Anal sex can be a pleasurable experience for gay men, but there are a few things you should know before having anal sex and a few tips to help ease the pain.
- Know how the anus works.
Before having anal sex, let's talk about how the anus works. The anus is the opening at the end of the colon which controls the passage of waste. Waste passes through the small intestines to your colon, then your rectum and finally out the anus. The opening and closing of the anus is controlled by the internal and external sphincter muscles (the most important muscles when engaging in anal sex). The sphincter muscle is a sensitive membrane with many nerve endings and thus the source of pleasure or pain.
- Reduce the pain.
Pain associated with anal sex can be due to pressure or friction against the sphincter muscles, hemorrhoids or anal fissures. Some pain can be reduced by properly lubricating. Seek a gay-friendly doctor for assistance with hemorrhoids, fissures or other medical conditions.
- Get to know your body.
The more familiar you are with your body, the more enjoyable anal sex can be. Each person's sphincter muscles react to penetration differently. Since the muscles control the opening and closing of the anus, you need to learn how yours works. Spend time safely exploring the sensitivity of your sphincter and how it reacts when you are relaxed or tense. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. Use a small sex toy, then gradually increase the size. Exploring the sensitivity of your sphincter is an exercise both you and your partner can enjoy prior to penetration. Openly communicate how you feel in certain situations: What makes you tense? What are your limits? Stop if you feel uncomfortable, experience pain or bleeding. The more you both know about your bodies, the better your anal sex experience.
- Practice good hygiene.
Many gay men shy away from anal sex because of the possible hygiene problems. Maintaining proper hygiene is not only important for an enjoyable anal sex experience, but your health as well. Cleaning can be overdone, however. Be careful with over the counter internal cleansing products. They contain harsh ingredients not formulated for the anus. Also, avoid over wiping as this can cause irritation and bleeding. Baby wipes also contain perfumes that can irritate the skin. To properly clean, use premoistened adult wipes, like Charmin Fresh Mates or Kleenex Cottonelle Flushable Wipes.
- Beware of the dangers of STD's.
The anus is a thin membrane and therefore a hot bed for sexually transmitted diseases. HIV and other STD's can easily enter the bloodstream, especially when there are abrasions or tears in the anus. Having a thin membrane between your bloodstream and your partner's bodily fluids is what makes bareback sex so dangerous. Always use a condom and practice safer sex.
- Dispel anal sex myths.
Many gay men avoid seeking medical attention because they feel if they've had anal sex the doctor can immediately tell. Yes, the anus is stretched after anal sex, but it returns to normal soon after. If you think something may be wrong with your anus, see a gay-affirmative doctor.