How To Do Double Penetration Safely During Sex


Butt stuff is far from niche these days, as more folks with vaginas become interested in things like anilingus or rimming (aka anal oral), anal fingering, and good ol’ p-in-b sex. While all of these back-door sex acts can bring pleasure in and of themselves, there’s also something to be said for combining or pairing them with vaginal penetration, á la double penetration.

As the name implies, “double penetration (aka DP) involves two different orifices of a person being penetrated simultaneously,” says certified sex therapist Aliyah Moore, PhD, relationship expert at sex toy reviews platform SexualAlpha.

This penetration most often happens “vaginally and anally at the same time,” but DP can also be “two penises [or] toys (or one of each) in a single orifice,” says Carol Queen, PhD, staff sexologist at Good Vibes and curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum. That means you don’t need to involve three people for double penetration—just two and a toy, or one and a double-ended toy can work—but you certainly can (more on that below).

With the extra penetration can come additional pleasure for some. In a nationally representative survey conducted in 2022 of more than 3,000 people in the U.S. who identify as women, 40 percent reported pleasure from “anal pairing,” or touching in or on the anus at the same time as other forms of sexual touch, including vaginal penetration or clitoral stimulation. And research has long shown that diversifying the kinds of sexual behaviors with which you engage can lead to more orgasms—which make sense: More sex acts *can* offer more opportunities for climaxing, so long as they’re all done safely.

How to know if double penetration is right for you

It’s important to note that just because some folks may experience more pleasure with multiple kinds of penetration at once doesn’t mean everyone will; more isn’t always more, and for others, the additional penetration could simply feel like too much.

In turn, there’s never an obligation to try DP. But, if any of the below are true for you, you could very well enjoy it.

You’re curious about how DP feels

Moore says that “curiosity is a key factor” in people experimenting with DP. “Perhaps you came across it in adult movies or heard about it from friends, and that sparked an interest in experiencing it firsthand,” she says.

In any case, if you’re wondering what DP might feel like or find yourself considering how it might appeal to your sexual interests, that’s your first sign that it may be worth your while to explore it.

You’re into extreme or hardcore play

“For fans of intense penetration and extreme play, double penetration can provide a sensation of fullness [akin] to fisting as well as a [greater] intensity than single penetration,” says Dr. Queen. By a similar token, Moore says that DP can add additional stimulation with “the potential for heightened arousal and more intense orgasms.” Which is all to say, DP can be a great avenue to explore if you’re keen to ramp up your sexual pleasure.

“For fans of intense penetration and extreme play, double penetration can provide a fullness [akin] to fisting as well as a [greater] intensity than single penetration.” —Carol Queen, PhD, sexologist

That’s also an important reminder, though, that double penetration can feel like, well, a lot. So, if you’re curious about DP, but it feels like a big leap, consider exploring other kinds of single penetration first, whether solo or with a partner, like angling or adding (which involves using more than one finger). You can add DP to a sexual bucket list, and either try it out with a toy or introduce it into a relationship when you feel comfortable exploring a more intense sensation.

You want to deepen your connection with a partner

While double penetration can certainly crank the dial up on the intensity of any sexual encounter, that doesn’t mean it’s just for hardcore or kinky sex-plorers. It can also be a great way to make your sexual bond with a partner that much deeper, emotionally speaking.

“[Exploring double penetration] can allow you to push your boundaries with a partner, fostering a heightened sense of trust and opening new avenues for communication,” says Moore.

What to do before trying double penetration

Get to know your body

If you’re new to penetrative sex, double penetration might not be for you—yet. According to Dr. Queen, “knowing how aroused and lubricated you need to be before starting [penetration] and what lubes work best for you, and being experienced with anal sex,” if you’re planning on doing DP with anal penetration, will help make the experience pleasurable for all parties involved.

For any double penetration involving anal, it bears repeating that some prior experience with anal is a necessity, as is engaging in anal-sex best practices. For starters, it’s important to prime your butt for anal play by using anal dilators, take note of what you’re eating before anal, and invest in some high-slip lube to use during anal. Getting comfortable with anal on its own will make pairing it with vaginal penetration that much more seamless.

