Learn About Anal Stretching From the Experts at Bespoke Surgical
What is anal stretching?
Anal and distal rectal dilation is the act of opening, widening, or stretching the anus with tools called anal dilators or anal expanders. It is often done after surgical procedures on the anus to restore the area to its normal state. Anal stretching can make passing stool and/or sexual activity more comfortable and is imperative to both functionality, along with the aesthetics desired.
Anal Stretching for Pleasure and Comfort
Understanding anal anatomy and muscular contractility is a must in sexual education, all in the hopes of long lasting and powerful experiences. Unfortunately, the knowledge of both how to relax your anus and how to correctly play have been lacking in most educational curriculums and even in the majority of physicians’ offices. As it pertains to anything in anal play, one must think of the sphincter as having two major functions:
Most people have a difficult time with complete relaxation, during both defecation and intercourse. The key component to understanding how to relax for anal and experience better bottoming is practice, practice, and more practice! This stems from creating the neural mechanism from the brain to the ass to improve that relaxation when called upon. One is sorely (no pun intended) mistaken to think one can just shove a penis, toy, butt plug, or other object into the anus and have it be pleasurable.
It takes time and patience and in order to have a fruitful encounter, while minimizing injury, dilation is key — both before you ever start engaging anally and also in between the times of when you do engage. Like any other muscle, learning how to relax your sphincter muscle will require constant exercise. If it doesn’t experience that relaxation control, it will go back to being too tight, accompanied by painful experiences or even worse — anal fissures, hemorrhoids, and the like. An anal dilation trainer kit is the best recommendation and usually comes with 3-4 different sizes, which increase in both length and girth.
Anal Dilation at Bespoke Surgical
Dr. Goldstein recommends the following process for starting anal stretching:
Choose a convenient time and place, such as before or during a shower.
Use a small toy and a significant amount of water or toy-approved lubrication.
Over the course of 3-5 minutes, insert the toy about 4-5cm into the anus, right beyond where the muscle lies.
It will take 4-6 times to insert because those muscles need time to relax.
If met with resistance, pull the toy out, re-lubricate, and do it again.
Even if you think you can take more, still start with the smallest toy and use consistently for a week or two before graduating to the next size up and then repeat the same process over the subsequent weeks.
One may feel discomfort during the rectal dilation process — this is completely normal — but cease use if you witness any pain. It takes time and the key is more mental control of how one can contract or relax and learn to control like any other muscle we have. If one has ever topped someone and they can completely open their anus, it’s not due to looseness, but rather more about anal control. If any issues arise during this process, please make an appointment to see Dr. Goldstein so that he can help get you on the right path. There may be other factors at play, which are limiting one’s ability to successfully bottom.
For more information, read about anal botox and how it may help move the dilation process along.
Frequently Asked Questions About Anal Stretching
What preparation is needed for anal stretching?
No prep is needed for anal stretching other than having a normal bowel movement. Setting the stage for success includes a positive mood and mindset, as well as your surroundings. I usually recommend doing your exercises in the shower, while warm or hot water is running or right before a shower, both of which can help aid in relaxation. Be sure to have all of your supplies ready before you get started and remember that this includes lots of lube (this is paramount).
What positions work best for anal stretching?
There aren’t any specific positions that work best for anal stretching. What’s more important is what feels comfortable for you. Understanding your anatomy, with all its internal angles and curves, sets the stage for successful dilating and play.
You’ll want direct, straight-in access, paying attention to your sphincter muscles upon entry. This means that it may be best lying on your back or on all fours and using a repetitive motion, going in-and-out, until you hit resistance. This controlled pressure, with continued gaping, will allow for the relaxation we need that will assist in anal stretching. You may need a bit of trial and error to see what feels right. I also encourage you to switch things up because we want to simulate future play as best we can and sometimes that takes on a mind of its own–or many different positions.
Is anal stretching permanent? How often do you need to dilate?
Unfortunately, anal stretching is not permanent. You should these anal stretching exercises a weekly ritual. You have two options: engaging in anal sex or playing with butt plugs 2-3 times a week to dilate. As you get more advanced, you should be using your butt plugs for both stretching and tightening–the dilation will keep you ready to bottom, while the contractions will keep the muscles and skin in check. My protocol allows for risk and injury prevention, as well as pleasurable engagement, alone or with others.
Dr. Evan Goldstein is the Founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical, NYC’s leading sexual health private practice. He received his osteopathic doctorate from the University of Medicine and Dentistry School in 2002 and completed his residency in General Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center. In 2020, he was named one of NYC’s top LGBTQ+ business leaders by Crain’s New York and he is involved with GLSEN, ACRIA, HRC, and Callen-Lorde’s Howard J. Brown Society. All of these experiences and affiliations have shaped his whole-life approach towards the practice of private surgical care and sexual wellness.