Do Women Like Anal Sex?

Do Women Like Anal Sex?

Anal sex… a once-taboo topic has now become more widely accepted by society at large. That, combined with a more sex-positive culture, means more and more people are open to trying anal sex than ever before.

But do women actually like anal sex?

Well, the answer is complicated.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place if you want to make anal sex more enjoyable for yourself as a woman, or for your female partner.

There are many barriers to enjoyable anal sex, including a poor understanding of human anatomy and lack of preparation. I’m here to help you address – and overcome – those barriers so you or your partner can find more pleasure in anal penetration.

So if you’re ready for pleasurable anal sex that you or your partner can’t get enough of, then read on.

What is Anal Sex?

Anal sex is a sexual activity that involves penetration of the anus, usually with a penis.

For many couples, anal sex is a usual part of their sexual encounters. For others, it’s something that happens on a special occasion once or twice per year. And still, for others, anal sex is too “wild” and maybe even considered taboo.

Do Women Like Anal Sex?

If you ask a group of women if they like anal sex (I don’t recommend doing so out of the blue, but stick with me here), you’re likely to get a mixed bag of answers.

The answers aren’t usually an enthusiastic “yes” or a hard-and-fast “no.” Of course, there will be some of those sprinkled in there, but for the most part, it’s usually along the lines of “I can take it or leave it.”

In fact, a 2015 study done on the topic showed that 36.3% of women have tried anal sex at least once, but only 13.2% said they had anal sex within the last year.

Why is this?

There may be two main reasons that explain this.

One, anal sex can be painful for many people if they’re not prepared. 

Two, anal sex doesn’t prioritize the pleasure of women. While some women may feel pleasure via anal penetration, and they may even experience an anal orgasm, it’s not as much of a guarantee as it is with vaginal penetration.

Does Anal Sex Hurt?

According to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, pain is a common occurrence for men and women who are “bottoming” during anal sex. That is, they’re the ones receiving anal penetration.

How common of an occurrence?

Eighty-six percent of respondents have said they experienced pain at some point during anal.

That’s not to say that anal sex is painful the entire time. But it can be uncomfortable and painful for those who don’t prepare.

There are three main reasons for this.

First is that the anus does not self-lubricate like the vagina. The vagina contains glands on either side of its opening – Bartholin’s glands. These produce lubrication when aroused, or sometimes just as needed. The anus doesn’t have such a mechanism which means anal sex without lots of lubrication can be painful.

In addition, the anal sphincter is a one-way mechanism. It’s meant to let things out, but not in. If the sphincter is not properly trained, this can result in pain and soreness.

Finally, the skin of the anus is thin and packed full of nerves. This, combined with the lack of natural lubrication, is enough to turn many women off from anal sex.

6 Ways to Make Anal Sex More Enjoyable for Women

Anal sex can be enjoyable for everyone. Here are some tips to make it more enjoyable for yourself as a woman, or for your partner.

1. Start With Anal Training

If you’re new to anal sex, or if you feel like you never properly prepared for it, then anal training is a must.

Here are the steps I recommend:

  • Step 1: Insert your lubricated fingertip into the opening of your anus. Press down and hold for five seconds. Then push upwards and hold for five seconds. Repeat four or five times.
  • Step 2: Insert your lubricated fingertip up to the first knuckle. You’ll feel a muscle constricting around your finger – that’s your external sphincter. With your finger still inserted, bear down as if you’re using the restroom. You’ll feel the external sphincter release.
  • Step 3: Now slowly insert more of your finger inside your anal canal until you feel a constriction on the finger. To learn how to control this internal sphincter, inhale deeply through your mouth for two seconds, taking in as much air as possible. Then, slowly exhale through your nose, counting to five seconds as you do. Repeat this five to ten times.
  • Step 4: You can follow steps one, two, and three again but this time with both your index and middle fingers together. Once you reach stage three and are able to slide both fingers inside your anal canal, you can curl your fingertips and move your fingers back and forth to help the internal sphincter muscles relax and stretch.

Reminder: It can take days, or even weeks, to progress through the steps above. Take it at your own pace.  If you feel pain or notice bleeding, stop immediately and try again with a lower step on another day.

Once you feel comfortable with the steps above, you can also use anal sex toys to get you better acquainted with anal penetration. A good place to start with butt plugs and anal wands.

Butt plugs are sex toys designed to be inserted into the anus. While butt plugs can be small or large, there are many small, slim ones that can help you with your anal training. There are even vibrating butt plugs so you can begin to associate anal penetration with pleasure even before you have anal sex for the first time.

Anal wands are another fun option. These are sex toys that start slim and get wider the further up you insert it. These are perfect for those who have completed the above anal training steps but who still feel like they need a transition between that and a penis.

2. Use Lube. Lots of It.

The one mistake that most people make with anal sex is a lack of lubrication. But lubrication is a must – for men and women – when it comes to anal penetration.


Women are probably used to the self-lubricating wonder that is the vagina. For the majority of women, arousal equals lubrication. As such, many women may forgo artificial lube, or only use a small amount.

The anus, however, is not self-lubricating. No matter how aroused you are, the anus will remain dry. This can lead to very painful intercourse. That’s where lube comes in.

