Let's face it: no matter how pink, puckered, squeaky clean, and appealing your partner's asshole is, you know what comes out of it. And you're putting your tongue up there. How healthy can that be?
It's natural to be concerned about contracting an infection or disease through
oral-to-anal contact. For answers about the risks associated with analingus
(also called eating ass, rimming, or tossing salad), we went
straight to the horse's mouth — the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
STDs and More
The intestinal tract is filled with bacteria that are part of the
digestive process; these do not pose any health threat. However, eating
ass will expose you to any bad germs or infections harbored in your
partner's intestinal tract or anal area. The CDC warns that "rimming
carries a risk of transmission of STDs including hepatitis A. There is
also risk of intestinal parasites, like cryptosporidiosis."
addition, the CDC cautions that "immunocompromised persons are suggested to
avoid performing this activity." So if you aren't in good health and have an
immune deficiency (say from AIDS or chemotherapy), eating ass could put you at
Here's a rundown of some of the diseases you could be exposed to when eating
- Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a virus spread through oral contact
with the fecal matter of an infected person. It affects the liver and causes symptoms such as jaundice, fatigue, and nausea. It is not a chronic infection, unlike hepatitis C. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine given before or shortly after exposure.
- E. coli: This is a bacterial infection spread through oral contact
with the fecal matter of an infected person. Its symptoms include diarrhea,
vomiting, and intestinal bleeding.
- Intestinal parasites: These are microbial organisms that cause
intestinal diseases including cryptosporidiosis, dysentery, and giardiasis.
Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain. Again, these are spread
through oral contact with the fecal matter of an infected person.
- Bacterial infections: If a person contracts food poisoning, the
bacteria that causes it, say salmonella for example, will be shed in their
feces and could be transmitted through oral-anal contact. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.
- Other STDs: If the receiving partner has a rectal gonorrhea infection, it could be contracted by the active partner; gonorrhea can infect the mouth and throat. This means that theoretically a person with an oral gonorrhea infection could transmit it to the ass that they're eating. Other STDs that can be transmitted through oral-anal contact include syphilis and herpes, if either partner has an active lesion in their mouth or anal area.
Finally some good news: your chances of being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS,
are pretty low while eating ass. The CDC reports that the HIV virus is not found in feces
itself. And the amount of
HIV that can be present in saliva is too small to
infect another person, making mouth-to-ass infection unlikely. According to the CDC, "There
would not be a risk of HIV transmission unless blood was also
between partners (such as if the performing partner was infected and
blood in his mouth)." Or if the recipient was bleeding from the ass and the active partner had an open cut or sore in his or her mouth.
Playing It Safe
You can protect against transmission of diseases by using a barrier during analingus. You can use a latex dental dam, or make a barrier by cutting the end off an unlubricated
condom and then slitting it lengthwise. Many people also use plastic wrap;
although it hasn't been scientifically tested as a disease barrier, it does
prevent the transmission of body fluids. For extra sensation, place a dab of
lubricant on the side of the barrier that will go against your partner's ass.
Hold the barrier in place firmly, and place your tongue against it to lick and
probe their asshole.
The Bottom Line
If both you and your partner are healthy, your risk of contracting a disease through analingus
is probably pretty low. However, there is always some risk in oral-anal contact, and there are a
number of diseases that can be transmitted through this route. You can make the
act of eating ass safer by using a barrier between your mouth and your partner's