MPact has launched its new #AnalAboutMyHealth campaign ahead of the 2018 International AIDS Conference. This campaign provocatively asks gay and bisexual men (and anyone with a butt) to think responsibly and pleasurably about their anal health.
Have you ever fucked, fingered, fisted, licked, pissed in or inserted a toy in someone’s ass, or had it done to you?
If yes, then CONGRATS! You’ve engaged in anal sex.
And let’s be clear; ass play is fun, it’s sexy and if you love it, you are likely to do it more often. Now for an even more enjoyable experience, sit back, breathe deep and read about some health basics.
Lubrication: Whether you’re a first timer or a veteran, lubrication is your best friend when engaging in anal sex. It will help things go in and out smoothly, prevent condom breakage, and decrease the odds of an injury. Let’s face it, it’s sensitive down there and some of us like it rough. So basically, once you get wet, work on staying wet.
Condoms: Although you might not be a big fan of a rubber between your penis and its warm destination, you can appreciate that it also forms a barrier to HIV and some (not all) STIs, that are commonly carried in bodily fluids. If you’ve never used one and would like to, experiment with them on your own. Here are some things to know:
- Water based lubricants are ideal to protect your condom;
- Change the condom when you move from one entry point or person to another;
- If you’re using one, use it from the beginning of your love-making;
- Make it part of the fun (you can practice putting it on with your mouth or get flavored condoms for instance); and
- The next time, you plan to get down and dirty, don’t forget to invite your other best friend to join – lube!
Get PrEPped: Although cum and piss are on the menu, we’re here to talk about PrEP. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a pill taken regularly by HIV-negative people to prevent infection. If used consistently, PrEP can virtually eliminate the possibility of becoming infected with HIV. Unfortunately, it doesn’t prevent other STIs, so you’ll still need to test for STIs regularly and consider other forms of protection.
U=U: Suppress HIV! HIV viral suppression is great for the body and for sexual partners. If you’re living with HIV and have achieved an undetectable viral load by taking medication regularly, there’s no evidence that HIV can be transmitted to your sexual partners. So stay on track with your meds and viral load testing, and suppress HIV.
PNP: We’re talking about ‘pee and pee’ and also about ‘party and play’! If you use drugs and alcohol with sex, here are some tips for striking the right balance:
- If lubricant is your best friend when engaging in anal sex, then depending on the drug of your choice, drinking water and/or electrolytes like Gatorade can be your BFF when you’re fuckin’ high. Stay hydrated, and yeah we mean, swallow all the H2O in that water sports cup.
- Polyamory is love with no barriers but poly drug use requires some precaution – Keep drug and alcohol mixing to the minimum, but wait, if your drug of choice is G, say a big ‘NO’ to alcohol for that weekend. Mixing can be deadly. Don’t mix viagra with poppers or other stimulants like coke or tina (crystal meth). While we appreciate your non-discriminating, all-inclusive attitude in general, your body might not appreciate it.
- If you don’t know the exact source of your drugs, don’t go all out all at once. Pace yourself. It helps when some drugs are not used on an empty stomach.
- Know your body and know your limits as dosing is key with many party drugs – you can handle 9 inches, but can you handle that eight ball tonight?
- If you’re slamming, be prepared with distilled water, alcohol wipes and cotton swabs to prevent bacterial infections. Find a reliable friend who can stay sober, stick around and look out for you and your buddies.
- Although sharing is caring, have your own when it comes injecting equipment. Not only do needle exchange programs provide clean syringes, but many pharmacies are required by law to sell them with no questions asked.
- If you have an emergency, don’t be afraid, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- After a party weekend, food, hydration, sleep, hot showers and massages are your best go-tos. Be kind to yourself and pamper yourself.
- If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol use or unsure about it, talk to a friend, colleague or a healthcare professional about it.
Talk, talk, talk: One last tip is to communicate. Talk to your friends, talk to your sisters, talk with your co-workers, talk to your fuck buddies, talk to your lovers and husbands, and talk to your health care provider. Learn more about your sexual health. You can also talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights (formerly known as MSMGF or The Global Forum on MSM & HIV) was founded in 2006 by a group of activists concerned about the disproportionate HIV disease burden shouldered by men who have sex with men. MPact works at the intersection of sexual health and human rights, and is linked to more than 120 community-based organizations in 62 countries who are fighting for the sexual health and human rights of gay and bisexual men around the world.
Check out these sites for more information on anal health: