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Anal VS Vaginal Sex: Comparing Pleasure and More

June 9, 2024

There is a stigma around anal sex that causes some people to shy away from it. But anal sex is often misunderstood and there is actually a lot of pleasure to be felt if performed correctly. 

For someone who has never tried anal sex before, the best way to explain the feeling induced, the preparation required, and essentially the ins and outs of anal sex is simply by comparing it to vaginal sex; a much more common and understood method of penetrative sex. 

Both are totally different, they induce very different sensations and yet you can have a lot of fun with both vaginal and anal sex (you could even look into double penetration but perhaps we’ll save that for another day). So, is anal better than vaginal? Or are the two incomparable? 

Key Takeaways

  • Everyone is different, some people will prefer anal vs vaginal sex 
  • No sex is the same, sometimes you will prefer different methods of penetration depending on your sexual partner
  • There are both positives and negatives to anything that could be considered sexual
  • Always use protection and get regular STI checks, both when engaging in anal and vaginal sex 

Vaginal Sex: Positives vs Negatives 

Vaginal sex, otherwise known as intercourse is the go-to method of penetration when engaging with a sexual partner. 

You can experience pleasure in lots of different ways, and it doesn’t always have to be through intercourse, but why is it that vaginal sex is the go-to? Is it basic human instinct? Or is it because people are unaware of how to properly perform anal sex? 

Sex is great, but anything in relation to pleasure comes with pros and cons; it’s not always easy to get right and there are always things that can get in the way. 

Pros of vaginal sex

Starting with the positives of vaginal sex, it’s easy, and you have the benefit of natural lubrication. I personally am a big advocate of lube, but at least with vaginal sex you can perform it easily without. 

As women, when we get turned on, blood flow rushes to the genitals causing natural lubrication; also known as “getting wet.” 

Not all women have natural lubrication as many factors can impact vaginal dryness, especially menopausal factors.

As well as natural lubrication, vaginal sex can be described as ‘real feel’; the temperature and the softness of the vagina is part of what makes vaginal sex amazing. 

You also have an increased chance at reaching orgasm as opposed to anal penetration, but with that being said, you have a better chance at reaching orgasm through foreplay or clitoral stimulation over intercourse anyway.  

According to PleasureBetter, “only 18.4% of women orgasm from vaginal sex alone.” Yet, “94% of women orgasmed during encounters they received anal.” This figure doesn’t necessarily mean that anal penetration is the direct cause of orgasm, but I mean the figures speak for themselves.  

I’m not sure if you’d consider this a positive or a negative, I would say it depends on how you feel in the moment, but less foreplay is required to perform vaginal sex. 

If you fancy a quickie, vaginal sex is definitely the way to go in relation to vaginal vs anal, but, if you’re wanting enhanced pleasure then you’ve got a fair bit to consider; especially if foreplay is going to form a big part of your sex anyway. 

You also have the benefit of less or no pain. Anal sex requires preparation, and you really do have to be gentle, especially at the start. It’s a lot easier to build momentum during vaginal sex because you don’t have to worry about it hurting; that, and you’ve got the help of natural lubrication too (typically speaking, the hornier you are, the wetter you get).  

Then when you’re finished, it’s a very easy clean up. 

Woman in bed with a man

Cons of vaginal sex

There are many positive aspects to vaginal sex, but there are also some downsides that may sway you to giving anal sex a try.

First and foremost, vaginal sex can get pretty boring and repetitive; it’s exciting to mix things up every now and again. 

Generally speaking, sex is what you make of it. If both you and your partner are giving it your all and the chemistry is really present, then it’s unlikely that you won’t enjoy yourselves. But, have you ever felt sexually unsatisfied? 

Sex isn’t always great, it’s just not often spoken about when it isn’t. Sometimes, you can finish having sex with your partner and wish you never bothered in the first place; it’s completely normal. This is why it’s crucial to avoid complacency in the bedroom and to constantly keep things exciting with your partner. 

Unprotected vaginal sex can lead to STIs; you have the same risk when performing unprotected anal sex also. 

A problem that can often occur from vaginal sex is getting infections such as thrush and bacterial vaginosis. As common as the infections are, they’re certainly not nice to deal with and I’m sure most women would rather avoid this problem altogether. It is possible to get anal yeast infections, but they’re much less common. 

It’s also important to highlight that vaginal muscles weaken over time, meaning that sexual pleasure will decrease over the years as it can reduce vaginal sensation. That, and menopausal problems can affect sexual function in the vagina, such as issues with vaginal dryness. 

One of my least favorite things to have to worry about with vaginal sex is the risk of getting UTIs (urinary tract infections). A urinary tract infection from sex is when bacteria in your genitalia finds its way into the bladder. For me, there is absolutely nothing worse than having to deal with a UTI. They’re uncomfortable, painful and incredibly inconvenient. 

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You can prevent UTIs by ensuring that you urinate before and after sex, stay hydrated and ensure both you and your partner are clean before engaging in intercourse. But, sometimes, you may find that you did everything right and you still have to deal with the dreaded UTI the next day; they really are the worst.

