11 Important Hygiene Measures for Anal Sex

Before practicing anal sex, it's crucial to take into account some important hygiene measures to enjoy this sexual experience.
Isbelia Esther Farías López

Written and verified by the philosopher Isbelia Esther Farías López.

Last update: 15 November, 2023

Those who wish to practice it should know about the important hygiene measures in anal sex, to both fully enjoy and, at the same time, prevent any inconveniences and health problems.

The implementation of precautions and hygiene measures will not detract from sensuality or affect your performance. In fact, these safety measures only help the encounter to go as smoothly as possible and, therefore, can be both satisfying and memorable. Let’s learn more.

What is anal sex?

As the name implies, anal sex is sex that involves contact with the rectum or anus. Such contact can be with a finger, the penis, a sex toy, or even the mouth.

This is a relatively common modality, although not everyone likes it. According to the results of research carried out with university students, 37.9% of people surveyed practice anal sex.

On the other hand, studies indicate that anal sex has also become a more common practice among heterosexual couples, although there are still some taboos about it.

Hygiene measures for anal sex

By taking the necessary measures to avoid pain, ensure smooth and relaxed penetration, and avoid diseases, anal sex can be pleasurable for both parties.

1. Wash the anus well

A woman showering
Washing well before anal sex is a very important hygiene measure.

Regardless of the type of anal activity performed, it’s important to take time for hygiene. This will prevent accidents or infections after sex.

It’s important to use soap and water to wash the external part of the anus. Some specialists also recommend the use of an enema for proper cleansing of the rectum. You could also try to defecate before sex or perform an enema.

How to perform a washing enema

  • A volume of liquid is introduced to distend the colon and generate the expulsion of retained fecal matter.
  • This is the most commonly used enema at a private level and can be applied by the individual him/herself. You can buy an enema kit at the pharmacy.

2. Wash your hands well

Your hands should be washed often. They are the means of transporting bacteria and microbes from everything you touch. In fact, in order to practice anal sex, it’s recommended that your hands be disinfected properly. Therefore, it can be an interesting option to get a disinfectant gel to clean your hands both before and after sexual contact.

3. Disinfect your sex toys

For the same reasons mentioned above, if you’re going to use sex toys (such as dildos) to insert them into the anus, it is advisable that they are clean.

4. Use lubricant

it's important to wear a condom and lubricate for anal sex.
It’s very important to wear a condom and lubricate for anal sex.

Unlike the vagina, the anus does not lubricate itself. Therefore, the use of lubricant is necessary to minimize the risk of pain or tearing during penetration. It’s also important that this lubricant is water-based.

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5. Wear a condom

It’s important to remember that the anus is an area as or more sensitive than the vagina. And since it doesn’t lubricate equally, there is a propensity for small fissures and wounds to occur in the anus, which could favor the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, such as HPV, among others.

For such purposes, it’s important to wear a lubricated condom, which helps to fulfill both functions: protection and lubrication. This is especially recommended if you are going to be with someone who is not your regular partner.

6. Be very careful

It is essential that the person who decides to start having anal intercourse knows his or her body well and is aware of the warning signs. Pain indicates that you should back off and wait for the anus to adapt to the new practice.

Pain should never be endured: sex is about enjoying and not suffering. Besides, the pain warns that a tear or anal fissure may occur.

Foreplay such as anal fingering, massaging, kissing, and caressing the most sensitive parts of the person is recommended so that he/she can relax and enjoy.

This is totally logical if you think about it for a moment. If the person is relaxed, the musculature around the anus will more easily allow for penetration.

7. Do not have vaginal sex afterward

In the case of heterosexual partners, do not have vaginal contact immediately after having anal sex to avoid transferring bacteria from one medium to another, as noted in an article entitled Introduction to Vaginal Infections.

First, the penis should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. Then, of course, a different condom should be used. If vaginal sex is practiced after unprotected anal sex, serious infections could be contracted.

8. Also avoid combining oral and anal sex

The anus is one of the most bacterial parts of your body. Therefore, it’s not recommended to perform oral sex (fellatio) after anal sex. It would be better to do it before, and with this, there would be even a little more lubrication.

9. Anilingus

The sexual practice of anilingus (“rimming” or a “rim job”) involves contact between the mouth and the anus.

In this case, it’s essential to wear a plastic latex mouth guard to create a barrier between the mouth and anus, thus protecting both from diseases. In this regard, some studies have reported cases of streptococcus contagion.

This is not a highly recommended practice given the dangers of anus-mouth contact. However, there are special condoms and special protectors for this purpose. If you decide to do it, it’s advisable to consult a medical professional to know all the protective measures.

10. Beware of hemorrhoids

hemorrhoid's after anal sex
In case you have external hemorrhoids, small cuts, fissures in the rectum, or any other anal disease or condition, you should avoid anal sex.

Some people have internal hemorrhoids and don’t even know it. These are called grade 1 or internal hemorrhoids. The American College of Gastroenterology notes that their most common symptom is bright red blood on toilet paper.

During anal sex, the penis or anal toy may rub or bump these internal hemorrhoids. This could produce irritation and cause bleeding and pain.

In case you have external hemorrhoids, small cuts, fissures in the rectum, or any other anal disease or condition, you should avoid anal sex. It’s always best to wait until you are recovered.

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11. A note on waxing or bleaching

Some people express that having sex with a waxed anus is much more pleasurable and pleasant, as well as obviously aesthetic. However, this corresponds to the taste of the practitioners.

Most women wax multiple areas of the body, including the anal area. This is a matter of aesthetics whether one decides to practice anal sex with or without hair.

Why take hygiene measures for anal sex?

As you have seen, there are several risks that can be run when practicing anal sex, from the possibility of contracting an STD (sexually transmitted disease) to suffering tears or infections.

It’s also possible that the person already has a disease, which is relatively common. The case of hemorrhoids was mentioned. However, in addition, there may be fistulas, prolapse, pruritus, abscesses, pilonidal disease, and levator ani syndrome, among others. In these cases, the care and hygiene measures must be even greater.

Of course, all this does not mean that you should stop practicing anal sex. For those who want and enjoy it, it can be another source of pleasure. You must simply take the corresponding hygiene measures before and during anal sex.

Any questions about anal sex?

Although in today’s society anal sex is still a taboo subject, there are medical professionals in the field of sexuality who can provide accurate information about it.

For this reason, if you want to start this practice, it’s best to consult a professional who knows all aspects of the subject and can provide the best hygiene guidelines for anal sex. Everything else is up to you.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.