Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peter, is it normal to feel sore after bottoming?

[Peter Pointers is here 4 YOU, as a service to LifeLube readers - whatever question you may have regarding sexual health, physical health, mental/emotional and spiritual health - ask him. He will find the answers you are looking 4. Below is a recent Q&A you may be interested to read.]

Question: My question is i been haveing anal(bottom)since december and i find that i get sore for a while is that normal is there anything i could put on the hole and also ive been doing bottom every weekend with different guys(safely) is that normal?

Answer: To begin my response, I wanted to make a comment about your questions asking if your behavior or the things you are feeling are "normal." The idea that our actions are either normal or abnormal is not something that I can determine. I do not look at behaviors as normal or abnormal. As a health educator, I focus on the risk that a behavior has to interrupt your health and at ways to reduce that risk. "Normal" is too subjective of a word, as what may be "normal" for one person may not be "normal" for another. I encourage people to do whatever they feel comfortable with in as safe of a way as possible.

So, in regards to your question about having anal sex, as the bottom, with different guys each weekend, we can talk about the safety aspect. Of course, increasing the number of partners that you have can increase the risk that you have to catching an STD (including HIV). It's GREAT to hear that you are doing this safely. I assume that means that you are using condoms correctly every time you have sex. Keep that up, because condoms are one of the best ways we know to protect ourselves from STDs and HIV if we are going to have sex.

Also using lots of lubrication reduces the risk of condoms breaking or any tearing in the anus. We recommend that anyone having sex, especially with more than one sex partner, to get tested every 6 months for STDs and HIV. I'm not certain where you are located, so if you needed help finding a place to get tested (some places are for free) let me know and I'll help you out. If you wanted to do this on your own, you can always use the site www.hivtest.org.

Now, for feeling sore after having anal sex; this is something that other men have asked about. There are a number of reason why someone could feel sore after sex, so if you find that it continues even as you try different ways to prevent it, you may want to talk to a medical provider about more personalized reasons that you may be feeling discomfort (such as an STD, anal fissures, hemorrhoids, etc.).

However, as I mentioned above as a way to protect yourself, using lube can also help to reduce irritation from anal sex. Using LOTS of lube (and reapplying often during a sex session) will reduce the amount of friction and prevent tears in the anus. Also, taking it slowly when starting to have anal sex is important. The anus is a muscle just like any other in your body. Therefore, just like you would stretch your legs before running a race, you may want to prepare your anus. You could do this by starting with smaller objects (like fingers or toys) to stretch out your anus before having your partner go inside of you.

Another important practice is having your partners enter at a pace that you are comfortable with. Good communication is key here. Also, trying a position that puts you in control of how quickly your partner enters you (so you can control the speed and depth from the start) may help.

Remember, if the pain persists or if you have other medical issues along with the pain (such as discharge or blood from the rectum), please see a medical provider.Here is some more information from Go Ask Alice! (a trusted site out of Columbia University in New York) about pain in the anus after anal sex.

Be Well,
Peter Pointers
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