Lastly, unprotected vaginal sex can lead to pregnancy. When sleeping with a partner, it’s understandable that your first priority isn’t to use protection, I mean you trust your partner, right? But you then have to consider contraception if you’re wanting to avoid pregnancy. 

Condoms take away from that ‘real feel’ which makes vaginal sex so great, and many women struggle with different methods of contraception for a lot of different factors such as hormonal acne, weight gain, mood swings, spotting, menstrual cramps, etc. 

For some women, they experience no problems and are able to enjoy the benefits of being able to perform unprotected sex, for others, it’s kind of a lose-lose situation. This is something that you obviously don’t have to worry about in anal sex, because there’s no chance of an unwanted pregnancy.  

Anal Sex: Positives vs Negatives 

What does anal sex feel like and what are the risks that come with it?

A common question asked is ‘is anal tighter?’ The simple answer is yes. That tight feeling is caused by the sphincter. According to the NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms, the sphincter is “A ring-shaped muscle that relaxes or tightens to open or close a passage or opening in the body.”

This tightness will ultimately blow your partner’s mind, as it applies more pressure and friction to his penis during penetration helping him to reach an intense orgasm. 

Another reason you may reach a very intense and satisfying orgasm is because anal sex is a bit different, and it feels kind of naughty when you’re doing it; remember, good sex is often a result of a good vibe from you and your partner in the bedroom.

It also feels much more intimate. As a beginner, it wouldn’t be common to go out and have anal sex with just anybody, mainly because it requires too much effort. But with a partner, you can allow yourselves the time to get sensual, relax your body and ease into the wonder that is anal penetration. 

Successful anal sex may be the result of much trial and error, but ultimately it’s something that both you and your partner have to put in a lot of effort in order for it to be successful.

Now I feel as though I talk about this all the time, but it’s because not a lot of people know of its existence. We all know that the male G-spot is in his rectum, but we never talk of the pleasure to be had from a woman through anal penetration. This is where the A-spot is important. 

Couple having sex

The A-spot is essentially an erogenous zone located deep in the vagina, and it’s actually possible to stimulate this spot during anal penetration. You essentially stimulate the-A spot through the back wall of the vagina, and this can encourage or cause orgasm. 

Most women reach orgasm from clitoral stimulation, and when performing anal sex you have very easy access to give your clitoris some love in order to reach an intense orgasm.

Speaking of orgasm, your partner has the freedom to ejaculate inside of your anus without having a chance of unwanted pregnancy. Although we know the ‘pull-out method’ is not effective in vaginal sex, it’s commonly used by people who struggle with condoms and contraception. Anal sex takes away this problem as you don’t need to worry about any surprises. 

Of course, protecting against STIs should always be taken seriously and it’s important to use protection, especially when engaging with a new sexual partner. Be honest about your sexual history and get regular check ups. In fact, according to The NHS, “Penetrative anal sex has a higher risk of spreading STIs than many other types of sexual activity.”

Now, in comparison, foreplay for anal sex is essential, whereas in vaginal sex it’s beneficial. Foreplay is great, but we don’t always have the time; I mean, it’s hard to make time for sex as it is.

But, you have to admit that foreplay can make your sex go from a 6 to a 10. The reason foreplay is crucial during anal play is because you have to ease into it in order to avoid any pain. Foreplay will relax you, and in turn relax your anus; your partner will have to spend some time preparing your anus for entry, whether he uses his fingers or sex toys.  

Likewise, if you like to be a pillow princess every now and again, your partner kind of does all the work in anal sex. Meaning that you’re the receiver of pleasure, whilst knowing that your partner is experiencing immense feelings himself. Both you and your partner will have much stronger orgasms if done correctly. 

It is difficult to orgasm as a woman from anal penetration alone. But, here you have:

  • The addition of foreplay, 
  • The knowledge that your partner is going crazy for you, 
  • The tight sensation in your rectum paired with the pulsating feeling in your clitoris, and
  • Easier access to apply clitoral stimulation whilst your partner is obsessing over your ass.

It’s a no-brainer that much pleasure can be had from anal sex. 

You also have the ability to perform anal sex on your partner too. This is called pegging, where you penetrate your partner's anus through the use of a strap on dildo. 

That’s not to say that anal sex comes without problems or risks. 

Cons of anal sex

Your anus is a much more sensitive area than the vagina, and is much more vulnerable to pain (if done incorrectly). This is why much more preparation is required; you really do need to ease into anal sex in order to experience pleasure.

You also have to remain gentle and take caution throughout. It can be hard to build speed and momentum because the anus is such a sensitive area. Thrusting too hard or fast may inflict pain and take away from any pleasure previously felt. You have to constantly communicate with your partner to ensure that you’re both okay.

Unlike in vaginal sex, you have a lack of intimacy from being able to go face-to-face with your partner. Usually anal sex is performed in doggy style, or other similar positions such as spooning. 

After you have both reached orgasm, it’s not as sexy when you have to sit on the toilet and extract your partner's ejaculation from your rectum; it can be pretty uncomfortable. You also have a small chance of having to deal with a bit of poop. Typically speaking there is more clean-up required than in vaginal sex. 

