ANAL HEALTH ARTICLES
Bottom Condom Instructions HERE!
The bottom condom is a great alternative to traditional condoms, but some people do have problems using them. They may not be for everyone. A recent study by the University of Washington found that some men experienced slippage, and rectal bleeding when using the bottom condom, although these rates were not much higher when compared with regular condoms.
(Safety and Acceptability of the Reality™ Condom for Anal Sex Among Men Who Have Sex with Men AIDS (03.28.03) Vol. 17; No. 5: P. 727-731; Cristina Renzi; Stephen R. Tabet; Jason A. Stucky; Niles Eaton; Anne S. Coletti; Christina M. Surawicz; S. Nicholas Agoff; Patrick J. Heagerty; Michael Gross; Connie L. Celum - Monday, April 21, 2003)
This great alternative to traditional condoms is available, but not widely used. Why is that?
Why are you just now hearing about the bottom condom?
Did you know that the bottom condom was originally created and tested on gay men and then it couldn’t be approved because of the Federal bureaucracy’s stubborn and misguided belief that to do so would run counter to sodomy laws?
“The invention, which was tested on Chicago gay male couples in a 1990 trial, is a wide tube of extremely thin plastic, about three times as big as a conventional condom, with a flexible plastic ring around the closed end. Although the Chicago men expressed a high degree of satisfaction with what was then called the "Aegis," and evidence showed it was probably safe and effective, the Food and Drug Administration refused in 1992 even to consider it for possible use in preventing HIV transmission during anal sex. The FDA agency panel that quashed the Aegis approved a Pre-Marketing Approval application for the vaginal use of the device, and two years later cleared it for over-the-counter sales - the identical product, with a different instruction book - as the Reality™ brand "female condom." The company cannot legally promote the device for anal sex, even indirectly; so gay men have remained mostly uninformed about it. And allegedly the FDA's decision do prevent that potentially lifesaving information from getting out was deliberate, and based upon squeamishness about the mechanics of how the virus is spread, on archaic laws, and on homophobia. A spokeswoman at Female Health Company (FHC), which manufactures Reality/Aegis, told the Bay Area Reporter that FHC President Mary Ann Lieper was explicitly told at an FDA obstetrics/gynecology department Device and Diagnostics panel meeting, "Because sodomy is illegal in many states, we cannot support a male condom."
"’Female Condoms’ for Male-Male Sex: FDA DENIES REALITY TO GAYS” Mark Salinas, Bay Area Reporter, Feb 29, 1996.
Part of maintaining a healthy sex life is knowing your options. Another part is fighting homophobia, because homophobia continues to limit your options.
If you are looking for bottom condoms, ask PrideAlive. If you’re looking to fight homophobia, create a healthier community, and get bottom condoms, join PrideAlive!
A guide to disease and conditions affecting the ass.
“All right,” you say, “enough with the anal health stuff.”
We have told you how to take care your bum and you have heard for years about how effective condoms can be in stopping HIV from entering your body. What more could PrideAlive possibly say about your ass?
Well, friends, we’ve only just sat on the tip of the iceberg.
The fact is: a lot goes on down there. While some queer men prefer not to involve the anus in their sexual repertoire, we still take our booties wherever we go. Many conditions can impact your anal health aside from HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.
But, of course, it is always a sensitive topic for discussion with your doctor. Could the pain in your ass be related to the delightfully rough and raunchy evening you spent with those bikers from L.A.? Does that new unfamiliar growth between your cheeks have anything to do with that summer you ran off with the gay rodeo? Is it more painful to clench your buns together and hope it goes away, or to tell your doctor all the excruciating details of what you (and a few of your closest friends) have been doing with your butt?
The point is simple but important: you can draw all kinds of conclusions for yourself, but you simply won’t know until you see a doctor. Clinics like the Red Door in Minneapolis and Room 111 in St. Paul are helpful and gay-friendly. Waiting to see if symptoms go disappear may only prolong an unpleasant condition or give you a false sense of confidence.
