Should I Always Use Lubricant During Anal Sex?
We’re going to cut right to the chase with this article: if you’re having sex, you need to use a lubricant. No ifs, ands, or butts (excuse the pun) about it – lube is important for both partners, and you should never even attempt sex without it.
You probably realize that lube is sometimes optional for vaginal sex because the vagina provides its own lubrication, but the anus isn’t biologically designed for sexual penetration. While it produces some fluids, it doesn’t really lubricate, so lots of friction can occur. If you have sex without an added lubricant, you’ll risk damage to the sensitive tissues in that area.
It’s especially important to note that when anal damage occurs, infections are common. There’s fecal matter in the colon (duh) and bacteria that help your body break down food matter, so a cut or wound can take a long time to heal. The best course of action is to prepare thoroughly before sex, and that starts with lots of lube.
Here are a few tips to make anal sex more comfortable and safe for both partners:
Use a Lube Designed for Anal Sex – Thicker lubricants often work better for anal, since they stay in place and they don’t tend to dry out quickly.
While water-based lubricants don’t last as long as silicone or oil-based lubes, they’re inexpensive and easy to clean up. Silicone lube works well, but it’s not compatible with most silicone toys. Oil-based lubricants aren’t safe to use with latex condoms, but they provide an excellent slickness. However, they’re often difficult to clean up.
Generally speaking, a thicker water-based lube offers the best balance in terms of features, but experiment with different types of lube to see what you prefer. Avoid lubes with added cooling or warming ingredients at first, as these can make anal sex a little too intense for first-timers.
Use More Lube Than You Think You Need – There’s a popular saying on major Internet sex forums: when you think you’ve used too much lube, you haven’t used enough.
Of course, this depends on the type of lube you’re using; oil and silicone lubes last much longer than water-based lubes, so you can generally use less of these products. Still, err on the side of safety by using a liberal amount. Keep extra lube by the bedside in case you need more once you get started.
Avoid Desensitizing Lubricants at First – Some lubes contain ingredients like benzocaine and lidocaine, which gently numb your nerves to limit sensation. However, pain is your body telling you to stop, and if you’ve never had anal sex before, you’ll need to know when you’re at your limit. Don’t use a desensitizing product until you fully understand how your body works; if desensitizing lubes appeal to you, you can try one after you’ve had comfortable sex with a standard lube.
Start Small and Go Slow – We strongly recommend using small toys for anal play before having intercourse. This prepares your body and gives your muscles time to adjust. Ideally, you should experiment with toys for several weeks before trying anal intercourse, gradually moving up in size as you become more comfortable.
Look for a toy that flares out towards its base, as this prevents it from slipping completely inside you (if this happens, you’ll probably need to visit the emergency room). Use plenty of lube and stop immediately if you feel pain. Non-porous toys are a must, as porous materials can inadvertently cause an infection by trapping fecal material and bacteria.
Finally, remember to stay safe when enjoying any type of anal play. Use a condom and clean everything thoroughly, including any toys. Talk to your partner and make sure you have a plan to go slow. Anal sex can be a fun and surprisingly intimate act with the right partner, but proper preparation (and plenty of lube) is certainly a key part of the experience
What Guys Should Know About Prostate Massage and Prostate Health
September is National Prostate Health Month, and it’s a good time to learn about what your prostate is, what it does, and how you should care for it as you age.
As we covered in an earlier article, the prostate is a small compound gland that plays an important role in the male reproductive system. It creates a milky fluid that makes up most of the content of semen. Several issues can affect the prostate as men get older; most symptoms show up sometime after 40, but disorders can begin at any age.
The most common conditions include prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), enlarged prostate, and prostate cancer. There’s some overlap between these conditions and their symptoms.
How Prostate Conditions Form and What to Know About Treatments
As you age, hormonal changes and other natural processes can affect how your prostate functions. Your prostate grows throughout your life, and various factors (including your own biology) can affect this growth. This sometimes results in an enlarged prostate that puts pressure on your bladder and urethra.
If you have an enlarged prostate, you’ll frequently feel the need to urinate – in fact, you might feel like you need to go again as soon as you’re finished. You may wake up several times per night to go to the bathroom, but many sufferers aren’t able to sustain a strong flow when urinating. You may also experience sexual problems including erectile dysfunction (ED).
You should immediately make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms in order to get a clinical diagnosis. The good news is that there are quite a few effective treatment options, which vary according to your age and the exact nature of your condition.
Are There Benefits to Prostate Massages and Enemas?
Among in-home treatments, prostate massage is an especially effective therapy for many men. It’s also extremely pleasurable (hence its popularity). You’ll need a high-quality prostate massager, which inserts rectally – use plenty of water-based lubricant and choose a smaller tool if you don’t have much experience with anal penetration. By moving the massager against your prostate, you can stimulate an orgasm, and the increased blood flow may help to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms associated with the condition. Some urologists also think that massage could relieve the tension in the nerve endings around the prostate, essentially providing less pressure around the gland. Gentle massage is recommended.
Applying too much force could cause pain and increase the chances of an infection. One urologist notes that an “aggressive” massage could prompt an autoimmune response. Go slow, be gentle, and use lots of lubrication.
If you experience pain from an enlarged or inflamed prostate, your doctor may also recommend regular enemas with warm, sterile (but not antibacterial) water. This can temporarily reduce inflammation, limiting the pain and allowing for normal prostate function. However, it is important to use a sanitized enema kit, as you may increase your risks of prostatitis by using unsanitary materials. Talk to your doctor before performing an enema.
Physicians will often use medications to prevent inflammation and to treat the causes of prostatitis; as root causes can vary from case to case, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice symptoms. In some cases, you may need antibacterial medications or surgery.
This article should not be interpreted as medical advice – if you have prostate issues, you should always speak with your physician to get a diagnosis and to create an appropriate treatment plan. It’s also important to get regular prostate examinations after age 40 (earlier if you have a family history of prostate cancer).