A few no-nos
Whether you're introducing the idea of anal into your sex life for the first time or you're an anal aficionado, a bit of backdoor fun can be a highly pleasurable experience. However, your sexual health and wellness must always come first.
Whilst it might be tempting if you've got nothing else to hand, don't reach for the Vaseline! It might be great for chapped lips, but petroleum jelly wasn't intended to be used as a sex lube. It doesn't absorb into the skin and if your partner has a vagina, its sticky texture can invite bacteria to hang around leading to a possible infection.
Similarly, coconut oil isn't particularly recommended either. Whilst it seems like a more natural lube choice, it may not be vulva friendly due to its high pH - whereas the vagina has a low pH. So if it strays near the vulva, you could be in for a bit of a yeast infection. Which is never pleasant!
Avoid going from anal to vaginal sex. It's natural for the rectum to hold some bacteria from your stool, but transmitting this to the vulva and vagina can increase the risk of infections like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, or UTIs. If you do want to switch things up, just be sure to wash the penis, finger, or toy that was introduced to the anus first.
Don't go rushing straight in. It's important to be fully relaxed before inserting anything into the anus, so make sure you get plenty of foreplay in first and work up to it. Warm things up with some anal massage (using plenty of lube!) and if it's your first time, just take things slowly. Before you introduce anal play with a partner, it's often a good idea to try things out yourself beforehand so that you know what you like and can communicate this. So if it's something you're keen to try, see how things feel with some masturbation first.