The Ins And Outs Of Anal Fingering

Photographed by Megan Madden.
Have you ever heard of anal fingering? It's exactly what it sounds like — putting a finger (or several) into someone's anus. And if you're considering anal sex, anal fingering could be a logical first step. Even if you don't want to move on to using a penis or dildo for anal, fingering can be erotic for anyone involved. Everyone's anus has lots of nerve endings around the opening and inside that can feel good when they're played with. But there are some ground rules you need to learn before you give it a try.
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First, talk to your partner before you take any action. There's a distinct image in my brain of a man sitting around a table, talking to his buddies about a sexual adventure he'd had the night before. He looks around sheepishly, leans across the table and whispers, "Dude, she stuck a finger in my butt." I can't remember if it was a dream or something I saw on TV, but the major issue in this scene is that the man who was fingered clearly had no idea it was coming. That should never happen IRL, both because consent is important and also because surprise fingering can make someone's body shut down. "The surprise can make them tighten up," sex toy shop, B-Vibe, wrote on their blog.
Besides, you can't really finger someone's anus without some prep-work, which brings us to ground-rule #2: Use lube. Buttholes don't self-lubricate like vaginas do, so they need help getting wet. If you try to finger someone's anus totally dry, you can end up tearing their butthole. Even if you don't tear anything, dry anal is painful. So find a lube you like and use it. Silicone lube tends to last longer than water-based, so that might be the best option here (or, try one of these anal sex lubes). But, if you have a water-based lube you like go ahead and use that. Just keep it close by so you can add more when things start getting too dry.
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Another thing that can cause pain? Fingernails. If you have long fingernails, consider either cutting them or using a "finger condom" (like this) to protect your partner's insides. With or without a finger condom, you'll want to douse your fingers in the lube all the way to the base, and then start slowly. "Contrary to what you may have seen in porn, you don’t want to just stick your finger in," B-Vibe advises. It can help if whoever is being fingered takes some deep, slow breaths. Having a relaxed body means having a relaxed anus, which will make the whole experience more pleasurable for everyone involved.
There are all kinds of techniques you can try once your fingers are inside someone's anus. B-Vibe suggests gently pressing your fingertip along the inner wall of the anus, to apply pressure to those feel-good nerves. Or, you can put your finger in up to the base and then gently massage around your partner's rectum. B-Vibe has several other suggestions, but the point is to go slowly and gently at first.
Eventually, you and your partner will be able to explore more (assuming you're both into anal fingering). Happy adventuring!
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