Artificial lubricants are the only way to lubricate the anus. And fortunately, there are plenty of different options to choose from. So you and your partner can choose the option that works best – and feels best – for you.

So, what options exist?

For those with skin sensitivities or if using latex condoms, water-based lubricant is best. It does require frequent reapplication, but it’s a non-sticky, non-staining option that works for most people.

If you prefer a longer-lasting option, then silicone-based lubricant can also be used with latex or polyurethane condoms. You should avoid using it with silicone sex toys, but it’s safe to use with glass, hard plastic, and steel sex toys. Silicone-based lubricants are best for anal sex as they rarely require reapplication.

Other lubricants exist, too, like oil-based lubricants and hybrid lubricants. These aren’t the first ones I’d recommend, as they cannot be used with latex condoms. However, if you use polyurethane condoms, they may be an option you want to explore.

Beyond not applying lubricant at all, another mistake is not applying enough lubricant. So use more lube than you’d expect to need, and you and your partner should have a good time.

3. Keep It Real With Your Partner

Anal sex can be a pleasurable experience for both partners. It can also be uncomfortable, painful, and even messy.

This is why it’s so important that you’re able to keep it real with your partner.

This means being able to communicate openly, but also not taking yourself too seriously.

Pain happens. So if you don’t feel comfortable voicing yourself with your partner, then it’s important you practice prior to anal sex. If your partner has a habit of not respecting your voice, then that’s a larger issue that should be addressed outside of the bedroom.

Remember, you have a right to feel respected and heard. Especially during sexual encounters.

Poop can happen, too. Even if you’ve done a thorough job of emptying your bowels and cleaning yourself prior to sex. So have open talks with your partner about the possibility. You may even feel more comfortable if you have a plan in place (like always having a towel or wet wipes on hand).

4. Take Your Time

If you’re new to anal sex, or if you’ve never enjoyed it before, then it’s important that you take your time before and during.

While arousal isn’t necessary for the same reasons it is for vaginal sex (lubrication, blood flow), arousal can still make anal penetration more fun.

So make sure you take time before anal sex for proper foreplay.

Foreplay doesn’t have to be extensive.

Kissing, caressing, and heavy petting can be more than enough to get both you and your partner aroused.

As for taking your time during anal sex, it’s important you communicate with your partner.

If this is your first time, even with anal training, you may not be able to get full penetration. That’s okay. Ask your partner to start slow and only proceed when you give them the okay.

You may also consider anal sex positions that give you more control over the depth of your partner. So doggy style may not be your cup of tea (the person behind controls depth and speed), but The Rider puts you on top similar to The Cowgirl position.

If you can’t take full penetration the first few times, that’s okay. Continue with your anal training exercises until anal penetration feels comfortable.

If you rush it, you’ll only end up in pain and not likely want to have anal sex again in the future.

5. Clean Up Before and After

For many women, a very real concern is the “mess” that may accompany anal sex.

It’s true that anal sex isn’t the most sterile activity, but it also doesn’t have to be a mess. There are things you can do before and after sex to feel cleaner and more comfortable.

First, clean up before anal play or anal penetration.

For some women, this means using an anal douche. For others, it simply means emptying the bowels and then washing thoroughly with soap and water on a washcloth. A shower just prior to anal sex may make you feel more comfortable about your cleanliness, but it’s not a necessity as long as you’ve washed the area thoroughly.

You’ll also want to clean up after anal penetration. This means you and your partner clean your respective bodies and clean the area where anal sex was had.

Even if poop isn’t visible, I can assure you the anus is full of bacteria. So clean any body parts that came into contact with the bacteria (e.g. fingers, penis) with soap and warm water. You should also launder any sheets or towels that were used during sex, and be sure to wipe down any sex toys or hard surfaces with an anti-bacterial soap or cleaner.

6. Bring in the Toys

The pleasure that women experience from anal penetration can vary widely.

But you’re not limited to just anal penetration during anal sex. You can use fingers or sex toys to stimulate other areas of your anatomy, like the clitoris, vagina, or nipples.

If you don’t currently associate anal sex with pleasure, then sex toys should help to change that perspective. Remember that you don’t have to derive pleasure from the anal penetration itself, from the experience as a whole.

So have fun experimenting.

For some women, they love double penetration. So a penis in the anus and a vibrator in the vagina is a fun option to explore.

For other women, it’s all about clitoral stimulation. Ask your partner to reach around while they penetrate you from behind, or use a clit stimulator for maximum pleasure.

The use of sex toys isn’t a reflection on your partner or their ability to pleasure a women. The fact is that anal penetration doesn’t do it for many women, but sex toys can ensure that women find pleasure in the encounter, too.


Anal sex isn’t for everyone. But I believe that everyone should try it at least once before writing it off. For some people, it can be a mind-blowingly pleasurable experience and it’d be a shame to miss out just because you were too scared to try.

Even with the preparations above, anal sex may not be your first or even second choice of sexual activity. And that’s okay.

The goal here was to make anal sex less painful and more accessible for those who want to give it a try. And if you feel even slightly more prepared for anal sex than when you first clicked into this article, I feel I’ve done my job.

Laura Rose Halliday

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