Q&A: Analingus And Having Safe Anal Sex

E-mail Email Icon Print Print Icon
Reddit Digg StumbleUpon Delicious Bookmark

QUESTION: I like to sometimes give rimjobs to my girlfriend and have anal sex with her. I was wondering - if we are both STI free, do I have anything to worry about, in terms of contracting anything? Also, I know anal sex can be dangerous if not done properly, but if done properly, is there any chance of hurting her during anal sex?

Subscribe to the Kinsey Confidential Podcast: iTunes | RSS

In recent years, anal sex has become a topic about which more and more women and men ask questions. Not all of them are having anal sex or engaging in anal play, but some are – and it’s important to seek out reliable information about sexual activities you’re not certain you have all the facts about. Good for you for coming to us to learn more!

Analingus (Oral Anal Sex)

The term “rim job” – for those not familiar with it – refers to stimulating a partner’s anus with one’s mouth, such as the tongue. It is also called “analingus”. It is true that sexually transmissible infections – or STIs – are not the only health risk of analingus.

Your partner’s fecal matter may contain a variety of bacteria and viruses that your body may not handle well. Men and women who engage in analingus would be wise to check in with their healthcare provider and to let them know of their interest in analingus. They may actually suggest certain vaccinations that can reduce your risk of acquiring a virus.

Reducing Infection Risk

You can also reduce your risk of problems associated with analingus by using a dental dam or a condom cut in half, lengthwise, as a barrier between your mouth and your girlfriend’s anal opening. Some couples add a small dab of lubricant on the side facing the partner’s anal opening, which can make the experience feel more slippery and pleasurable.

Safe Anal Sex

As for anal sex, it can certainly hurt even if it is being done properly. Sometimes people find that it is difficult to relax, or that they may not feel like they can ask their partner to stop if it begins to feel painful or uncomfortable. And sometimes people simply think they are doing it properly but are not really taking all of the measures they might to ensure comfort and safety.

For example, some couples don’t think to add lubricant when they have anal sex, and lubricant can greatly reduce the friction of anal sex and increase the pleasure and comfort for both partners. Like vaginal sex, anal sex that is very forceful or vigorous can leave one or both partners feeling sore, and can cause tears or cuts for the receptive partner.

Communication is key for both anal and vaginal sex, as are comfort and relaxation and checking in with each other to make sure that sex feels good.

Recommended Reading

To learn more, consider reading Anal Pleasure & Health: A Guide for Men and Women by Jack Morin.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
More posts by this author »

Comments