There may be multiple reasons why you or someone you know may be afraid of anal sex. This could be due to numerous reasons some include: the physical pain, being self-consciousness or anxiety about hygiene, medical issues or injury, shame or stigma around the bottom role or STD/HIV transmission. In the previous blog we discussed the physical pain, this blog we will be focusing on being self-consciousness and anxiety surrounding hygiene.

A common fear amongst men is not being ‘clean down there’. This is because it is not just theoretical it can be a reality. The fear of not being clean and free of any faecal remains in the anal canal can lead a number of males to self-cleaning via douching with enema bottles. When this is practiced regularly it can almost become obsessive where it can feel as though it is never clean enough. This can have very negative consequences where the important mucosal lining in the anal canal is stripped and this can lead to health complications. 

This fear can be due to a multitude of reasons, perhaps they have experienced a socially awkward or embarrassing situation in which they had to stop sex early or they may know of someone who has experienced a negative encounter during anal sex. The fear may also be due to a discussion either themselves or a discussion about the person whom they were intimate with, thus in turn can instil a huge amount of fear. 

Let us not forget that our past has a significant impact on the way we see ourselves and the world around us. Males who have experienced bullying of any sort may have social anxiety surrounding the topic, which can intensify feelings of fear. Even those who have not experienced bullying but are fearful of how others will respond to them if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation can overwhelm an individual and the potential embarrassment or shame can put a huge damper on experiencing anal sex. Even though these sexual accidents are not a big deal in reality, let’s point out how they never happen in porn, which leads us to a false sense of reality. 

What is important here is the cognitive reframing, if we fear a sexual accident so much that it stops you from trying anal sex when you really want to, then the fear is given all the power and not allowing you to try something that interests you. There are a numerous books, blogs, vlogs, videos etc that discuss hygienic preparation for receiving anal sex, most will describe using a water douche, however, the important part to note will be ways to do that gently and safely. So, if the fear of hygiene is stopping you, make sure you research ways for good anal hygiene practises and if you prepare yourself in the right way then the likelihood of all the awful situations you have built up in your head will be slim. But, let us also remember accidents happen and you are a human so it is about feeling comfortable with your sexual partner to share your fears and concerns about anal sex, there is no shame in it being your first time, if anything this will allow the other person to understand your fears and be a little gentle. P.s there is no harm is asking someone to take it slow or stop.   

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Stef Gafa’ is a counsellor with Willingness who has a particular interest in trauma, attachment, domestic violence and the LGBT community.