Understanding the Prostate
The prostate, about the size of a walnut, plays a crucial role in reproductive function by producing seminal fluid. This muscular gland also propels the fluid into the urethra during ejaculation, where it mixes with sperm. Often referred to as the “p-spot,” the prostate is surrounded by sensitive nerve endings that can offer intense pleasure when stimulated.
Not everyone has a prostate. Those assigned female at birth, including cisgender women, trans men, and other transmasculine non-binary individuals, do not have one. On the other hand, most cisgender men and non-intersex individuals assigned male at birth have a prostate.
Situated approximately two inches inside the rectum, the prostate rests between the rectum and the penis. For some trans women who have undergone vaginoplasty, the prostate may function as a g-spot. However, for the majority, internal access to the prostate is most easily achieved through the rectum.
Why Do People Enjoy Prostate Play?
Put simply, it feels good!
To give a longer answer, the orgasms derived from prostate stimulation are often described as distinct from penile orgasms. Many individuals note that prostate orgasms feel more intense, spreading sensations throughout the body rather than being concentrated in one place.
Prostate play is not limited by gender or sexuality, and individuals may find enjoyment with or without a partner. For some, engaging in prostate massage with a partner adds an extra layer to dominance/submission play, while others prefer the pleasure it provides during solo exploration.
External Prostate Play
Contrary to common assumptions about prostate play, it is entirely possible to play with the prostate externally.
A common method for external prostate play involves focusing on the perineum—the area between the anus and testicles. Using two lubed fingers (preparation tips are covered below), apply repeated pressure to this area. For those who prefer different sensations, an external toy like a wand vibrator can be a suitable alternative.
Given the diversity in body sensitivity, achieving orgasm solely through external prostate stimulation varies. Some may find the sensations less intense compared to internal play, and for others, reaching orgasm externally might be challenging. If you find this to be the case, remember that it does not mean your body is “wrong”! Some find that savouring the pleasurable sensations without fixating on orgasm can make orgasms easier to achieve. Alternatively, you might try internal prostate play to make achieving orgasm easier.
Preparing for Internal Prostate Play
Prostate play, especially with penetration, requires careful preparation.
With any anal play, lube is essential, as the anus doesn’t produce its lubrication as a vagina does. Ensure your chosen lube is compatible with any barriers or toys in use—oil-based lubes can break latex barriers, and silicone lubes may damage silicone toys. While water-based lubes avoid these issues, they require “reactivation” with water or additional lube as they can dry out. Regardless of the type, opt for a thicker consistency for added comfort.
Toys can be used for prostate play, which we’ll discuss shortly, but many individuals prefer trying with fingers at first. When engaging in penetrative prostate stimulation using fingers, the giver should ensure cleanliness and safety. To avoid scratching or breaking the delicate and thin skin inside the anus, cut and file your nails. Be sure to wash your hands, even if you plan to wear finger cots or gloves.
Speaking of gloves, you can certainly use latex or nitrile gloves, if that makes you feel more comfortable. In addition to alleviating anxieties about cleanliness, gloves reduce friction compared to bare hands. For those who bite their nails, gloves can minimize the risk of STI transmission from broken skin around the nail beds. If you wish to maintain long nails, inserting a cotton ball into the fingers of a glove before putting it on can help smooth out any rough edges.
The person receiving prostate stimulation also has their own prep to do! Use the bathroom before getting started, both to clear much of the faecal matter in your rectum and because anal penetration and prostate stimulation may induce the urge to poo or pee.
Jumping in the shower and making sure your anus is extra clean can boost your confidence and comfort. While some enjoy using an anal enema before anal play, it’s not a necessary step (and frequent use should be avoided).
Internal Prostate Play
As with any form of penetration, especially anal penetration, it’s important to take things slow. Begin with shallow penetration and a small amount of girth, rather than attempting fist-deep penetration all at once! For most prostate stimulation, two fingers should suffice, but start with one finger before introducing a second.
Prostate stimulation often requires some experimentation before getting it right. To locate the prostate, reach about two inches into the anus, with fingers curled towards the belly of the person receiving the massage. You should feel a raised lump of tissue, similar in size and shape to a walnut (although its size may vary with age or in response to hormone replacement therapy).
A classic way to massage the prostate involves using a “come hither” motion. Curl two fingers towards the recipient’s belly and apply moderate pressure against the prostate using the pads of your fingers.
Toys for Internal Prostate Massage
Depending on the relative sizes of body parts, reaching the prostate with fingers, either yours or your partner’s, might prove difficult. The use of toys can make reaching the prostate easier. Some people also prefer using toys because they provide alternative sensations or are specifically designed for prostate play, avoiding the potentially awkward angles of finger joints.
If you opt to use a toy for internal prostate play, make sure it has a flared base. Unlike the vagina, the anus doesn’t have a distinct “end,” and its muscles can create a suction-like effect, potentially pulling any toy into the body and necessitating a visit to the ER. Even if your toy has a flared base, check that it’s sturdy enough to resist folding or flexing as your body contracts during orgasm.
Prostate massagers are designed explicitly for internal prostate massage. Depending on the chosen toy, it may vibrate, require manual movement, or move with the body. If you are choosing a first prostate toy, remember to start small.
Other toys worth trying include anal plugs and dildos. When considering both, keep in mind that a curved shape is essential for achieving prostate stimulation, rather than just general anal stimulation.
How to Talk About Prostate Play with a Partner
Bringing up an interest in prostate play with a partner can feel daunting. There might be concerns that your partner could react negatively, that they have internalized cultural shame and disgust surrounding anal play. Maybe you’re unsure how to communicate your needs in a comfortable and affirming way. For heterosexual cisgender people, the association of anal play with gay sexuality can be a hurdle.
Avoid bringing up prostate play in the heat of the moment. Doing so not only means your partner won’t have time to prepare for prostate play, but it may also be jarring and uncomfortable. Whether you want to be the person giving or receiving prostate pleasure, consider that your partner might have tried it before and found it uncomfortable or might have previous experiences of feeling pressured into it. Even if they don’t have past negative experiences, discussing prostate stimulation (or any other form of sexual play) in a neutral space is advisable, as is giving your partner time to think it over.
Learning and unlearning different approaches and messaging around sex is a process, and it’s okay to be at whatever part of the journey you’re at. If you’re working with a partner who may have misconceptions or reservations about prostate play, allow them their journey as well. While it’s not acceptable for your partner to make judgments or assumptions about you, your gender or your sexuality because of your interest in prostate stimulation, being dismissive of their other concerns isn’t okay either. Emphasising consent and communication can help foster trust and comfort in all kinds of sex, and prostate play is no exception.
If your partner has concerns that can be addressed, provide them with information or seek out that information with them, such as by taking CHEEX’s Prostate Pleasure workshop together. However, they may also have a hard limit around anal play. If that’s the case, accept their boundaries—you can always engage in prostate play solo.