It’s important to clear your bowels before performing anal sex in order to avoid any unwanted messes. But ultimately, if you and your partner are comfortable enough to engage in anal sex then I’m sure a little bit of poop is the least of your concerns; at the end of the day, it’s normal to expect a little poop when engaging in anal sex. 

Some more serious risks of frequent anal sex is anal incompetence; a difficulty in controlling bowel movements whereby you may experience leaks. 

This isn’t very common, but a study from The University of Alabama at Birmingham found that “Fecal incontinence rates were higher among women (9.9 percent) and men (11.6 percent) reporting anal intercourse than among women (7.4 percent) and men (5.3 percent) not reporting anal intercourse.”

Anal sex is something that shouldn’t be done too frequently, as you have to allow your body the time to recover. For me, anal sex is amazing, but as a little treat every now and again.

Anal Sex Myths 

There are a lot of myths out there surrounding anal sex, and I thought it important to debunk these myths in order to show that although there is much stigma built around anal sex, it’s actually completely normal, safe and pleasurable if performed correctly. 

Couple in bed

Anal sex causes hemorrhoids 


The Proctology Institute explains “Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels which develop in and around the anal opening. They are associated with straining, but typically that’s from straining outward during bowel movements.”

The pressure experienced from anal sex is highly unlikely to cause hemorrhoids (otherwise known as piles). 

Anal sex is for gay men 


Anal sex is for anyone who will experience pleasure from it. For example, it would be completely normal (encouraged even) for straight men to experience anal sex (pegging) as their G-spot is in their rectum. 

Anal sex is dirty and unhygienic 


People often consider anal sex to be dirty and unhygienic because the function of the anus is to pass stool. 

However, it’s not unhygienic in the slightest as long as you make sure it’s clean down there. You can douche to ensure your bowels are completely empty. 

Take proper precautions and ensure that both you and your partner are thorough, do your research, use the correct lube, ensure hygiene and take the necessary steps to avoid unwanted pain, then you’re good to go and don’t need to worry about this stigma created by those who have never tried it. 

Anal sex is painful 

Honestly … it can be. This one is both true and false. 

If you don’t ease into it and prepare, then ultimately it is going to hurt. 

You have to be relaxed, pleasured, take it slow and communicate with your partner to ensure that it’s not at all painful. 

If it’s your first time trying anal sex with a partner, then expect it to feel tight upon entry and remember to stay relaxed. If you don’t like the feeling, or feel uncomfortable, then it’s totally okay to stop what you’re doing and to try again another day. 

Does Anal Sex Feel Better Than Vaginal Sex?

To be completely honest, the two are arguably incomparable as they’re both so different. 

Anal sex is definitely tighter, but then you lose that element of ‘real feel’ that you get from having vaginal sex. 

I would personally say that anal sex is better than vaginal sex depending on the day. For anal sex to be successful you have to really be in the mood for it, and willing to take the time to be prepared. 

Vaginal sex is certainly easier, but anal sex can feel better.


Is anal sex safer than vaginal sex?

Both unprotected anal and vaginal sex are unsafe, but unprotected anal sex comes with more risk of catching a STI.

Anal sex may seem safer as you can avoid unwanted pregnancy, but ultimately you should be using protection anyway.

Both vaginal and anal sex have elements that are safe and unsafe. This is why it’s important to take caution, do your research, practice safe sex and ensure that both you and your partner are comfortable.

Is unprotected anal sex safe?

Unprotected anal sex is safe against unwanted pregnancy, but not against STIs. 

If you’re having sex with a new sexual partner, I would always encourage you to use protection to avoid getting STIs. If you decide against using protection, always remember to get regular check ups and to have an honest conversation with your sexual partner about their sexual history (and your own).

Does anal feel better than vaginal?

Honestly, it really depends on the day. 

If you’re in the mood for anal sex, it can feel absolutely incredible. But, if you’re not in the mood, it can feel painful or uncomfortable. I suppose it’s the same with vaginal sex. If you’re not wet enough, vaginal sex can feel uncomfortable and irritable too. 

Both anal and vaginal sex have their own benefits, but ultimately you should try both and discover your own preference. You may, like me, find that anal sex is amazing every now and again to spice up your sex life. But, ultimately your go-to will still be vaginal sex. You won’t know unless you try it for yourself. Just understand that there is a lot of pleasure to be had from both, and it’s never a bad idea to expand on your sexual knowledge and experience. 


Anal sex is great, but mainly because it’s a little different and a lot less common. I don’t think the correct argument is anal sex vs vaginal sex, instead we should celebrate both and acknowledge the pleasure to be had from both.

Talking about anal sex is great, because we want to eradicate the stigma around it and show other women how to maximize pleasure with their partner by spicing up their sex lives every now and again.

Anal sex, typically speaking, isn’t something to engage in every single day. I would suggest having anal sex maybe once every two weeks as a special treat and something to look forward to with your partner in terms of mixing it up. 

It’s also important to remember consent is crucial, communication is key and to always protect yourself against STIs. 

If you have any preference of anal vs vaginal sex, then please feel free to comment; I’d love to hear your insight. As always, share with a friend in need of some anal play advice.

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This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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