Good prevention doesn’t just involve avoiding health problems—it means dealing with those problems quickly, before they get worse. If your rear end is troubling you, swallow that shyness and make an appointment. Your anus will thank you.
Aside from HIV and the usual suspects, what can disturb an otherwise happy and healthy butt? The smart people at Gayhealth.com certainly know, so check the Web site out for more detailed information. Here is a quick roll call of health conditions that can occur inside the warm cozy walls of your rump:
Anal pruritus means the skin around your anus itches. The degree varies from an occasional to severe itching that makes you scratch your skin until it bleeds.” Ow! Think about that the next time you see Homer Simpson scratching his tush. According to Gayhealth.com, anal itching can be caused by any number of things: diet, laundry detergent, soaps, perfume, parasites, or fungi. Certain kinds of latex and lube allergies can cause itching as well. Most often, a change in your daily life—like the kinds of food you eat or the types of household cleaners you use—will help alleviate symptoms.
Oh my God, run! It’s Dracula’s kinky cousin and he’s carrying Crisco and a glove! Whoops, made you look. Seriously: “A fistula-in-ano is a small, abnormal tube that connects the inside of your rectum with the outside skin. Occasionally you can have more than one opening. It is often infected and pus and blood can drain out. The drainage is often minimal and you may only notice a stain in your underwear.” Most often you notice this as a pimple, although sometimes it can be accompanied by some pain and swelling. Bursting the pimple can relieve the condition until it starts over again. The fistula is caused by an infection in the glands of your anus, often when a piece of stool gets caught in the glands. “If the infection doesn't go away on its own, it can burrow through the tissues around your anus until it bursts through the outer skin. If the infection is very severe or if it doesn't burst through the skin you can end up with a peri-rectal abscess.” In the short term, you can treat the condition by soaking in a warm bath to loosen up the head and facilitate drainage; in the long run, surgery is needed to clear out the infection and allow the tissue to heal. For those of you prone to vanity, relax. Even though surgery may create a sizeable wound, it usually heals without scarring.
Genital Warts (HPV)
According Gayhealth.com, over one half of all men who have sex with men have human papillomavirus, or HPV, the virus that causes genital warts. This number is even higher in HIV-positive men. 90 percent of guys with HIV also have HPV. In fact, HPV is one of the most commonly transmitted sexually transmitted infections (STIs). HPV is spread by direct contact with the skin of someone who is infected, meaning insertive sex is not necessary for transmission. Since the virus can live in the skin on your scrotum, anus, and penis, a condom can’t always protect you from HPV. Your health-care provider will be able to tell by looking deep into your hole whether or not you’ve been infected. Treatment for anal warts can range from topical creams to surgery. There is no way to kill the virus that causes warts. If you’re carrying it and are prone to outbreaks, treatment is a necessary but temporary solution; you’ll most likely see them again. Untreated warts can grow bigger and bigger until they bleed and hurt like crazy. They can even cause anal cancer if left untreated. No matter how bad it is, or how many times it comes back, remember you’re not alone. HPV is very common and very treatable as long as you stay in touch with your health care provider and follow his or her treatment advice.
A collection of abnormally dilated veins in the rectum. External hemorrhoids are covered by skin and internal hemorrhoids - which originate from the inside of your rectum - are covered with mucosa (the lining of your colon).” Hemorrhoids aren’t just a “gay” thing; over half of all Americans have them, and they are caused by low-fiber, high-fat diets that produce harder stools, thus causing more pressure on your lower rectum. The answer? Over the counter treatments combined with appropriate fiber in your diet. Warm baths are useful for loosening up stools, too. Anal sex does not cause hemorrhoids, but hemorrhoids can definitely make for more painful anal sex. So if you like it up the ass, think about what you shove in your mouth on a daily basis. Your anus is, after all, connected to the rest of your body.
