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Anal Sex and Vaginismus

Some gynaecologists, women with vag. and their partners seem to be under the impression that if a woman experiences pain at vaginal intercourse, she will experience even more pain if trying anal intercourse.

As surprising as it may seem to some, that is not always the case.

Some women intensely dislike the thought or the practice of anal sex and they will not try it for reasons that have nothing to do with their vaginismus and that are TOTALLY respectable.

Some women may find anal sex painful or unpleasant, whether or not they suffer from vaginismus.

But some women will try it instead and some will even enjoy it or at least not experience tension or pain, so for some couples it becomes a sort of alternative to intercourse
(Not that we support the idea that there HAS TO BE an alternative if you can’t have vaginal intercourse…)


For some women however, anal sex too can be impossible or painful. The medical definition for the anal muscular contraction is, you guessed, ANISMUS !

The medical definition for anismus is: "Extreme contraction of external anal sphincter".
Usually it will affect women suffering from constipation, or they may suffer from constipation because of their anismus. It seems a bit confusing and if vaginismus is poorly understood, anismus seems to be even more so.. Scientists are not too sure that anismus even has any clinical relevance. Some studies have been carried out (check to see one HERE, on PUBMED ) which found that "The three tests most commonly used for the diagnosis of anismus showed an extremely poor agreement".
That said, if you suffer from constipation or painful anal sex, and vaginismus, make sure you have your PC muscles checked by a pelvic floor physical therapist or other specialist, cause the two things may be linked.

Considering anal sex

IF you don't think you suffer from anismus and if you have considered giving anal sex a try, just remember that it IS possible for some women with vaginismus to have anal intercourse without the spasm, tension, fear and pain that are associated with vaginal intercourse, but before you try it, here are some questions to ponder for you, and then some practical advice if you still want to go on with it:

1. How do YOU feel about trying anal sex or about anal sex (if you already tried it) ? Will your feelings be respected?

2. Do you feel like trying anal sex because your partner asked you or pressured you to do it, or for yourself?

3. Do you feel confident that your partner will stop and not sulk if you should change your mind about it, even in the middle of it?

4. Do you know how to have safe (anal) intercourse?

5. Do you feel that you owe your partner some kind or other of penetration so you're willing to try it only to compensate for having vaginismus?

6. Is your partner ok with knowing you're doing something for him that you don't really want to do? If so, what does that say?

Remember: having vaginismus is not your fault and men can live happily and healthy without intercourse or anal alternatives to it, so you shouldn't feel pressured to perform any kind of sexual activity to make up for what you can't 'offer'...

That said, if things are totally consensual for both partners, and you're both enthusiastic about trying, here are some tips if you decide to give it a go:

Tips for safe, pain free anal sex

• Use a condom or dental dam! Anal sex is a high-risk activity for sexually transmitted infections due to the risks of any presence of fecal residue and the impossibility to perfectly clean it. Infections can also lead to cystitis.

• Use plenty of lube! Keep replenishing the area as you go

• You may want to ask your gynecologist to prescribe you some lydocaine, a numbing cream which may help you and that doesn't seem to affect the sensation on the men's penis. (But if you have to numb yourself, you may want to think twice about why you want to do this)

• Make sure you haven't just eaten or your stomach could get irritated

• Go VERY slow, stop and start, the anus walls aren’t as elastic as the vagina’s.

• Have complete control of the movements.

• If it should get painful, or you should bleed, stop it. You may be at risk of incontinence, tearing or other problems which you can gladly do without.

• If you should find that after a while, you become afraid of it just like you are of vaginal intercourse, it could be because the experience wasn't totally pleasurable or comfortable for you, so it makes sense to respect your body's feelings and stop.

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DISCLAIMER: This site is not designed to provide medical advice. All material is gathered from the experience of hundreds of women who experienced vaginismus but it is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Please review the information contained on vaginismus-awareness-network.org carefully and confer with a health care professional specialized in vaginismus, as needed.