Anal sex is a sexual practice as normal as any other, practiced by many as an alternative to vaginal sex or to complement the latter during sexual intercourse.
However, it is important that both you and your partner know certain details before proceeding with the practice, since, due to the anatomical nature of the anus, certain actions need to be carried out in advance.
In this article, we will provide you with some tips, precautions and interesting information that you should know about anal sex, regardless of the sexual orientation of the participants.
What is anal sex?
Anal sex is a sexual practice that has existed since time immemorial. However, in the past, the practice of anal sex was not openly accepted by society, even being considered a punishable act .
Fortunately, times have changed. A significant portion of countries have modified their laws, people have become more open about this sexual practice, as natural as any other.
In this sense, in the United Kingdom many surveys show that the number of people who say they practice anal sex has increased over the years, especially among young adults and middle-aged people.
Sex educator Alicia Sinclair says that the acceptance of anal sex and its incorporation into the sex lives of many more heterosexual couples is due to more and more people feeling more comfortable with their sexuality in general.
However, unlike vaginal sex, anal sex requires prior preparation, to avoid injuries, infections, or any other problems that may arise.
It is recommended to apply security and hygiene measures previously.
Recommendations for safe anal sex
Many of the associated stigmas associated with anal sex stem from the fact that it is not an area that naturally lubricates itself, in addition to the fact that the rectum is the exit site for waste from the body.
However, it is a pleasurable practice carried out by both homosexual and heterosexual couples, likewise the key to obtaining pleasure at the highest level lies in the practice of anal sex safely.
Next, we will show you a series of recommendations for enjoying anal sex, so that it is pleasant for both of you, always remembering that sexual health must be the cornerstone of any sexual practice.
Do it under mutual consent
Communication is essential in a relationship. The sexual sphere is no exception to the case. If you want to practice anal sex with your partner, it is important to start the topic beforehand, thus avoiding misunderstandings.
When talking to your partner, express your wishes and recommendations, but you should also listen and respect the opinion of the other person, since consent is important to maintain a healthy sexual life.
It is important to establish mutual trust, roles, keywords that tell the other person when to stop or continue, but at a lower intensity and establish limits.
Maintain proper intimate hygiene
Maintaining good anal hygiene is important, as the perianal region is home to a number of bacteria, such as Prevotella and Bacteroides . It is recommended to wash the perianal area before and after starting anal sex.
It is important to keep in mind that vaginal penetration should never be started right after having practiced anal sex, both parties should clean their genitals before making the change. If you or your partner used a condom, it should not be used if you want to have vaginal sex.
Always use condoms
Although hygienic practice helps to significantly reduce the risk of urinary tract infections, the use of condoms is also recommended. They act as physical barriers, protecting both parties.
A sexually active person who practices anal sex with different partners should always use condoms accompanied by the use of other hygienic measures, to achieve the greatest comfort and enjoyment for both parties.
Use water-soluble lubricants
Not all lubricants are suitable to be used. Some can create allergic reactions, generating inflammation, discomfort and burning. They are composed of cellulose and glycerin esters, allowing the fabric to retain moisture.
Unlike fat-soluble lubricants, water-soluble lubricants do not increase the risk that the condom will break during sexual intercourse, because their composition does not interfere with the condom’s latex.
Stimulate the area previously
Stimulating the area is an imperative step. The foreplay (or previous game) allows the muscles of the rectum, such as the sphincter of the anus, to relax, facilitating penetration. However, if there is not enough sexual stimulation, penetration will be painful.
Remember that, unlike the vagina, the rectum lacks glands that secrete lubricants. Therefore, stimulation and lubrication are needed.
Start slowly to relax the area
After lubrication and previous stimulation, penetration should be done slowly at first. The rectum is narrower than the vagina, requiring more care.
Communication is essential in anal sex. Never hesitate to ask your partner if it hurts and if they want to continue intercourse. Under no circumstances should a partner be forcibly entered during the first moments of anal sex.
Avoid violent movements
Sudden movements, either at the beginning or end of penetration or during position changes, can injure the rectal mucosa.
When injured, it generates pain, discomfort and discomfort to the person being penetrated. Additionally, it acts as a gateway for microorganisms, possibly causing an infection.
As always, we recommend starting penetration slowly, maintaining communication during intercourse, and educating yourself in advance on what to do and what not to do.
use sex toys
The use of sex toys is highly recommended, since the part before anal sex is even more important than the culmination, so that it is pleasant for both parties.
In addition, for beginners in anal sex, sex toys help to slowly and pleasantly dilate the anus, losing fear and increasing relaxation, which is essential for enjoyment.
