This article was published on August 23rd, 2017
The majority of gay men believe that you can never be too clean. Although, when it comes to your butthole, that is not entirely true. The gay community and the encompassing culture feel that prior to anal intercourse, douching is an absolute must. This stems from a very real phobia of encountering the dreaded Mr. Brown. This potential happenstance is understandable, but the likelihood that it will occur is a lot less common than everyone has been led to believe. Let’s get to the bottom of the dirty myths surrounding douching and proper preparation for anal sex.
Myth #1: Feces resides in the rectum and the anus, which is where the top will be inserting his penis.
Fact: The system is designed so that the stool resides higher, in a section above the anus and rectum, otherwise known as the sigmoid colon. Abiding by healthy eating habits and supplementing with naturally occurring fibers will allow for regular, bulky stools to occur. This is the natural way of keeping the anal canal clean for play. People tend not to believe it when we share this information, so take a toy, like a dildo, and test the landing strip. Prove it to yourself!
Myth #2: Prior to bottoming, I should expect “clean up” to take approximately 30 to 60 minutes because when I douche, it takes a while for the water to run clear.
Fact: Douching in any form—enemas, bulbs, and irrigation devices—is designed for people with issues defecating. The reason you are likely running into excess feces is because of the force and amount of water you are pushing into your rectum. This can cause the liquid to travel all the way up into the colon, which is where the feces are stored (and much farther than where the penis will hit). Ultimately, you are cleaning out way more than is necessary. Imagine using a fire hose to clean a pint glass. Now, hold it right there, cowboy, we know what you are thinking: He hasn’t seen mine yet! But, keep in mind, since the anal canal stretches, it can act like a slinky, accommodating even you.
Myth #3: The best way to clean is to use an over-the-counter enema.
Fact: These are not intended to be used on a regular basis since the chemicals they contain can cause cells to become irritated, creating excess amounts of mucus and dryness in the area. Dryness and irritation can lead to cracks and bleeding, leading to a higher risk of STD contraction. If you insist on douching, my recommendation is to use a tiny bulb or shower irrigator with water, and keep in mind: less volume with less force. What goes in should come right back out and be used more as irrigation and less as distension.
Myth #4: You should never “deep clean.”
Fact: If you’re engaging in everyday cock and ass sex, this is true. But if you’re planning on accommodating larger items and/or arms, deep cleaning is a must. Our best advice is a top-to-bottom approach. The top approach means making sure you take a stimulant or laxative to drive the stool out. Remain gentle on the laxative approach and focus on the bulking, stool-forming supplements. Once movements have occurred, you can focus on irrigation from the bottom. Colonics are great and provide a deep clean, but can be substituted at home with a shower adaptor. The key here is the constant irrigation component—keep the flow of water coming out. Another alternative is to reduce consumption of solid foods and switch to a liquid-based diet to reduce bowel movements and lower stool content during the times you’re wanting to engage this way.
Myth #5: There are no downsides to regularly douching.
Fact: While it may seem innocuous to shoot water into your rectum, there are a handful of negative ramifications. Regularly douching can lead to serious injuries, such as fissures or hemorrhoids accompanied by symptoms of bleeding or pain. Another primary concern is that the rectum could lose its elasticity and stop functioning properly. This could lead to issues defecating and result in a dependency on enemas and douching. Lastly, and worst of all, the dreaded rectal prolapse, a condition that occurs when part of the large intestine slips outside the anus. Such issue can result from the neural mechanism of defecating being destroyed from the above. Not an issue one would wish to encounter!
We see several clients each week at Bespoke Surgical and completely understand everyone’s penchant for cleaning. By all means, please do continue to be persistent with hygiene and staying clean for play—it’s best to focus on cleaning the outside and rim, perhaps even in the hopes that you’ll get the next Tom Ford cologne named after you! However, we hope you take away the message that over-cleansing has complications and issues from excessive douching can take you out of the bottoming game, be it for long or short periods of time. The world would be a far worse place without the hole—bottoms forever!