Many people’s first introduction to the idea of anal sex is through pornography. While there are certainly those who simply choose to try it on their own, either through curiosity and experimentation with their own body, or with a partner, many see it in porn and are drawn to how sexy and appealing and pleasurable it looks there. And it’s true—it is sex, appealing and pleasurable.
But porn is entertainment, not real life, and while it can provide positive exposure to anal and show people its ideal form and how appealing it can be, it doesn’t show the full picture.
Anal Porn Doesn’t Represent Proper Training and Warmup Techniques
Anal sex requires anal training and warmup of the anal muscles beforehand for most people in order to be safely enjoyed without pain, discomfort or injury. This involves gradually stretching and warming up the muscles with smaller toys or objects, working up in size until anal sex itself can be enjoyed.
Most people need to go through an extended period of anal training for days or weeks or potentially even longer, depending on their own personal needs, before they’re ready to even try anal sex. Even once that initial training has been done, foreplay is needed to relax in the moment and prepare for sex, whether through rimming, fingering, butt plug wear before sex, or the use of a smaller dildo.
Porn often doesn’t show these steps. Some porn producers have gotten better about this and include it as part of the start of a scene, with an actor starting the scene wearing a butt plug, removing it, enjoying some rimming and fingering, and then moving on to sex. But there is still a lot where the warmup was done off-camera and they’re ready to go when the scene starts. For entertainment purposes, there’s a lot to be said for doing it this way, it just needs to be understood by anyone looking to try it themselves that they will most likely need more than what is shown on-camera.
Anal Porn Often Doesn’t Show Proper Lubrication Techniques
Anal sex requires supplemental lubrication of some sort, whether artificial lube, vaginal juices, or saliva. Aside from the lucky few who produce an increased amount of anal mucous and can enjoy anal sex without adding any other lube, the anus is not self-lubricating.
Watching porn, however, you often wouldn’t know that. Most anal scenes start with the actors simply sliding into the women’s anuses with no preparation, or with just a little bit of spit. Again, this is generally because they’re already warmed up and pre-lubricated internally, and the addition of saliva is just enough to get inside and access the other lube.
There are certainly those who have anal sex regularly enough that they don’t need much more than saliva and their natural anal mucous to enjoy sex, but that’s an advanced technique that doesn’t apply to most people, and usually should not be attempted by beginners unless they’re confident that it works for them.
Anal Porn Doesn’t Show Hygiene Techniques
A big issue some people have when reconciling their anal experiences with those shown in porn is the cleanliness factor. By the very nature of having sex in the anus and rectum, you’re interacting with a place that also holds and transports feces, so cleanliness is a common concern for many people. In porn, anal sex is always spotless, and this can set a false expectation of anal sex for people whose only experience is through porn.
In reality, porn actors often fast in advance of anal scenes, do enemas, and in the event any mess happens during the shoot, cut, clean up, and edit that out. We’re all humans, we all poop, and inevitably there will be some messiness as a result of anal sex if you do it enough.
If you’re mature about it and understand that sometimes it might just get messy and it’s not a big deal to just clean up if that happens, you can have a sustainable and usually quite clean experience with a healthy, balanced high-fiber diet and supplemental use of a small anal douche/enema bulb.
Pornography is a Visual Medium
Because porn is a visual form of entertainment, many compromises are made to add to the aesthetic nature of the scene, which in practice is often not ideal for actual sex.
Positions are optimized for visual access and being able to see penetration, rather than for pleasure or intimacy. Positions that people may prefer in real life are often ignored in favor of ones that look good on camera even if they aren’t as pleasurable.
Ejaculation is often done externally rather than internally, or even if it is internal, it’s done in a shallow manner so it can be pushed out afterwards for the camera. In real life, deeper ejaculation is usually preferred, both for mutual pleasure and to keep the ejaculate deep inside where it can be absorbed or plugged inside to stay throughout the day.
Anal Porn Actors Are Professionals With a Lot of Experience
Porn often shows quite deep, fast, aggressive anal, as well as advanced techniques such as the use of large toys, double and triple anal penetration, fisting, etc. These are all things that can be safely enjoyed by ordinary people as well, if that’s something that interests you, but you need to start small and slow and work your way up to that gradually, listening to your body along the way.
The majority of people probably won’t be personally interested in those things, and that’s fine too, but even with just a single partner, it’s good to know your limits and recognize that what you see in porn and may want to mimic is being done by experienced professionals, and you may not be able to just dive right in to that same level immediately. Enjoy and be entertained and inspired by porn, but don’t use it as an informative education. Do a lot of additional research. Read our Guide to Anal Sex and the Anal Only Lifestyle. Ask questions. Experiment and explore, on your own and with a partner.