Expert-suggested options for anal amateurs and more experienced couples.

By Gabrielle Kassel
May 14, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Used to be that enjoying anal sex was taboo for women. If a couple did give anal a test drive, it was seen as a once-in-a-while experience—something a woman indulged in for her partner's sake, not because she actually enjoyed it.

Lately, however, it seems that this script has been flipped. An increasing number of hetero couples are adding anal sex to their playbook. Slowly, anal is entering the mainstream. And though it's not for everyone, more women are speaking out about the pleasure it brings them. 

“Historically, there was a pervasive narrative that anal sex is something women do for their partners...but that myth is slowly getting erased,” Alicia Sinclair, sex educator and CEO of online erotic boutique b-Vibe, tells Health. “Because of all the nerves and potential pleasure points inside and around the anus, anal play can be very pleasurable.” 

Whether it's your first time trying anal sex or you've experienced it before and are looking for some new ways to enjoy backdoor play, check out these expert-recommended positions. Each makes anal sex comfortable, fun, and intimate.

(A little advice first: Enjoying anal means giving your body time to warm up and relax, plus using lots of lubricant. Skipping these steps can cause discomfort or pain. And if you don't know your partner's STI status, use a condom, no exceptions.)

RELATED: How to Prepare for Anal Sex

Backside doggy style

When you think of anal sex, you probably think of the doggy style position. It’s not hard to understand why, Julia Margo, co-founder of UK-based sex toy company Hot Octopus, tells Health. “It offers easy entry, control to the partner being penetrated, and a pleasurable angle of penetration,” she says.

Start by positioning yourself on all fours, and have your partner kneel behind you, hands on your hips. Once you’re ready for penetration, have your partner place the tip of his penis at the point of entry. From here, you can shift your hips back and forward to control the depth and rhythm. “The deeper your partner goes, the more likely they’ll be able to hit your A-spot, which is a highly sensitive and pleasurable area.” In fact, stimulating this pleasure-point could result in an anal orgasm.

To make sure you’re getting the most out of this position, Sinclair recommends angling your body in different ways. “Start off on all fours and see how that feels, then lower your chest all the way to the bed to see if you like that better," she suggests.

RELATED: How Risky Is Anal Sex? A Gynecologist Explains

Cowgirl anal

Penis-in-vagina cowgirl gives you the reins, and the same goes for the anal sex version of this woman-on-top position. With your partner reclining face-up, straddle your knees on either side of him. Then, slowly lower your booty onto his penis, and adjust to the snug, full feeling. Once you’re comfortable, begin grinding, rocking, and rolling your hips until you find a rhythm you enjoy.

As you move, having your partner touch your clit or hold a vibrator against it, Mackenzie Riel, relationship and sex expert with sex-toy company Too Timid, tells Health. “Just like with vaginal cowgirl, this position will stimulate your G-spot," she advises. "Add in some clitoris stimulation for a wild trio of pleasure.”

RELATED: Anal Orgasms Are Real, Here's How to Have One

Butt lifted missionary

This position is one of the most intimate for anal sex—and when paired with a pillow to lift up your hips, one of the most enjoyable, says Sinclair. Lay back with a small, firm pillow positioned under your hips and then another, softer pillow under your head. 

Have your partner support his body weight with his hands and enter you slowly. Place your hands on his hips to help him find the tempo that’s most pleasurable to you. “You might even try grabbing the backs of your knees and drawing them to your chest, so your partner can enter you more deeply,” says Sinclair.

Once you and your partner have found a rhythm that feels good, reach between your legs to stimulate your clitoris using your fingers or a vibrator. Your partner is in control, but you can easily communicate with your eyes, voice, or touch that you want him to go faster or slower, or not enter you too deeply or go even deeper.

RELATED: 5 Sex Positions That Make Doggy Style More Intimate

Backdoor side-by-side

“This is a great position for couples who are new to anal sex,” says Margo. Why? It's so comfortable, it helps the muscles of the anus relax, she says. Lie on your sides, with you on the inside and your partner curled around you spoon-style. As you play little spoon, your partner can slowly ease inside you inch by inch. Again, the penetrating partner has most of the control here, but you can back up your booty if you want it deeper or faster.

Your partner can hold you tight and kiss your ears and neck as you adjust to the feel of him, which makes this anal variation so intimate. But it's also a very orgasmic position, especially since you or your partner can easily reach down and play with your clitoris or nipples.

RELATED: 6 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Butt Plugs

On bended knee

This position also requires you to lay on your side, your partner snuggled up behind you. Draw your top knee toward your chest and leave your bottom leg extended. From here, your partner can ease his way slowly inside of you, holding your booty open for easier access. Your partner has total control over the depth and speed—and he can angle your bent knee in different ways to switch up the sensation.

Intimacy educator Stella Harris, author of Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships, tells Health that this position is a favorite because it’s easy to personalize. “It offers a lot of variety and can easily be adjusted for more or less depth,” she says. And because your partner isn't using his hands to hold himself up, they’re free to roam your body...or to hold you tight.To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Health Hookup newsletter

Advertisement