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Happy Pride

Pride is a time to remember what we are fighting for…equality of identity. So let’s take some time to highlight an LGBTQIA+-relevant topic that isn’t getting fair play in sex ed conversations: Anal sex.

Even in a month dedicated to sexuality and liberation, there are so many myths that I, a certified health educator, consistently find myself debunking. I can’t blame anyone for the confusion… common sources of education aren’t talking about it nearly enough! But, equality includes education, so let’s bust all the myths around anal sex!

Anal sex is penis, or toy, in anus (butt) intercourse. Anal sex can be a pleasurable experience for partner(s) involved because there are tons of nerve endings located in that area. Anal sex is a type of sex that people can find enjoyable—and contrary to popular belief—it can be no matter their sexual orientation

I often hear the question, “Am I gay if I have anal sex?”  

And my answer? Well, I guess it would depend. If you are person who identifies as a man, who is exclusively attracted other people who also identify as men: Viola! You may be gay.  It doesn’t have a lot to do with whether or not you enjoy anal sex though.

A person’s sexual behaviors are not the same as their sexual orientation. Many partners: straight, gay or neither enjoy different types of sex-- including anal sex. 

And guess what? That’s okay! Anal sex is a healthy and safe sexual choice that can be pleasurable for some partners and not so much for others. 

This month and beyond, we have to continue to destigmatize stereotypes that are not true. It’s unlikely that anal sex was mentioned in your common sex ed or health class, so here is some important information to remember when engaging in or considering participating in anal sex. 


Consent is required and communication is important (especially if engaging for the first time.) Consent is freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific. Consent can help partners feel comfortable and help figure out boundaries and preferences. 


Prepping for anal sex is another important step. 

The anus doesn’t produce its own lubrication and the tissue of the anus is fragile, so it’s important to use water based lubricant paired with a condom to help create a safe and pleasurable experience. Forceful penetration can cause small tears and fissures that can be uncomfortable and increase susceptibility to contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

 Some people also choose to use douching techniques when prepping for anal sex. While douching is not recommended for a vagina, it can be a choice for anal sex. Although, douching too frequently (once a day or more) can cause irritation to the anal membranes, which could also increase risk of infection.  


When or if choosing to engage in anal sex, a protection method is still needed. Dental dams can used during oral sex on the anus (rimming). Dental dams need to be held in place but can create protection from STIs like herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and hepatitis. 

External condoms can be placed on a penis or toy, while internal condoms can be placed inside the anus. It isn’t possible to get pregnant from anal sex, but pre-ejaculate or ejaculate could cause pregnancy if it gets in the vagina or around the vulva. 

Along with condoms, a person who feels they could be high risk for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) with a negative HIV status, can take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is used by all people, no matter their gender or sexual orientation for long-term use. PrEP protects against HIV.  According to Avert, if you are unsure if you should be taking PrEP, it can be a good option for those:

  • who do not use a condom consistently
  • who have multiple sex partners
  • with an HIV positive partner
  • who do not know their partners HIV status yet
  • who have sex for money or gifts
  • who share injection needles

If condoms were not used or a person believes they may have been exposed to HIV, there is also a post- exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is a form of emergency treatment taken after possible exposure to HIV. PEP is not for long term use. 

So now that we’ve debunked, do you have any questions? Educators like me are also available to answer any other questions.

Text PPNOW to 774636 or https://www.plannedparenthood.org/online-tools/chat

See you next month. 

--Your friendly neighborhood sex educator.

Do you know someone who could benefit from this article? Don’t be afraid to share! Send directly or share on your socials! You never know who could be curious!

Tags: pride