How To Eat Ass

Eating ass — also called rimming or analingus — can be a way to explore new erogenous zones, play with intense nerve endings, and get more creative with your lesbian sex or lesbian sex adjacent activities. It can be part of cunnilingus (as long as you go from vulva first to ass second and not the other way around), a warm-up for anal sex, a warm-up for other types of sex, part of mutual masturbation, a way to tease, a thing you’re trying because one time you saw the phrase “It’s 2018. We eat ass.” on the internet and now you’re curious, or whatever else you want it to be!

Getting your ass eaten is fun because assholes have a ton of sensitive nerve endings and it feels good. Eating someone’s ass is fun because you get to make her squirm. And whatever side you’re on, it’s just a little subversive in just the right way. “As a society we have a lot of hangups about any kind of ass play; we tend to see that as something taboo, or as something that can’t be incorporated into a normal sex life, but I actually think that it can be,” says Moushumi Ghose, a marriage and family therapist based in Los Angeles. Ass play is still seen as a little taboo, and taboos are nothing if not super hot to break.

Here’s how to eat ass for the very first time.

What To Talk About When You Talk About Eating Ass

“People are super self-conscious about their butts, especially the first time something like this is happening, so the main piece of advice I’d give is ‘no surprises,'” says Alo Johnston, an associate marriage and family therapist based in Los Angeles.

Like with any new sex act, talk about it together. If you’ve got no idea what you want ’cause you’ve never done it before, you’ll obviously have to provide feedback as you go along, if or when you have any. If you’ve got some definite interests or hard boundaries, though, be sure to lay those down. “Strap-on surprise” is both a terrible name for a sandwich and a terrible way to approach anal sex, and the way to avoid surprises is to communicate clearly and in advance, without making assumptions about what’s going to happen.

Always Be Prepared

Like most sex, and especially like most anal sex, ass play requires a little preparation. And also like most anal sex, the main thing people seem to worry about is poop. Here’s the thing about assholes: you poop from them. It’s okay, I promise, everyone does too. Just take a shower beforehand and don’t worry too much about it. “Showering is more than sufficient for something like rimming. If you want to go internal, the person might want to do some kind of douching or clean themselves out more, but I don’t think it’s super necessary if you’re sticking to rimming,” says Johnston.

If you’re doing the ass eating, prepare the same way you would for putting your mouth and hands all over a vulva or any other body part. “You don’t want any sharp objects or anything rough unexpectedly near someone’s ass,” says Johnston, so trim and file your fingernails, even if you’re planning to wear gloves or not planning on penetration.

Is It Safe?

You already know that women can give each other STIs, and that dental dams (and gloves!) are an important part of lesbian safer sex, particularly with partners to whom you’re not fluid bonded. Ass eating is no different. You can transmit STIs, along with hepatitis A, B, and C, and parasites, from analingus; to reduce the risk, use dental dams, gloves and condoms, all with a compatible water- or silicone-based lube. It’s okay to worry and it’s good to use barriers and take precautions, but eating ass also doesn’t need to be scary. “You don’t need to be more scared of this than of any other sex act. You want to take the same precautions with this that you would with anything else, but there’s no reason that butt stuff needs to be more terrifying,” says Johnston.

And remember, “anything that touches the ass shouldn’t go anywhere near any other orifice, especially the vagina, afterwards,” says Johnston. Change your gloves or wash your hands, swap the condom over the strap-on or strapless, or swish mouthwash as relevant. (It’s totally okay, and a lot of fun, to go from the vulva to asshole.)


When you’re ready, and after making out a little or scissoring a little or whatever you normally do for foreplay, position the receiver on her hands and knees, or on her stomach with a pillow or sex wedge under her hips. “You can do it in any position you have access to, but those two are the most comfortable access-wise,” says Johnston. “Physically, the more you’re able to pull someone’s ass cheeks apart the more you can get to the sensitive parts, so any position that allows you to do that” is a good one.

What To Actually Do When You’re Eating An Ass

When it comes to diving in, analingus is a lot like cunnilingus. Start off with lighter, more indirect touches, and then get more enthusiastic as your partner gets more turned on. “Definitely start on the outside, because there’s so many nerve endings on the outside,” says Ghose.

“I personally think it’s like cunnilingus but easier. It’s all the same stuff you’d probably do with your tongue anywhere else, except most people are not going to orgasm from it, so you don’t have to do it as consistently or for as long,” says Johnston. “In terms of technique you don’t have to know what you’re doing. It becomes pretty apparent when people are making good happy noises.”

