Back Door Primer: How to Prepare for Anal Sex
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Anal sex is cool now. Butt stuff has gone mainstream, opening the minds (and cheeks) of heterosexual men to the prospect of prostate play.
“I am seeing more and more men and women who identify as straight regularly engaging in anal play,” says Dr. Evan Goldstein, founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical and Future Method, a sex care company for gay men. “Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of stigma, so I think published data continues to underestimate how many straight men and women love anal.”
RELATED: Trying Anal for the First Time
The snap judgments around those who may want to put things in or near their backsides have slowly dissipated with an increase in education and resources around healthy and safe anal sex practices. “I think people are becoming more comfortable with their sexuality and exploring what they like in the bedroom,” says Goldstein. “All men — gay or straight — should embrace their P-spot. There are so many nerve endings in the ass and when the prostate is properly stimulated, this combination can provide orgasms that are way more intense than just penile ones.”
According to Goldstein, most people are still scared to try anal sex due to preconceived notions that it’ll be painful, “which shouldn’t be if done correctly,” he notes. Some also think it’ll be messy, which he also labels “a myth” as long as the proper steps are taken before beginning. And with that preparation comes douching.
What is douching, you ask? Well, with data highlighting a definite interest in anal play among men of all sexual identities and orientations, Goldstein is here to teach us a lesson on douching, if it’s necessary before anal sex and how to do it in the safest way possible.
Should You Douche Before Anal Sex?
Douching is spraying or cleaning something out with water. In this case, douching before anal sex would be the chance to make yourself feel “ready” before something’s inserted inside you. But is douching absolutely necessary before anal sex?
The short answer: no. As feces are stored in upper bowels and cannot be reached or released through penetration, it’s rare to run into issues unless someone engages in more extreme types of sex.
Goldstein assures that if you eat a high-fiber diet (more on that below) and have a regular defecation routine, most people don’t need to douche before sex. That being said, over 80 percent of men who practice receptive anal intercourse douche before sex to assure there will be no “mess,” which is totally natual and nothing to be ashamed of.
What to Eat Before Having Anal Sex
Because anal sex deals with the derriere, you’re going to have to watch what you eat. Basically, you’re going to have to eat like an athlete, avoiding foods that cause gas, bloating or otherwise upset your belly.
Consumption of foods full of insoluble fiber like vegetables, cereals, soybeans and whole grains are advised a day or several hours prior to anal intercourse. And considering the fact that three of four people in the world is at least somewhat lactose intolerant, you should probably avoid dairy, too.
If meals are getting boring, balance them out with some fruit and/or yogurt. Make sure you drink plenty of water (roughly three liters) to help food flow through the body, and for added assistance, ingest a spoonful of psyllium every morning with a little water. Peppermint oil can help reduce gas, bloating and diarrhea, and if partaking in anal is on the horizon, try your best to avoid red meat and spicy foods. If it helps, most food takes six to eight hours to fully digest.
How to Douche
Try using the bathroom before douching to clear most of the canal. Using lukewarm water (which, according to Goldstein, is not the best solution to use – more on that later) will be most comfortable and effective. Lube the tip of your douche and your anus before inserting the tip roughly two or three centimeters inside your rectum. Gently squeeze the water until your rectum feels full. Then sit on the toilet and push the water out as you would if you went to the bathroom. Repeat until the water comes out clear, usually on your second go-around.
Because water and store-bought enemas can irritate the cells in your rectum causing dryness cracks and increased mucus production, Goldstein developed a disposable anal douche solution made with an isotonic solution. “Isotonic” means that the solution has the same osmotic pressure as the cells in the anal canal that won’t cause these aforementioned negative health effects.
Just be careful and don’t over-douche. Cleaning too deep — with too much force or too much water — can cause long-lasting problems, including douche dependency and irritation of the anal region. “Aside from the health risks, over-douching can also loosen stools that are higher up in your colon, which wouldn’t normally come into contact with anal sex, making it even messier than if you hadn’t douched at all,” notes Goldstein. “Our philosophy at Future Method is ‘less is more’ because the more volume and times you douche, the more you strip the good bacteria.”
As for when you should douche, you might need about an hour prior to intercourse in order to ensure all of the water is out of your rectum. Most will come out as you are douching … but just stay near a toilet to be safe.
Pros & Cons of Douching
If douching isn’t necessary, should you even bother? Let’s weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision.
The pro is singular and obvious: no poop. Most don’t want mess, and with and douching, it’s reassurance towards a clean experience. Basically, mishaps can be traumatic and douching lessens the worry.
The cons are a bit more tricky as many of these issues can be rare, depend on the douching method and how often you douche. Douching using a commercial or Fleet-brand enema can cause mucus and dryness to the area, which can lead to cracks, bleeding and can elevate risk of STIs.
Excessive over-douching can lengthen your colon, too, and cause constipation later in life. Irresponsible douching can irritate and deteriorate intestinal lining and heighten the risk of anal dysplasia, which occurs when most cells in the rectum become abnormal. It’s considered a pre-cancerous condition.
What Kind of Douche Should I Buy?
Disposable Anal Douche Solution & Bulb Kit
What’s unique to Future Method’s kit is the scientifically-developed isotonic solution, which is easier and gentler on the rectum (and calms the applied area). The solution can be used before or after intercourse to soothe and offer moisturized comfort. A medical grade bulb is included.
From $30 at FutureMethod.com
Bone Yard’s Skwert Douche Adapter Kit
The Skwert Douche Adaptor Kit by Bone Yard turns a standard water bottle into a douche. Perfect for those seeking convenience and discretion, the 4-inch soft tip ensures a confident clean with three sets of threads. It’s so portable, you can toss it in your pocket and hit the road.
$18.95 at CheapLubes.com
The Bathmate Hydro Rocket
What’s great about the Hydro Rocket is its non-return valve — meaning there’s no back flow, a common side effect in bulb douches that prevents contamination. Designed to be used in the shower, the Hydro Rocket’s unique shape makes squeezing and storing a cinch compared to its rounder competitors.
$69.99 at LittleSisters.com
The general rule of thumb here? Treat your bum as you would a living room. If you’re expecting guests, it’s courteous to tidy up a tad.
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