For many individuals, anal sex is a mysterious, unexplored frontier. It seems that within our Western culture – as well as many, many other areas of the world, anal sex is often considered taboo. To many, it may feel “forbidden” or “dirty” because of the nature of the act, and can be met with resistance by one or both partners. However, for individuals wanting to explore this final sexual frontier, they need not experience shame or guilt; but they certainly should follow a few pointers to maximize their chances at pleasure without running into painful consequences. Read on for more about anal sex and how to maintain a healthy penis when engaging in this sexual behavior.
Why is anal sex taboo?
Everybody has their own thoughts and preferences when it comes to sexual activity. However, anal sex seems to get a bad rap more than other positions and activities. This may be because many people feel that is an “exit only.” Men and women alike may be nervous about uncleanliness, coming into contact with fecal matter and transmitting infection and disease. Additionally, anal sex often carries a particular stigma among males. Combine that with the high likelihood of a painful experience if not performed correctly, and many people choose to have very limited – if any – exploration with anal sex.
Is it dangerous?
The biggest risk that anal sex entails is tearing of the anal tissue. This risk is enhanced when the giver is overzealous with thrusting speed and depth of penetration – and it can occur whether a penis, finger or sex toy is inserted anally. Additionally, there is a risk of infection being passed between partners if cleanliness is not a priority, and especially if condoms are not used properly. Lastly, because of the higher chance of anal tearing, the chance of HIV transmission is higher if one partner is HIV positive.
Tips for Safe Anal Sex:
Go slow! The anus is not as receptive to visitors as, say, the vagina or the mouth, so it is imperative that anything that is inserted is done slowly, so as to not tear the tissue.
Use lots of lube: Both partners need to be adequately lubed, and additional lube should be applied as needed. The anus does not create lubrication like the vagina, so the more the better. Seriously, use a lot.
The receiver is in charge: A surefire way to stop the exploration is to cause pain to whichever partner is receiving anal pleasure. The receiver dictates speed, depth and quality of the experience to prevent sharp pains and tearing.
If it hurts, stop: Try to relax during anal sex and enjoy the sensations. It should not hurt at all. If it is painful, the thrusting is too deep, too fast, or not enough lube is being used. Anxiety and nerves can also stop muscles from relaxing and cause pain; and if a partner doesn’t really want it – it’s probably not going to happen very easily!
Always, Always, ALWAYS use a condom: There are likely to be traces of fecal matter in the anus – though it is not as dirty as most individuals would believe. A condom prevents bacteria from entering the penis and protects the receiver from any infections the giver is carrying. Because there is a chance of tearing, and thus anal bleeding, the risk of blood born infections is higher during anal sex – therefore the importance of a condom cannot be overemphasized.
Communication is key: Because of the risk of pain, partners need to be in communication with each other about their actions. Thus-talking needs to happen! Many couples find that anal sex increases intimacy simply because they need to verbalize their wants and needs to their partner!
Be hygienic: Nothing that has touched the anus should touch the vagina or mouth unless it has been thoroughly washed (I.e. sex toys, a finger, or a penis). If switching between anal and vaginal sex, a new condom needs to be used, hands washed and toys washed, as any E. coli that is present could cause a urinary tract infection, or worse. It is also a good idea to take a shower before anal sex – what a great way to add foreplay to the mix – and afterward, as well, to clean up the entire body. To further protect the penis, men should use a penis health crème after sex, and every day, to further enhance the health of their Johnson (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil); a high-quality formula not only rejuvenates the skin, but also contains vitamin A to help fight infection causing bacteria. Apply after every shower to keep the penis healthy and clean.