Butt stuff - once considered taboo - has moved into the mainstream. Recent studies have shown that are experimenting with anal sex, rimming, and strap-on play. If you’re curious about this kind of stuff, you’re definitely not alone! For anal escorts, anal play is a common request. But many clients aren’t aware of the correct etiquette, how to prepare, or how to be safe during an anal session. You may be unsure how to ask for these services...or worry you’ll be judged as ‘gross’ or ‘deviant’. Today, I’m speaking with independent GFE and fetish escort Carla Rinaldi to get the facts on safe and enjoyable anal play. Carla is a full-service sex worker with years of experience in ass play. “Probably my main area of specialty is couples,” she says, “But I do also offer fetish services...everything from mild to more heavy BDSM and S&M. And all sorts of butt stuff. What does ‘anal play’ actually mean In case you’re new to the idea of butt play, here’s a definition from “Ass play is an umbrella term for sex practices focusing on the buttocks and anus. These can include a variety of activities, from external stimulation to penetration.” Anal play includes sexual activities such as anal sex (fucking or being fucked, in the ass with a penis) pegging (fucking or being fucked in the ass with a strap-on) prostate massage (using a finger or toy to stimulate the prostate gland) fingering (using a finger to stimulate or penetrate the anus) rimming (licking the anus - also known as ‘analingus’) fisting (inserting a part of a hand or a whole hand into the butthole) toy play (using sex toys around, on, or in the butthole) There are a lot of misconceptions about anal play. For example, some folks assume it’s exclusive to gay men, whereas in actuality, a lot of straight people enjoy anal stimulation. This stuff can be fun for all types of bodies and sexualities. And it’s not always a partnered activity - anal play happens during masturbation too. And, of course, it’s something that many people try with sex workers. Carla’s clients request a range of services. “It can be anything as mild as, you know, a finger in their bottom, while they're receiving a blow job. All the way up to quite heavy fisting sessions.” She also receives anal, but charges a much higher rate for this experience due to the preparation involved. “I say I'll take any size - I've never come across a penis that’s too big for me. That appeals to quite a lot of people, it’s a special skill. But there is a reasonable premium that goes with that.” Pegging requests are common too. “A lot of the requests are for strap-on services. I carry different sizes, so depending on how they're feeling at the time they might start off with something manageable...and then after a while we can move up to something a bit larger.” Getting past the ‘taboo’ of butt play If you’re interested in ass play but haven’t tried it, your hang-ups might be holding you back. Everyone feels differently about ass play. Your attitude may depend on your age, your family background, or your peer group. Carla says, “It really depends on your perspective and how you're brought up. I heard the other day that more and more young people are thinking that anal sex is just a regular part of sex, whereas older people might not think that.” There are many misconceptions about anal. Let’s bust some of the myths. Anal sex (or enjoying anal stimulation) means you’re gay. Honestly, there’s nothing particularly gay about buttholes. We all have them. Straight people enjoy anal play too! And some gay people don’t enjoy butt stuff at all. Sometimes a butthole is just a butthole. Being penetrated makes you weak, feminine, or less of a man. There’s this weird mainstream association between penetration and femininity. Thanks to toxic masculine norms that show women as a weaker gender. This assumption holds men back from doing stuff that feels good, simply because they’re ashamed. In fact, many guys have extra nerve endings in their buttholes (in an area known as the ‘prostate gland’) that can make anal stimulation especially pleasurable. Butt stuff is ‘gross’ or unhygienic. It’s true that poop does contain harmful bacteria, and there’s definitely the potential for infections or illness if you don’t do it right. There may also be of transmission for some STI. But as long as you prepare yourself properly (more on that shortly), wash well, and use barriers such as condoms, it’s definitely possible to enjoy low-risk anal play. Carla loves introducing people to ass play, simply because it’s fun. “I enjoy helping people realize their fantasies, and whatever those fantasies might be,” she says. But she also acknowledges that many men struggle with the stigma. “When I was younger I had a couple of boyfriends who really enjoyed anal play on themselves, and they had taboos about it. They felt that it was something that wasn't masculine - wasn't okay to do. And I remember thinking at the time that it was really sad. One of the things I enjoy doing is helping people see that it's got absolutely nothing to do with masculinity or anything else. I mean, your anus is your anus. It's just part of your body and it either feels good or it doesn't, depending on how your body feels to you.” Planning your escort anal play session If you’re thinking of planning a butt play session with a sex worker, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, choose a worker who’s experienced in this kind of play. Buttholes can be fragile - it’s essential to find someone who understands ass play, can communicate clearly, and will respect your boundaries. If you’re looking for more extreme activities - such as anal fisting or very large toys - it’s a good idea to engage an experienced kink