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Painful anal sex

Many women and men sometimes have pain during anal sex. The partner who is being penetrated is most likely to experience some pain. So only do it if you're feeling relaxed. And stop if it hurts.

What causes the pain?

  • You haven’t used enough lubricant.
  • Your anal sphincter is not relaxed.
  • You are being penetrated too deeply.

How does it work?

With anal sex, it's important to relax your anal sphincter. When you're relaxed, a finger, penis or dildo can go in. The size of it in particular plays a role. The thicker the penis or dildo, the more difficult it is to have pain-free anal sex. Always use a lubricant. The anus does not lubricate itself when you’re aroused.

This is how to avoid pain during anal sex

  • Take your time until both of you are aroused.
  • Make sure you’re relaxed. A few deep breaths can help.
  • Start by fingering or licking the anus.
  • Press gently on the anal sphincter; this relaxes the internal sphincter. That makes it easier to have anal sex.
  • Use sufficient water-based or silicon-based lubricant.
  • Build up the pace gradually. Ask your sex partner if it feels good.
  • Try out different positions. Having anal sex is easier when your hips are tilted. Lie on your side with bended knees, or go on your hands and knees.
  • In men, deep penetration stimulates the prostate and the muscles surrounding the rectum. If this feels uncomfortable, don't let your partner penetrate you so deeply.

Bleeding and pain in the anus

Do you suffer from pain, irritation or itching in your anus? Or have you noticed bright red blood on the toilet paper? Maybe you have an STI or haemorrhoids (piles). Talk to your doctor about this. Don't have anal sex if it hurts or if you bleed.

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