Molluscum contagiosum is a contagious skin infection caused by a virus. When the molluscum virus lands on your skin during sex or even through close non-sexual contact, it begins to reproduce. Within one to three months, a pin-sized pimple with a crater center appears. You can usually see a white cheesy center under the crater.” The anus is one of the most common points of infection, but it is also found frequently on the inner thighs, groin, genitals, and lower abdomen. People living with HIV may also be at risk for the infection to spread all over the body. Sometimes the infection goes away on its own, but while it persists, it can spread to other parts of the body and other people. There is no known medication to treat molluscum; the most common treatments include burning, freezing, or scraping the lesions. The best way to prevent molluscum is to thoroughly examine your partner before having sex.
A perirectal abscess is a bacterial infection that most often begins in the small glands inside your anus. Pain worsens as the infection grows and spreads to areas around your rectum. A cavity filled with pus develops and the skin over it becomes red and swollen. The infection can become so severe that you develop a high fever and other signs of infection.” Most often this is caused by bacteria from a stool getting trapped inside your anal glands, and in rare instances it can be caused by injuries during sex. If caught early, it can be treated with antibiotics and warm soaks; but, if it grows too large, surgery may be required to remove all the pus.
Prostate cancer affects one in five men over the age of fifty. The prostate, for those of you not familiar with anatomy, is that little gland that controls the excretion of urine and semen. You may have also heard of it by its other name: the G spot! “There are two ways your doctor can diagnose prostate cancer. The first is a rectal exam; your doctor will feel your prostate for any small, hard nodules or lumps, which are often malignant. The second is a blood test that measures your level of prostate-specific antigens (PSA), as cancer cells produce more PSA than normally found in your blood. Unfortunately, neither the exam nor the blood test is foolproof, and your cancer can be missed.” When your doctor puts on that examination glove and tells you to spread ‘em it is not foreplay; it is for your own good. Treatment can involve radiation, surgery, or nothing at all, because prostate cancer can develop very slowly. The best way to stay ahead of it, especially if you are over fifty, is to see your doctor and get a physical regularly.
Just when you thought you’d heard enough about the prostate... In all seriousness, this condition really is a pain in the ass. “Prostatitis is a bacterial infection of your prostate gland [that] can be either chronic or acute. Chronic prostatitis causes a dull pressure or pain in your rectum or pelvis, or a burning sensation when you urinate or cum. Acute prostatitis is much less subtle. What begins as dull pressure quickly turns into severe pain with chills, high fever, and an enlarged prostate that can block your urine from coming out.” Prostatitis develops when bacteria enter your urethra and pass through to your prostate. A particular risk occurs when two partners share toys that have been inserted into the urethra. Prostatitis can also develop if you ignore a urinary tract infection or urethritis. Early detection means you can most likely be treated with a one-month regimen of antibiotics. More advanced prostatitis may require hospitalization and intravenous treatment.
A guide to taking care of your butt before and after sex.
Hygiene is a big issue when you’re having anal sex – and it should be. Your anus is home to lots of bacteria and other things that are good in your butt but not so good on your partner.
There aren’t many things more unappealing to some tops than pulling out and having a penis coated in his partner’s feces. Even with the condom on, it can be a huge mess. The more graphic term for this is “shit-dick.”
That said, it’s very important that you do not use enemas (douche) before anal sex. In fact, if you’re not constipated, or your doctor hasn’t instructed you to do so, you should avoid enemas in general.
Using liquids to purge the bowel is a very risky activity because:
Fortunately for all of us, there are some steps that you can take to clean yourself up before sex:
And that, my friends, is the fabulous world of cleaning your butt. If you choose to have anal sex, there are a number of ways to make it safer and pleasurable. The bottom line is, listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel good, stop. Above all else, take care of your ass and your ass will take care of you.
... these articles were written by PrideAlive alumni. We thank them for use of these articles: Micheal Lee, Andy Birkey, Joe Dobbert.