professional. Like any other booking with an escort, it pays to be polite. Carla says that some potential clients are crude or explicit, and it’s a big no-no. When you first engage, please be respectful. I'm really open minded, I have a lot of experience, but, you know, please just engage me as a professional. Keep your messages brief, and make sure you include all the necessary details such as the day and time you’d like to meet, the booking length, and the location you had in mind. When negotiating the details, give your worker specifics, such as - do you want anal sex, toy play, fisting, fingering, or rimming These are all very different, and not all escorts offer all these services. whether you want to be the giver or the receiver - is the butt play on you, or on the escort - if you’re new to this, it’s important to say so. This means your escort can give you the preparation and safety information you need. As well as keeping your escort informed, these details can affect the price of the session. It’s best to be clear about everything you want before you meet, to avoid disappointment or  unexpected charges. Carla emphasises the importance of communication during the booking process. “I always start off by asking what sort of things they’ve experienced ‘What have you been playing around with’ Fingers, small stretchers, what sizes of dildos…” For newcomers, she recommends doing some experimentation at home, before progressing to a strap-on or larger toy for the booking. “I suggest they buy a small dildo and use that on themselves first in the weeks leading up to our booking, so at least they've had the sensation of something going past their sphincter. Even if they've used a finger, I suggest they use something a bit bigger. Otherwise it’s usually a bit overwhelming.” Anal safety and safer sex tips If you know what you’re doing, butt stuff can be great fun. But rushing into it without research or practice can result in injury. Good safety and safe sex practices are essential. Only use sex toys that are designed for butt play Unlike the vagina, our anal sphincters are designed to hold things in, not push them out. If you lose your grip on a toy during sex, it can get stuck in your rectum. Carla says. “You don't use a regular vibrator, because if your sphincter closes once that's gone in, you're going to have fun at the local emergency department. Which can be very embarrassing for you. To avoid this nightmare scenario, choose insertables with a wide, flared base. These types of toys are often called ‘butt plugs’. You can find a great range of butt plugs online Anal play should always involve LOTS of lubrication. Since buttholes aren’t self-lubricating, you’ll need to buy and apply plenty of lube. Some lubes are specifically designed for ass play. But  be wary of anything ‘warming’ or ‘numbing’. Warming lubricants can irritate your rectal tissue and even cause mild burns. Numbing lubes reduce sensation, which can make it hard to tell if you’re reaching a pain threshold, which means you can injure yourself without realising. Clean your toys thoroughly The ass contains all kinds of poop-related bacteria that needs to be kept away from your mouth and other orifices. Carla recommends using condoms on your toys, and washing them thoroughly after every session. “From a safety point of view, even if you're only using the toys on yourself, they do need to be washed in between playtimes because even though it's your own germs, you don't want to be putting something that's not properly cleaned back in yourself. Some toys can even be put in your dishwasher (although you’ll need to check your care instructions first!) Specialised toy cleaning solutions help destroy viruses and bacteria - they cost a little extra, but they’re worth the effort. Carla recommends washing your toys, letting them dry, then wrapping them individually in towels before they’re stored away. Although sex toys aren’t technically body parts, they can still spread sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Using condoms on items you share with partners is essential - remove the condom and replace it with a new one if you swap between participants in a session. And for God’s sake, don’t try to put something that’s been in your (or someone else’s) ass into a mouth or pussy! This can cause some really nasty infections. Although ‘ass-to-mouth’ and ‘ass-to-pussy’ are often seen in porn, they’re advanced moves that can be dangerous if practiced at home. “In porn, someone has gone through extended preparation and their butt is super clean,” Carla says. “But most people, you know, maybe they’ve had a quick douche which lasted about ten or fifteen minutes. It's absolutely not on.” Preparation for anal play So...how does one prepare for a butt play session If you’ve asked for anal on you, there are a few steps you need to follow to ensure you don’t have a really shitty time (pardon the pun). Carla says, “I ask clients if they’re aware of how to clean and prepare themselves. Most people say no, in which case I send them an infographic that shows the two sides to it.” The two options are douching (the simplest method) or an enema (which is more involved, but also more thorough). Douching involves flushing out the rectum (the very end bit of your digestive system) with water. It’s fairly quick, and suited to types of anal play such as fingers, or smaller-sized toys. For larger objects or more intense activities such as fisting, a full enema is often required. “In this case, it's better to get a shower enema - the ones that are like a hose,” Carla says. “These are the ones that I use on myself, if I'm doing an anal booking, because I never know the size of the person I might encounter. It's