An Anal Douche Can Make You Feel ~Squeaky~ Clean For Anal Sex
In case you didn’t read the literary phenom as a kiddo, here’s a quick reminder: Everyone poops.
Now, when it comes to the wonderful world of anal sex, this isn’t always the case. (Key word: always.) Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but when you insert something, err, down there, you run the risk of ramming into the rectum and causing a little leakage — which is more likely to happen if stool’s still sitting inside.
That’s where anal douching comes in.
First thing’s first, what is an anal douche?
In short, it’s kind of like a power wash for your rectum.
“An anal douche is a tool for removing any faecal remnants from the rectum, typically in preparation for receptive anal sex, through rinsing the rectum,” explains Emily L. Depasse, sexologist and sex educator.
It works by gently forcing liquid into the lower rectum, softening stool and loosening the anal sphincter, both of which then stimulate a bowel movement (BM). “The gentle force of water and subsequent evacuation allows for a cleansing of the lower rectum and anus,” says Dr Felice H. Schnoll-Sussman, gastroenterologist and professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Sound familiar? That’s because you might know it better as an “enema,” the device docs recommend for cleansing the bowels before, say, a colonoscopy or in cases of major constipation. But outside of the exam room and inside the bedroom, the handy little helper takes on a fancier name and drops the more intense medical reasoning.
Okay, so when — if ever — should I use an anal douche?
Although not a pre-req for butt play, an anal douche can help you feel more confident about anal sex (because you’re, um, clean) and best prevent potential messes. That said, whether or not you give your rectum a rinse is really up to you, says Alicia Sinclair, founder and CEO of COTR Inc., the company behind go-to sex-toy brands b-Vibe and Le Wand.
“It depends on each person’s comfort level and how well they know their body, especially their digestive system.”
“For example, if you’re someone who has an anal disease, be it infectious, inflammatory, severe haemorrhoids, anal fissures, or anal fistulas, you should consider steering clear of anal douching,” Dr Schnoll-Sussman says. And if you’re pregnant, you might want to avoid it as well because anal douching could stimulate contractions, she adds.
On the other hand, if you have digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or constipation, rinsing out prior to anal play isn’t a bad idea, per Sinclair. [MG: would rather have the gastro weigh in on this so waiting for her text back /eb]
And if none of the above applies to you, feel free to proceed with the process if your little heart desires. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time before having anal sex since anal douching “can take some practice,” Sinclair explains.
Even if it’s not your first rinsing-out rodeo, you still want to give ample time — about 1-2 hours — before butt play since, per Sinclair, “water can get trapped in the folds of the rectum and take a little time to come out.” Bottom line: Stay near a bathroom until you feel fully fecal-free.
How often do should I do anal douche?
Although there’s no magic number of the safest amount of times to douche, Depasse says, “moderation is best,” and Dr Schnoll-Sussman feels similarly: “There are no studies to say how often one should douche but I recommend limiting your frequency. Once a week should be fine. I would avoid more than three times a week if you must.”
Douching on the reg or more can interfere with the body’s ability to pass normal and regular BM’s per Sinclair. It can also increase the potential for tears in your tush, which might also increase the risk of transmission of infections, Depasse explains. This, dear readers, is another of the many important reasons to maintain open communication with your partner about engaging in safe sex.
So now that you’re up to speed on all things anal douching, are you ready to rinse? Here’s exactly how to use an anal douche:
1. Prepare yourself for douching.
Once you purchase a product — available at your local sex toy store or online — you’re going to want to “take a moment to introduce yourself, especially if you’ve never put anything into your anus before,” Depasse says.
This means setting yourself up in a comfortable space (pro tip: your own bathroom), gradually reviewing the instructions and device, and even familiarizing yourself with your body. “This might also be a time to insert a finger or toy (with the appropriate lubrication) to know what the sensation feels like. This is also a great way to prepare for the insertion of the bulb’s nozzle,” she adds.
READ MORE: What Does Anal Sex Feel Like… Exactly?
2. Add lube to the douche.
To make sure the entire tool is clean, give it a quick rinse with gentle soap and water. Once the exterior is dry, fill the bulb with lukewarm water or saline solution only, per Dr Schnoll-Sussman, who cautions against using hot water, which can burn the skin, as well as any other liquids like “olive oil, alcohol, bleach, or any toxic liquid.”
After you reattach the bulb to the nozzle, it’s time to layer on the lube (any type will do) on the tip of the nozzle so that it eases in gently, Sinclair explains. Remember: The rectum is not self-lubricating, so feel free to apply lube to your rectum itself if that makes you and the process feel more comfortable, Depasse adds.
3. Get in a comfortable position.
Be it resting on your elbows and knees (think: all fours), lying on your side, or standing with one foot up on the toilet. At the end of the day, it’s about feeling comfortable and being able to access your anus comfortably, so feel free to experiment to find what works best for you.
4. Squeeze the douche, then repeat.
Gradually and carefully (important!) insert the nozzle — a process that should not be painful, btw—and squeeze the bulb to empty all of the contents into your rectum. Hold for 10-15 seconds if possible, and then release it into the toilet.
Repeat to your liking and/or until the expelled water runs clear. “Basically, just look in the toilet and see if there was any poop in the water. If there is, do another enema. If the water is faeces-free, so are you. Typically, this process takes two enemas, but everybody is different!” Sinclair explains.
5. Clean, clean, clean your douche.
Did I mention clean? Once you’re done douching, Sinclair recommends immediately washing the nozzle and bulb with a mild soap and water, then leaving it to air-dry (maybe out of sight, if you can). And of course, please wash your hands before and after the whole activity. Please.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com