Consider this a deep dive into butt mindfulness. For real.
We’ve said it before - your butt needs to relax. The two anal muscles are affected by our moods and emotions. And while the external muscle is easier to control, the internal one is extremely sensitive to how we’re feeling. 
Stress, anxiety, and fear can all cause it to tighten, which makes stimulation more likely to be uncomfortable. This discomfort only makes the muscle tighten more, which can inevitably lead to tearing and pain. Just as the anxiety that men sometimes feel around “performance” can lead to erectile difficulties, fear that anal play will hurt can also lead to painful anal sex. Butt tension not only impacts your ability to relax your sphincter for anal play, but also pooping. 
Here are some techniques to help relax your butt muscles:
It sounds pretty obvious, but try some simple breathing techniques to unclench your hole. The aim is to relax the body and the sphincter so that your butt can open up without any pain. 
Take a deep breath for 4 seconds through your nose, then slowly release through your mouth for 6 seconds, the whole time thinking about your butt muscles. If you're finding it hard to mentally locate the butt muscles, think about the muscles you use to hold a fart or poop in. That's your sphincter doing the work. You should feel the muscles tighten when you use them. Clenching and releasing these muscles to help bring awareness to your body always helps before you start your relaxation breathing. Give this a go before a big poo or anal play to loosen that butt up. Let us know how you go!
A relaxed body usually means a relaxed butthole. Stress and anxiety play a big part in your butt’s happiness. We tend to clench our butts when we are stressed. So clear that mind, with a little self care. If you’re a beginner to meditation try the Headspace app. We love it. Once you get the hang of meditation, start thinking about that sphincter, and try to bring awareness and a sense of calm to your hole. It probably needs it more than you think!
The Poop Stool.
If you haven’t already got one, you should. It’ll change your life. Check out the Tushy Ottoman here. Raising the legs when pooping makes it easier for your pelvic muscles to relax and in turn your butt hole. 
There are fancy places that sell fancy stools, but you can simply place an object or pile of books under your feet, to raise your legs above your hips when you’re on the toot. Perching your legs up a little higher not only helps your pelvic muscles chill out, but it also reduces constriction in the lower intestine, which is great for relieving constipation.
A bit of stimulation (read dilation) can go a long way. Reintroducing butt play through massage, fingers, & butt plugs is a must. Try using a finger to gently massage your butt hole. With a lot of lubrication, gently slide a finger into your butt, giving your butt time to gently open up. Use your finger to bring awareness to your butt while your hole starts to relax around your finger. Don’t feel weird, you’re giving the body the acknowledgment it needs - that your butt can open up easily, it just needs to be reminded. Bonus - get to know yourself with a mirror - why not!? 
We spoke with our pall Euphemia Russel on the best tips for stimulation.
External butt play can be so fun, pleasurable and less intense than internal play. I recommend you:
  1. Find latex (or non-latex if have allergy) non-powdered gloves or a finger condom/cot on if you prefer).  A finger condom isn’t critical, everyone’s comfort level with their butt is different, but one thing that remains a constant is that poop has nasty bacteria in it, so avoid any contact with another orifice that’s not your butt. That includes a vagina! 
  2. Lube up with water or silicone based lubricant 
  3. Explore with your finger/s (use the pads rather than poking), thumb, or the palm of your hand and try touching yourself externally in these motions: small circles, larger circles, swiping like a credit card with a finger or knuckles, gently tickle, gently flick, light doorbell.
  4. If it’s feeling overwhelming and you find yourself clenching then reset with a breath, butt shake and wiggle. Then begin exploring again. 

  5. If you find your butt relaxing and feeling aroused, then try gently putting the tip of your finger and see if the butt opens and draws in your finger. This shows that the butt/body is relaxed and ready to be penetrated. 
Anal Stretching.  
Just like every personal trainer says - stretching is crucial. And just like working out any part of your body, sphincter muscles also need to be worked out and stretched. Maximum flexibility is the goal here. Training your butt muscles, otherwise known as anal stretching or dilation, is a matter of opening, widening, or stretching the anus with tools called anal dilators or anal expanders. We will have some product recommendations in our next blog.
This type of stretching is useful to prevent anal fissures, making passing a stool and/or sexual activity more comfortableWe’ll go into detail about anal stretching in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out on our blog.