The Ultimate Guide to Bottoming

  • Posted on
The Ultimate Guide to Bottoming

Bottoming can feel intimidating to first-timers. Here's everything you need to know before you dive in.

Bottoming can unlock a world of pleasure, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you dive straight in.


For those unfamiliar with the term, bottoming generally means giving away control during sex or being the “receiver” of certain acts. While people bottom in a variety of ways, for the sake of this guide, we’re referring to penetrative anal sex.


If you've never tried it before, bottoming might sound or look intimidating at first glance. If you've tried it once or twice and run into problems like discomfort or messy situations, you're not alone. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about who bottoming is for, how to prepare, and how it’ll actually feel, fueled in part by poor queer sex ed in schools and porn that omits basic steps to get ready. But you don't have to be scared; with some basic preparation and know-how, almost anyone can bottom.


Below, we've compiled a collection of guides to help you answer some of the most common questions you may have before bottoming.



How do I know if I’m a bottom?

Before you start bottoming for a partner, it’s important to understand your wants and needs as an individual. A good place to start can be thinking about whether you want to bottom at all. Not everyone needs to try bottoming, but if it's the sort of thing you find yourself gravitating toward or fantasizing about, then you might be a bottom, or someone who enjoys relinquishing control during sex and “receiving.”


It’s important to note that wanting to bottom doesn’t necessarily make you a “bottom,” or mean you have to identify as one. While it can sometimes feel like queer sex focuses on “tops” and “bottoms,” don't feel like you have to ascribe to a clear sexual label. Plenty of people consider themselves tops, bottoms, or vers, but sexual desire is far from cut-and-dry. Many of us want to bottom sometimes, top other times, and switch it up throughout sex.


If you feel like the term bottom empowers you, that’s awesome. But if trying to label yourself is stressing you out, you don’t need to! All you should focus on is what feels good for you and what feels good for your sexual partner(s). The rest can go from there.



How should I prepare for bottoming?

Preparing for anal sex can feel intimidating if it’s your first time. Like all sex, your preparation should start with a self check-in with some questions like: Am I feeling up for sex right now? Do I want to bottom? Have I communicated my boundaries to my partner? Do I feel pressured? When was the last time myself and my partner got tested for STIs?


Sex should always feel fun and comfortable, so these questions can help you figure out if you’re in the right headspace. If you feel emotionally and mentally prepared to bottom, you can focus on how to physically prepare.


How do I douche?

Douching is a common way people prep before they dive into some bottom-friendly fun. Cleaning your butt before sex can help you avoid messes during your hook up. Not everyone douches every time, and some people don't douche at all; it’s all up to you and your partner’s comfort levels.


Douching means flushing the inside of your rectum with water to get rid of any leftover particles. Normally, this involves using a special shower attachment, a douche bulb, or a drugstore kit that comes with a long nozzle and saline solution. If you’re in a pinch, you can also use a water bottle to clean the area.


There are many different ways to douche before anal sex, and looking up tips and tricks before you start is always helpful. Be sure to go to the bathroom beforehand to clear the area as much as possible. Use lube before inserting the nozzle or bulb to make the process more comfortable. And flush the area with room temperature water, as cold water can cause extra cramping and hot water can burn you.


While it’s okay to douche occasionally, flushing your rectum daily can actually get rid of the healthy and necessary bacteria your body needs to digest food and absorb nutrients. It’s important to also note that though douching can help reduce messes, all bodies have bodily functions. Accidents can happen and there isn’t any shame in that.


Here are some of the douches we have available at The Art of Loving.



How do I bottom?

In terms of sex itself, taking things slow can help you ease into things. Apply a little lube to your butt before you put anything inside. Insert your partner’s penis, a sex toy, or a finger slowly, and gradually build up intensity. A few common positions you can try include doggy style, missionary, and cowboy or rider style.


For first-timers, building up with foreplay can be important to avoid pain and the possibility of anal tears. One recommended method is having your sexual partner insert their finger into your anus, holding it for a few seconds, checking in with your body, and then having them insert more as your muscles gradually relax. When you feel ready for a penis or sex toy, let them know.



How can I make bottoming more comfortable?

Like many forms of sex, bottoming can hurt if you don’t prepare for it. Using the right lube can make anal sex feel much more comfortable than going without. If you’re using a condom and/or sex toy, be sure to use water-based lube, as this won’t degrade silicone.


Getting your butt used to penetration before you bottom can also help make sex with a partner more fun. Using your fingers on yourself in the days or weeks leading up can help stretch your muscles and be a great way to masturbate.


Ultimately, one of the best ways you can make the experience more comfortable is making sure you have a partner you feel like you can fully communicate with. They should respect your boundaries, check in on you, and be invested in your pleasure.



Written by: Quispe López on them