Anal sex may lead to more intense orgasms for some people, and it eliminates the chance of pregnancy. Trying it can add variety to your sex life and build intimacy. But it isn’t for everyone and a person shouldn’t be pressured to participate.

If you’ve been toying with the idea of anal sex and are still on the fence, here are some reasons to take the plunge, bum first.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that of the 31 percent of women surveyed who’d engaged in anal sex during their most recent sexual encounter, 94 percent had an orgasm.

Those are some pretty impressive odds!

Yeah, they can! That’s because the anus is packed with loads of sensitive nerve endings, some of which are connected to the genitals. And that’s not all!

In cisgender men and people assigned male at birth, anal sex can stimulate the prostate and lead to an orgasm. Prostate orgasms are intense enough to send waves of orgasmic pleasure from head to toe.

For cisgender women and people assigned female at birth, anal sex can hit two hot spots: the G-spot and A-spot. Both are located along the vaginal wall but can be indirectly stimulated during anal.

Like the prostate, these spots have the potential to produce full-body orgasms. Rubbing them just right may even lead to squirting and the phenom referred to as “female ejaculation.” Yes, please!

Even though anal sex is a lot more common than before, it’s still just taboo enough to bring in that element of naughtiness that can kick your arousal level into high gear.

Taboo or forbidden sex is a common sexual fantasy. The mere idea of doing something that’s seen as “unusual” or “wrong” can be a huge turn-on.

Of course, anal sex is neither of these things, but if it’s not the norm for you or you’ve been raised with certain views on the act, it sure can be.

You have no idea how pleasurable a part of your body can feel until you explore it. Anal sex offers a completely different sensation than any other type of sex.

Breaking away from your usual is the perfect way to keep things interesting in the bedroom with your partner and when you go solo.

Been holding out some kinky desires? Opening yourself up to a new experience can help you become more sexually adventurous.

There’s something really liberating about taking charge of your pleasure.

Exploring the back roads could give you a case of wanderlust that’ll lead to new and exciting avenues of pleasure.

Speaking of new avenues of pleasure. Sex toys make it possible for anyone to be on the giving or receiving end of the pleasure in B-town.

Anal toys are a great way to get your feet wet and recommended before going full-throttle back there.

You can start with a small butt plug for a feeler or use an anal training kit to work your way up to a penis or full-sized dildo or strap-on.

If you’re both interested in being penetrated, you can share the love — as long as you use a different toy or sanitize it before sharing.

It doesn’t get more intimate than sharing such tight quarters with your partner!

Anal sex requires good communication and a lot of time spent trying different angles and positions to find what feels good for both of you.

All of this talk and play can up the intimacy between two people by a bazillion.

Yep, there are health benefits to be had when it comes to any type of sexual activity, including:

Sexual activity has been linked to:

  • lower risk of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke
  • better sleep, which has its own awesome benefits
  • a stronger immune system
  • headache relief
  • boosted libido
  • menstrual cramp relief
  • happier mood

Diddling your derriere also has other health benefits.

For instance, prostate stimulation may help prevent and treat erectile dysfunction (ED), prostatitis, and painful ejaculation.

If you happen to have an orgasm during anal — any type of orgasm — there are other benefits, including:

  • stress relief
  • reduced inflammation
  • pain reduction
  • improved circulation
  • better skin

How wonderful to be able to enjoy some seriously stimulating penetration without the risk for pregnancy. That doesn’t mean you can kiss barrier protection goodbye, though…

Penis-in-anus (PIA) sex actually carries a higher risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially for the receptive partner. That’s because the delicate skin in the rectum is thin and prone to tearing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anal sex is the highest risk activity for HIV transmission.

You can also contract other STIs, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes. There’s risk for other infections to be transmitted through contact with feces.

Don’t make that face. We all know the butt is where poo comes out. It’s natural and some contact with it, whether you can see it or not, is a likely possibility.

Practicing safer anal sex is the best way to protect against HIV, STIs, and other infections.

For safer anal sex, use condoms or other barrier protection and lots of lube. Seriously, you can’t use too much back there. Insufficient lube increases your risk of skin tears, which are painful and risky.

Also, never go from penis or sex toy in the anus to the vagina without washing up and changing condoms first.

You don’t want feces and other bacteria from back there getting into your urinary tract where it can wreak some major havoc, including urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Same goes for taking a penis in your mouth after anal. Doing so can introduce bacteria and parasites into your mouth.

Variety is the spice of life and the more options in your repertoire o’ love, the better. This gives you and your partner(s) a whole other type of pleasure to enjoy if and how you want.

Mix it up with toys and take turns being on the giving and receiving end — whatever tickles your bottom.

Your butthole, your decision. You choose what you consent to and whom with. Don’t let a partner pressure you into trying anal sex — or any type of sex for that matter — if you’re not completely sure you want it.

As fantastic as anal pleasure can be, it isn’t a requirement for a satisfying sex life, whether you’re partnered or solo. There are plenty of other ways to get pleasure if you prefer to keep your backdoor closed.

Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.