For many cisgender men, the idea of someone touching their prostate—you know, that walnut-sized gland between the bladder and the penis—sounds about as appealing as getting a root canal. But if you can open your mind to the world of anal exploration, you might find that stimulating the prostate can bring new heights of sexual excitement and pleasure.
Prostate stimulation can be so pleasurable that some sexual health experts have dubbed the prostate the "male G-spot." "The 'male G-Spot' is the prostate and it's about two inches in the rectum toward the belly," explains Susan Milstein, Ph.D., a sex educator and professor in the Department of Health Enhancement, Exercise Science and Physical Education at the Rockville Campus of Montgomery College in Maryland. That's because the prostate contains a ton of nerve endings (in fact, there are almost as many nerve endings in the prostate as there are in the clitoris). "It really can open up a whole new avenue of pleasure for men if they are willing to try it," Milstein adds.
FYI, your sexual orientation has absolutely no bearing on whether prostate play is right for you. "Guys have to remember this: The sensations and experiences that feel good have nothing to do with your sexual orientation or gender," Alicia Sinclair, founder and CEO of b-Vibe, a line of innovative vibrating anal toys known for its rimming and weighted butt plugs, says in Men's Health Best. Sex. Ever. "There’s nothing inherently feminine about receiving anal stimulation and penetration. You get to decide what anal play means to you and how you feel about it. And when you can let go of the idea that a sexual act has to be done by a specific gender, you’ll discover some amazing opportunities."
Sales of prostate massagers have been on the rise in recent years. According to 2017 data from the pleasure product company HealthyAndActive, prostate massager sales had increased by 56% in the five years prior, particularly among straight men over the age of 45.
Men can even have prostate orgasms without stimulation to the penis. "The orgasm from your prostate is a full body orgasm, and you feel a tingly sensation all over," says Chris* (last name has been withheld for privacy reasons), a sex educator at The Pleasure Chest in Los Angeles. "This is opposed to the more isolated and direct pleasure from a regular orgasm through masturbation or penetration. In general, a prostate orgasm requires more time to warm up and more energy. But it's totally worth it." See: what 10 people had to say about the differences between prostate and penile orgasms.
In order to ensure a comfortable and safe prostate massage experience, it's important to follow these steps.
1) Be prepared.
If you're trying prostate massage by yourself, make sure your hands are clean and your nails are clipped short. (If you're trying it with a partner, check their digits for any hangnails.) Perhaps most importantly, "always use lube, as the anus does not self lubricate. If putting something in your rectum hurts, slow down and add more lube," says Chris. He recommends a syringe-like applicator called a lube shooter if you're uncomfortable applying lube with your fingers.
2) What about poop?
There’s always one big question newbies have when it comes to anal exploration: What about poop? Valid question! After all, expelling feces is the primary purpose of the anus and rectum.
But here’s a little anatomy lesson: The rectum does not store feces. Feces transfers from the intestines and is pushed out through your rectum and then anus. This is important to remember, because a lot of folks have this idea that your poop is just sitting right inside your butthole. Untrue! You’re not going to “hit” a piece of poop if you start poking around up there.
That said, you may still feel more comfortable doing a quick wash beforehand. “Anal preparation is very personal, and folks have different opinions on it,” Sinclair says. There are two main ways you can clean out your rear end: douching using a little bulb, where you squeeze clean water into your behind, and using a hose that you can connect to your shower head and insert into your butt (often referred to as a shower enema).
3) Take baby steps, staring with the perineum.
Before going in, start with a gentle external massage on your perineum (also known as your grundle or taint), which is located between the testicles and anus. The perineum is a highly sensitive yet often overlooked erogenous zone.
"Take some time on your own to get to know your body. Lay on your back with your butt under a pillow, tilting your hips up for easy access. Start with massaging your perineum with your hand or fingers. Apply lube to your finger and rub your anus externally to stimulate the nerve endings," says Chris.