extremely thorough. It's a two hour procedure, versus a ten-to-fifteen minute procedure.” Enema kits, douching bulbs and shower attachments can be purchased in person at sex shops, or online from adults stores and medical suppliers. Carla reminds us that it’s important to treat your anus gently, even during preparation. Put some lube on the end of the douche so you don't scratch your ass. People don't realize, especially first timers. She also recommends trying to relax, and never forcing anything into your ass as this can cause injury. Tips for an enjoyable anal session with your escort The big day has arrived - it’s time for your play session! Along with the regular amount of pre-date nerves, you might also be worrying about whether the butt stuff will happen smoothly. The first thing you need to know is that our buttholes aren’t entirely under our conscious control. The anus has two rings of muscle in it - outer and inner. The outer ring (or ‘sphincter’) can be relaxed or tightened at will. But the inner sphincter is ‘involuntary’ - it responds to how you’re feeling at the time. This means that no matter how much you try to relax during anal, you simply might not be able to get things happening if you feel stressed out. This means that your headspace - feeling relaxed and turned on - is incredibly important. Carla emphasises the importance of getting into the mood. Some may have a fantasy that there's a goddess using a strap-on on them. Some may have different fantasies depending upon the person, and then I'll tie that in with whatever's going on...so it's very erotic for them.” Even if your butthole cooperates, the physical actions of sex can be boring without eroticism. It's the foreplay leading up to it that's actually turning people on. So, trying to actually find that out in advance is key to a successful encounter. Like all good sex, communication is important. I always use the traffic light system.” Carla says, “An amber is, 'I can't take any more intensity than this'. Or if it's red, 'that's too much we need to stop'. And that's all discussed beforehand so everyone's comfortable. A slow and gentle approach is essential, whether you’re receiving anal or giving it to someone else. Check in frequently, and stop immediately if your partner requests it. As I'm going along, I'm checking in. The key is, when I'm actually going in and the center's opening for the first time, that's the point where most people feel the most intensity. It can feel quite overwhelming. So I take it extremely slowly, and we usually stop multiple times. If I do get everything in, I'll stop there for a very long time until the center actually relaxes. As long as it takes. And then if I do get to thrust, it will be very slow too. This advice runs counter to a lot of the scenes we often see in mainstream porn - anal sex that is rough, doesn’t seem to require lube, and goes on for ages. But what we see in porn simply isn’t realistic, and trying to do it that way makes for very bad sex. I don't know if you've ever had sex with a guy who has [learned about anal sex from porn]. They start pumping madly like it's a vagina, and it's the worst thing you can possibly do, because the receiver freaks out. Carla says that's one of the reasons so many women think anal sex is awful_ “Because their first encounter was with a guy who just shoved it in and just started thrashing around.” Similarly, some clients feel pressured to endure anal even when it’s not enjoyable, or to push for larger toys simply because they think it’s expected of them. Carla says, I always tell them in advance that I have no expectations of them, and I'm very clear that there's no shame - you know, maybe we won't go in at all. Maybe halfway in, that's absolutely fine. They're not having a competition with anyone. The same applies to giving. If you’re having anal sex with a worker, they’ll let you know how it feels. If your escort asks you to slow down or stop, you need to follow their directions, or your risk injuring them and possibly being charged with sexual assault.At the end of the day, anal play is about pleasure. It’s not about how big, deep, or fast you go - it’s about making sure both you and your escort enjoy yourselves. Do a little ‘anal aftercare’ Butt play can be an amazing experience - but it’s also important to look after yourself once it’s over. Carla notes that there could be psychological effects the day after a session. You might feel a bit reflective.” This is especially true if it’s new - give yourself some time to process the experience. You also might feel a bit sore the next day. “Don't go eat any hot curries or whatever for the day or two after that,” Carla says. “Be gentle with yourself, do some nurturing things a day or two after.” In some cases - especially with rough sex, larger toys, or if you’re new to it - you might notice some bleeding or pain. Sometimes this is normal, but it’s always worth getting your concerns checked out by a doctor. Anal sex can irritate hemorroids (if you have them) or cause anal fissures, which sometimes require treatment. Better safe than sorry! Butt stuff can be amazing...if you do it right. Anal play in all its forms can be a fun, exciting activity. Whether you’re going it alone, experimenting with a partner, or engaging the services of a sex worker, you’re sure to discover more about your body. And if you ignore the myths, forget about porn, and take it slowly, there’s a lot of potential for pleasure. Carla’s biggest piece of advice is that communication is key. “It's about having that open and frank conversation,” she says. Once you’re both clear on exactly what you want, and what to expect, you’ll be able to relax and concentrate on enjoying yourself.