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Time to tackle a reader’s question from Formspring:

Question: My boyfriend is into anal, but it is not my preference due to some medical issues I had (down there). Even though I don’t mind trying new things, how do I relate this to him so he understands? Is there anything extra I can do to please him?

Answer: I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to deal with health problems. I have several friends with debilitating stomach and intestinal problems so I appreciate what you're going through.

Since you’re serious enough with this guy to refer to him as your “boyfriend,” I hope that you feel comfortable enough to have an honest conversation with him.

In your own words, I recommend saying something like:

I know that you’ve mentioned that you enjoy anal. But, I think you know that I’ve had some tummy issues. I don’t want to risk having any additional health problems by trying to have anal sex. Can you appreciate that? [Pause and wait for an answer. There might be further discussion about your medical issues and how they impact your life. If he truly cares about you, he won't want to do anything that could hurt you.]

I do like to try new things, though, and I definitely want to make you happy. Is there something other than anal that we could try that you would like? [See what ideas he suggests. Talk about your interests and your fantasies and figure out what works for both of you. Since he’s a guy, I would figure out in advance how you would respond to him if he asks about having a threesome.]

Try to broach the matter at a time when you won't be rushed and you’re not getting ready to have sex. There’s no need to add stress or pressure to the situation.

I would also consider bringing a few ideas to the table that could hopefully please both of you. What if you had an anal scene from a porno film playing in the background while you had sex? Could you read a book or watch a DVD about Tantric Sex together and try some of the moves out? What if you brought toys or some light fetish gear (nipple clamps) into the bedroom? Would either of you consider rimming? Do you normally use lubricant while you’re having sex? (If so, try not using it as much. If not, try using some. Varying the level of wetness and tightness can provide different sexual experiences.)

Also, have you spoken to your gastroenterologist or primary care physician about whether you’re allowed to attempt anal? If you are medically prohibited from engaging in any anal play, that’s definitely worth mentioning when you talk to your boyfriend. Would you be willing to give it a try if you're medically cleared to do so?  (I’m not looking to have you try things outside of your comfort zone, but when it comes to the intersection of sexual health and a medical condition, it’s always worth talking with your doctor.)

Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong here. Your sexual comfort level is for you alone to decide, and you should never feel like you need to try something because other people are or want you to do so. In addition, there are many women without health issues who don't care to have anal sex. Recent statistics indicate that only 1/3 of heterosexual males and females are having anal sex.

Please let me know how it goes. Readers, do you have any thoughts to share?

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