4 Things You Should Know About Anal Sex | Men's Health Magazine Australia

4 Things You Should Know About Anal Sex

In the past 20 years, substantially more Americans report having tried anal sex. Those who have tried it don’t typically have anal sex often. And, as scientists, we have a great deal left to understand about how people experience anal sex, what they do or don’t do when they have it, and how they feel about it.

As someone who teaches human sexuality classes to college students, though, here are a few thoughts:

Any kind of pressured sex is bad, but anal sex carries particular “feel bad” risks as the anus does not lubricate on its own and is ruled by two sets of sphincter muscles that don’t always easily accommodate penetration.

2. Use lots of lubricant.

In a recent study we conducted at Indiana University, we found that the use of either water-based or silicone-based lubricant was linked to high ratings of pleasure and satisfaction (compared to using no lubricant) but water-based lubricant came out on top. Both types of lubricant are safe to use with condoms. 

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3. Use a condom. 

HPV can be transmitted during anal sex, as can other infections (including HIV, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, etc). Because HPV testing is not widely available to men, most men have no idea if they have HPV or not – including the types of HPV that can raise the risk of cancers, such as anal cancer or penile cancer. Protect your and your partner’s health by using a condom during anal sex.

4. Go slowly.

Most people are not anal sex “professionals”, like the actors you might have seen in porn. Most men and women find the anal sex is most pleasurable when they go slowly and are gentle with penetration. Only when you are both sober, when sex is well lubricated, and when you are both very comfortable and experienced with anal sex should you consider more vigorous anal sex—and only when there is complete agreement and enthusiasm from both partners.

This article was originally published by Men’s Health.

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