4) Explore internal stimulation.
If the external massage feels good, curve your (at this point, lubed-up) finger into your rectum towards your belly button. "Two or so inches in, you should be able to feel your prostate," says Chris.
It's important to note that you really don't have to go much further than that, particularly on your first try. "People think you need to shove a whole hand up there, but that's not how it works," says Milstein. "Insert one finger a few inches into your anus and push up toward the rear. Wiggle it around a bit, tap the inner walls, and apply different amounts of pressure to see what feels good to you."
If you’re worried about getting “messy,” so to speak, then go ahead and try it in the shower. Still, you’ll want to use plenty of lube. "Silicone lube is one of the best lubes for anal because it contains dimethicone, dimethiconol, and cyclomethicone," Alicia Sinclair, founder of the sex toy brand b-Vibe, previously told Men’s Health. "This creates a consistency that is thicker and more 'buttery' than water-based lubes. Most people find that they prefer a thicker lubricant for anal play because it gives some extra cushion to protect delicate body parts."
The additional thickness means you won’t have to reapply it constantly, the way you’ll likely have to with a water-based lube.
5) Make sure you're turned on!
It’s not going to be comfortable if you attempt prostate stimulation without being turned on. When you’re turned on, your body will work with you, as opposed to against you. You’ll be more relaxed or “looser” and less likely to clench. That’s why it’s good to pull up your favorite porn site, and maybe even masturbate regularly a little before you go ahead and stick a finger up your behind.
6) Remember you can stop whenever you want.
Just like how you walk before you run, you insert fingers before inserting anything else of substantial size up your or your partner’s bum. Slow and steady wins the race here. There is absolutely no reason to rush, and it’s not a competition, either. Take only what you can take. This isn’t a “push through the pain” situation. This is an “if it hurts, stop, slow down, and go back to something tinier” situation.
“Breathing is foundational for anal, prostate, and pelvic floor play,” explains Dr. Uchenna “UC” Ossai, Pelvic PT, certified sexuality counselor and founder of YouSeeLogic.
If you hold your breath the entire time, a few things can happen, Dr. UC warns. First, your body is tricked into the "fight or flight" response. “Basically, it thinks you are being chased by a bear, and that is not the physiological response you want to have during anal play,” she says. You don’t want to clench your anus when your prostate is being stimulated; you want it relaxed so you can easily “take” what’s being inserted inside of you.
“Second, your muscles hold way more tension when you hold your breath, which isn't the goal because you want your pelvic floor to move with ease,” Dr. UC says.
Thus, she recommends experimenting with your breath. “Start with slow and intentional diaphragmatic breathing (inhale as you allow your belly and pelvic floor to expand while keeping your chest still; then exhale and everything returns back to baseline),” she says. Take three seconds to inhale and three seconds to exhale. Do this on your side, back, hands and knees, and reclined. “If you pay attention, you will notice your pelvic floor behave in different ways with your breath,” she says.
8) Try a prostate massager.
Before exploring prostate massagers, you might want to start with a butt plug to get used to the ideas, such as the Nu Sensuelle Remote Control 15-function Vibrating Mini Butt Plug. Proper prostate massagers are designed differently in order to reach the male G-spot—the prostate.
"You always want to buy one with a tail or a wide base that it doesn't get lost up there. You don't want to end up in the 'Butt Bin' at the ER where they keep objects found in people's rectums," jokes Milstein. That said, if you're interested, here are 5 surprisingly common penis injuries that can land you in the ER. (Note: When you’re using a toy, it’s necessary to use water-based lubes, otherwise you can permanently damage or destroy the toy.)
9) Have a partner help you.
Unless you’re extremely flexible, it’s a little bit awkward stimulating yourself. It’s by no means impossible, but it can be tough to relax while you're bent like a pretzel. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your partner help you out. It also feels much better! When someone else is doing the work for you, you can focus on your breathing, the sensation, and everything else happening to your body.