Circle the outside, criss-cross the surface, or try long licks in different directions. In Mind-Blowing Sex, Diana Cage, author of the Lesbian Sex Bible, suggests: “For its size, the tongue is the strongest muscle in the body. Think of all the ways it can move. Though soft, steady licks will probably become the centerpiece of your technique, don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. Circles, darting licks, and sinuous tongue twists will all spice things up. If your sweetie likes featherlight touches behind her knees and on her feet, encourage her with a similarly light touch on her rosebud. Lap her up […] or ravish her.”

Get more of your and your partner’s bodies involved, too. You aren’t just a disembodied tongue licking a disembodied asshole (unless disembodiment is your kink, in which case yes you are). You have lips and teeth and tongue, the rest of your face, your hands, and the rest of your body to work with. She has a body beyond her asshole. Keep her involved.

If you’re getting your ass eaten, remember that while you’re not likely to come from rimming alone, you might come from a vibrator or your fingers on your clit. Masturbating can also help you relax, feel less self-conscious, or feel like a more active, present participant.

What About Penetration?

Analingus doesn’t have to lead to penetration, but (if you talk about it first) it can! “Rimming can definitely be easy prep for penetration. People tend to relax a lot, people’s assholes tend to relax a lot, so if you’re interested in penetration it makes it a lot easier,” says Johnston.

The key is to start slow, and then even slower than that. “Slowly gently start if you wanted to dip the tongue in and out. I wouldn’t jab the tongue all the way in on the first try, going slow is definitely the best approach,” says Ghose.

If you both want to add more penetration, remember that assholes aren’t self-lubricating the way vaginas or mouths are, and to use a lot of lube. “Use lube. Use saliva. Just go slow. You can alternate using a thumb and a tongue, a tongue and some sort of toy, or you can gently slide them both in together. Keep paying attention to what [your] partner is saying, because it’s always about communication,” says Ghose.

In Conclusion

“Even though there’s a lot of stigma and self-consciousness, once people to get into it they generally realize it feels pretty great,” says Johnston. “Be free. Do butt stuff.”

Lesbian Sex 101 is Autostraddle’s series on how to have lesbian sex for queer women and anyone who finds this information applicable to their bodies or sexual activities.

Sex ed almost never includes queer women or our experiences, so we’re exploring pleasure, safety, relationships and more to make that information more accessible. A lot of the language in these posts is intended to make them easy to find on search engines.

Some of the body parts we talk about will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the pronouns will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the sexualities will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the language will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Take what you want and what applies to you or what you can make apply to you and your partners and your experiences, and leave the rest!

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. “as long as you go from vulva first to ass second and not the other way around”

    Best advice, no doubt about it.

    As always, thank you, Carolyn.

    PD: I know maybe I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. I’m singing that song.

  2. Wow Carolyn you went and nailed it with another great one.

    I don’t know why anal play gets such a bum wrap. ?

    Seriously ass-play can be quite good and a whole lotta fun, plus it’s great way to build up tension and the need for release (which can be withheld)?) until just the right time but only if you’re good and then…..???

    No Butts about it, I sure as sh*t like it.

  3. this was great!

    i wonder, though, why only use she pronouns? it feels pretty nb & trans-exclusionary! this is a bummer esp since eating ass is a pretty gender-neutral act & quiiiiite popular with me and all the other nb/trans/genderqueer cuties i know. like, everyone has a butt! eating ass is for everyone! i’d love to see an expansion of this article that doesn’t assume that everyone reading a) she pronouns and b) is AFAB and c) has a vulva!

    can we get an article on butt stuff for the rest of us?

    • Hey, I totally hear you! That being said though, there are so many places that exist online for those conversations (re: “Can we get an article on butt stuff for the rest of us?”) Look at the name of this article in the URL – that’s simply what it’s about! A lot of people I know (myself included) have trauma rooted in male genitalia regardless of the genitalia owner’s gender, and articles like this provide me with a safe place to read about certain topics.

      • hey iris, i feel similarly. thanks for sharing.

        also, AS has written before about their SEO efforts- to help people find AS content through googling- and i believe the discrepancy between the article title and URL is an example.

      • it says “for lesbians.” me and my girlfriend are lesbians! and though they are AMAB, my gf’s genitals (nb trans femme) are not “male.” and “there are so many places online for that kind of conversation” — where?

        i completely understand being triggered by descriptions of men’s bodies. but your logic is the same that TERFs use, that trans women/femmes’ “maleness” being triggering is more important than including those folks who belong in those queer spaces. (like AS!)

        the next article in this series did an amazing job of being inclusive! i really loved it. no one is saying “take focus away from people who have vulvas” but i think it’s great to be inclusive of all bodies & identities that fall under the big lesbian umbrella.

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