QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Sex & Lust Department
Please remember, this column is designed
to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not
intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional,
individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those
of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com
I had a girlfriend once who asked me at the end of a love making
session if I wanted "to do anything else?" She was asking
if I wanted to have anal sex. I have never had anal sex. I don't recall
ever being conditioned that this was not normal but my instinct tells
me that this activity is abnormal. Is this safe? Are there things
one should know about if it is tried?
You are not alone in having mixed feelings
at the thought of anal intercourse. It is not as frequently talked about
as penile-vaginal intercourse nor as commonly practiced (see previous
column for information on frequency). As with any sexual practice, do
not allow yourself to be pressured into any activity that does not feel
OK. You, as well as your partner, have the right to say no and either
of you can change your minds in either direction at any time. That is
what the phrase, "between consenting adults" is about. You
are wise to gather as much good information as you can to help clarify
your decision. Then you may decide to give it a try or to keep things
as they are.
So here are some things that
are good to know about anal intercourse. Is it safe? Well, certainly,
there is reduced danger of becoming pregnant. However, one drop of seminal
fluid or semen spilled too closely to the mouth of the vaginal opening
can lead to impregnation. Keeping track of such secretions can be a
chore when in the throes of passion. Make sure that such fastidiousness
is not the last thing on your lover's mind if you choose to experiment
with any type of sex that might result in sperm being deposited in the
general area of your vagina.
Also, while anal intercourse does not
cause AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it can lead
to transmission of AIDS or other STDs when either partner is infected.
This is because the rectum is not self-lubricating like the vagina or
even the mouth. The delicate tissues there are easily irritated or damaged
and can be an easy route into the body for infecting agents.
of course, there is the matter of fecal matter. It is filled with bacteria
that can cause very painful infections if transferred to the mouth,
penis or vagina. Therefore, there are some very Important Things To
Do if anal intercourse is to be a safer and more pleasurable experience:
- Use lots and lots of lubricant. This
should be water-based (have no oils in it), especially when used in
conjunction with condoms.
- Use condoms to reduce the possibility
of transmitting STDs or transferring feces. Remove the condom and
carefully wash the penis before engaging in any other activities.
- Entry should be gentle and thrusting
slower and shallower than in vaginal intercourse to prevent or reduce
irritation or tearing of rectal tissues.
- Experiment with angles of entry and
positions to reduce discomfort and increase pleasure