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An Expert’s Guide to Anal Fingering

June 16, 2021 by Dr. Evan Goldstein

What Is Anal Fingering?

Anal fingering refers to the process of inserting a finger or multiple fingers into the anus, either by a partner or for self-pleasure. Anal fingering does not involve the whole hand, as that would be described as anal fisting. Fingering is generally a good starting point for those wanting to try out anal play but are not ready for full penetration with a penis or larger toy.

While anal fingering and play may not be everyone’s cup of tea, people of all identities and sexual orientations can and do enjoy it. Straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or however you identify, your anus is full of nerve endings and, for males, a prostate receptive to the many forms of anal pleasuring. Anal fingering is something many people do alone as a form of masturbation, as well as with a partner in the bedroom.

What Does it Feel Like?

For first-time anal fingering, maintaining a relaxed and open perspective goes a long way. Common sensations include fullness, pressure, and intense or even surprising arousal. As you ease into it, contraction of the anus is also natural.

Because of the concentration of nerve endings in the anus, many people enjoy anal fingering as a way to reach otherwise inaccessible pleasure zones. These include the p-spot for those with a prostate, and the a-spot for those without. With practice, people can achieve an anal fingering orgasm or orgasm from a combination of fingering with other sex acts.

First-Time Anal Fingering Tips

Experimenting

Self-discovery prior to anal fingering with a partner is critical to having a safe and satisfactory experience. Anal masturbation with one’s own fingers or with toys like butt plugs helps to train the anus to relax properly. In addition, it also helps individuals to learn what they do and don’t like. Finding what anal fingering technique works best for you can take time, so be patient with yourself.

Communication

This is a critical conversation to have between partners as no one wants to be surprised by anal fingering. Consent is imperative when it comes to any sexual act and especially anal play as preferences may vary.

Preparation

For the bottom, there is no need to douche in preparation for fingering; however, some feel more confident doing so. If you choose to, opt for an isotonic solution, like Future Method. Taking a shower and using the bathroom should be enough to help bottoms to feel clean and confident during sex.

For the top, they simply need to ensure that their nails are well-trimmed to avoid any jagged edges that could cause injury to the bottom.

Protection

In the same vein, there are some hygiene strategies that can also make anal fingering safer. For example, finger cots, which are essentially small condoms. Not only do they make for a smoother entry but they also keep sharp nails and rough fingers out of harm’s way.

Furthermore, the STI risk during fingering is low but it is not eliminated. Finger cots provide protection on this front as well. There can be a risk if the partner with an infection touches their genitals prior to anal fingering. Reversely, if the bottom has an infection and the top enters them with a cut or wound on their hand that can cause transmission as well.

Additionally, for women, it is important to remember that the anus and vagina produce different types of bacteria that should not interact. In short, it’s best to avoid going back and forth between fingering the anus and vagina unless the top stops to clean their fingers in between.

Lastly, it is important to understand one’s anatomy when it comes to any sort of anal play. The muscle and skin of the anus are quite delicate and should be handled with care.

Lubrication

Using lube can make for a more comfortable experience and a silicon option is generally best. The top should lube their finger from tip to base prior to entry and the bottom should generously lube their entire external anal region. The bottom can even consider a lube shooter to ensure that the anal canal is fully lubed as well.

Note that the anus is not at all self-lubricating, and as the anal walls are relatively thin, a thicker lubricant reduces the chances of anal injuries or tears. (Read more about choosing the best lubricants for anal sex and fingering.)

Anal Fingering Instructions

It is important to know that beginners should only proceed with anal play when sober. Although it can be tempting to take or drink things to relax they can also dull pain. This can result in long-term injury and is not worth the risk.

Foreplay

Foreplay is essential to getting both partners in the mood. This can involve anal massaging or really anything else that is exciting. This goes for solo anal fingering or toy use, as well as for with a partner.

Penetration

When both partners are ready to proceed with anal fingering, the top should be aware of the entire anatomy, especially the musculature. There are three sets of muscles that make up the anal sphincter mechanism. Two smaller ones externally and the third internal. They all compromise about a 4-7cm length.

With that said, it takes time for all of them to relax. The key is to insert gradually until you feel the first ring, called the superficial sphincter. Gently apply pressure (you can tease it in all directions). This constant, but gentle pressure will get it to relax. Then, completely remove your finger. Do it again, but this time go a little further. Never force it. The muscles should gently open and it may take a few times in and out for the muscles to fully relax and open up.

As you advance deeper inside and also as your overall skills improve, you will be able to feel all three muscles fully relax. The deepest one is the internal sphincter and is quite thick, so it will take time to fully relax. That’s the one that many people can’t truly control. So good old gentle pressure and massaging will indeed finally open it up for deeper play. These all take time and with more experience from both the top and bottom, the anal fingering pleasures will continue to advance.

Once inside there are a few anal fingering techniques one can use to stimulate the bottom:

1. Massage the anal canal in different directions by placing pressure and using small movements.

2. Vibrate the hand to create an experience similar to that of a toy.

3. Slowly move the finger in and out without forcing it at any time.

4. Add more fingers and try the above techniques, without forcing anything.

5. Attempt to reach either the p-spot directly or a-spot indirectly.

a. The a-spot is generally found along the front of the vaginal canal however it can be stimulated indirectly through anal fingering.

b. Meanwhile, the p-spot is typically 2 inches or so inside the anus and towards the front of the body. It is a walnut-shaped area that can typically be identified by the top. In order to stimulate it, a “come here” motion is typically recommended.

Throughout this entire process, it’s important to continue communication about what is comfortable and pleasurable. There may be some initial discomfort, but if there is any pain, don’t continue and try again another time.

One might think fingering is a simple feat, but it’s actually a more advanced pleasure with so many potential pitfalls. Go slow and with smooth movements. Any erratic movements may be detrimental.

Decompression

Once you have finished up, take a moment to clean up and collect yourselves. Reflect on the experience, what was good about it, and what you might like to try or change next time. Additionally, it is very important to look out for signs of injury immediately after fingering and in the days and weeks that follow. This is especially critical if one partakes in fingering or other types of anal play often.

Issues such as minor tears and fissures, hemorrhoids, and skin tags have been known to develop. While these do heal on their own sometimes they may become chronic problems. If this is the case then it is always best to reach out to a medical professional for an evaluation. Our team at Bespoke specializes in resolving anal-related injuries like these through a variety of treatment options.

In addition, if you find that you are bleeding after fingering or you just can’t seem to gain pleasure from it you may be dealing with extreme tightness. That said, this is also treatable with professional guidance and/or tools like Botox. Our team of experts can advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation.

Anal fingering can be a great foray into anal play or an exciting form of foreplay prior to anal sex or eventually fisting. If you do decide to try it out or you have already, be sure to keep the recommendations above in mind to have both a safe and enjoyable experience. If you’re curious about other anal health topics explore our blog or contact us today!

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About the Author

Dr. Evan Goldstein is the Founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical. Dr. Goldstein has extensive experience educating and shedding light on health care issues relating to the gay community, and has been published in several national publications including The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Vice, Refinery 29, NY Mag and more.

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