The first time
When it comes to having something 'up there' it can feel quite strange to begin with.
Relax, and try not to rush it. Foreplay beforehand can help you to do this. It is vital to use plenty of water based lube as this will make the experience more pleasurable and safer with condoms. If you feel uncomfortable, or it hurts, just stop and try again when you feel ready.
As with anything, only do what you want to do. You have the right to say no, or to stop at any time. Practice on your own with a sex toy, remembering again the importance of plenty of water based lube.
Good hygiene is essential for a satisfying sex life.
Clean your teeth regularly to keep your breath fresh, but don't clean your teeth or use mouthwash if you are about to go down on someone. Chemicals in toothpaste and mouthwash can affect your body's natural defences against infections, including HIV.
SAFER SEX TIP
If you have bleeding gums, ulcers or broken skin in your mouth you should avoid giving blow jobs, or use condoms until your mouth has healed. Flavoured lubes and condoms are available if you don't like the taste of rubber!
To clean thoroughly, pull back your foreskin (if you have one) to expose the glans. Using lukewarm water clean the glans under the foreskin, do not use perfumed soaps or shower gels and this can cause irritation.
If you don't clean under your foreskin regularly you can get smegma, which is a white smelly substance made from natural oils and dead skin cells. If you don't have a foreskin it is easier to keep your dick clean, but it is still important to do so regularly.
Normal washing and bathing should be enough to keep your bum clean. For extra cleanliness some men like to use a douche, which is a small plastic bulb that you fill with lukewarm water and skirt inside to flush out the rectum. If you don't need to go to the toilet, and you have a balanced diet, and healthy rectum, this should not be necessary. If you do want to use a douche only use the small bulb version, ones that are connected to shower heads can be dangerous as you can't control the temperature or pressure.
SAFER SEX TIP
Don't use soap in the water, and over-douching can lead to damage to the lining of the rectum. This damage and irritation can lead to an increased likelihood of HIV transmission.
You can find all of this information in 'Sex tips' - our guide to a healthy sex life and... sex!
Toungue-in-cheek yet factual, this plain speaking booklet was created to answer the questions which gay men want to ask. Many of the subjects covered are included in response to questions called in to the LGF helpline or suggested by service users.