Anal sex is perfectly healthy and safe in both the long and short term. As with vaginal sex (penis-in-vagina sex), there’s a very small risk of leakage and prolapse (when your pelvic muscles weaken and cause organs to slip down) over the course of a lifetime. Anal sex can also aggravate existing hemorrhoids.
People who have anal sex can follow a few simple guidelines:
- The anus doesn’t make enough lubrication on its own for comfortable anal sex, so it’s important to use plenty of lube. Go slowly. Stop if anything hurts and let your partner know how you feel — sex that’s painful or uncomfortable shouldn’t continue.
- Like unprotected vaginal sex, unprotected anal sex can spread STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes, HIV, HPV, and syphilis. Oral contact with the anus (aka analingus or rimming) can also lead to intestinal parasites and hepatitis, so good hygiene is very important.
- Use condoms during anal sex to help prevent STDs. Make sure to only use water-based or silicone-based lubricants with latex condoms. Using an oil-based lubricant, like coconut oil, can damage condoms and cause them to break.