photographed by Lula Hyers.

If you have a vagina, the odds are that you need clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. But there are some lucky people who report that they've achieved a less common type of climax: the near-mythical anal orgasm.

An anal orgasm is exactly what it sounds like — getting off by stimulating the anus. Most people associate anal orgasms with people who have penises, since they have a prostate (a gland located inside the anal canal that's considered a "potent pleasure point"). But even though people with vaginas don't have a prostate, sex experts and doctors say it's possible for them to achieve an anal orgasm. After all, some women can come without their genitals being touched at all. So why write off the possibility of getting off from booty action?

Anal orgasms are possible for people with vaginas because of the anus' proximity to the nerve endings of the vaginal wall and pelvic floor, says Evan Goldstein, DO, founder of Bespoke Surgical. By having butt sex, you can pleasure your vagina from indirect contact, he says. Not to mention, your anal opening and the inside of your butt are erogenous zones in and of themselves. Even if you don't get off from anal play alone, the anus is a part of the body riddled with nerve endings that, when stimulated properly, can provide an array of sensual delights.

Tantric sex coach Devi Ward says that, in her experience, anal orgasms feel quite different than clitoral orgasms. "We call clitoral orgasms 'climaxes,' because there are sharp peaks and sharp declines," Ward says. Comparatively, she says anal orgasms are much smoother. "There’s a sense of fluidity," she says. "There is a flash, but it’s not this explosion necessarily; it’s more like a spreading: a warm opening and a relief sensation."

Anal sex allows the vaginal opening and clitoris to be stimulated in tandem, which can lead to powerful clitoral and anal orgasms.
Evan Goldstein, DO

So, how do you know if you can have one? Well, you'll never know if you don't try. That said, some people are more likely to have them than others because of their anatomy. Anal orgasms are believed to be triggered by pressure put on the nerves within the vaginal wall, so it makes sense that the (lucky) quarter of women who can come from penetration alone would be more likely to experience backdoor orgasms, Ward says.

For those who need clitoral stimulation to get off, fear not: According to Ward, if you enjoy anal play but haven't orgasmed from it, stimulating your clitoris while you're having anal sex can help. And this is actually a great tip for anyone who enjoys anal or wants to give it a try. "Anal sex allows the vaginal opening and clitoris to be stimulated in tandem – whether manually or with the assistance of toys — which can lead to powerful clitoral and anal orgasms," Dr. Goldstein says. So, it's totally cool if you need to rub your clitoris during butt play to get off. Even if you don't have an orgasm solely from anal stimulation, adding ass to your routine can heighten pleasure sensations and increase the frequency of your orgasms, Ward says.

All of this being said, there are some anal sex basics to keep in mind if you're trying to reach orgasm (or, you know, just trying to enjoy yourself without the goal of blasting off). Ward says it's helpful to find the sex position that's most comfortable for you and use plenty of lube. Also, take your time warming up the butthole with your finger or a toy (Ward suggests anal beads), communicate with your partner about how it's feeling, and go slow. If you're not experimenting with anal play with a monogamous partner, take safer sex precautions, like using condoms. Oh, and keep in mind that you can spread infection-causing GI bacteria from the anus to the vagina if you're not careful.

Most importantly? Relax and don't focus on the finish line. Ward says that if you concentrate too hard on achieving an anal orgasm, you could put extra pressure on yourself and sabotage your mission. "Be present with the pleasure and sensation," Ward says. "When people really focus on orgasm as the goal, it actually blocks them from their own experience of pleasure."

Just remember: Even if you don't ultimately experience an anal orgasm, we're pretty sure you'll have a damn good time trying.