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Relationship between pelvic sensations and lifetime exposure to receptive anal intercourse among people with prostates.

Gaither TW, Siapno AED, Kianian R, Vincent N, Williams KC, Piquerias E, Russell MM, Litwin MS. Relationship between pelvic sensations and lifetime exposure to receptive anal intercourse among people with prostates. The journal of sexual medicine. 2023 Aug 25; 20(9):1195-1205.

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BACKGROUND: Despite the negative stigma on receptive anal intercourse (RAI), this behavior has a positive influence on individuals' sexual and relationship health. No large studies have previously looked at specific sensations experienced during RAI and how these sensations may change with experience. AIM: In this study we aimed to quantify commonly reported pelvic sensations during RAI and determine whether their presentation changes with increasing experience of RAI. METHODS: An internet survey was conducted on sensations felt during RAI among people with prostates from July 2022-January 2023. The survey content was developed based on a mixed-methods qualitative study and inquired about demographic and sexual histories as well as sensations (pleasure, pain, urinary, and bowel) experienced during RAI. We used descriptive statistics to describe demographic and sexual histories. All data were stratified by lifetime exposure to RAI. OUTCOMES: The primary outcomes assessed included the quantification of both the primary sensations experienced during RAI and the associated bother. RESULTS: In total, 975 participants completed the survey. The median age was 32 (range 18-78) years. The average age of first participation in RAI was 21 ± 6.6 years. Most respondents were having sex at least once a week (65%). Nine percent of respondents reported fewer than 10 experiences with RAI, 26% reported 11-50 RAI experiences, 32% reported 51-200 experiences, 16% reported 201-500 experiences, and 18% reported > 500 experiences. As the number of experiences with RAI increased (from < 10 to > 500 exposures), the reported frequency of pleasurable sensation increased from 41% to 92% (P? < .0001), whereas severe insertional pain and symptoms of bowel urgency decreased from 39% to 13% and from 21% to 6%, respectively (P? < .0001). Urinary urgency sensation did not differ by lifetime RAI experience. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Lifetime RAI exposure can be readily assessed and correlates not only with pelvic sensation but also many other aspects of sexual health. These results imply that the etiology of dissatisfaction with pleasure or anodyspareunia during RAI may differ by lifetime RAI exposure. STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: This is the first study to our knowledge to assess pelvic sensations experienced during RAI among a large sample of individuals. This is a cross-sectional study, and we cannot conclude how pelvic sensations change over time among individuals. Internet-based participants may not be representative of clinical populations. CONCLUSION: Lifetime exposure to RAI is positively associated with pleasure and is negatively associated with pain and bowel urgency. Pelvic sensations experienced during RAI appear to be dependent on lifetime RAI exposure history regardless of age.

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