Anal sex is a taboo that some crave, and others cringe at – however, it can be pleasurable when it’s done right. For many, it will always be considered ‘exit only’ but, if you and your partner are both keen to give it a go, it’s certainly best you don’t dive in there unprepared.

If you do decide to try it, here are twenty-one things you should know about anal sex – how to prepare, what to expect, and what not to do.

1. Don’t eat McDonald’s, hot wings, curry, or basically anything else that will run through you or come out hot. Plan in advance and eat clean.

2. Clean it out before you dip inside. You don’t want it to come out with a coating. While you’re at it, consider shaving any gnarly hair around the hole. Your ass will thank you.

To clean up before or after, we love these Aneros wipes.

3. To clean out your rectum, don’t take laxatives. You want to have control of your bowels, not lose it. If you feel some extra cleaning is in order, try an enema one to two hours before sex instead.

4. Anal sex feels naughty – which makes it feel even hotter. Being a ‘naughty’ girl or guy is a fantasy that anal sex plays into perfectly.

5. ‘Just the tip, just to see how it feels’ is a real thing. Relax and loosen up before anal, by massaging the outside with one finger – then two – before you gently start to go inside. Start slow and gradually increase to full penetration.

6. You won’t ruin your anus with anal sex. Bowl movements are essentially the same size as a penis, so you’re body is used to being stretched like that. Unless your partner is the size of a big bottle of soda, it will go back to its normal state after sex.

7. You’ll be drenched in lube. You should be drenched in lube – you need to use a lot. It will be everywhere. You may even find it caked in the crevices of your phone days later.

We love this soothing anal lubricant.

8. Sorry to break the bad news, but it’s possible that the lube you use will turn from its natural clean and clear state into a frothy light brown mixture. Hence, why tissues exist.

9. Ditch the desensitizing cream. Pain is your body’s warning before injury, and alerts you to stop. Creams like this also reduce pleasure, they desensitize the good feelings too.

10. Chill out on thinking it’s gross. If you clean properly, you’re fine. If a little gets on you, it’s not the end of the world. Lay down a towel, keep some tissues handy, and remember there’s always soap and water.

11. Anal walls are thinner than vaginal walls, which makes transmission of an STI much more likely. Always use a condom to minimize your risk. Worried about anal prep getting gross? There’s finger condoms, too.

12. Master the ‘reach around’ to amp up orgasms instantly. Whether your receiving partner is male or female, you can wrap your arm around their thigh to give them added pleasure from the front.

13. Anal sex feels like you’re pooping. Over and over again and backwards… except with more orgasms.

14. The prostate, located under his taint, is essentially a guy’s G-spot. Massage it with a gentle ‘come here’ motion.

If your guy is into prostate stimulation, he’ll love this toy from Aneros.

15. Ladies can intensify their pleasure with dual penetration. You can even massage your partner through the vaginal-rectal wall.

16. Incorporate a nifty sex toy for added pleasure. Try it on the clitoris, vagina, perineum, or taint.

17. For the sake of your health, don’t attempt ass-to-mouth or ass-to-vagina. If you want to switch it up, change your condom between thrusts to keep other areas clean. Anal bacteria isn’t friendly.

We love these Extra Sensitive condoms!

18. Pink eye is a real thing.

19. After anal sex, you may fart for what feels like an eternity, but really it’s sporadic farting for a few days after.

20. Your poos will feel so easy and free for the next few days. They’ll just come out like they’re made of magic. Plentiful and painless.

21. Don’t let bad stories scare you away from anal. Despite the taboo, anal sex feels passionate, primal, and animalistic. As long as you prepare, use lube, and go slow, you’ll have knee-shaking, bed-gripping orgasms from behind.