When it comes to anal sex, there are several myths and misconceptions, pretty much like there is tons of misinformation about any other sexual act. Perhaps it’s due in part to the more taboo nature of anal sex. Or perhaps the decades of conditioning has put it in a locked box, hidden away. It’s normal to have questions like will it hurt, can you actually orgasm or how to practise it safely.

TC46 connected with Psychiatrist & Sexologist Dr Sanjay Kumavat from Fortis Hospital, Mumbai to debunk myths about anal sex. Here, he talks about what to expect, the possibilities of orgasms and the necessary precautions one must take when experimenting with anal sex.

1. What are some common myths & fears associated with anal sex, especially among women?

A well-known misconception about anal sex is that it’s unnatural and is an act of perversion. The second myth is that this intercourse will hurt and makes for a traumatic experience. The third myth is that only men are interested in anal sex.  The phobia among partners about it is so much that they never bring out the topic of anal sex while discussing their sexual life. It is also said that it leads to the transmission of HIV.

2. What can one expect during anal sex & how does it feel?

It is a different experience than vaginal sex, hence the experience for both the partners will be different. The anus has a dense network of sensitive nerve endings, so it is very receptive to sexual stimulation. It is going to expand the horizon of a person’s sexual experience. However, a preparatory word with your partner to allay any anxieties, if any, is a must. The feeling during anal intercourse is like a reverse bowel movement. The discomfort is felt while the partner is inserting their penis, once it is in, the feeling is like a deep tissue massage.

3. How is anal sex different from vaginal sex?

Anal sex is a type of sexual intercourse where the penis is inserted in the anus. One needs to be mentally prepared and relaxed before intercourse. During the process, one can feel a ring-like tightness over the shaft of the penis as against universal tightness across the entire shaft of the penis. This is because of the pressure resulting from the anal sphincter that tightens around the penis. The wetness is more felt and hence movements are smoother in vaginal sex. It requires more pressure than vaginal sex, as there is no lubrication. So, it’s advisable to use water-based lubricants. There is no chance of getting pregnant, however, chances of getting Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV-like infection, if performed unprotected, are very high.

4. Can anal sex lead to orgasm? What is an anal orgasm and A-spot in men and women?

Yes, it can lead to orgasm. In the anus, there is a high density of nerves, which on stimulating, increases the feeling of orgasm – which feels like the sudden release of sexual tension. For women, anal sexual intercourse applies pressure to the anterior wall of the vagina (located right beneath the bladder) deeper and closer to the Cervix, in an area known as the Anterior Fornix. This is the A-spot and produces similar waves like contractions.

5. Why does anal sex hurt? What are the general causes?

Unlike vagina, anal sex hurts due to lack of lubrication. Penetration without lubrication can tear the delicate tissue inside the anus, which can lead to pain and bleeding. The general causes can be identified as:

  • Lack of preparatory talk with a partner
  • Taboo and phobia about anal sex
  • Less / no use of lubricants
  • Forcing anal sex on a partner
  • Structural issues of penis viz. Phimosis (a condition in which tight foreskin can’t be pulled back over the head of the penis)
  • General diseases in either partner

6. What are the essential tips, techniques, and positions for practising safe anal sex?

condoms

Essential tips, positions, and techniques are:

  • Clean both the anal opening and the penis
  • Be open, frank, and honest about your sexual life, as monogamous partners are preferable
  • Use water-based lubricants
  • Always go for protected sex, meaning with the use of a condom
  • Avoid anal sex if there is any structural injury at either end

7. What are some risks associated with anal sex in women?

Some of the risks are that women might experience bleeding, excruciating pain, infections, rectal tears, and mental stress if forced upon.

8. What are the necessary precautions to be taken to avoid these risks?

Mental preparation, frankness, and honesty about sexual life, readiness to explore different ways of obtaining sexual pleasure, care and hygiene of penis and anus regularly. And the use of water-based lubricants is some of the precautionary measures to avoid risks.