“Let’s just try it. It doesn’t have to be for a long time,” he said, trying to secure my trust in allowing him to enter places we’d never explored before. I was inebriated, aroused and ready to try something different to spice up our weekly Freaky Friday rendezvous. Here I was, an African-American woman raised Baptist without the slightest clue about what to do when it came to anal sex. The subject was completely taboo and rarely discussed among friends, even during our sexually charged girls’ night out convos.

Yet I was at the door of anticipation, ready to bust through and bust out some freaky moves. And there he was, just as clueless as I was, yet eager for the experience.

I was aroused and so was he, as we both agreed to have this experience together for the first time. Freshly showered and fully protected, we decided to give it a go, only to discover our efforts would be in vain. With little knowledge about what we needed to do to make it most enjoyable, we went there without lubrication, relaxation or proper entry technique. (I blamed it on the alcohol, but our lack of education was more so at fault.)

“This isn’t working out like I thought,” he whispered to avoid embarrassment. And so we stopped, never to revisit the idea. This wasn’t considered an epic fail, but more of a lesson learned about how clueless we actually were on how to properly get into anal play.

Before entering our experiment, I wish I’d have known the right steps to make the experience more pleasurable. But you live, learn and then approach situations with better tact next time around. There are, of course, many other Black couples who share the same desire to venture into anal sex, yet this act is barely, rarely spoken about within our community. It’s too often regarded as a homosexual act never to be practiced by a healthy heterosexual couple, but this is far from the truth.

Before making a decision to experience sex in a new way, we must first learn how to embrace various forms of sexual expression in positive ways. So many have the desire yet feel ashamed to admit it because of what their friends or loved ones may think, but anal sex can be just as rewarding as vaginal sex. (The anus runs parallel to the vagina, and penetration can stimulate the vaginal walls while also stimulating the hundreds of nerve endings in the anus.)

There is nothing sinful or shameful about two lovers exploring each other in fullness, but damage can result if the act goes down improperly. If anal sex is something that peaks your interest, here are a few tips.

Learn the basics

Anal sex is an alternative way for lovers to explore each other’s bodies and spice up a sexual routine, but before entering the back door, there are basic key elements you must know to ensure a safe and healthy experience.

Lube me up baby

Unlike the genitals, the anus doesn’t create its own source of lubrication, so using generous amounts of the right type of lubricant is essential during penetration. The anus is strong yet delicate in its structure, and when met with great friction without the assistance of lubrication, anal play can lead to tearing and damage detrimental to one’s health. Using a silicone-based lubricant will create a slicker glide; using a water-based lube will provide the anus with replenishing and hydrating elements of H2O. There are lubricants on the market created just for anal penetration. Always make sure that the lubricant is marked “latex sex” to ensure the rubber barrier of a condom stays intact while performing. There’s no such thing as using too much lube during back door entry.

Take it slow

Easy goes it! Fulfilling the fantasy of entering into taboo areas can be thrilling, but this is an area not to be rushed into. The anus isn’t as forgiving as the vagina (with its magic elastic powers), so initial entry must be approached with caution. Tight and resistant are just two words to describe the anus, and because of this, each movement has to be calculated and eased into with patience.  Too much force in the beginning can cause tearing and pain that could later lead to an infection.  Take it slow and keep the stroke shallow when attempting anal for the first time.

Protection is necessary

Infection can be spread easily from the anus to the vagina if using both entry points during sexual activity, so it’s important to remember to change condoms before switching into a new area of penetration. Condoms always help reduce one’s chances of contracting STDs, especially when experimenting with anal play. The walls of the anus are much thinner, and can tear easily when proper lubrication isn’t present. This creates entry points for bacteria, causing infection for the receiver. Create a barrier of safety by using condoms during the experience and perform without risk.

Cleanse beforehand

The anus is the exit point of the body responsible for the removal of waste, so it’s important to cleanse before jumping into the experience. Take a shower together or recline in a relaxing bath to get the night started. Some even go as far as to use enema treatments hours before to void the colon of fecal matter. It may sound like too much to handle, but proper cleansing prevents the spread of harmful bacteria. Start the night off right with a cleaning ritual that may not only serve as a form of foreplay, but also a relaxation technique.

Relaxation is required

The number one concern about anal sex is the pain associated with entering into such a tight, rigid space. In order to reduce the pain associated with entry, relaxation is necessary. Start with a full body massage to relax the body and mind. Working from the shoulders down to the waist and eventually the hips will not only relax but arouse at the same time. Moving towards the butt and massaging the cheeks will build up anticipation for entry. The purpose of the massage is to bring the mind and body into agreement. Focusing on how good this new sensation will feel is much better than focusing on how much pain will be experienced. The mind must be connected to the experience in a positive way.

Finger before going in

Before entering into the “round brown” using the full girth of the “love below,” use fingers to massage and prepare the receiving partner for penetration. Make sure nails are clipped and filed smooth and use lube during the process. This is a great way to prep the area with lubricant and to release tension from the anal sphincter, the muscle necessary for anal contraction. Use the thumb to massage in small, circular strokes while pressing inward slowly. Eventually the head of the thumb should work its way into the very shallow opening of the anus while continuing to massage. The key here is to get the receiving partner used to the feeling of being entered in this area. For protection purposes, adult shops provide “finger condoms” for the lovers who want to experiment with finger play before going into the “full monty” of anal sex.

Getting in there

Penetrating the anus is different that vaginal penetration. Entry needs to be taken slowly and must begin with shallow strokes in order to release the grip of the anal sphincter. The body will naturally reject the force of entry, but by taking it slowly, using a liberal amount of lubrication and utilizing side sex positions (“spooning,” for example), entry will be granted. Using deep breathing to relax the body is recommended during this process, and it’s best to allow the receiving partner to control the depth of penetration. Taking it slow is critical for first timers.  Once the sensation has been tested and the level of tolerance has been gauged, lovers can then experiment with various sex positons and speed of stroke.

With the rise of the “booty” trend in pop culture, the idea of anal play is beginning to receive mainstream spotlight as the newest trend in sex to be embraced. Anal sex doesn’t have to be a painful experience or one that we as a community reject because of a lack of understanding. There’s no shame in wanting to explore your beloved in a new and exciting way. Just make sure the desire is shared equally and go forth with the proper education to create a memory for a lifetime.

Glamazon Tyomi is a freelance writer, model and sex educator with a deeply rooted passion for spreading the message of sex positivity and encouraging the masses to embrace their sexuality. Her website, www.glamerotica101.com, reaches internationally as a source for advice and information for the sexually active/curious. Follow her on Twitter at @glamazontyomi.