Using anal lubes is very important during anal sex because it reduces the risk of abrasions or tears that could potentially absorbed sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Anal and rectal tissue are not self-lubricating and therefore external lubricants are absolutely essential. Using anal lubricants is makes anal sex more pleasurable, decreases the risk of condom breakage and protects the sensitive tissue around the anal opening. Anal lube can be water based, silicone based or oil based, although oil based lubricants break down latex condoms and therefore only polyurethane condoms should be used with this type of lubricant. Water based anal lubricants are the least likely to damage condoms, and having an effective condom is crucial during anal sex, as the risk of contracting HIV is twenty times higher during anal sex than it is during vaginal sex.
It is best to choose gels that are specifically designated as anal lube, although non-specified lubricants will work, too, just not as effectively. Anal lubes are thicker than traditional lubricants and last longer, although they tend to be stickier and often feel tacky when dried. Some anal lube has benzocaine, an anesthetic, to reduce sensitivity. While this may be tempting for people just beginning to experiment with anal sex, anal lube with anesthetic reduces your important pain receptors that tell you when your body is in need of more fragile handling. Using anal lubes with anesthetics makes you more likely to cause painful and potentially long-term damage to your sensitive anal tissue because you are less likely to feel the tears as they occur. It’s also best to use anal lubes because they are not flavored or scented, as these additional perks are irritating to anal tissue, which is much more sensitive than vaginal tissue. If you have sensitive skin or allergies already, it is likely that you will be extra sensitive to the additives in some anal lube, so test the product on the inside of your wrist (a sensitive area of the skin) to see if you have a negative reaction.
Products that are designated as anal lubes have gentler ingredients that are less likely to irritate sensitive skin, in comparison to some traditional lubricants which have ingredients that are exclusively toxic to rectal tissue. Silicone based lubricants are generally favored for anal sex because they are smooth and silky without being oily (and thus causing a lack of friction which is crucial to sexual sensation) and they are the least likely to cause allergic reactions or painful skin irritations. Although oil based anal lubricants may seem like a good idea because many of them are made from all natural ingredients, oil leaves a thin film on the skin which can harbor infection-causing bacteria and, as previously stated, oil lubricants are dangerous to latex condoms or any latex material.