Anal training can refer to:
- activities aimed at training a person to relax their anal sphincter and to gradually widen the anus (also sometimes called anal stretching or rectal dilation)
- in BDSM, any form of anal sex.
Stretching the anus
The main incentive behind stretching the anus (slowly and safely, over weeks and months) is that anal sex and the use of anal sex toys becomes easier, safer, and more pain-free. Anal training involves stretching the entire anal apparatus — the anal mucosa, blood vessels, and the sphincter muscles. Some sex practices like anal fisting can usually only be achieved after extensive anal training.
Anal training can be done with a partner or by oneself. Producers of butt plugs sell sets of plugs in different sizes for anal training, sometimes called rectal dilator kits. Another method is to practice the insertion of one (latex glove protected and well-lubed) finger first, then of two, three, and so on, adding the next finger only after the insertion has become very easy.
For all anal training, lubricant, a relaxed atmosphere and patience is essential. Enemas can be taken before to clean out the rectum. The anus has very sensitive nerve endings, so any activities with it are on a fine line between sensually pleasant and unpleasant.
Warning: Stretching the anus comes with serious health risks. Anal fissures are to be strictly avoided, they are not only very painful, but can result in problems with defecation, infection and fecal incontinence, among other risks (see Wikipedia article for more). An anal fissure can take six to eight weeks to heal and can also become chronic.
Dr. Young's Rectal Dilators (patented in 1892), a set of butt plugs in four different sizes, was sold as a medical aid to relieve piles and constipation (which they didn't do).