Science Says Women Like Butt Stuff

Straight women are doing more butt stuff. Or at least we’re more curious about doing butt stuff.

A recent study in The Journal of Sex Research concluded heterosexual women are increasingly curious about anal play, from penetration to rimming (oral for butts). The “emerging norm,” is insufficiently studied, says lead author Kimberly McBride.

Researchers saw different attitudes toward penile-anal penetration versus other forms of anal play, pain being a major factor. Participants associated pain and coercion with penetration, but non-penetrative anal activities were associated with pleasure and excitement.

It was a small study, consisting of just 33 self-identified straight women from the Midwestern U.S. Nevertheless, there haven’t been many (if any) scientific studies on women’s attitudes toward anal play, something still often equated solely with gay men (which is silly). This is a good start to exploring women’s sexual interests outside vulva-centric activities.

During my stint working at a NYC sex shop, a lovely young woman came in. From our conversation, I learned she was a few years into college and and had been with her boyfriend since orientation. She felt their sex life was stagnating and wanted to spice it up, a common sentiment expressed in a sex shop. The woman was new to sex toys, so I led her to the least intimidating shelf of bullet vibrators. Soon enough, she asked “so what about butt toys?” Ten minutes later, she had $400 worth of butt toys for her and her man’s anal orifices–the lesson being the women who enjoy anal play look like the women who don’t.

“It is important to understand women’s sexuality, which may include anal sexuality,” says Dr. McBride. It’s an uncommon sentiment to suggest women’s sexuality can include butt play. But butt stuff can be great if you bear a few things in mind, so let’s get cracking on those butt cracks with these bits of advice for first-timer women.

Go slow

Start with fingers and tongues, not penises or large dildos, says Dirty Lola, sex educator and host of the New York-based sex Q&A: “Sex Ed A Go Go.”

“I’ve had a lot of women tell me they just want to get it over with when they come in with questions about anal sex,” she says. Which is neither sexy nor romantic. So go slow.


LUBE LUBE LUBE. I don’t think I’ve ever given or received a single piece of sex advice more than “a whole lotta lube.” The anus, unlike the vagina, isn’t self-lubricating, so smear it on thick. Thicker lubes are generally better for anal play. Just make sure you don’t use a silicone-based lube if you’re using silicone toys, or the silicone will stick to itself and erode the surface of the toy. Water-based or hybrid lubes are the way to go. And speaking of toys…

Toys are great

The young woman from the shop understands. Toys are a great place to start because they come in all shapes and sizes. It can also be more reassuring to start with toys than with your partner’s fingers, if you’re embarrassed or anxious about them feeling around down there.

That said, don’t put anything in your butt that doesn’t have a flared base to keep it from shooting into your rectum, lest you want to be the cocktail party anecdote of an ER doctor.

Butt plugs are great for women

The rectum and vaginal canal are quite close, so close that, while women don’t have prostates, it’s possible to get in some amazing G-spot stimulation with anal play. Butt plugs are particularly great because the bulbous shape puts pressure on your vagina and gives you that “full” feeling.

Try some gloves

No, not your gardening gloves. Many sex shops sell nitrile gloves for anal play for those who are squeamish about potential bits of poop (which, while not inevitable, are certainly commonplace and not something to freak over).

Enjoy it

And if you don’t enjoy it, tell your partner you don’t want to do it and that is totally fine. Of all the things we should stress about — Nazis, student debt, climate change, and did I mention NAZIS — anal should not be one of them.