Dr. West





Anal Sex

Some research found that anal sex was shown in 56 percent of sex scenes studied even though national data of real people’s sex lives show that fewer than 5 percent of Americans had anal sex during their most recent sexual experience.

(Salon, Oct 5, 2013)

E-mail from a woman 

Dr. Weston,

My first experience with anal sex was terrible. I never wanted to try it again.

After my divorce, I met a guy that eased me into it, saying a lot of women like it.

He took his time with me and it became a different experience.

But I keep hearing about all the dangers....

      >>   Because we felt this subject deals largely with medical issues and we are not medical doctors, we have been avoiding addressing it.

But since it has come up more and more, maybe it's time to briefly cover it.

 >>   First, there are definite dangers -- many more than with vaginal sex. More on that in a moment.

At the same time, some women say it more readily results in a particular type of orgasm.

This is apparently because the penis can rub or brush against the the female prostate through the anal wall.

Without a condom (especially hazardous in this kind of sex), some people assume that pregnancy is impossible.

Not necessarily; ejaculate can run into the vagina. (The same thing can "conceivably" happen, even when the woman is a virgin.)

      >>   According to surveys most women who try anal sex say they don't like it. However, a few women say that once they get used to it, they prefer it.

Notwithstanding that anal sex and even double penetration by two men is shown in porno, the anus is intended as an exit point, not an entrance point. 

Since there is no natural lubrication, anal sex requires ample amounts of an artificial lubricant. (As the saying goes, "when you think you've used too much, use a bit more.")

Even so, there are two primary dangers: infections, due to the high number of infectious microorganisms not found anywhere else in the body, and physical damage to the anus and rectum (sphincter) due to their vulnerability.

Infections in this area are hard to treat and lesions in the sphincter do not readily heal.

Physical damage to the rectum and anus can manifest in generalized ano-rectal trauma, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and rectal prolapse.

Regular or rough anal sex can cause internal sphincter dilation that will result in uncontrolled "soiling" of clothes.

And, finally, there is the fecal smell normally associated with anal sex.

These are some but not all of the issues.

The bottom line with us is that there are much safer options for heterosexual couples.

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