Condoms, when used correctly, are very effective at preventing both pregnancy and STIs. What happens when you enter the thrilling and seductive world of anal sex? You might be considering whether or not to use a condom during anal intercourse whether you are gay or straight.

No more enigmas! We're here to discuss the dos and don'ts of condom use during anal sex and suggestions for a safe and healthy encounter. So let's talk about the role of the condom in anal sex, while you're lubricated and feeling adventurous.

Table of Contents:

What is Anal Sex?

Anal sex is inserting your penis, fingers, or objects into someone's rectum. It typically involves anal stimulation and penetration to heighten sexual pleasure and orgasm. Therefore, it has become popular among adults who want to experiment with their sexuality⁠ alone or with a partner.

How is Anal Sex Different from Vaginal Sex?

Anal sex can be both pleasurable and risky simultaneously, depending on what you’re doing and how you go about it. Unlike vaginal sex, where you don't need lubricants, using a lubricant during anal intercourse is essential because it helps reduce friction between surfaces and minimises pain.

Furthermore, anal tissue is much more sensitive than vaginal tissue, so it requires more care and gentleness; otherwise, it can cause pain or tear of the anal tissue.

How to Have Comfortable Anal Sex?

If you are engaging in anal intercourse, proper preparation is critical. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind before, during and after to ensure safe and comfortable anal sex:

  • Relax - Make sure you're relaxed and enjoying yourself before beginning anal play. You can use different stimulation techniques, such as massage or foreplay, to help relax your muscles. Additionally, take breaks if needed so that everything remains enjoyable for both parties.
  • Always Use Lube - It is essential for an enjoyable experience since it helps reduce friction between surfaces and minimise pain. It's vital when engaging in anal sex to prevent unwanted injuries. Don't use oil-based lubricants with condoms for anal sex - only water or silicone based (source). 
  • Do It Slowly - There’s no need to rush, it’s better to take things slowly, and this advice applies to all types of sex. If you both take time and care to make anal sex as comfortable as possible, your experience will be successful. And remember, you can go as fast or slowly as you feel comfortable.
  • Cleanliness Is Vital - Cleanliness is key with all forms of sexual activity, especially anal sex. The potential mess that anal intercourse might create is one of the top concerns. No matter how tidy or prepared you are, getting dirty is always possible.

In one 2014 American study, 88% of men reported having an enema before receptive anal sex. 28% had an anal douche afterwards. In fact, water can damage the rectal mucosa - cells lining the rectum - and douching with water can actually increase the risk of transmission of STI organisms. 

In another 2019 study, rectal douching almost trebled the risk of HIV acquisition and also increased the risk of syphilis, hepatitis B and C, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and human papilloma virus (HPV).

For best advice, simply shower the external anal area with warm water and soap but do not squirt anything up inside the anal canal.

It's very important to keep washing your hands carefully with warm water and soap after having anal sex, to avoid getting infected with rectal organisms like shigella and E.coli. (Source)

Using a condom is another layer of protection by providing a barrier to bacteria and possible STIs.

Should I Always Use a Condom During Anal Sex?

We always say yes! Condoms are the most effective way to protect yourself from unintended pregnancy and STDs during anal sex. It is one of the simplest ways to minimise health risks related to anal play.

Anal sex is high-risk sex and still remains the most common route of transmission for new HIV infection in the UK. In a 2017 study, just under 40% out of 2,189 HIV positive men reported having anal sex without a condom in the previous 3 months. Having anal sex with a partner who knows they are HIV positive and is currently on antiviral treatment is not likely to result in HIV transmission. But having anal sex with a male partner whose HIV status is unknown remains a significant risk for becoming infected. (Source)

The Terence Higgins Trust recommends condoms are always used for anal sex. Men who have sex with men (MSM) also need to know about PEP - post exposure prophylaxis. If a condom bursts during anal sex, you can take antiviral tablets to stop the HIV virus multiplying in your body. However, you need to get to a sexual health clinic immediately as these tablets must be taken within 3 days (72 hours) of the accident. (Source)

Gay and bisexual men who are not in monogamous relationships and do not regularly use condoms are recommended to have a HIV test every 3 months. Otherwise, they should get a HIV test once a year.

