What happens when you put two taboo topics together?
You get a shamed topic like anal sex with hemorrhoids.
But with the estimate that up to 75% of folks will experience hemorrhoids sometime in their lives, and the fact that anal sex and anal play can be an enjoyable path to sexual pleasure and expression for many folks, this is a topic many people want to know about. So I applauded writer Jessica Toscano at Self Magazine when she contacted me for an article she was researching on whether anal sex causes hemorrhoids and how to have safe and enjoyable anal play with those pesky little fellows. I’ve included parts of the article below, but read the whole article for a helpful dive into this murky topic.
“Maybe you’re new to butt play and excited to see if it helps you have really great sex. Or perhaps anal activities are a consistent part of your sexual repertoire, and you don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. Either way, it’s worth discussing whether anal sex can cause hemorrhoids. It’s not that we want to be complete anal buzzkills. We just want you to know the potential pros and cons of anal penetration so you can prepare as much as possible to have an excellent time.
When it comes to the anal sex and hemorrhoid question, however, the answer is a little complicated.
What even are hemorrhoids?
They’re basically piles of veins inside your rectum (internal hemorrhoids) and around your anus (external hemorrhoids), according to the Cleveland Clinic. […]
That brings us to the key topic of how to have the best and safest anal sex possible. If you’re experiencing hemorrhoid symptoms, you may want to hold off on anal sex to avoid increasing discomfort, says Dr. Krishnareddy. Otherwise, you can follow these tips from Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D., a sociologist and sexologist in San Diego and author of the forthcoming book From Madness to Mindfulness: Reinventing Sex for Women.
Research any health conditions you have that could impact anal sex. Whether it’s occasionally symptomatic hemorrhoids or a GI issue, familiarize yourself with important information that may make you feel more at ease.
Explore on your own first. Using your pinky finger and a lot of lubricant (particularly one that’s thick and silicone-based for staying power), slowly and gently explore what kind of anal stimulation feels good to you. Becoming familiar with what you like may help you feel more relaxed if you decide to try anal play with a partner.
Establish boundaries. Before you even begin to explore with your partner, state upfront what’s OK and what isn’t. Also mention at what point you may want to stop (like if you begin to feel pain or start to bleed) or that you may need to pause to give your body time to adjust to sensations.
Engage in a lot of foreplay. If you’re just starting out and super nervous, it’s really important that you’re already aroused before you dive in. This way, your body is more likely to respond positively when you start any anal play, rather than being like: um excuse me what is that doing there?
Use a ton of lube and go slowly. When you try anal with a partner, you can essentially do exactly what you did when trying it with yourself. Basically, douse your anus and whatever will be penetrating it with a ton of lube, start small, and go as slowly as necessary.
Wear a condom to reduce the risk of contracting STIs. Unless you’ve both been tested and are sexually monogamous, safe sex is a must during anal penetration. That might mean putting a condom on a penis or on a sex toy that your partner is also going to take for a whirl (or that’s going to touch any part of you besides your anus). This is another reason why silicone-based lube is excellent for anal play; the oil-based stuff can degrade the latex in condoms.”
Read the entire article Can Anal Sex Cause Hemorrhoids.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego sexologist, keynote speaker, & sociologist