They can also be used alone, exploring your own body, to find out if you like it or not, in addition to gaining more confidence. For those more experienced, it helps them to continue experimenting and increasing their pleasure in this practice.
There is a wide variety, from anal beads, vibrators, G-spot stimulators, double penetration toys and many more. It all depends on the curiosity and desire of the participants to experiment and achieve maximum pleasure.
Problems associated with anal sex
Anal sex can bring with it certain associated problems, due to its incorrect practice. Below we will detail those most common inconveniences after performing anal sexual act.
Tears or fissures
The anal fissure is defined as the linear tear of the skin that lines the anal canal, commonly painful and varies in its shape, which is usually elliptical, as in its length.
The extension of the fissure is generally below the perianal line to the edges of the anus, its cause is multifactorial and affects men and women equally.
In most cases, it is due to minor trauma caused by the passage of hard and bulky stools associated with constipation, whether acute or chronic.
Less frequently, but probably, are fissures or tears caused by anal penetration during sexual intercourse. They are generally associated with poor lubrication of the area, without proper prior dilation.
The most frequent symptoms are pain when defecating and blood on the toilet paper when cleaning the anus. These anal fissures can heal quickly, or be chronically prolonged, therefore it is recommended to see your GP.
Rectal bleeding is one where there is blood coming out of the anus, this can be discovered by seeing the blood stain on the toilet paper when cleaning the area, or by seeing the drops of blood in the toilet, generally after defecating. .
Bleeding caused by anal sex may be due to a fissure or tear in the anal mucosa, caused by poor lubrication accompanied by excessively sudden movements at the time of anal intercourse.
The color of the blood is very important to distinguish the possible origin of it. It ranges from bright red blood, likely originating from the rectum or lower colon.
On the other hand, the dark red color usually indicates that it comes from the colon or small intestine. It is common for rectal bleeding to occur from hemorrhoids, they are veins that swell in the rectum or anus, being internal and external respectively.
Hemorrhoids develop from chronic constipation, pregnancy, heavy lifting, or anal penetration.
Sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted infections can be transmitted during the practice of any sexual contact, be it vaginal, anal or oral sex.
In this sense, anal intercourse is the sexual practice with the highest risk in terms of HIV transmission for men and women, since they usually do not use condoms due to various myths or beliefs.
Among these, there is the myth that anal sex without a condom is less painful, or that you cannot contract sexually transmitted diseases, which is false . A good lubrication and stimulation is the key for a satisfactory penetration.
Therefore, sexual practice without the use of a condom is risky and counterproductive for the couple who is having anal intercourse, since during this there may be microscopic wounds, potential entry routes for HIV.
Among the potential risks for contracting diseases such as hepatitis B, syphilis, or human papillomavirus, is having sex without a condom, multiple sexual partners, or anonymous partners.
In the same way as sexually transmitted infections can occur, you can contract another type of infection but in this area those related to the exchange of positions from anal to vaginal sex.
The rectum contains many bacteria that can be harmful to health, an example of this is infection by uropathogenic E. Coli , a strain of bacteria capable of causing urinary tract infection. Another example is the Hepatitis B virus .
In the anal sexual act in which the condom is not changed or the penis or sex toy is properly cleaned, bacteria can be transmitted from the anus to the vaginal canal, causing infections.
This is because the rectum acts as a fecal reservoir for E. coli, therefore, to avoid the transmission of infections, it is recommended to change the condom each time you enter a different orifice, or, failing that, clean the penis. with soap.
pain and inflammation
Anal pain is pain that affects the area of the anus and rectum, it is usually very frequent and its causes include constipation, anal fissure, hemorrhoids, anal sex, diarrhea, trauma, and anal cancer.
In relation to inflammation of the rectum, one of the risk factors is the practice of unprotected anal sex, in which they can be exposed to sexually transmitted infections that are frequent causes of rectal inflammation.
Some measures to relieve pain and avoid inflammation of the rectum or anus during anal sex are proper lubrication, stimulation and dilation, avoiding multiple sexual partners, and the use of a condom from the beginning to the end of the sexual act.
Fecal incontinence is one where there is an involuntary and sudden loss of feces when the anal sphincter is not capable of containing them. Gas leaks, with or without the presence of feces, is called anal incontinence.
There is no evidence to support the theory that anal sex increases the risk of fecal incontinence , since anal intercourse, unless overly aggressive, does not damage the muscles or nerves of the anus.
The most frequent causes that can cause fecal incontinence are; muscle damage, nerve damage, chronic constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse or surgery.
Therefore, performing anal sex safely, always with proper lubrication and stimulation prior to the act, does not represent any risk of suffering from this type of incontinence.