Anal sex… Some people love it. Some people are disgusted by the mere mention of it.
So is it really a special treat, or a very dangerous game that should be avoided at all costs?
The answer depends on who you ask and what their sexual preferences are. It’s not your place to judge another person nor is it another person’s right to judge your sexual preferences.
Here’s a question from a couple who watched an episode of “Talk Sex” with Sue Johanson. They’re wondering if we agree with her take on anal sex.
Dear Dan and Jennifer,
I watched your videos on YouTube and I wanted to explore a bit more one subject. My girlfriend and I have had anal sex several times, but she recently saw a episode of Talk Sex with Sue Johanson. In this episode she mentioned of all the bad things that can happen if one is to have anal sex.
Our question is the following: Will having anal sex about once, twice or even 3 times a month, with lube and no pain still lead to these problems? Is it eminent like cigarettes give you breathing problems? or possible like walking and twisting an ankle? Thanks, keep up the good work!
— Domenic, California
Is Having Anal Sex Dangerous?
Like all things, there are risks associated with having anal sex that must be considered and weighed against the pleasure and intimacy that many couples experience while engaging in this type of sex play.
Sue Johanson has written a really great article on the things to watch out for if you are going to have anal sex.
Check out her full article here.
In her article, Sue mentions many problems that could possible occur during anal sex.
Possible Complications Caused By Having Anal Sex
First, understand your anatomy. At the lower end of the bowel, there are two distinct circular bands of muscles called sphincters, one is located about an 1 ½ inches above the other. These clamp down tight to prevent the passage of feces or gas.
The mucous membrane which lines the rectum is not as heavy as the lining of the vagina, so it can tear quite easily, and it does not heal as quickly as the inner walls of the vagina. Because feces, loaded with bacteria, pass through the rectum any tears in the mucous membrane are vulnerable to infection.
The vigorous thrusting that may occur during anal intercourse can tear the mucous membrane.
What Can Happen If The Membrane Tears?
Tears in the mucous membrane of the rectum can develop into anal abscesses that can become infected.
Also, if your partner has any sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), then you could get infected through these tears.
Examples of sexually transmitted infections are: gonorrhea (treatable); venereal warts (treatable if external, difficult if up in the rectum); syphilis (treatable); herpes (treatment, no cure); yeast infection (treatable); and HIV and AIDS (treatment but no cure).
You do not want any of these STI’s.
Other Potential Problems Associated with Anal Sex
Some doctors claim that hemorrhoids (piles) could result from vigorous anal sex, and although I have no medical research to support this, I have heard people say that the rectum “gets sloppy”, meaning it stretches more than it otherwise would.
However, I am dubious. If anal “sloppiness” was true, why wouldn’t this happen as a result of regular bowel movements? Since there is no definitive research on this, I’ll leave it up to you to decide how you feel about this.
Should You Have Anal Sex Anyway?
Well, according to Sue, the best prevention is to not go there at all!
But if you do decide to try anal sex, she suggests that both you and your partner talk about it and agree on the following points. And we absolutely agree with everything she says in this list.
- Your partner must be very, very gentle, absolutely no forced penetration and no vigorous thrusting.
- You must use lots and lots of good lubrication, (anal lube, not saliva).
- Your partner must use a condom…all the time, every time.
- Your partner must respect “stop”. If you say ouch, or it hurts, or No or quit… they must stop immediately.
- It must be understood, if you do not want to have anal sex again, there will be no pressure, no threats and no pleading. NO means NO.
- Use a well-lubricated condom without spermicide, either on the sex toy or his penis. Spermicide can irritate the rectum.
- Never shift from anal sex back to vaginal sex without changing condoms. Feces can end up in the vagina and cause infections. And please wash your hands with soap and water after handling the dirty condom or you could still spread infectious material.
Just How Risky Is It?
The problems that Sue mentions in her article are definitely possible, but not necessarily probable…
Like smoking, the risks are lower if you do it less often.
Chances are you’re not going to get lung cancer from smoking one pack of cigarettes. And as long as you’re careful when having anal sex, the chances of running into the problems that Sue mentions in her article are greatly reduced if you do it very carefully and only occasionally.
Keep in mind that the rectum is designed as an “out hole” – not an “in hole”. Our advice is that if you are going to have anal sex, be very gentle and take it very slowly, use lots and lots of good quality lubrication, and save it as the occasional treat.
Don’t make it a regular activity that you do every day. Save it for special occasions.
Is It OK For Me To Talk My Partner Into Trying Anal Sex?
Like Sue, we get lots of questions from men wondering how they can “talk their girlfriend into having anal sex“. She adamantly says that you should never try to convince your partner to have anal sex.
We think it could go either way. We all use the art of gentle persuasion a hundred times a day to convince our kids to clean their rooms, to convince our husband to take out the trash, to talk ourselves into going to the gym when we don’t always feel like it.
Persuasion is not always a bad thing. Sometimes we need a little encouragement to move past our fears and overcome our shyness.
We do, however, want to stress that no one should ever be forced or pressured into doing any sexual act that they’re not 100% comfortable with and willing to do.
Do not confuse gentle persuasion with force and coercion!
Talk to your partner, and figure out works well for both of you. Sex should be enjoyable for both parties involved – anal or otherwise.