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I’m making no bones about this: My sex life has been pretty sucktastic lately. Two horrible hookups at the beginning of the semester did a lot to deter me from any carnal pursuits, at least for a while.

But a very fetching fellow walked me home and into my bed recently and really turned things around. I sat in bed the next morning wondering what made this encounter so beautiful, and then the thought suddenly hit me like a sack of bricks, like a finger up the ass...

Crap, I just gave myself away. Alright, kids, we’re going anal this week.

This dude dared to go where only one had gone before and stroked my butthole, which earned him the ranking of second best lay. Based on the two data points, I’m going to extrapolate and say there’s a very strong correlation there between willingness to probe my ass and how high they rank on my list.

To whatever degree you choose to pursue anal exploration, there is a lot to be said for those who dare. It’s an indication of what I look for in a good lover: Adventurous and not easily grossed out, the Bear Grylls of the sack in a world full of Dora the Explorers.

Now, I understand if you consider your butt a one-way street and I won’t shame you for it. Different strokes for different folks and all that. But no harm in trying, right? So listen up.

Broach the subject with some finesse.

Do NOT, under any circumstances, go for Surprise Butt Sex — nobody likes unannounced peen or fingers up the ass. Better than SBS is the “sneak up on it” approach: Slowly move your hand closer to the region, let your intentions be known. Someone who is 100 percent against butt play will quickly slap that hand away, but if they’re keen on the idea, they may let you continue your pursuit. I like this approach because the rejection is soft and does not kill the mood. If you’re a bit more daring, try asking. “Hey, can I delight you in some butt play?” works just dandy.

Minimize friction.

In case you were not aware, the butt is not self-lubricating, and to top it off, the skin there is quite prone to shearing.

Get a good lube and use it liberally — and by “liberally” I mean that you need to slather that stuff on like gravy on potatoes. You should try a few varieties to see what works best — Medical gives it out for free!

Silicone-based makes a good starting-off point. They don’t dry out and are safe to use with condoms, which brings me to the next point...

Use condoms.

Most people use them to avoid STDs and babies, but they’re great for keeping things clean on both ends. Make sure you change condoms if you’re switching from anal to vaginal sex.

Also, that thing about the butt tearing easily? Yeah, that makes it an easy target for HIV infection. ’Nuff said.

Keep it clean.

I’d like to take this moment to remind you of the fact that the anus is the body’s preferred method of waste disposal and, as such, crap may get caught in the way. If you want to make it more inviting to your partner, make sure things are tidy and there are no dangling bits of toilet paper.

Don’t ram it in.

Sounds obvious but plenty of folk forget it. The butt is something that needs to be eased into, so if your goal is to get P in the A, start with an F or two.

An expert on the subject advises, “If you go slow, you can fit all kinds of gigantic crap up your ass.” Um, okay!

Relax.

Especially if you’re on the receiving end. Stressing leads to clenching up, and clenching up makes it harder to get it in. It’s a vicious cycle, peeps. Communicate with your partner, and go at a pace that you are both comfortable with.

If you’re a guy, try being on the receiving end.

Get over the taboo. It feels nice. Let your girlfriend try it on you if you’ve tried it on her.

Lastly, don’t feel pressured to take (or give) peen up the ass — it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I, for one, cap things at the digital level. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t let anyone give you shit for it. But do give it a shot if you’re the least bit curious — you may bump into your best lover ever.