In the new Sex Issue of Goop.com, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, the actress turned lifestyle guru includes a Q&A with the psychoanalyst Paul Joannides on a topic her affluent (and dare I say stuffy) readership may not be used to discussing openly: anal sex. Of course, Playboy published our own user guides to butt sex last year, for both women and men, and that probably surprised no one. But Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow greenlighting a butt-sex feature? That definitely says something about the act’s increasing popularity.

Though the article skips over the salacious details behind this still-taboo subject (though the Centers for Disease Control has reported that up to 40 percent of heterosexual couples have tried anal), Goop does offer a frank discussion about the myths and misconceptions surrounding anal sex. It tackles the fact that porn often confuses people about what anal sex looks like in real life. Though most pornography features anal sex, Joannides says that only 10 to 15 percent of couples really enjoy the act and most don’t partake regularly. And although he can’t confirm that enemas make the experience better, he does warn that accidents sometimes do happen—a very human occurrence you won’t see in porn either.

Joannides stresses that couples who don’t have excellent communication skills and high levels of trust shouldn’t try anal sex. He suggests that couples who want to try anal should spend a few weeks leading up to the moment making each other feel comfortable, and the receiving partner should practice relaxing his or her sphincter muscles. He also makes sure to mention that it’s important to try it sober, to use lots of lube and to stop immediately if it doesn’t feel pleasurable.

There are some serious health risks to anal sex, too. A woman is 17 times more likely to contract HIV through anal sex than through vaginal sex, so using a condom is crucial. Because the skin around the anus is so thin, it can easily tear, heightening the risks of STD transmission.

On that front, it’s unfortunate that, according to a new report, people still get embarrassed when buying condoms. A new survey called Buying for the Bedroom found that 30 percent of women felt flustered when buying condoms. Another report noted how participants said they believe they can distract cashiers from the contraceptives by loading their cart up with other items. Sixteen percent of 18 to 24 year olds reported that they actually abandoned the store completely rather than face a possibly judgmental cashier. The shame runs so deep that one in five straight people have bought condoms at shops further from their homes to avoid seeing people they know.

Such momentary embarrassment can have dangerous outcomes, thought; as the survey points out, half of pregnancies are unplanned and in the last 10 years, there has been a 73 percent increase in people seeking treatment for HIV. It’s definitely worth facing down a check-out girl if it means avoiding the health risks that come with unprotected sex. And yet, most schools in America still leave condoms out of the classroom. The School Health Profiles 2014, released by the CDC, found that about a quarter of public schools don’t include proper condom use in their sex-ed curricula.

We love condoms here at Playboy, which is why we created this unisex guide to modern condoms,. It ranks 11 kinds of rubbers, from vegan to inexpensive to ribbed. Check it out, wrap it up and stay safe out there—no matter what door you’re entering.