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anal sex?
Jun 27, 2001

is anal sex safe for male's and female's? what problem's may it produce?

Response from Mr. Kull

It really depends on what you mean by "safe." If you are talking about HIV, anal sex without condoms can be an efficient way to transmit the virus (regardless of your sex, male or female). Anal sex can also be a risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases and some bacterial infections if either person has a current infection and doesn't take certain precautions. A latex condom is a great way to prevent yourself from getting some of these infections when having anal sex.

The anus and rectum are more likely to transmit bacteria -- especially STD related -- than the vagina. 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, 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 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, especially for people who don't have a vagina! However, since it is an activity that is considered taboo by many cultures, watch out for some negative emotional/psychological responses as well. 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 entitled "...Does anal sex "make" the virus?" (http://thebody.com/sowadsky/faqs/faq1.html#makeHIV).

RMK



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