Anal sex or anal intercourse is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus , or anus and rectum , for sexual pleasure. While anal sex is commonly associated with male homosexuality , research shows that not all gay men engage in anal sex and that it is not uncommon in heterosexual relationships. As with most forms of sexual activity, anal sex participants risk contracting sexually transmitted infections STIs. Anal sex is considered a high-risk sexual practice because of the vulnerability of the anus and rectum. The anal and rectal tissues are delicate and do not provide lubrication like the vagina does , so they can easily tear and permit disease transmission, especially if a personal lubricant is not used. Strong views are often expressed about anal sex.
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. As more couples explore this type of sex, understanding the risks, rewards, and proper strategy is important. According to the Centers for Disease Control CDC , anal sex is primarily growing in popularity with couples under age You might think of anal sex as anal penetration with a penis, but you have a few more options.
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Back to Sexual health. Penetrative anal sex has a higher risk of spreading STIs than many other types of sexual activity. This is because the lining of the anus is thin and can be easily damaged, which makes it more vulnerable to infection. Use a water-based lubricant, which is available from pharmacies.