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All About Rimming: Your Complete Guide to Anilingus (AKA Analingus)

All About Rimming: Your Complete Guide to Anilingus (AKA Analingus)

A rim job is probably one of the most badass (heh) oral sex plays in the book. Rimming, also known as anilingus, analingus, ass eating, cracker snacker, butt licking, and tossing salad, involves using your tongue, mouth, and lips to pleasure another person’s anus and the surrounding area (AKA the “rim” of the anus) — which can feel extraordinarily intimate and erotic.

Rimming is eating ass

Rimming can involve only the outside of the anus or you can also delve inside the anus to reach even more intense sensations. It can be done using only your mouth, or you can add hands, fingers, or sex toys to turn things up a notch. Basically, anything that involves oral-to-anal pleasure is classified as rimming. 

Anatomy of the Rim

Anatomical drawing of the vulva showing the anus and perineum (source: Cancer Research UK / Wikimedia Commons)

Before we go any further, let’s have a quick anatomy lesson. The anus is a small ring of muscles located at the lower end of the rectum. The anus extends internally about 2-3 inches and also includes the small, stretchable pucker on the outside of the body (shown in the image above). Those few inches of tissue are incredibly sensitive inside and out, thanks to densely packed nerves in the tissue. The pudendal nerve, which is the main nerve that leads to the clitoris and the head of the penis, also extends through the anus, which is one of the reasons oral feels so unbelievably good. 

There are two main erogenous points that are often the focus of a-hole pleasure: the anal sphincter and the perineum.

Anal Sphincter 

Your anal sphincter has two muscles (located at the end of the rectum) that surround your anus. These muscles — one internal sphincter muscle and one external sphincter muscle — have the ability to open and close so that you can use the restroom properly. The internal sphincter muscle is involuntary, whereas the external sphincter muscle is voluntary (meaning you can clench and unclench it yourself — and you just did, didn’t you?). 

Perineum 

The perineum (sometimes referred to as the taint or coffee table) is located between the anus and the vulva or scrotum. This area is filled with sensitive nerve endings and can offer an immense amount of pleasure, regardless of your gender. Its medical or actual purpose, however, is to protect the pelvic floor muscles and the blood vessels that supply the genitals and the urinary tract. And, wonderfully for us, it can be wildly pleasurable for all genders.

Is Rimming Safe? 

Rimming is a normal, pleasurable way to connect sexually with your partner, but like most sex acts, whenever you’re dealing with butt stuff, you should be cautious. Bacteria is one of the main concerns during bum exploration (E.coli and Salmonella are two of the big ones). It’s no secret that there’s a possibility of coming into contact with fecal matter when engaging in ass play. 

Safe sex is great sex

“Let’s not beat around the bush, we all know what goes on back there. But, as long as the receiver is properly clean, there’s really no problem,” says Ruby Payne, sexpert and professional domme who works with the fetish and sex toy site UberKinky. “If you’re rimming anyone that also has a vagina, don't transfer back and forth between the two. Just, no.” 

Switching back and forth can cause infections if contaminants are carried from the anus to the vagina. One exception to that rule is if you’re using a barrier like Lorals, which are ultra-thin and silky latex panties designed to be worn during oral sex and rimming. They keep bacteria on one side, and your partner’s tongue on the other — so you can explore all over with wild abandon.

If you or your partner have gas, diarrhea, constipation, bleeding, or sores (such as hemorrhoids), you may want to avoid rimming until the issue has been resolved or is cleared by a health professional. 

Practicing safe sex is also important when it comes to rimming. Getting pregnant may not be an issue, but contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or sexually transmitted disease (STD) is. The best way to protect yourself from getting or giving an STI or STD via rimming is to use an FDA-approved barrier method, like a dental dam or a tongue condom. You can also reduce your risk by talking with your partner and getting tested regularly. 

