Meatloaf once sang: "I would do anything for love ... but I won't do that." For me, "that" has always been anal sex.

Oh, sure, I'd given it the old college try, in an unbearable episode punctuated by a lot of pained yelps and gritted teeth. I felt trapped in an episode of "Oz" and swore I'd never do it again.

The girlfriends I surveyed on the subject apparently feel the same way -- been there, don't want to go back. Which made me curious -- is fifth base just a guy obsession? For it to be so popular, there must be a few elusive women who actually like it, so I set out to learn their secrets.

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Easing Into It
"I love anal sex," confides Heather, an erotic blogger, though that hasn't always been the case. "I was worried it would hurt, it would be messy, he wouldn't respect me after. For me, the most important part of getting comfortable with the act was actually discussing it with my lover," she explains.

Heather's mind shift was a gradual one that started with the two of them doing research into the act online to get more info. "We talked over the potential issues and how we would deal with them." After that, the couple broached the topic during phone sex, which helped Heather get more comfortable with it while also being turned on.

When they finally got to the act, they started with just some tickling of the back door, then sliding himself just a little way in -- but still paying attention to her other erogenous zones. "He would still stimulate me to orgasm while he was doing this, making me associate the feelings with orgasm."

"A trick he taught me is to push out when I wanted to tense up. Pushing out actually relaxes the muscles and will draw a finger or penis in when I release the 'pushing,' bringing him in naturally. Experimenting with positions has also helped, as well as lots of play during 'normal' sex and oral, which helps keep me relaxed even when we haven't had anal in a while."

More Tips
Intrigued? I turned to Claire Cavanah, co-founder Babeland, a female-focused sex store, for more advice.

1. Ease into it. To really enjoy anal sex, it helps to seduce the area. That tight circle of muscle can be like a traffic cop on a one-way street. You have to get it used to the feeling of something coming up the other direction. A lubed finger circling the outside during foreplay relaxes the muscle and prepares it for entry.

2. Start small. Once you're relaxed, gently introduce a finger, slowly, with lots of lube. As the muscle loosens up, you're ready for whatever toys or anatomical parts are next. Breathe deeply, and relax your mind as well as your butt.

3. Do a dry run. It's worth getting to know how you're going to feel and how your body will react. Why not practice before the big day -- maybe even with a toy like the Little Flirt. By adding rear entry to your masturbation routine, you'll get to know the territory on your own before exploring with your partner.

4. Keep your senses intact. A cocktail to loosen up can help if you're anxious, but don't get tanked. Alcohol impairs your judgment and can lead to mistakes, like going for it when you don't want to, pushing through pain, or skimping on lube. Keep your wits, do what feels good and only what feels good, and you'll have no regrets.

5. Keep your sweetie in the loop. Communicate with your partner all along the way. He can't read your mind, and if you're both new to anal sex, he'll certainly want some reassurance that he's on the right path. A good lover craves positive feedback and gentle direction, so let him have it!

Tell Us: Have you ever had anal sex and loved it? Any tips we missed?

Beth Brennan frequently covers sex and relationships for Lemondrop -- sometimes even under her real name.