Rimming

Posted on 10-06-2020 by Cecily Stevenson

This blog was written by our Sexual Health Outreach Worker, Stuart Payne.

What is rimming?

Rimming is… basically licking and stimulating the bum hole of your sexual partner.

It may not be for everyone, but for some, it can be an incredibly enjoyable experience.  And guess what – it’s not just gay men that do it! Heterosexual people do it too!

Technically known as Anilingus, the term entered the English language in 1899.

So how do you do it?

The first point to make here is that you should only rim or get rimmed if you absolutely want to do this (big word: CONSENT), by communicating with your sexual partner. If it’s not for you, just say NO!

Okay, so now you have decided on if it’s for you or not, how do you do it?

Well, as said at the beginning, it’s basically licking the bum hole of your sexual partner. You use the tip of your tongue to lick the outer part of the bum hole – some will even use their tongue to slightly penetrate to give an anal massage, which can be a very pleasurable experience for your sexual partner. Many people really enjoy the act of doing the rimming too, especially if their sexual partner is enjoying it.

It’s commonly used as a form of sexual foreplay in preparation for anal sex. Some say this helps take away some of the discomfort during anal sex when the penis or sexual object (sex toys) enter the anal canal. You could even follow on from rimming and use your fingers (fingering) to penetrate, before penetrating with the penis or sex toys.

So, if it’s so pleasurable why can there be so much stigma (shame) attached to it?

Who has had a conversation with their friends about this topic? I know I have, and I have heard a mixture of reactions from ‘’what? you stick your tongue up another’s person’s anus? – that’s not right – people poo out that hole!” to others who say “hell yeah, I love it!”

So, let me just say this. There should be no shame in what sex practices you engage in, as long as all involved are enjoying it and able to consent to it – simple!

So what are the sexual health risks with rimming?

Firstly, there is no current data to suggest that anyone has caught HIV from rimming.

Hepatitis A is an infection which can be passed on sexually through rimming. Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus that’s spread in the poo of an infected person.

There are also other sexually transmitted infections to consider, such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

One other infection which people are commonly unaware of is Shigella, a bacterial infection which could be transmitted by rimming.

How can you enjoy rimming more safely?

The best way to protect yourself from this infection is by having vaccinations for the Hepatitis A, which are available at our nurse-led weekly clinics. There are other ways you can protect yourself too – previously we would have advised on the use of dental dams. However, these are no longer produced.

So, in addition we would advise ensuring that the person you are performing rimming on has washed the area well. Although for some men who have sex with men, the idea of a sweaty, musky smell when going down on their partner can be a huge turn on. Some people also recommend douching before any type of anal play.

It is important that both you and your sexual partner(s) get tested regularly and vaccinated. Let’s not underestimate this sexual activity which is very intimate, so may be something you would prefer to hold back for people you are close to, or more meaningful relationships.

Would you like to know more about the support that we offer?

Birmingham LGBT cares about the health and welling needs of the LGBT community, and recognises that how individuals feel will have an impact and their sexual health/behaviour. We offer 1-2-1 sessions with our experienced sexual health team – these sessions are one-hour sessions which are led by clients.

If you feel that you would benefit from these sessions, you can refer yourself by email sexualhealth@blgbt.org or telephone 0121 643 0821.