Our expert says:
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Hi Acted Badly, welcome here and thanks for posting.
Many of us think that, unlike penises, all anuses look the same. In the same way that many of us assume that all women's private parts look the same. Not true. Anuses vary in their external presentation as well as internally - for example, the angle of the rectum varies as does the tone of the sphincter muscles. Sometimes we need to anticipate 'surprises' and take them in our stride.
Generally warts feel harder than piles (heamorrhoids) - warts are more inclined to have a crusty, hard feeling to them and are generally likely to be smaller than piles. A pile is simply an engorged blood vessel and is likely to feel smooth, and may look discoloured - possibly bluish - while a wart is more likely to be skin-toned. Neither sounds fabulous but, in terms of safer sex, remember that warts are caused by a virus and thus present a risk of infection (genital warts but also warts around you mouth if you're into rimming). If irritated (for example through anal sex) warts can cause bleeding. Piles, on the other hand, can pose a significant risk of HIV transmission in that they quite literally have the potential to release blood. A burst pile also presents a risk of HIV transmission for the receptive partner by presenting an easy point for the HI virus to enter his bloodstream during anal sex.
You did not over react and, in fact, you should have asked him what you were touching as you explored him there. Either way - warts or piles - he needs to assume responsibility for his own anal health. If he thinks he may have warts he needs to consult his doctor; if he has piles he can try over-the-counter products called Anusol or Prep H (and change his diet) or his doctor could prescribe Scheriproct.
As gay men we're quite open to discussing penises and we have a rich vocabulary for this, but sadly we're very uncomfortable about talk related to anal health. Next time you guys are intimate you should be OK to raise the issue and discuss it with him... and suggest that he seek medical attention.
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