Gwyneth Paltrow's website Goop just came out with its very own guide to having anal sex, and OBVIOUSLY, I had to give it a read.
I went in expecting some casual sex tips and maybe a little glimpse into Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's life in the bedroom.
(Their whole divorced-but-best-friends-who-maybe-still-bang relationship really intrigues me.)
So, yeah, I went in there looking for some juicy tidbits on their sex life. But instead, I got some horrifyingly cold, hard facts about anal sex.
The whole Goop guide is a Q & A with a guy named Paul Joannides, PsyD, and this guy is legit. He wrote a book called "The Guide to Getting it On!" and it's legitimately used as a sex ed textbook in colleges and medical schools across the US and Canada.
But my fear really started to sink in when our girl Gwyneth asked the doctor what the health risks of having anal sex are.
I kid you not, this was his response: "A woman has a 17-times-greater risk of getting HIV and AIDS from receiving anal intercourse than from having vaginal intercourse."
WOMEN ARE 17 TIMES MORE LIKELY OF GETTING HIV/AIDS DURING ANAL?! That is absolutely insane, and SO scary.
Of course, if you and your partner are in a truly monogamous relationship (NO CHEATING WHATSOEVER), and you've both been tested extremely recently, the AIDS thing isn't really a concern.
But clearly, under literally any other circumstance, you NEED to rubber up.
Dr. Joannides explained, "Because of the amount of trauma the anus and rectum receive during anal intercourse, the likelihood of getting a sexually transmitted infection is higher than with vaginal intercourse."
Unprotected anal sex, regardless of whether it is practiced by straight or gay couples, is considered the riskiest activity for sexually transmitted diseases because of the physical design of the anus: It is narrow, it does not self-lubricate, and the skin is more fragile and likely to tear, allowing STDs such as HIV and hepatitis easy passage into the bloodstream.
Love how he just casually snuck hepatitis in there. As if I wasn't already terrified enough about AIDS, now I'm getting hepatitis, too!?
But anyway, moving on. Does using condoms help reduce this MASSIVE risk?
Well, this is where things went from SO scary to straight up horrifying.
Dr. Joannides explained that, yes, condoms and lube can reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS from anal sex if they're used correctly, however, "you won't find too many condoms that say 'safe for anal sex' because the FDA has not cleared condoms for use in anal sex."
WTF? Why didn't I know that?!
Thankfully, Dr. Joannides did go on to reassure us a bit: "That said, research indicates that regular condoms hold up as well as thicker condoms for anal sex, so there's nothing to be gained from getting heavy-duty condoms."
I'm sorry to terrify you so early in the day but the news just HAD to be shared. As ALWAYS, the bottom line here is PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just use a condom.