Lorals are working on getting FDA clearance to be used as protection against STDs/STIs, but in the meantime, Lorals should not be used for STI-prevention purposes. 

How to Talk to Your Partner About Anal Rimming

Trying something new, whether you’ve been with your partner forever or you just started dating, can be intimidating — especially if you’re talking about something as taboo as rimming. But, communication and consent are super important, no matter what you’re doing in the bedroom. 

If you’re interested in giving or receiving a rim job from your partner, just remember to approach it in a sensitive manner. Not everyone is up for ass play. No matter their decision, make sure that you listen to their concerns and respect their decision  even if you're a bit disappointed. 

“The main points to consider when it comes to ass play are: consent and hygiene,” says Payne. “Don’t just go from eating someone out straight to their ass. Not only are they unlikely to be expecting it, but you also don’t know what they’re comfortable with,” Payne continues. “Before you dive into any kind of ass play, make sure everyone is on board. Sound awkward? If you’re not up to talking about it, then you’re definitely not ready to do it. Sorry, not sorry.”

Like we always say, communication is key, so make sure you have an open and frank conversation with your partner before any butt experimentation happens. 

Read more: A Beginner’s Guide To Rimming — Breaking Down Butt Stuff

Anal Hygiene: Tips on How to Prepare for Anal Play 

Before you dive into anal play, you may want to clean up down there. (Unless you and your partner are into coprophilia.) A quick shower using a mild soap and water will do. If you don’t have time to wash up, a baby wipe or wet towel can be used to clean the area. It's up to you and your partner if you want to shave beforehand.

Sometimes people do use an enema to flush out all of the poop in their rectum before rimming, but it’s generally not necessary. A thorough shower where you have used your hand or a washcloth to clean up the outside of the anus with water and a mild, unscented soap should do the job. 

What about for the giver? If you’re the one putting your mouth to rear, consider using mouthwash or brushing your teeth beforehand (and probs after, too). But make sure you both are aware of any minty tingle beforehand so your partner isn't surprised by the sensation.

If giving or receiving a rim job is a little too close for comfort, or you’re just not ready for direct oral-to-anal pleasure, Lorals panties offer a quick solution that works for everyone involved. Just put them on and tuck them into your butt crack like a sexy wedgie (trust us, it’s good). Then your partner has a tasty space to suck and there’s no risk of exposure to poo. 

Rimming Tips and Techniques 

If you’re new to rimming, there can be a bit of a learning curve but enthusiasm is always a welcome start. Here are a few tips on how to get your partner going during a rim job: 

Spread those cheeks.

Spread 'em like you're socially distancing

Don't be afraid to really get in there, hold their cheeks open with your hands flat against their body, or get a good handful of cheek to grip and squeeze as you go. 

Use your fingers. 

Use your fingers to explore

 

Use your tongue and fingers at the same time, stroking along the top and bottom of their crack, tickling their perineum, or pressing one finger firmly against it. If you’re both consenting and have prepared with a good lube, you can insert a finger while licking and sucking on the outer portions of the anus.

If your partner is wearing Lorals, you can still explore some light penetration by adding fingers during rimming  just make sure you use lube on both the inside and the outside of the panties and avoid wearing any jewelry or sharp nails.

Use your hands.

Make your partner feel good with your hands

You (should) know what your partner likes during other types of intimacy, so integrate that into your butt play as well. Caress their thighs, squeeze a boob, tweak a nipple — there are so many options!

Keep your tongue flat and soft.

A flat tongue allows you to explore all of the anus's nerve endings

Pretend you’re licking on an ice cream cone and use gentle laps and teases against and around your partner’s anus. To add to the fun, you may want to consider trying out a flavored lube to make things even more enjoyable for both you and your partner.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Take your time and explore

“Start gentle, by licking the perineum and teasing the inner thighs,” suggests Payne. “Slowly tease the rim rather than just sticking your tongue in and out like a fry in ketchup. There’s a ton of nerve endings around this area; make it your goal to hit each and every one of them.” You can always speed up and increase your pressure when you've found just the right spot.

