Whether it makes you swoon or cringe, anal sex is now a pretty common practice. But does it really have the potential to be good for you?

It’s not for everyone, but there are plenty of reasons why anal live sex isn’t a bad idea. It’s a fun, intimate way to express your pleasure. It can be a great way to connect with your partner, too.

The anus has a lot of nerve endings. Some are connected directly to the genitals, and others surround the area. This makes the anus a sensitive place for sexual stimulation, and it can be incredibly pleasurable to the point of orgasms when men penetrate it with their fingers or tongues.

But if you’re not used to anal penetration, you’re going to be very nervous. And that can make the whole experience even more uncomfortable than it already is. It’s also important to remember that the anus is located in a very intimate part of your body, so it’s especially important to treat it with respect.

Lubricate before having anal sex

To avoid any embarrassment, make sure to keep your anus clean and lubricated before having anal sex. And, of course, use a condom.

You should also try to keep your anus as free from odors as possible—that can help you feel more comfortable. And, if you have any problems with odors or smells, don’t hesitate to ask for advice from your partner or a doctor.

Anal sex can be safe for some people—but it’s best to talk to your doctor before starting. They’ll have the necessary tools and resources to help you get started and make sure anal sex is right for you.

It’s important to take it slow, too. Trying it too quickly can make you feel anxious about the process, which can cause you to clench up or tighten your anus. Taking your time is essential for getting comfortable with anal penetration, says Dr. Inkster.

Prevent any injuries

Taking your time is also a great way to prevent any injuries from occurring. The anus has a lot of delicate tissue and can tear easily if you’re not careful, so be sure to keep it clean and well-lubricated before trying anal sex.

A massage before anal can also help you feel more relaxed. It will help relax your sphincters, the elastic rings of muscle that open and close to push waste out of the body and keep other things from entering.

Your anus doesn’t naturally lubricate the same as your vag does, so it’s important to add a little lube before experimenting with anal sex. This is especially true if you’re new to anal penetration and want to try it without risking any skin tears.

Before you have your first anal sex, Alicia Sinclair, sex coach and CEO of the anal wellness brand b-Vibe, recommends using toys with flared bases to stimulate the anus and give it a little more shape. This will help you feel more comfortable with the idea of anal sex and can prepare your anus to receive a penis or toy of similar size.