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Anal Sex?
Jun 17, 2002

my boyfriend says he gets turned on by anal intercourse in porn, and wants to try it, along with putting his mouth and hands there too. i dont have a problem with it, and want to try it, but i would just like to know precautions we should take when it comes to any contact in that area, im stil a little nervous about cleanliness, because that is the area that you go to the bathroom from. is there anything special to do? or any certain way i should clean myself there? we will use condoms, but as far as oral and manual contact goes, what should we do? thank you for your time.

(An anxious girlfriend)

Response from Mr. Kull

If you and your partner are HIV-negative, not infected with other STIs, and monogamous, then unprotected anal sex would not put either of you at risk for sexually transmitted diseases.

Partners sometimes choose to use condoms for anal sex -- regardless of HIV or other STI-status -- for hygienic reasons. Feces can contain bacteria/germs that cause infections when coming into contact with the mouth or genitals. Some people prefer to have an enema/douche or have a bowel movement before having anal sex to reduce the messiness or discomfort that can sometimes be associated with the activity (enemas are not recommended if you are concerned about protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections). For some people, cleanliness is a virtue, while others don't care. It's up to you and your partner.

It's important to be aware of feces coming into contact with your vaginal area. Feces coming into contact with the urethra (the tube you pee out of) puts you or your partner at risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Women are at greater risk for UTIs than men because their urethra is shorter, giving bacteria better access to the bladder. The penis should not come into contact with the vagina after anal sex unless a new condom is worn or the penis is cleaned with soap and water.

Use a water-based lubricant for anal penetration, preferably without nonoxyonl-9, a spermicide that may cause irritation to mucous membranes and possibly increases the risk of HIV transmission. You cannot have too much lubricant, as the anus and rectum do not have the natural lubrication and elasticity of the vagina. Ample lubrication helps prevent tearing and allows the penis or fingers to move smoothly, minimizing pain.

Stop having anal sex if there is any bleeding, and see a doctor if bleeding continues. Take a break from it if you feel irritation or develop hemorrhoids. Most importantly, take your time and listen to yourself and your partner: stop having anal sex if either person feels too uncomfortable.

Anal sex can be a great and adventurous alternative to vaginal sex. However, since it is an activity that is considered taboo by many cultures, pay attention to your emotional/psychological response to this as well. And by all means, stop if you are not enjoying it.

There are some myths running around out there that anal sex "causes" HIV or other infections. A person can transmit an infection ONLY if they are infected; anal sex does not create infections out of thin air. See the posting Does anal sex "make" the virus?.

RMK



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