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What is anal sex, and how do you do it? Are there any risks?

Anal sex is when a penis or other object is inserted into a partner’s anus. Like any other sexual behavior, some people find it very pleasurable and others don’t. Some people are curious about it, and others know it’s something they’re not comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with engaging in anal sex, but whether it is right for you is something only you can decide.

Since the anus is not capable of producing its own lubrication (as the vagina can) and the tissue of the anus is very fragile, it is important that additional water-soluble lubrication (a variety of brands are available at drugstores) be used during anal sex. Without lubrication, there may be pain, discomfort and tearing of the tissue in the anus. During anal intercourse, as with any other type, comfort and relaxation are important for a pleasurable experience. When inserting a penis into the anus, go slowly and stop if there’s pain or resistance. It’s best if a person empties the bowels (poops) before anal intercourse and washes well before and after anal sex or oral-anal contact.

Couples who engage in anal intercourse need to know that it is one of the ways that STIs/HIV can be spread sexually. This is because the lining of the anus is prone to tearing if there is not enough lubrication. This creates small tears in the anus where it is easier for STIs, HIV particularly, to get in. As with any other type of sex, safer sex is absolutely necessary during anal sex. There are lots of ways to reduce the risk of getting or giving a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from anal sex. For example, you can use a condom on the penis of your finger if you’re performing anal penetration with your finger. You can also use an internal (female) condom on the penis for insertion in the anus. For oral-anal contact, you can use a dental dam over the anal area.

People have a lot of different feelings about anal sex. Some people think that only those who identify as gay have anal sex. But that’s not true. Anal sex can and is practiced by people of all sexual orientations. At the same time, some couples don’t engage in anal sex.

If choosing to have anal sex, a person should never put the penis into the vagina after it has been in the anus without changing the condom or washing the penis first. The bacteria in the anus can cause severe vaginal infections. In addition, regardless of the sex of each partner, after the penis has been in a partner’s anus, it should never be inserted into a partner’s mouth without changing the condom or washing the penis off first. Just as bacteria in the anus can cause severe vaginal infections, it can also cause oral and intestinal infections. It is also possible to get pregnant through anal sex if semen runs out of the anus into the opening of the vagina, which is not far away—which is another good reason to use a condom.

Before engaging in anal intercourse, make sure that you and your partner have discussed and agreed upon it. Never pressure someone or let someone pressure you into having any kind of sex.

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