Q: It’s my first time receiving anal. HELP!

Q: My boyfriend and I are ready to have sex for the first time. The only thing is, we’re gay and neither one of us know anything about anal beyond what we’ve seen in porn. If I’m on the bottom, what am I expected to do? How can I make sure I’m clean? Is it going to hurt?

A: Just like well, most forms of porn, gay porn sucks as a safe sex instructional! We have a great guide on the basics of anal sex here, but here are some other pointers.

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For anal sex, bottoms can clean their, well, bottoms using an enema or an anal douche. Both have risks and are best done several hours before sex.

Most of the time, just go to the bathroom and make sure you’re clean with a few wipes. Chances are, you’re much cleaner than you think. Even if you feel like you’re totally gonna poop.

The brain only knows you have to poop because the anus is full– that is literally the signal for, “Yo, let’s go to the bathroom.” So, having something in there like a dildo or some tasty, tasty man flesh may give you a little pause the first few times. But don’t worry. You are most likely not going to poop.

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The next issue is lube. Anal needs lube. Lots and lots of lube. And unlike in porn, saliva is not an appropriate lube. We strongly suggest silicone over water and oil-based lubes, due to the nature of the anus.

Anuses are made to absorb water, so using a water-based lube is a bad idea because it will dry up quickly. Oil-based lubes are good, but they trap bacteria really well, and the anus is full of bacteria. If you have any accidental tearing, an oil-based lube will put you on the path to infection.

They also aren’t safe for latex or polyisoprene condoms, like Lifestyles SKYN. Silicone doesn’t absorb like water and it’s body-safe. WET Uranus is one of best silicone lubes out there and it’s specially formulated for anal, as you can probably tell by the name.

There are lube shooters that can help you get it all the way up there. Or, you can have your partner use his fingers for more fun. However you do it, use plenty. The anus doesn’t have a natural lubrication unlike the vagina, so it needs everything it can get.

Without it, you’re at risk for tearing. Which really, really sucks. Remember what I said about bacteria? Now, you may quickly realize that your butthole is very tight. In porn, everyone makes it look so easy. But the thing is, if it hurts, it’s your body telling you, “Hey, we aren’t ready for this yet.”

Porn actors stretch themselves using dildos and buttplugs so that they’re ready to perform with large male co-stars. You can do that too, if you’re planning on being a bottom. Spend your first few intimacy sessions with your partner using a dildo and work up to your partner. It’ll make the experience more intimate and give you guys some experience knowing what you and your partner enjoy.

Don’t rush into your first time– it can make it painful and unenjoyable. And finally, the best thing a top can do for a bottom is provide protection. We strongly recommend condoms for anal sex.

Even if you’re both virgins, you can still get sexually transmitted infections. I mentioned bacteria, right? Well, that bacteria can get up inside of the urethra, causing painful UTIs. The FDA does not recommend condoms for anal because they’re jerks. Doesn’t matter. Use them anyway, and use them with lots of lube to ensure they don’t break.

This is our list of our best condoms for anal. One thing that’s not mentioned on there– don’t use lambskin condoms. They feel great, but they’re only good for preventing pregnancy, not infections or STDs.

Remember, too, if your partner has had other partners, that many STDs are asymptomatic in men. There are even some STDs, like some forms of HPV, that a person can be born with. So always be sure to get tested with your partner before starting a new relationship. Most health clinics will do this for free once a year.

I know that’s a lot to take in (hurrhurr), but please let me know if you have any questions. Remember, too, if you find anal uncomfortable at first, there are plenty of other ways for gay men to have sex. Check out these articles:

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