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The anus is the final portion of the large intestine, and consists of two rings of muscles controlling the outlet (the internal and external anal sphincters) and skin covering them. The internal mucosa of the intestines join with the external skin at the anus.

The rectum is that portion of the large intestine lying immediately inside the anus. It is somewhat ill-defined anatomically, but is generally considered to end at the relatively sharp turn some 10 inches or so up from the anus.

Little lubrication is produced naturally by the anus or rectum, and so insertion of anything into them must be accompanied by externally supplied lubrication. This is a major difference from the vagina, which is self-lubricating in normal circumstances.

Anal play is any sexual activity involving the anus.



Arse is a slang term, usually meaning the anus but occasionally the buttocks. It is generally considered to be coarse slang. Sometimes it is extended to arsehole; the latter is also a term of abuse for a stupid or unpleasant person.

The word is rarely used in the USA, where the euphemism ass or asshole is preferred.


The act of stimulating the anus during masturbation, foreplay, oral sex or intercourse is called postillionage. It may be achieved by stroking, massage or penetration by fingers, butt plugs, vibrators or other devices. Care should be taken to avoid damage to delicate areas; lubrication is advisable if there is penetration, and nothing should ever be inserted that might go in completely and get lost.

Anal bleaching

Anal bleaching is the process of bleaching the dark skin around the anus to match that of the rest of the skin. It became popular in the 2000s, possibly inspired by the Brazilian wax. Care is needed, as the bleaching chemicals may damage the skin.

See also

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