Does Liking Anal Play Mean I'm Gay?

by Paige Leacey

on Jul 5, 2022

Spoiler alert... it doesn’t. Let us tell you a thing or two about anal play for men.


Feeling like your butt isn’t getting the attention it deserves and you’ve been jammed inside a stuffy box of sexual scripts and roles? You’re not alone. Together, we’re going to get to the bottom of this ass-umption and then we’re going to give you some tips to look forward to… or behind at. Yes, we did just squeeze three booty puns into one sentence (count ‘em), and no, we’re not sorry for it.

[A note to be transparent before we get started: We’re chatting to cis-gendered straight men in this piece. As such, all ideas and toys recommended have been chosen with penis owners in mind. However, this doesn’t mean the products we suggest can’t also be used by people with vulvas. The author also acknowledges that some of the terms used may not be ones the reader chooses to identify with. Humans come in all flavours and Lovehoney stands in solidarity with diversity. For non-gendered anal play content, check out our other blogs The Ultimate Anal Sex Reference Guide or 8 of the Best Anal Foreplay tips.]

Let’s start by crushing the stigma

Through no fault of its own, anal play (and more specifically anal play for men) has been subject to some pretty broad generalisations. Unfortunately, this limits its ability to penetrate (oops!) the sex lives of those who might enjoy it most - and that could be you, straight men.

The first generalisation, that a man who likes anal activities must be gay, is a dated outlook on the way that sexual acts and sexual orientation relate. ‘Sexual acts’ (that is, the things you like to do) and ‘sexual orientation’ (the people you like to do them with) are two entirely separate ingredients in the mix of a healthy sex life. Sexuality is fluid, often situational and far more complex than to presume that desire A equals desire B, or that one sexy hobby represents a whole group.

To give you an example, even though many men who like men enjoy anal sex, the gays didn’t patent the rear door route. In fact, some gay men don’t even practice it, while plenty of straight-identifying males enjoy sex with other penis owners. We do ourselves (and everyone else) a disservice when we try to shmoosh something as nuanced and personal as our sexual preferences into labelled jars.

Other unhelpful generalisations about bum fun (and those who have it) have also snuck their way into our culture. One biggie is that ‘being penetrated’ is somehow always the more submissive or un-masculine role. Another is the belief that anal play is inherently dirty or demoralising. Hmph. Let’s probe these ideas a little more, shall we?

Anal play can be incredibly intimate. Its intensity requires vulnerability and openness, and for some sexual partners it may be an activity they only share with one another. It is also entirely possible to be dominant and powerful (and straight), while also being the receiver of anal pleasure.

Society’s boring norms need not control how you get jiggy on your own watch. What’s most important is your sexual happiness, safety and satisfaction.

So, why is anal play for men so enjoyable?

Phew. Now that we’ve flattened the myth that there’s only one reasonable explanation for a man enjoying anal play, let’s get down to why it can be so likable.

Penis anatomy 101

The male anus is a highly pleasurable sex organ (read that again, fellas).

Tucked away behind that tushy is a web of sensory nerves, all connected to the muscles responsible for the big O. A key player in this constellation is the prostate. This gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum, where you’ll also find the P-spot; a rubbery to the touch, walnut-sized area. The P-spot indirectly stimulates the prostate gland through the wall of the rectum, and this is how the magic happens.

Science will tell you the prostate’s most important function is to produce one component of the fluid that makes up semen. But we’re telling you its other job is to elicit joy when stroked and possibly bring about an orgasm different from regular penile ejaculation. (Don’t worry, both can also happen simultaneously.) Excess blood flow to the prostate causes the area to swell and, when that cup runneth over, it triggers intense contractions throughout the entire body. Gimme!


Another reason anal play might feel erotic and exciting is thanks to our most versatile and receptive sexual organ - the brain. Or, more specifically, the imagination. Because anal play sits outside of what we traditionally recognise as “sex” (that is, the type that creates babies), there is an implication that it is therefore ‘kinky’, ‘naughty’ or ‘freaky’. While - as discussed above - this can be problematic and restrictive, it also gives anal arousal the appeal of being ‘different’, ‘new’ and ‘exciting’. For some, that’s super sexy.

Anal acts like pegging can also be a way for straight men, and those who are dominant outside of the bedroom, to feel passive and exposed, offering contrast to the daily mundanities and adding variety between the sheets. See here for what is pegging?

How to play safely

Aside from feeling good, great sex also feels safe. Here are a few pointers on how to have safe anal sex.

Compassion and consent

We’ve waxed on about the prejudice some straight men feel toward the holey exploration of bum fun, so if you’re playing as a couple (or thruple, or quadruple) and find yourself in the role of the giver, bear this in mind. It might take some time to get out of the head and into the body, so start slow, take breaks when needed, and if an activity is not bringing up feelings of excitement and pleasure, call it quits and have a cuddle instead. There’s always tomorrow if everyone wants to try again. Let’s normalise all kinds of reactions during sex.

Toys and Lube

How you play is up to you. Some first-timers may prefer it au naturel, while others might feel turned on by or find it a little more accessible with the help of some toys and tools. To get you underway, here are some of our favourite anal sex toys for men...

