How Do I Ask About Anal Play?

June 21, 2016

How Do I Ask About Anal Play?-Couples Playthings

"How do I approach and communicate to my wife that I would like to try being on the receiving end of anal play. Do you think she will think I am gay for wanting to try this out?”

 -Mark, Ohio

Hi Mark,

Thank you so much for your wonderful question! First of all, you are not alone in wanting to expand your sexual repertoire to include some fun anal play. Many men include anal play in their sex lives, which makes perfect sense because this part of your body is filled with sensitive nerve endings that can bring wonderful pleasure. The anus is also great access to your prostate gland, which is a hot spot for yummy pleasurable sensations and can intensify orgasms.

As for bringing up a new sexual idea this can understandably be anxiety provoking for many individuals because, like you, there is the concern about what the other person will think. In regards to your desire specifically, it is unfortunate in our society that the sexual fun of anal play for men has been linked to being gay. This is an OLD script that still seems to hang around despite many of us wanting it to get the hint and leave the party already. If you want to be on the receiving end of anal play this does not mean you are gay. Our bodies like to enjoy pleasure and aren’t made to discriminate what leads to that pleasure based on sexual orientation. This means, if you are gay and like to receive anal or are straight and like to receive anal, it doesn’t matter! No matter what your sexual orientation, you have the right to enjoy whatever sexual act you want as long as it’s safe and consensual. If this includes receiving anal play, great!

To help secure your wife’s consent, below are some important points to remember when bringing up to her that you want to experiment with receiving anal.

Importantly, it isn’t a good idea to bring the topic up out of nowhere or “pounce” the question on your wife. This can cause a reactive, and likely negative, response that will surely put you both on the defensive and won’t get you anywhere. This means don’t bring it up when you are at the grocery store, in the middle of discussing finances, or out of the blue during sex by saying “I want anal!”. Instead, you can lead up to the conversation by saying, “honey, I love that we are talking openly about our finances, would you be open to also have a conversation either now or perhaps sometime this week about our intimate relationship?” With this proposition, you aren’t pouncing the specific topic of anal play on your wife and this also gives her a chance to have a say about when the topic is discussed.

If even the thought about talking about the sexual side of your relationship makes you go “yikes!” I would suggest first practicing with talking to your wife about something lower on the “yikes” scale, such as saying how you like her kisses and can she use a firmer kiss on your ears because otherwise it tickles. That way talking about the sexual side of your relationship doesn’t feel as foreign or intimidating to both you and your wife. After some practice you can soon more confidently include, “Love, I enjoy our sex so much and there has been something I have been curious to try. Would you be open to having a conversation about that?” Practice also lets you test the waters for safety in talking about sex and bringing up things that you like or want to change about your intimacy. Keep in mind that it is also likely that even with practicing talking about your sexual relationship you may find it is still a struggle for you, your wife, or both of you to talk openly your sexual relationship. This is understandable because most of us aren’t taught how to have these types of conversations! If you find that you keep getting into dark waters, it can be helpful to see a Sex Therapist to help you navigate the trickier bits.

Lastly, although once you talk to your wife she could easily say “heck yes, that sounds great!” she might also be timid to the idea because she too has grown up in the same society where anal for men is often taboo. This does not mean she will think you are gay; however, she will likely be curious and therefore it would be helpful to be prepared to answer her curiosity questions. Prepare by thinking about what “anal play” means to you and if you are open to negotiate what that looks like. Did you want her to use her fingers? A dildo? Her tongue? A strap on? Did you want her to play around your anus or also penetrate inside? These are some questions you might want to consider for yourself so you are prepared with answers when she asks.

Best of luck, be safe and have fun!
Dr. Chelsea


Chelsea Holland, DHS, MS is a sex therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (Number: LPCC.0014082) and Registered Psychotherapist (License Number: NLC.0104923) in the state of Colorado. She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. She also has completed the Associate in Sex Education and Clinical Sexology Certificate Programs from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, California. Her training includes counseling skills, resolving sexual concerns, sex education, clinical sexology and erotology. She is also an active member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and the American Counseling Association (ACA).

Dr. Chelsea helps individuals, partners, and groups, regardless of their sexual orientation, sexual interests, ability, and age with concerns and questions regarding their sexuality and relationships.  Her approach is solution-focused and skills-based, along with the use of intimacy and emotionally focused therapy (EFT) to guide her practice. In addition, she integrates a person-centered approach with the supplemental approaches of cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. Her approach is open-minded, sex-positive, and nonjudgmental to help her clients explore, embrace and enhance their sexuality, and also address any problems that may be hindering their fullest sexual expression.

You can also follow Dr. Chelsea on:

Facebook (, (!/doctor_chelsea), LinkedIn(, and on her Website (

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