You might think you can't get pregnant from anal sex (anal sex might be your way of avoiding pregnancy), but to be sure you avoid unwanted pregnancy, you should still use a condom during anal sex.

Sperm swims, and you may not realise you have engaged in double-dipping during a passionate moment.

Which Types of Condoms are Best for Anal Sex?

When choosing condoms, you need to ensure that they fit correctly and provide enough lubrication so there's no discomfort or tearing of the delicate anal tissue. The size should be snug but not too tight. Read more about choosing the right size condoms by clicking the link.

To ensure safe anal penetration, we suggest using condoms that are extra-thick and have an extra-large head diameter (like those in British Condom's Extra Safe range). Also, if you're using a silicone-based lubricant, make sure to use a silicone-based condom; likewise, if you're using a water-based lubricant, use a latex condom.

Other Tips for Great Anal Sex

Another method to explore your sexuality and experience new levels of pleasure is through anal sex. However, before committing, you should know a few things about safe and comfortable anal play.

You should use a condom during anal sex to reduce your risk of acquiring or transmitting an STI. Although male condoms might not last as long as female ones, they are generally safer for anal intercourse. Never reuse a condom. 

Keep a couple of extra condoms available, and move slowly. You and your lover can safely explore the fascinating realm of anal sex with adequate time and lots of lubricants.

Best Condoms for Anal Sex

To ensure you get the most fulfilment out of your experience, here are our top 4 suggestions for the best condoms for anal sex:

These condoms, created with extreme pleasure in mind, are thicker than conventional condoms, but at just 0.08 mm thick, they are still thin enough to produce powerful sensations with each thrust.

The Durex Extra Safe Condoms are an excellent option for rough vaginal sex, even though the manufacturers created them with anal sex in mind. The product is appropriate for guys who want a large-size condom, has a nominal width of 56mm and is 220mm long. The Durex Extra Safe Condoms are made of natural rubber latex and are odour- and flavour-free.

You can still experience all feelings and enjoy sex despite the condom's density over standard condoms. These condoms provide the highest level of comfort and protection.

The smooth, natural-coloured Adore Extra Safe condoms match your contour appropriately. They have a nominal width of 54mm, which makes them ideal for anyone who needs a regular fit.

However, you cannot use Adore condoms if you are allergic to latex because they are made of natural rubber latex.

The people who make Adore advise using a water-based lubricant if you need more lubrication, even when you are already lubed up with non-spermicidal lubricant. More lube will prevent friction or discomfort and boost enjoyment and happiness during anal sex.

Pasante makes Extra Condoms for people who enjoy rougher, more intense bedtime play or who require extra lubrication to boost pleasure during anal sex or in the event of vaginal dryness. These condoms, which have a nominal 52mm width and 190mm length, can fit all men who typically wear a conventional-size condom.

These condoms are ideal for anal and vaginal sex since they are slightly thicker than ordinary condoms yet ideally fitted to offer optimum comfort and enjoyment.

The natural rubber latex used to make Pasante Extra condoms is free of any components derived from animals. They are ideal for conscientious consumers and those with sensitive skin because they are skin- and vegan-friendly.

Are you seeking a thicker, regular-fitting condom to facilitate your sex life? Consider Mates Super Safe Condoms if you want the best anal sex experience. Mates make condoms to provide the highest level of protection against STIs.

The lubricant used in Mates Super Safe Condoms is not spermicidal. Although already lightly lubricated, we advise you to use an additional lubricant to reduce friction and increase enjoyment.

Mates makes these condoms from natural latex. The nominal width of these condoms is 52 mm, appropriate for anal and vaginal sex.

These condoms are smooth and particularly thick; they're ideal for people looking for a more intense experience or those who want to be extra cautious. The Mates Super Safe Condoms have a transparent, straight wall and a teat-ended design.

Feb 12, 2024
Reviewed by:
Jan 21, 2023
Written by:
Victoria Walsh