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Part I: The Ins and Outs of Anal

Dr. Steve McGough takes us through the ins and outs of anal in this two-part breakdown of everything you need to know about anal sex with your partner.
Ah, anal sex: another one of those taboo subjects that are often hard to bring up to partners or even your MD if you have concerns. From how to actually do it without hurting your partner to wondering if you can have too much anal sex, Dr. Steve McGough takes us through the ins and outs of anal in this two-part breakdown of everything you need to know about anal sex with your partner.

Can you have too much anal intercourse? If yes or no, why?


Yes, it is possible to have too much anal intercourse. This answer depends on the preferences of the person receiving anal intercourse, and their physical health. As far as the preferences of the person receiving, the main question is: Do they really enjoy it and do they want it more frequently? Or are they doing it to make their partner happy? If they want to engage in anal sex as frequently as possible, the limiting factor will be how quickly their mucus membranes can recover, if they have hemorrhoids or fissures or any other type of injuries. The mucus membranes in the anus are much more delicate than those in the vagina, and are more easily damaged with very small tears. How long someone should wait depends on their on body’s ability to recover, and varies from person to person. What could happen if you have "too much" anal intercourse?  There is a very real risk for causing anal tears or fissures, which can become infected.

What are some precautions to take when engaging in anal sex?


Use a lot of a viscous (thick) lubricant. KY jelly or similar personal lubricants are good for this. Many popular water-based lubricants these days are very thin and dry out more quickly. If, at any time, it feels like you need more lubricant; add more, don’t wait. It’s best not to use oil-based lubricants because they can cause condoms to break down more easily. Plus, many people find water-based lubricants easier to clean up. Start slow and let your partner who’s receiving lead the way. The sphincter muscles of the anus need to be able to relax and open, otherwise there can be a lot of pain during penetration. The worst-case scenario would be an anal tear or fissure. I don’t know any statistics on this and don’t think it is very common or we’d hear more about it but that key point is to be relaxed, aroused, and let the partner receiving control how quickly the penetration and thrusting happen. Always wear a condom. Even in a monogamous relationship where both partners have been tested for STIs, bacteria in the anus can colonize/infect the man’s urethra, which could cause problems for him and also potentially transfer to the vagina. Wearing a condom is critical for partners that haven’t been tested for STI and other diseases, because anal sex is more likely to cause micro tears in both partners. Both partners should urinate after having anal sex (even with the man wearing a condom, just for the sake of it). This is also a really good idea after vaginal sex. Never place a finger, penis, toy, etc. that has had anal contact into a woman’s vagina. If the woman’s partner stimulates her anus (penetrative or not), they should always wash their hands with antiseptic soap before they use the same hands (or any toys) with her vagina. Also, the partner giving should make sure their fingernails are short and that they don’t have any rough edges. If they haven’t been tested for STIs, etc. or if they have any rough places on their hands, they should wear a latex glove (or similar product). Of course, remove the glove before stimulating the woman’s vulva, vagina or clitoris.


Dr. Steve McGough, D.H.S is the Director of R&D, CTO hi® Master Level instructor and Director of R&D at Women and Couples Wellness, LLC, Associate Professor of Clinical Sexology, Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Steve is regularly interviewed by outlets such as Prevention, Redbook, CNBC, MSN, Women’s Health, Medical Daily, Glamour, Ask Men, etc. Steve McGough discovered the technology behind “hi” when trying to help Wendy (his wife) recover from a tragedy.

Dr. Steve McGough

"Dr. Steve McGough the author of numerous books dealing with wellness, massage, and intimacy. He has a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from the IASHS, and a BS in Biochemistry (focusing on nutrition) from UNC-Chapel Hill. Steve has an extensive background in massage and various Asian healing practices. He's the Director of R&D at Women and Couples Wellness, and a professor of Clinical Sexology. During graduate research, Steve developed new techniques to help women with anorgasmia (inability to achieve orgasm). Through this, he's worked with several thousand women and couples researching female orgasm. Steve has been published in academic journals on topics ranging from neuroscience research to sexology. He has multiple US & International patents in areas for women's pelvic and sexual health. A distinction with his approach is the view that sexual health is an integral part of overall health. Steve is frequently interviewed in Prevention, Women's Health, Medical Daily, CNBC, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Ask Men, etc. He & his wife Wendy frequently teach at Young Swingers Week, Naughty N Nawlins, Hedonism II, etc.
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