Apr 252001

What STDs can I get from anal sex? Is it imperative that I wear a condom during anal sex to protect myself from disease? Is it dangerous for a woman to get fucked in her vagina after getting fucked in her ass?

—Condom Curious

The American Medical Women’s Association recommends that you and your partner should be tested for HIV 6 months after you or your partner has had sexual contact with a different partner. During that six-month period, you should practice safer sex. You can contract almost any STD, including herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV, as well as hepatitis, through unprotected analingus and anal penetration with an infected partner.

To reduce your risk, you should use barriers for analingus (rimming) and condoms for anal penetration. Originally designed for use by dentists as the name indicates, dental dams are squares of latex which safer sex practitioners have coopted for use as oral sex barriers. Because they were not developed with sex in mind, dental dams can be too small and too thick to make them ideal. Glyde Dams are a larger, thinner version designed specifically for oral sex which do the job much better than traditional dental dams. They are available at better sex toy stores. To make your own latex dam, you can cut a non-lubricated condom up one side; these tend to be thinner like the Glydes, which allows both partners more feeling and greater sensitivity. You can also transform a latex glove into a dam: cut the wrist and the fingers off, leaving the thumb intact. Open it up, stick your tongue in the thumb slot, and voila — it’s like a condom for your tongue! This is my favorite kind of a dam because it affords both giver and receiver the highest sensitivity. For obvious reasons, it’s best to use a glove that isn’t powdered or to rinse the powder off before you put your mouth near it. Try putting a dab of lube on the inside and outside of the thumb for even more sensitivity.

Store-bought plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap) is not just for leftovers — it also makes a good barrier for rimming. Plastic wrap is less expensive and easier to find than latex dams, which makes it more convenient. Another advantage: trying wrapping your sweetie’s privates in plastic — think of it as a homemade thong. Then you can go to town without having to hold the dam in place. Safe, hands-free ass licking at last!

Putting a latex glove on your hand for finger fucking protects both you and your partner, especially if you have any cuts, scratches or even torn cuticles. Gloves come in several different sizes, and you should make sure that they are well-fitting. A glove that’s too small will cut off your circulation, and one that is too big will feel baggy and uncomfortable inside the receptive partner. You can also wear gloves for other purposes: if your nails are long, sharp or ragged, if you are squeamish about the cleanliness of anal penetration, or if you want to smooth out your fingers before they go inside your lover. If you find that wearing latex gloves irritates your skin, you may be sensitive to the powder that coats the inside, which is common; find an unpowdered glove instead.

As part of safer sex, you should use a condom every time you have either vaginal and anal penetration. In fact, because of the delicacy of anal and rectal tissue, bodily fluids infected with HIV and other viruses are transmitted and absorbed easier and more quickly into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane of the rectum. Thus, unprotected anal intercourse can be more risky for both partners than unprotected vaginal intercourse.

You should never, ever put anything in the vagina that has been in the anus without thoroughly washing and disinfecting it first. Transferring rectal bacteria into the vagina can lead to yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and other ailments which will put a halt to your sex life. Just don’t go there. If you’re likely to want to use the same hand or tool in both the vagina and the anus, or your anus and then your partner’s, that’s a lot of running to the bathroom to wash up each time you want to switch gears. Using a new glove and/or condom each time you switch orifices or activities means less time cleaning and more time fucking.

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