Anal sex is considered controversial if not illegal in many cultures and is even prohibited by some religions, in part because of its association with homosexuality. By contrast, other people regard anal sex as a natural and fulfilling form of sexual activity.
Anal sex can be defined as: “Sexual activity involving penetration of the anus”;1 “Anal sex is any kind of sex which involves a person’s anus or rectum (their butt). That can be oral sex, manual sex, or it can also be anal intercourse, with either a penis or a sex toy”2 finger or other objects.
Anal sex does have health and safety risks that those who practice it must be aware of. Condoms or gloves will help protect against infections and diseases like HIV (see SexEd.net Topics Barriers & STDs and STD).
For those thinking about trying anal sex, it’s important to understand the risks and possible rewards associated with this type of sex.
The sourced articles below should provide more information on anal sex.
- Footnotes: 1. dictionary.com, accessed on 4/27/2018; 2. “Oral sex, manual sex, anal sex…what’s it all mean, jellybean?” scarletteen.com, accessed on 4/27/2018
- Is Bleeding Normal After Anal Sex?
“‘Blood from the anus after anal sex may occur,’ Thomas P. Sokol, M.D., a colorectal surgeon at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, tells SELF. This is due to the basic anatomy of the anus and rectum. (Once you insert something past your anus, it makes itself at home in your rectum, the final portion of your large intestine.) … If you only see a few small splotches of bright red blood and you aren’t in a ton of pain or discomfort, you may be dealing with something like a small tear or hemorrhoid, Dr. Sokol says. … But if the bleeding and pain persist for even a couple of days, you should definitely see a doctor for evaluation. That could indicate a more severe issue.”
Sophie Saint Thomas, self.com, 2/23/2019
- Why Anal Sex Is Pleasurable For Some People — But Not Everyone
“When it comes to actually enjoying anal sex, there seem to be a few components at play: someone’s body and anatomical structure, plus their emotions surrounding the act, says Patti Britton, PhD, MPH, a clinical sexologist in Los Angeles. Together, these factors determine whether or not people like anal sex. But, of course, everyone is different.”
Cory Stieg, refinery29.com, 1/4/2019
- Anal Sex: What You Need to Know
“When it comes to lube, silicone-based lubes are easier for anal sex, as they are slippier and tend to stay on longer. The problem? Some silicone lubes corrode latex due to a high oil content, which can cause condoms to break. Google the silicone lube you’re considering using before trying it with condoms. Likewise, stay clear of all oil-based lubes, as these too can damage the integrity of a latex condom. When in doubt, go for a water-based, unscented, unflavored lubricant if you’re unsure about the lube you’re using.”
Gigi Engle, teenvogue.com, 5/16/2018
- Anal Sex Safety: Everything You Need To Know
“Anal sex is a bit of a taboo subject, despite the fact that it’s an increasingly popular sexual activity. As more couples explore this type of sex, understanding the risks, rewards, and proper strategy is important.”
Kimberly Holland, Medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, MD, healthline.com, 1/10/2018
- 4 Ways You Can (And Can’t) Get Pregnant
A board-certified OB/GYN on anal sex and pregnancy. A free, one-time registration is required in order to view the full linked article and all other content on the Medscape/WebMD site.
Heather Rupe, DO (board-certified OB/GYN), webmd.com, 4/17/2017
- Anal Sex And HIV Risk
“Anal sex is the highest-risk sexual behavior for HIV transmission. Vaginal sex has a lower risk, and activities like oral sex, touching, and kissing carry little to no risk for getting or transmitting HIV. The vast majority of men who get HIV get it through anal sex. However, anal sex is also one of the ways women can get HIV.”
CDC resource, cdc.gov, updated 10/27/2016
- A Big Mistake People Make When Having Anal Sex
“Here’s a PSA for doing it in the A.”
Zahra Barnes, self.com, 8/20/2016
- 16 Surprising Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Get Pregnant
“Yup, folks, it’s true. A woman can get pregnant during anal sex.”
Krista Torres, buzzfeed.com, 7/21/2016
- 9 Things You Need To Know About Anal Sex
“Here, sex experts share what you need to know if you’re interested in trying out anal sex. …
[1.] It shouldn’t hurt. … Skip experimenting if you have hemorrhoids or are having digestive issues, and use plenty of lube.
[2.] It won’t ‘stretch you out.’ …
[3.] It may cause an orgasm. …
[4.] Start slowly. …
[5.] It’s all about communication. …
[6.] Skip an enema. …
[7.] Use condoms. …
[8.] Try a toy. …
[9.] Aren’t into it? Don’t do it. …”
Anna Davies, prevention.com, 11/19/2015
- 5 Doctors Answer: Should You Have Anal Sex?
“These are the medical pros and cons.”
Lane Moore, cosmopolitan.com, 10/2/2015
- Can A Girl Get Pregnant From Anal Sex?
“No. It’s not possible to become pregnant from anal intercourse — when the penis is inserted into a partner’s anus. But pregnancy can occur if semen is spilled into the vagina or into the vulva during any kind of sex.”
Kendall @ Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, plannedparenthood.org, 8/24/2011
- Is Bleeding Normal After Anal Sex?