What Is the Prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that produces the seminal fluid in ejaculate. Partly muscle, it’s also responsible for propelling that fluid into the urethra, where it mixes with sperm. Sometimes called the p-spot, the prostate is surrounded by nerve endings that can feel extremely pleasurable to touch.
Not everyone has a prostate. Non-intersex people who were assigned female at birth (such as cisgender women, trans men, and other transmasculine non-binary people) do not have one, while most cisgender men and trans people who were assigned male at birth and are not-intersex do.
Located about two inches inside the rectum, it sits between the rectum and the penis. For some trans women who have vaginoplasty, the prostate is positioned so that it can function as a g-spot. However, for most people, the easiest way to access the prostate internally is through the rectum.
Why Do People Enjoy Prostate Play?
Put simply, it feels good!
To give a longer answer, prostate orgasms can feel very different to penile orgasms. Many people report them to feel more intense, with sensation throughout the body, rather than concentrated in one place.
People of all genders and sexualities can enjoy prostate play, with or without a partner. For some people, prostate massage with a partner can enhance Dominance/submission play, whereas for others the appeal may be solo physical pleasure.
External Prostate Play
While the position of the prostate and the common conception of prostate play may make you assume that all prostate play involves anal penetration, it’s actually possible to play with the prostate entirely externally.
One of the common ways you can engage in external prostate play is by touching or massaging the perineum—the area between the anus and testicles. You may want to start with two lubed fingers (read on to learn how you should prepare for prostate play!), and apply repeated pressure to that area.
Different bodies have different levels of sensitivity, and you may or may not find orgasm from external prostate stimulation to be easy to achieve. If fingers don’t work well for you, try using an external toy like a wand vibrator.
External prostate play is less direct than internal prostate play, so sensation often feels less intense than internal play. Some people even find they can’t orgasm at all from purely external stimulation. If you find this to be the case, remember that it doesn’t mean your body is ‘wrong’! You may find focusing on the pleasurable sensations as they come rather than focusing on chasing an orgasm can make them easier to achieve, or you may find that you want to try internal prostate play to make achieving orgasm easier.
How to Prepare for Prostate Play
While some prep is involved in external prostate play, a lot more is needed if you want to play with penetration!
As with any kind of anal play, lube is an absolute must, as the anus doesn’t produce its own lubrication in the same way a vagina does. Remember to make sure that your lube is compatible with any barriers or toys you’re using— oil based lubes can cause latex barriers (which we’ll talk about in a moment) to break, while silicone lubes can cause damage to silicone toys. While water-based lubes don’t have these compatibility issues, they do require ‘reactivation’ with either water or more lube, as they can dry out over time. Whatever kind of lube you choose, remember that a thicker consistency is helpful.
You can use toys for prostate play—which we’ll talk about in a moment—but many people like to try with fingers first. If you’re engaging in penetrative prostate stimulation with fingers, the giver (whether that’s the person receiving prostate stimulation or their partner/s) should make sure they’re being clean and safe. Cutting and your filing nails can help avoid scratching or breaking the delicate and thin skin inside the anus. Make sure to wash your hands, even if you’re then going to wear finger cots or gloves.
Speaking of which, you can absolutely wear latex or nitrile gloves if that makes you feel more comfortable! As well as relieving some anxieties you may have about cleanliness, gloves also reduce friction compared to bare hands. If you’re a nail-biter, gloves can reduce STI transmission risk from the broken skin around your nail-beds. And if you don’t want to compromise on long nails, stuffing a cotton ball into the fingers of a glove before putting it on can smooth out rough edges.
The person receiving prostate stimulation also has their own prep to do! Use the bathroom before you get started, both to clear much of the fecal matter in your rectum, and because anal penetration and prostate stimulation can make you feel a need to poo or pee respectively.
Jumping in the shower and making sure your anus is extra clean can help you with confidence and comfort. Some people enjoy douching with an anal enema before anal play, but this isn’t necessary (and shouldn’t be done too often).
Internal Prostate Play
As with all kinds of penetration (especially anal penetration), take things slow. Start with shallow penetration and with a small amount of girth, rather than trying to go a whole fist deep at once! For most prostate stimulation, you only need two fingers, but still take things slow, starting with one finger and then adding a second.
Prostate stimulation can take a fair amount of experimenting before you get it right. To locate the prostate, reach about two inches into the anus, with fingers curled towards the belly of the person receiving a prostate massage. You should feel a raised lump of tissue, similar in size and shape to a walnut (although its size can change as people age or in response to hormone replacement therapy).
A classic way to massage the prostate is using a ‘come hither’ motion. Taking two fingers, curl them towards the recipient’s belly and press against the prostate with the pads of your fingers, applying moderate pressure.
Toys for Internal Prostate Massage
Depending on the relative body part sizes, you may find that reaching the prostate with your/your partners’ fingers is difficult. Using toys can make reaching the prostate easier. Some people also prefer using toys because they offer alternative sensations, or because they’re designed specifically for prostate play and so don’t have the potentially awkward angles of finger joints.
If you do choose to use a toy for internal prostate play, remember that you must use a toy with a flared base. The anus both doesn’t have an ‘end’ in the way the vagina does, and contains muscles that can create a suction-like effect, pulling any toy into the body and requiring an ER visit. Even if your toy does have a flared base, make sure the base is sturdy enough that it won’t fold or flex as your body contracts during orgasm.
Prostate massagers are made specifically for internal prostate massage. Depending on the toy you choose, they may vibrate, require manual movement to directly stimulate the prostate, or move with the body. If you’re choosing a first prostate toy, remember to start small.
Other toys you may want to try include anal plugs and dildos. For both, remember that you’re looking for a curve shape to get 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. You may be afraid your partner may react negatively, have internalised part of our culture’s shame and disgust around anal play yourself, or be unsure how to communicate your needs in a comfortable, affirming way. For heterosexual cisgender people, anal play’s association with gay sexuality can disrupt weighty assumptions about sexuality and gender.
Don’t bring up prostate play in the heat of the moment. Not only does it mean your partner won’t have time to prep for prostate play, it may also be jarring and uncomfortable. Regardless of if you want to be the person to give prostate pleasure or receive it, your partner may have already tried it and found it uncomfortable, or have previous experience of being pressured into it. Even if they don’t have past negative experiences, talking about prostate stimulation (or any other kind 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 ok to be at whatever part of the journey you’re at. If you’re working with a partner who may have misconceptions or reservations around prostate play, allow them to be at their part of the journey as well. While it’s not ok for your partner to make judgements or assumptions about you, your gender, or your sexuality because of your interest in prostate stimulation, being dismissive of their other concerns isn’t ok 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.
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