“I’m afraid there will be poop.”
So, you’re curious about anal sex prep? Let’s talk about cleansing.
What is Anal Cleansing?
Anal cleansing is the proper hygienic care of your backside. With great anal hygiene, you can remain relaxed and comfortable during sex, ensuring your anal experience can remain positive for you and your partner. You can keep your anal area clean by using external and internal methods.
External hygiene really boils down to keeping the area clean regularly and before you’re ready to have anal sex. You can do that with regular washing with soap and warm water or by installing a bidet at home. You can also shave or wax your anal region, but that is a personal aesthetic preference (and comes with potential problems like ingrown hairs or irritation).
Internal cleansing methods are just as important as your external routine. The best internal cleansing method is to maintain a healthy, high-fiber diet. The other method, douching, isn’t strictly necessary for anal hygiene, but many people prefer to have this extra step in the cleaning process. We recommend that you proceed with caution if you do opt to douche so you do not injure yourself.
How to Diet
Having a healthy diet is a great way to ensure that your anus and rectum remain fit for pleasure. Not only does eating right make you feel better, but it will also make your backside feel better as well because you likely won’t have loose or compact poops that can make the area sore.
We recommend eating the following foods:
How to Anal Douche
The main anal douches are a pre-filled store bought enema, a bulb douche, a water bag douche, and a shower douche. Bespoke Surgical recommends you find the one that suits you best, with the understanding of all the principles for their proper use. Our best advice: keep it simple. You only need to clean a few inches, not your entire gut. The anal canal is about 4-6” deep, so contrary to popular belief, only a minimal amount of preparation is needed. Avoid the temptation to vigorously squeeze in an entire bucket full of water. Think of how a colonic works — what goes in, comes right back out. It’s just a gentle rinse cycle.
Is Anal Douching Safe? Risk of Over-Douching.
Over-douching (cleaning too deep, with too much force, or with too much water) can cause problems, such as douche dependency, prolonged anal irritation, elevated mucus production, and lengthening or incomplete contraction of the rectum/colon, which can lead to chronic constipation. One’s anal sphincters keep everything inside and the constant pushing required for douching can cause injury to these muscles, let alone just the insertion of a device can cause added localized injury. Proper use and lots of lubrication aids proper mechanics. Additionally, your gut contains some good bacteria that assists in digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and keeping bad bacteria in check. Aggressive and frequent anal douching with products currently out in the market can actually flush away the good shit (pun intended), leaving you susceptible to a whole host of stomach and intestinal issues. Aside from the health risks, over-douching can also loosen stools that are higher up in the rectum, which wouldn’t normally interfere with anal sex, making it even messier than if you hadn’t douched at all. Remember: douching with commercially prepared enemas or just plain tap water creates a lot of mucus and dryness in the area, which can cause cell damage, cracking, and bleeding, making it easier to contract and pass along both HIV and other STDs.
The biggest piece of advice Bespoke Surgical can offer is to listen to your body. It knows what it can handle and what it can’t. Along with this, it’s key to make sure that you are eating well and maintaining great external hygiene. One easy tip is to prove to yourself, even before you douche, how clean you truly are by using a butt plug or dilator, preferably light-colored, to see whether or not any residual stool is even present. If it’s all clean, you can avoid douching altogether. The important thing to remember is that accidents happen and everybody poops. So, if you find yourself in a situation where things have gotten a little messy, DON’T PANIC! You’re not a freak… you’re perfectly normal.
Dr. Evan Goldstein is the Founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical, the leading private practice specializing in an elite standard of sexual health and wellness care for the modern gay male.
As the preeminent leader in the field and with offices in both New York and Beverly Hills, Dr. Goldstein offers concierge-style medical and surgical expertise to the gay community and is dedicated to not only bringing the important issues surrounding gay sexual health to the forefront, but also eliminating stigmas around gay sexuality.