Sunday, April 19, 2009

Q: "I want to try anal,
but sometimes I bleed"



Dear Go-To Girl,

I've been dying to try anal sex but there's one thing holding me back. Sometimes when I poop there is blood and I'm worried that having something like a penis in there would just rip me open. What's going on? Does this mean I can't ever try anal?

Brandy

Dear Brandy,

I'm not sure if Poison was talking about butt sex, but Bret Michaels once memorably sang:
Was it something I said or something I did
Did my words not come out right
Though I tried not to hurt you
Though I tried
But I guess that's why they say

Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn
I'm not sure if Mr. Rock of Love was talking about anal, but I think the song is apropo here. The skin of the ano-genital area is super-rich with blood vessels to make it able to stretch significantly for childbirth. That means that when any little old thing happens down there--rough sex, a shaving nick, a particularly tough poop--you're likely to bleed. That bleeding is hemorrhoids--the result of swollen blood vessels under the skin of the rectum or anus.

Hemorrhoids are very, very common in the US--probably due to the generally poor state of the national diet. The most common preventative measure recommended by physicians is to increase your fiber and water intake.

As to your anal sex concern, there are definite ways around this problem. First, don't try any anal action when you've recently had a bleed. The skin usually heals very fast but it's not worth making it worse by putting something big in your anus.

You can have a doctor check out your parts, too--if you have internal hemorrhoids anal sex is probably a bad idea. But if all you have is a small section on your anus that routinely bleeds a little bit--an external hemorrhoid--then anal exploration will likely be fine.

When you're not experiencing any pain or bleeding, try stretching the muscles out with fingers, a butt plug, and lots of lube. Doing so may actually reduce your bleeding because, over time, you'll stretch out the skin of the anus.

If, with exploration and practice, you have bleeding and pain, don't go further. But I think if you go slow and steady and work up to a good size butt plug, anal sex should be well within your reach.

Read all about anal sex in Tristan Taormino's excellent "The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women."

Love,
Go-To Girl

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