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Why does anal sex hurt?

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Anonymous asks:

Manual sex feels fine but anal sex really hurts me. And my boyfriend use lots of lubricant but my ass really hurts during and after anal sex. Why does anal sex hurt so much?

Sarah replies:

Anal sex, or ANY type of sex for that matter, isn't going to be the "bee's knees" for everybody. Even if one sexual activity feels good, that's no guarantee that every type of sex is going to feel good either. It may just be that anal sex is not really your thing, and that's okay. Not everybody likes it.

There are some things that you can do to make sure that any anal sex you are trying to have is more likely to succeed.

  • First off, are you only engaging in the activity when YOU really want to? In other words, are you doing this for you, because you want to, and only when you feel ready for it? If not...if you're doing this because your partner wants you to but you really aren't that into it, or if you're doing it when you don't really want to...then that's probably a good sign that it's a time to step back. You should never engage in something you aren't really into.

  • Secondly, are you and your partner taking things slowly when you prepare to have anal sex? Remember that the anus is not exactly engineered like the vagina. Using lube is absolutely necessary, since the anus does not self-lubricate, so that's good that you are using that. But if you are jumping right into penetration with a penis or a large toy, it would be advisable to step back and start more slowly and with fingers or smaller objects (designed for anal penetration, of course). By working slowly with smaller objects before jumping to larger ones, you give your body time to relax and adjust.
  • Are you talking to your partner when you are attempting anal sex? If something starts to hurt, then you need to let your partner know. It may be an issue of adjusting the speed, angle, or depth of penetration to make things more comfortable for you. So let your partner know how you are feeling and try changing those things and see if it helps.
  • Also, if you have not yet had your annual exam, this would probably be a good time to go ahead and do that. Whenever you've having any kind of sex that's painful, it is wise to check it out with your health care provider and make sure that everything is physically good with you. This is even more important if you and your partner have not been using condoms for anal sex to this point. Any sort of injury or infection you might have is going to make things uncomfortable and needs to be addressed. Anal sex has pretty significant STI risks, so this is really something to make sure you're clear on.
  • Finally, if something hurts, then stop. Period. Any activity that hurts is not worth doing because it should NOT hurt. This simply may not be an activity that you feel good about, and that's okay.

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  • written 02 Jan 2008 . updated 20 Jan 2014

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