You don’t need to dig around too deep to read about someone’s anal sex horror story. There are tales of peoples asses falling out, people needing adult diapers for the rest of their lives, even people dying as the result of anal sex. While any of these things could happen the truth is that they don’t, at least not very often. And if they did, it isn’t because someone had anal sex, it’s because someone had dangerous anal sex.
There’s a difference.
Anal sex, and anal play more generally, can be safe, pleasurable, and come with no bad effects on your body whether it’s your first or 101st time. That said, there are some unique risks that come with anal sex that you need to know about in order to prevent them from happening to you. These include:
The lining of the anal canal and rectum are thinner and more easily torn than tissue inside the vagina. Since there is no natural lubrication, there is no protection from friction. But there are simple ways to address this, ways that also make sense from a pleasure perspective. Start slow, make sure you know your own limits, and use lots of lubricants.
At the opening of the anus, where the outside of your body becomes the inside of your body, there are two ringed sphincter muscles. It’s not common, but the sphincter muscles, like any muscle, can tear.
Tears can heal and be repaired, but paying attention to your body, going slow and never forcing anything into the anus is also essential for safe anal sex.
The Vacuum Effect
This may be a lesser known concern, but it’s key if you want to avoid an embarrassing and possibly dangerous trip to the ER. There is a sort of vacuum or suction effect in the anus and rectum such that once something slips past the sphincter muscles, it can be drawn up further into your body.
If you are experimenting with anal play and using toys or objects that aren’t attached to someone’s body, you should always use sex toys designed for anal penetration. They will have a flared base or a large ring or handle designed to prevent losing your object in your body.
Lack of Sensation
Since there are few nerve endings once you get higher into the rectum, you won’t necessarily feel pain right away if there is tearing. If you get a cut on your skin you can see if it’s still bleeding or how it is healing. It’s important to pay attention to your body during and after having anal sex (particularly if it’s vigorous) and see a doctor if you experience lasting pain following anal sex. This is one of the reasons why people say safe and fun anal sex requires a greater awareness of one’s body, not just to feel the good stuff, but to know if something bad is going on.
No matter how much you clean beforehand, anal sex will always involve contact with some fecal matter. There are many ways of internally and externally passing the fecal matter to other parts of your body that can cause serious health risks. Always use condoms and gloves, and wash up well before and after anal sex.
Remember that anal sex in and of itself is not dangerous, despite what a lot of old books and other people may say. Like most sexual activities, anal sex can be safe and pleasurable, as long as it done properly.