The Risks of Rimming

Ruby Ryder shares woman rimming man, using her tongue on his anus
Ruby Ryder shares woman rimming man, using her tongue on his anus

Know Your Rimming Risks

While rimming can be a wonderfully intimate, hot experience to give and to receive, please know the risks before diving in to that adorable, inviting puckered hole… Consider carefully the exposure you are risking. Unprotected analingus is like unprotected sex and can expose you to the same risks plus some others.

Warning: Clinical blog post coming up. If you wanna play, ya gotta know the rules…

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor!

First, some reassurance. There are people who practice rimming often, even with casual partners, and never have a problem with any of the following. And if you are with a fluid-bonded monogamous partner, the risks are greatly reduced. But there are risks!

So What Are the Risks?

Some pretty nasty viral STDs can travel from anus to mouth including Herpes, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis A, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, HPV or HIV. Small cuts or abrasions are not unusual in the mouth, especially after brushing your teeth and flossing. E.Coli infections are a possibility as well.

That sounds scary!

Sure, but that’s because those are all the risks. What are the mitigating circumstances? The first point is that it’s important to have a current STI/STD check. Also, monogamous, fluid-bonded partners actually have far fewer risks.

Hep C and HIV

If there’s any chance your partner may have Hep C or HIV, for example if they have no current STD/STI check and have had unprotected sex since their last test, using protection is mandatory. You don’t want to take a risk with these.

The Treatable Ones

Herpes and HPV are kind of an in-between category. Many people already have been exposed to these viruses…and despite the social stigma attached to them they are easily treatable and sometimes non-symptomatic. For what I consider to be a healthy view of these two STD’s, listen to episode 195 of one of my favorite podcasts – “Savage Love” with Dan Savage. (If you have found your way to my blog – Dan Savage is practically required listening!)

Syphilis and Gonorrhea are treatable with antibiotics, ideally after catching the infection soon. These infections are sometimes not symptomatic enough to catch early, and can cause permanent damage if left untreated. Another vote for regular STI/STD checks!

The rimming risks of an E.Coli infection are fairly remote and reduced greatly by washing thoroughly before playing, and by taking care of your general health to maintain healthy immunity.

Heptatis A gets a little complicated. Even if you and your partner are exclusive and know you do not have the more serious STD’s, if you insist on rimming without protection, consider getting a Hepatitis A vaccination. Why? Because the virus can be found in fecal matter. Although the HAV (Hepatitis A Virus) is only excreted in the feces at the end of the incubation period of the infected person (read – really rare), some people show no symptoms when infected with HAV. And check this – Some people who contract HAV can experience a variety of very unpleasant symptoms for up to 40 weeks that can indeed compromise your quality of life. No one wants an experience like that. Keep in mind you can also get infected with HAV through contaminated food and water and this vaccination will protect you from those sources of infection as well.

HAV Vaccination

A vaccination will give you solid protection against the Hepatitis A Virus in 95% of cases for a period of 10 years. The protection will start 2-4 weeks after the vaccination is given. For those die hard rimming fans who just know you can’t keep your warm wet tongue out of your partner’s ass for long…an additional booster shot administered 6 – 12 months later will provide protection for up to 20 years.

What Kind of Protection Should I Use?

‘Barrier’ is the correct terminology, and ‘Dental Dam’ is the most widely known form of protection. No – we are not going to be biting the anus here – it’s just that the rectangular pieces of latex that dentists use to protect you from all kinds of stuff going down your throat work really well as a sexual barrier! Bless those dentists. (Now you will be thinking about this every time a dentist uses a dental dam on you!)

To be almost completely safe, it is advisable to use these dental dams, or rectangular piece of latex, as a barrier between your mouth and the anus. Here are some great ones. I say ‘almost completely safe’, because accidental exposure can happen, so the only way to be 100% safe is to have no ass-tongue contact at all, and that’s no fun for those of us who enjoy it!

In a pinch, you can make a barrier with an un-lubed or dry condom by cutting off both the tip and end, then cutting down the length of it.

If you are rimming with casual partners, please always use a barrier. Refraining from using protection during rimming of a casual sex partner is like fucking them without a condom; not too smart.

Until next time…Happy Rimming.

Rimming Risks UPDATE 04/08/22:

I wrote this article many years ago, and included the best information I could find at the time. Recently I had occasion to research this subject again, and found more information. This recent article by Dr Juliet McGrattan (MBChB) and Abigail Malbon is fairly thorough and balanced look at the risks of pegging. Though the risks of contracting anything might be quite low, there are still a risks! I am a fan of being fully informed before making a decision, so go give it a read. And if you decide you want protection, here you go.

Until next time…Happy Rimming.

Ruby Ryder

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