The male hot spot: Massaging the prostate

Dear Alice,

I have a question that I don't think you have addressed before (hope it's not too kinky). I am interested in learning the technique for doing a prostate massage. My partner enjoys being anally stimulated and I am sure this would be a "winner" for us. I just need to know the proper way to do it.

Dear Reader, 

While anal play may be considered kinky and somewhat taboo, it's a sexual practice that can be enjoyable for many people regardless of gender or sexual orientation. For people with penises, a potent pleasure point is the prostate, which can be stimulated through the wall of the rectum. There are many ways to engage in anal play and stimulate the prostate. It just may take some experimentation to find what’s most enjoyable for you and your partner. 

First, what’s the prostate and where is it? Well, the prostate is a very sensory, walnut-sized gland that’s inside the body. One of its main functions is to aid in reproduction. It does this by secreting a fluid into semen before ejaculation occurs, helping with sperm mobility and prolonging the life of the sperm once it leaves the penis. It’s typically below the bladder between the rectum and the urethra at the base of the penis. You can stimulate it through anal sex (penetration of the anus using fingers, toys, or penis/external genitalia), but the prostate can also be stimulated externally. It may be a good idea to try this first, especially if anal play is new to your partner. To massage your partner's prostate externally, you can use fingers or anything you like to touch, rub, stroke, or press their perineum (the area of skin between the genitals and the anus). As always, communication is key and checking in with your partner can let you know if you need to stop or if you can begin deeper anal play.  

With that, there’s some prep you may want to do before any of this even begins. Many people feel self-conscious about cleanliness during anal play. It can be helpful for your partner to urinate or have a bowel movement before you begin. Your partner can wash the anal area with gentle soap and water beforehand. If they’re comfortable with penetration, they can gently insert their finger a couple inches into their anus to help clean it while they’re in the shower. It’s a personal choice to douche or use an enema to clean; this provides more thorough cleaning, but it can also cause some inflammation and tearing, leaving your partner more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Anal play doesn’t cause conditions such as constipation, diarrhea, or hemorrhoids, but if your partner is experiencing these conditions, then it may be best to wait until they pass. If you’re going to use fingers, you can cut and file your fingernails so that there aren’t any rough or jagged edges. You two may also want to discuss how far you would like to go. Are there any specific fantasies you have in mind? What about firm boundaries that can’t be crossed? Talking this through can mitigate any unpleasant surprises, while maximizing pleasure.  

When you both feel ready and your partner begins to enjoy the external massaging sensations, you can start stimulating the outside of the anus to get them used to being touched there sexually. If they feel ready for anal penetration, you can begin by inserting a finger. It’s critical to use lube (water-based is safe for condoms and sex toys) since the anus isn’t self-lubricating. Using generous amounts and re-applying regularly can give you a smoother glide. You may both need to experiment with various positions that allow for easy access, but a great place to start is having your partner lie on their back. You could insert your finger about an inch or so, and when your partner’s comfortable, move your finger in an upward motion along the wall of the rectal lining that faces the front of their body. Then you'll want to try to locate a round bulb of tissue — this is the prostate. Once you locate this area, move your finger in a "come here" motion, as if you were asking someone to move closer to you. Use your finger pad on the tip of your finger to massage the prostate, being mindful to not use your nail. During this initial exploration, it’s wise to check in with your partner to see if they want a change in pressure, speed, or number of fingers. Be aware that receiving anal stimulation may cause feelings of having to go to the bathroom. Often, this is just a "feeling" that the stimulation causes and may take some getting used to. 

Of course, this is just one way to engage in anal play. Your partner may want to be stimulated with a penis, sex toys, or your tongue (which is known as rimming). Here are some general tips to keep in mind: 

  • Work your way up: Starting small (perhaps with one finger), slowly, and going in just a few inches can get your partner used to penetration. As they adjust, you can pick up the pace or go in more deeply.  
  • Lube, lube, (water-based) lube: It merits repeating that lube is your friend, and more is often better than less. It not only allows for easier entry and exit, but also prevents tearing which can reduce the risk of STIs. It’s most likely not needed for rimming, but you can experiment with edible lube. 
  • Protection: Condoms and dental dams are great barrier methods to prevent STIs. If you’re worried about HIV, you can speak to a health care provider about starting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  
  • Use the right gear: The best sex toys for anal sex are smooth, unbreakable, flexible, clean, comfortable in size, and have a flared base so that they can be gripped and removed easily.  
  • There’s no rush: Patience can be rewarding. Taking the time to enjoy the experience may increase the sexual tension and also make the experience more comfortable for both of you. You may want to start with a warm relaxing bath or generous amounts of foreplay. 
  • Be open to new sensations: It’s possible for people to orgasm through prostate stimulation alone, and this type of orgasm isn’t always accompanied by ejaculation. This may be entirely new for both of you to experience but is completely normal. 
  • Damage control: With any new experience, there may be some mishaps. Be prepared to slow down or stop altogether if your partner experiences too much pain or distress. You could check out this response for dealing with complications

Starting a new sexual venture may be intimidating — and it can also be very pleasurable. At a minimum, you’ll be learning together, trusting each other, and having a new experience. For more information, you can check out the About Anal Sex section in the Go Ask Alice! Sexual & Reproductive Health archives. 

Last updated May 07, 2021
Originally published Sep 27, 2002

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