Aneros Trident MGX Prostate Massager


For straight men new to the anal game, we recommend a DIY prostate massager for embarking on a solo expedition before inviting guests aboard. Start with something unintimidating, easy-to-use and well-suited to lubricant, like the Aneros Trident MGX Prostate Massager.

Once you get the hang of it, this massager can also be enjoyed with partners, in the shower and in combination with other toys.

Plus, it’s small enough to travel with - chef’s kiss.

Lovehoney Get Started Beginner's Anal Kit (4 Piece)


The Lovehoney Get Started Beginner's Anal Kit (4 Piece) comes with a regular butt plug, a vibrating butt plug, vibrating anal beads and a probe - all sized to suit newcomers. Each toy has a slender, tapered tip for comfortable insertion and a flared base for your peace of mind.

Having a range of toys to explore the backdoor with can be advantageous for first-time admissions.

If one trick doesn’t quite work, it might not necessarily mean the portal is closed forever - think of it like trying to fit the right key, lucky you’ve got a few on the chain. This pack is great induction to anal play for men but will suit any person who is curious.

Lovehoney Discover Water-Based Anal Lubricant 250ml


Lovehoney Discover Water-Based Anal Lube has been designed specifically for your derrière. It’s vegan, compatible with toys, condoms and body parts, won’t stain the sheets, and goes the distance.

We recommend using lube whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro.

The skin around the posterior is sensitive and a good lubricant reduces friction, which helps prevent injuries. There’s no such thing as excess in the land of lube, either. So, slip, slop and, slide!

If this lube doesn’t pique your interest, check out the full range of anal lubricants.

Practice and positions

Anal play doesn’t always require one partner to be behind the other. There are plenty of positions that support a face-to-face or side-on experience (see our POTW blog) and may take the edge off any anxiety about being surprised by giving the receiver control.

Try a spooning position for something intimate and close; get handsy during a blowjob by making sure the receiver can slightly bend their legs (while lying down flat or reclined in a chair); or, for full access, try ‘happy baby’ (that is, supine position, legs up in the air) for full access. The bathtub or a hot shower make for the perfect, steamy environment in which to indulge backside desires too (with plenty of lube, of course).

Once the romp has ended, there are a few wellbeing measures to consider. If you’re wearing a butt plug or prostate massager and have reached climax, wait a moment or two before gently pulling it out. The muscles in your buttocks will have contracted so a few deep breaths - if you can manage - plus a drop of lube will help you safely relax and release.

It might also be helpful to debrief. It doesn’t need to be right away, but a check in at some point to reflect on how everything is sitting (and perhaps even how you are sitting) will help set boundaries and expectations for next time. Which segs nicely into our next point...


The key to better-anything is communication, and anal play is no exception. Think of it like this: if you’re hoping to receive, don’t assume your partner/s know/s, and if you’re hoping to give… don’t assume your partner/s know/s.

2019.05.15 LH Day 02-6313-b

Of course, the mood isn’t always right for a deep and meaningful when you’re seconds away from getting it on, so planning these conversations for a separate occasion might make “the moment” a little smoother. Plus, it’ll give you some time to create your own uniquely sexy safe words.

Having said that, if the occasion for rump-ranging strikes mid-session, try these (con)sensual liners:

“I know we’ve never done this before, but how do you feel about [insert activity here]?”

“Can I talk you through what I want to do to you right now? It’s up to you if you’d like to try it.”

“Can I show you something I saw on the Internet that I’d like to try? I thought it was really sexy, but if it’s not your thing, that’s totally fine. What we’ve been doing is already super-hot.”

Keen to offer but not sure how to ask? We got’chu:

“Would it feel good for you if I gently put some pressure slightly higher/lower/to the left/right?”

“Would you like it slow or fast?”

“Does this feel good for you? Do you want me keep going?

The clean-up

Anal penetration is often described as the sensation of “fullness”. In a literal sense, this is to do with the fact that the rectal tract is also an exit, so any entry may be associated with the feeling of needing to pee or poop. Totally normal. And if you do accidentally pee or poop during an anal play session? Also. Totally. Normal.

53214 Tracey Cox Supersex Flexible Tip Anal Douche 250ml split

Of course, your comfort and privacy must be prioritised and not everyone is ready to let their inner secret(ion)s loose in the presence of a partner.

So if it helps you relax and enjoy receiving, an anal douche about 45 minutes beforehand is your best bet to freshen up and clear out some space (just don’t do this too regularly as you don’t want to disrupt your rectal microbiome).

To bum everything up

Once all is said and done, be sure to give your toys a spritz with a toy cleaner too.

The best anal play for men is the kind that involves communication, consent, connection and presence (oh, and presents too, which you can find plenty of on our site). Your enthusiasm toward a certain sexual act can be entirely unrelated to your preference in partnership, and letting your body take the lead when it comes to deciding what feels right is your first-class ticket to Liberation Station.

We’ve all been brewed in the same heteronormative soup, and working to better understand what attitudes and values limit our ability to explore and express ourselves sexually is a journey longer for some than others.

Our parting words: pass the time wisely. May your anal play adventures be anything butt a bummer.

Paige Leacey

Written by Paige Leacey.
Paige is a sexual health and relationships writer who hails from the Northern Rivers of New South Wales.

Originally published on Jul 5, 2022. Updated on Aug 30, 2022