Discuss specifics with your partner(s)

If you’re planning on involving a partner or two in double penetration, that shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment decision. “Preparing for double penetration requires thoughtful planning,” says Moore. “Start with an open conversation, discuss concerns [and] desires, set clear boundaries, and use safewords [which denote when you’d like to pause or stop a sexual act].”

As double penetration is a term with many meanings, it’s also important to get on the same page with your partner(s) about what it means for each of you. “Someone might be open to trying both vaginal and anal penetration simultaneously, while [their partner] might only be comfortable with doubling up on one kind of penetration,” says Moore. And that’s why talking things out beforehand is so essential.

But communication isn’t just a pre-sex must, either. “During the act, if something doesn’t feel right, speaking up ensures everyone’s experience remains enjoyable and consensual,” says Moore. “Discussing [afterward] what worked and what didn’t can also help improve future encounters.”

How to actually engage in safe double penetration

Find a third person you can trust

Bodies are close to each other in a three-person double penetration configuration (especially in the single orifice version). “For some, that’s hot!” Dr. Queen says. “For others, it’s a recipe for their internalized homophobia to come out.” Discussing this possibility with all partners in advance and respecting safewords is vital. Dr. Queen has some straightforward words of wisdom: “If you can’t talk about it [with all parties], you’re not ready to do it.”

The ideal third person for double penetration will be “comfortable in a close, hot, and heavy situation,” adds Dr. Queen. Kink-positive apps or a sex party can be good places to find a third—but you need to be able to trust the person, which means, “it might also be comforting to involve someone you already know,” Moore says.

Choose a sex position that facilitates DP

If vaginal and anal penetration is your chosen option for DP with three total people, the cowgirl sex position works well. The person being penetrated “straddles Partner 1 in cowgirl position, and once [Partner 1’s] penis (or dildo) is in [the] vagina, Partner 2 comes in from behind for anal penetration,” explains Dr. Queen. It’s important to go slowly as “entering anally is different when the vagina [has] a penis or toy” in it, she adds. According to Moore, reverse cowgirl can work in much the same way.

Another option? DP doggy style, “where the receiver is on all fours, with one giver penetrating from behind and the other from the front,” suggests Moore. You could also try missionary DP, which is a typical missionary with “one giver between the receiver’s legs, while the second one joins from above,” or standing DP, with “one giver in front and the other behind, both penetrating the receiver simultaneously,” she adds.

The most important thing to remember? “The person being penetrated is in charge,” Dr. Queen says. That is, if the receiver says to stop or slow down, all givers involved must listen.

Incorporate a sex toy

As noted above, double penetration doesn’t have to involve a third partner or even another person at all. You can explore DP solo using a double-ended sex toy, which may be your best option if you’re a beginner because, according to Moore, “you can control both depth and speed at your comfort.”

In this case, Moore advises choosing a sex toy designed specifically for DP, “like double dildos or those tailored for simultaneous anal and vaginal use.”

Separately, you can also have p-in-v sex with a partner while using (or having them use) a regular dildo for anal penetration, or vice versa. This way, you don’t need to involve a third person and can maintain greater control over one of the modes of penetration.

Use ample lubricant

Lubricant is a critical factor in any type of double penetration play, particularly when it includes anal play, says Moore. (Important reminder: The anus, unlike the vagina, isn’t self-lubricating.) After all, double penetration involves more than one penetrating body part or toy that can cause friction within either the anal or vaginal canal, so it’s all the more important to take precautions for things to glide smoothly.

Avoid swapping partners or toys in a single orifice

Like any kind of penetrative sex, double penetration puts you at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted illness (STI) or becoming pregnant if you don’t use protection, but it also comes with a few particular considerations. Namely, it’s important to “avoid going from anus to vagina or vagina to anus [with a penis] unless you change condoms first,” as this can put you at higher risk for both STIs and other bacterial infections, says Dr. Queen.

And the same goes for toys. Never swap a toy from front to back or back to front “without cleaning it first,” Moore says.



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