Is Rimming Safe?

If you’re completely new to anilingus or “rimming,” your primary concern is probably whether or not it’s a hygienic thing to do.  Licking the same opening your partner uses to take a dump means contact with unhealthy bacteria after all, right?  If you look this question up you’ll find a lot of different responses.  There are some people who are convinced that rimming is completely 100% safe and risk free between partners who practice fidelity.  Other people are convinced that this is one of the unhealthiest things you can do and that there is no way to make it safe without taking every possible precaution (i.e. wearing a dental dam; not the sexiest thing in the world).  Some people just steer clear completely.  Are these people being paranoid?  How many precautions do you have to take to reasonably enjoy yourself without exposing yourself to potential infection?

rimming safe

Health Risks

Give her the ultimate orgasm guaranteed without having to last long in bed… Find out more…[/caption]Generally speaking, HIV is not considered to be a risk when performing anilingus on a partner.  There are a number of other bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can be transmitted this way, however, including hepatitis A, B, and C, HPV, intestinal parasites, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, e-coil, and even throat cancer.  So yes, there are a number of possible health risks.  Some of these are STDs, and you’d want to protect yourself against them just as you would if you were performing fellatio or cunnilingus.  Others are passed from the gastrointestinal system and can cause serious illness, and that’s the added risk of rimming.

The other thing that usually isn’t considered is the risk to the receiving partner, though that’s generally minimal.  If for example you are performing and you have a cut in your mouth or an open sore, and you have an infection in your blood, you could pass that infection to your partner.  Avoiding this is usually just a matter of not performing when you have an open wound and you know you have an infection.  Protecting the partner who is performing is a bit more challenging.  There are ways that you can protect yourself and your partner however and still enjoy rimming.

Do You Really Need a Dental Dam?

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Many experts recommend that you use a dental dam or some other type of mouth guard (fashioned out of plastic wrap, for example) to protect yourself when you’re rimming a partner.  Let’s face it though; the vast majority of people aren’t going to find that particularly appealing, and won’t want to do that.  The experts are recommending this because it’s important to make the best suggestions for the safest possible sex, but whether or not you need to take this measure probably depends mostly on your situation.  Are you going to be rimming a partner you know really well and with whom you practice fidelity?  If so, you’re probably aware of any STDs, active digestive infections, and so on that your partner does or doesn’t have.  If you know your partner to be infection-free, you probably are fine with just a wash of the area and maybe an enema.

If however you don’t know your partner or you’re not sure who your partner has been with and what infections she may or may not have, you should probably play it safe and use some type of barrier protection as well as clean the area and use an enema.  Better safe than sorry; infections can be very serious.

Is the Anus Really “Dirty”?

That depends on whether it’s been cleaned or not.  It’s hard not to think of the area of our body which we use to take a dump as anything other than dirty, but it’s not like it’s being used for that all of the time.  It’s commonly stated by health experts that you can consider the anus to be clean after it’s been washed and disinfected using soap and water.  External skin which has been washed is clean regardless of where it’s located.  There’s nothing particularly special about that area.

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What’s probably more concerning is the cleanliness of the actual anal canal, especially if you’re going to be tonguing your partner.  Even after a bowel movement, it’s possible for some fecal matter to cling to the inside of the canal, posing a safety hazard, unless it’s flushed out.  One way to flush out the anal canal and get that fecal matter out is to use an enema.  It’s usually recommended that you use the enema two to three hours before rimming.  You’ll also want to space everything out according to your partner’s bowel movements so that the canal remains empty.  This may be more difficult (or impossible) if your partner has IBS, IBD, or some other condition which disrupts normal bowel movements.

One precaution to observe with enemas is that they can’t be performed all that often.  If you do enemas too regularly, they can actually make bowel movements irregular or cause other health problems, including serious conditions.  So rimming should be done in moderation for this reason; you can only flush out the anal canal every so often without causing electrolyte imbalance and other issues.

Talk to Your Partner About Safety

If your partner has safety concerns, it’s important that you address them thoroughly before you attempt rimming.  Communication is always key where sex is concerned.  Some people are immediately turned on by rimming, while others find it a deterrent, and the physical concerns aren’t the only reasons.  Your partner may be uncomfortable with the idea of rimming for other reasons.  The anus is a body part we’re taught to be ashamed of.  Addressing health and safety issues may be enough to convince your partner to give rimming a shot, but remember that other factors may be influencing her perception of the act.  You may want to address some of these psychological concerns as well so that she’s comfortable with the idea.  And don’t forge to explain why rimming is appealing to you, physically and psychologically.  Communicating clearly about your desires is one of the best ways to enjoy a fulfilling and safe sex life.

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