Remember to check in with your partner.

Check in with your partner during sex

You won’t be able to see your partner’s face, so be sure to check in with them every now and again to see if you’re into it or if they’d like you to switch it up a bit.

Talk, moan, and sigh.

Communication can be more than words - moans are sexy!

Whether you’re giving or receiving, keep up the communication and affirmation— make sure they know that you like (or don’t like) what’s going on. Remember that moaning is a turn-on no matter who’s doing it and it can create some pretty intense sensations in conjunction with a mouth against the body.

The Best Positions for Rimming

  • Doggy Style. This is the OG rimming position. In this position, the receiver is on all fours, ass up in the air with their knees spread while their partner leans down behind them. Doggy style makes it easier for the giving partner to really get their face in there and hold their partner’s cheeks apart. It also provides great access to the rest of their body and genitals for fingering and/or fondling. 
  • Reverse Sit. The receiver sits on the giver’s face, facing their feet. This gives the receiving partner power, as they can maintain the amount of contact they want and control the movement. 
  • Legs in the Air. The receiver lays on their back, lifting their legs like they’re squatting, and pulls their knees up and to each side, for easy access to the anus. This allows the giver to spread the receivers leg and get exactly the access they need. 
  • Dinner Tray. This is position is great for active and adventurous couples. It's similar to doggy style, but the giver sits up against the headboard while the receiver straddles them backward and pushes their ass into the giver’s face. Kudos to you if you can hold your breath for a long time!

What About...?

Still got questions? That’s OK, we’ve got answers! Here are a few of the top questions newbies have when they first start thinking about anal oral sex. 

Will I get poop in my mouth?

There are so many ways to avoid poop during anal oral sex

Whenever you’re dealing with anal play, touching and/or accidentally swallowing fecal matter is a possibility. To ensure that you’re both safe, happy, and comfortable, wash with a soft cloth and non-fragrant soap beforehand. If you’re super worried, Lorals has got your back (like, literally). Lorals creates a thin barrier between the vulva/anus during oral sex and rimming, so you can enjoy being with your partner without the added pressure or potential embarrassment. With Lorals, you can try rimming without poo-related worries. 

What about the smell and taste?

Rinsing off and staying hygienic helps avoid messes

Bodies naturally have smells and tastes, but it’s always important to be considerate of your partner and make sure they’re comfortable too. Generally, if you shower beforehand you shouldn’t have an issue with a poop smell or taste, but it will depend on your body and your partner’s sensitivity. As we mentioned, you could try an enema, which is simply using specially prepared distilled water or saline water to flush the poop out and clean up a bit. 

Or if that’s a bit too much for you, you can wear a pair of Lorals — they’re lightly scented with vanilla so it could be a scrumptious experience for both of you!

Lorals are perfect for no-stress anal tonguing

In the long term, there are dietary changes you can make if you know a rimming session is upcoming: make sure you drink a lot of water for hydration and flushing your system out, avoid spicy or strongly scented food like garlic and asparagus, and avoid cigarettes and alcohol as they can cause stronger smells all over your body.

When it comes down to it, trying a new type of intimacy with your partner can be a bit daunting — and this can be especially stressful if it involves potential poop. But with strong communication and openness for some silliness and giggling, rimming can be an easy and wildly pleasurable way to connect. Don’t be scared of a little poop, just enjoy every single nerve ending.

 

Written by Tabitha Britt, a freelance writer and editor. She's also the founding-editor-in-chief of DO YOU ENDO, the first (and only) no-BS digital magazine for individuals with endometriosis by individuals with endometriosis in the US. You can find her byline in a variety of publications including Insider, Medical News Today, and Kinkly. 

Reviewed and Edited by Sarah Brown, a sex and intimacy educator with 10 years of experience designing and marketing intimate wellness and pleasure products.

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