If you’re curious about anal play but you’re not ready for – or interested – in anal sex, anal edging may be right up your… alley. Wink, wink. Here’s what it’s all about and how you can explore this highly sensitive erogenous zone pleasurably and safely.
What is Anal Edging?
In short, anal edging is all about the pleasure that can be found aroundthe anus without diving inside. It’s different from sexual edging (also known as surfing, peaking and teasing), and sexperts are forecasting it’s going to be one of the biggest pleasure trends in 2022.
What’s the Difference Between Edging and Anal Edging?
Edging is a sexual practice where you bring yourself, or a partner, to the very brink of orgasm and then stop short at the critical moment. It’s all about cycles of increasing sexual stimulation and stopping just before the point of orgasm. For some people it’s about helping them last longer during sex. For others it’s about control play, or increasing the intensity of orgasm when it finally does happen.
Anal edging, on the other hand, isn’t about controlling orgasm. It’s about anal play that doesn’t involve, or result, in penetrative anal sex. It’s about exploring the ‘edges’ of the anus as an erogenous zone.
Why Anal Play?
Curious about getting started with ‘butt stuff’? You’re not alone! Humans have been putting things in and around their buttholes for centuries – and for very good reason. The anus has a pretty high concentration of nerve endings, which can make anal play and sex pleasurable when performed properly. Not only are there thousands of nerve endings back there – there’s also one in particular – the pudendal nerve – that connects to the dorsal nerves of the clitoris and penis. Not to mention, the chocolate starfish is in close proximity, and provides indirect stimulation, to the prostate in men and the vagina and clitoral legs in women.
While anal is not as taboo as it once was, bum sex may not be for everyone – and it’s important to remember that penetration is not the only enjoyable option. To simply, the hole is not necessarily the goal. Anyone with an interest in exploring the pleasures of the backdoor can do so through a huge variety of play options – from fingering and rimming, to enjoying toys like butt plugs and anal beads.
Anal Edging Safety & Pointers
It’s important to remember that the skin in and around the anus is thin and prone to tearing. That means clipping and filing your nails ahead of time is crucial
When it comes to arse-play, the more lube the better. Apply it liberally, and reapply as you play
A mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water (or a baby wipe!) are all that’s need to clean the area ahead of time. Avoid any cleaners that are particularly astringent as these can actually draw moisture away from the anus and make the tissue more prone to cracking (like chapped lips)
Remember, if you’re adding anal edging into your foreplay repertoire, you must always play from front to back. Basically, it’s poor form (and poor hygiene) to finger a bum and then slip that digit into a vagina, or go from ass-to-mouth into a blow job
Safe sex is best, so use a dental dam if you’re performing anal edging with a new (or non-monogamous) partner
Worried about… mess? Don’t fret! Poop is stored higher up in the rectum and rarely makes an appearance during anal play, so try not to get too hung up on it. If you’re worried you can pop a towel on top of your sheets, or use anal douche beforehand to clean things out
Clean-up is as simple as washing your hands and any toys used thoroughly with warm water and soap.
Anal fingering can be a pleasurable activity on its own, or can be a great way to work your way into rimming or toys. Using your fingers to lightly tickle and tease your partner, while working towards the goal-hole. Trace around their other sensitive areas – the thighs, the labia, the perineum – working your way slowly to their bum cheeks, between the crack of their butt, and further south. When you find your finger at the anus, easy does it. Lightly and slowly tease, stroke and probe while being mindful of your partner’s body language and non-verbal cues. If you’re fingering your own butthole during masturbation, it’s just as important to start slow. Remember to ensure your fingernails and short and smooth, and the more lube the better!
Also known as analingus or a ‘rim job’, rimming is the act of orally stimulating the anus and can involve licking, sucking, kissing, and any other pleasurable act that involves oral-to-anal (ass-to-mouth) contact.
If you’re going to give rimming a go for the first time, start off slow and work your way to the money spot. Softly licking and kissing the inner thighs and perineum are a great place to begin, and these spots are sure to get your partner primed for action. When you’re ready to move to the b-spot, you can’t go wrong by using your tongue much in the same manner you would to lick an ice cream. Use long, slow licks with your tongue flat against your partner’s anus, experiment with the pressure of your tongue, alternating between stiffening and relaxing it, and gradually point your tongue and push it against their anus to gently penetrate.
Try: Anal Toys
Anal toys are super fun to play with, but they can be a little intimidating if you're a beginner. If you're looking to give anal sex toys a try solo or with a partner, it's best to start small – and incorporate lots of foreplay! Anal beads are a great way to begin anal edging with toys, because you can pop them in one by one slowly, and only go as far as you feel comfortable. Pull them out slowly at the point of climax and they'll feel pretty damn intense! There are also a wide range of butt plugs and vibes that are perfect for beginners, as well as kits designed to help you ease into the use of larger toys over time. PLEASE: Don’t stick just anything up there. Your inner sphincter is a powerful, wonderful part of your body that can suck up whatever goes in so always remember the golden rule: without a base, without a trace! That means, ONLY ever use toys specifically designed for anal play that feature a flared base.
Which Lube is Best for Anal Play?
If you’re about to dive into the wonderful world of anal edging and play, you may be wondering which lube is best! Essentially, you’ll want to have both water-based AND silicone lube on hand as each offer different benefits depending on the activity you’re enjoying.
Silicone lube is thicker, lasts the longest and has the most glide, but it isn’t compatible with silicone toys. That means, if you’re fingering, rimming or using anal toys that are made from other materials (like stainless steel) silicone lube is best. If you’re incorporating play with silicone toys, water-based lube is best. Water-based lube is compatible with all toys, but keep in mind they absorb the fastest and need to be re-applied more often.