Although anal sex is a matter of high controversy in many cultures all throughout the world, many studies indicate that this sexual practice is on the rise. Whether it is seen as a way to spice things up in the bedroom or an experiment to enhance sexual pleasure, numerous medical studies confirm that it is quite harmful to your health. Although anal sex is often justified as an expression one’s sexuality, this justification does not hold its ground in the light of several medical studies.

It is interesting to note that anal sex is becoming common among heterosexual couples as well. However, the take of men and women on this sexual practice is quite different. According to a recent study in the British Medical Journal, young men tend to correlate anal sex with the following:

-Achieving more pleasure
-Mimicking what they see in porn, and
-As a way to assert their manliness

However, women tend to have a different attitude. They tend to associate this activity the most to:

-Physical discomfort
-Demeaning, and
-Something they feel pressured to do in order to please their partner

However, most of these young men and women have no idea about the harmful effects of anal intercourse.

What are the different types of anal sex?
Anal sex can be termed as any sexual activity involving the anus. Particularly, the type of intercourse when the penis is inserted into the rectum via the anus. However, there are other practices that are equally dangerous:

-Insertion of ‘butt plugs’: These are sex toys that are meant to be inserted anally
-Postillionage: This involves inserting a finger in the partner’s anus
-Rimming: Involves oral to anal contact (this practice is especially dangerous as it carries a heavy risk of infections)

Is all this safe?
This is a very important question and it has a very simple answer-No. There are many health risks that are associated with such a sexual practice. Some of the risks are as follows:

-Bacterial infections: The anal cavity is lined by a mucous membrane that does not pose a strong barrier like the skin. This makes the lining prone to injury and infection during anal intercourse. The anal cavity is filled with many bacterial that can cause some serious infections. These infections can lead to severe gastroenteritis as well.

-HIV transmission: Numerous studies have confirmed that there is a greater chance of HIV transmission through anal sex compared to any other forms of intercourse. The risks are especially greater for the receiving partner.

-Anal cancer and HPV infection: Many studies including studies conducted by the American Cancer Society, have found out a strong connection between the practice o anal sex and anal cancer. These studies show that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can be easily transmitted through anal sex.

-Hepatitis: A number of hepatitis infections including Hepatitis A and C can be transmitted through a rectal contact.

What can you do to keep it safe?
Although anal sex is a very risky affair, there are certain things that you may keep in mind if you are willing to take the risk.

-Make sure that you are using condoms and water-based lubes during anal intercourse.
-Ensure that the rectum is completely empty and clean before you engage in this practice.
-Proceed with care and be very gentle.

The bottom line
There are many other safer sexual practices that can be infinitely exciting as well as rewarding. Given the health risks associated with the practice of anal sex, it makes little sense to give it a try. It is especially not comfortable for the receiving partner and many women are not comfortable with it. Trust me, if you have not experienced anal sex, you are not missing anything. It is highly overrated and quite frankly not as much fun! However, if you do want to venture it, make sure that you are protected and make sure that you take it as gently as you can.

Enjoy sex at with safety.

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