Douching: Go with the Flow
The butt is a glorious avenue for sexual pleasure, though the butt is also great for eliminating waste (try as we might to not think about it). Douching involves using water to flush out your ass of any waste to prepare yourself for anal sex. For folks who bottom, douching is one of the ways to clear your insides to get ready for ass play.
As gay men, we do not learn how to prepare for anal sex from sex education in school, so we take it upon ourselves to do research online. This guide will help demystify douching, as well as explore alternatives, to ensure you and your partner(s) have a comfortable and safer time exploring butt play.
Types of Douches
There are many different types of douches available out there. With different pros and cons people tend to have a favorite but each is best suited to a different scenario.
- Shower douche: A shower douche or shower shot is an attachment that connects directly to your shower hose. Favored by pro bottoms everywhere, a shower douche can be a quick and efficient way to clean out right in the shower. Shower douches also come with valves that regulate the water pressure for safety. Start at a lower pressure and work your way up if necessary.
- Bulb Douche: This is the classic douche that most people are familiar with. Named after its iconic shape, bulb douches are the ultimate in portability. They are often affordable, and often the first type of douche guys try. Unlike the shower shot you can easily bring your bulb douche with you on weekends at the cottage or trips abroad. They aren’t quite as efficient as a shower douche, however, as they need to be manually filled each time.
- Fleet Enema: Fleet enemas are very similar to bulb douches except the bottle shape is oblong and it usually has a thinner, longer nozzle. You can buy fleet enemas at the drug store. They are often filled with saline (water and salt). This saline is meant to mimic the electrolyte balance of your body and to promote bowel function if you want a deeper clean. For bottoming and light ass play, just water should do the trick; if you’re fisting or otherwise going deeper than a dick can, the saline in the enema could help with that intensive clean.
- Enema Bag: Mechanically, enema bags or ‘douche bags’ work in the same way as bulb douches. The main difference is that they can hold significantly more water. Due to this larger size they can be unwieldy and difficult to use.
Diet: An Alternative to Douching
With so many products on the market today specifically targeted at gay men claiming to be an alternative to douching, we can’t help but wonder, are they legit?
It turns out they may be. Diets high in fiber, along with plenty of water, are great for reducing constipation and loose stools. Fibre acts as a bulking agent allowing poop to come out more solid and with less mess. This means that someone who has a high fiber diet may just need to rinse themselves out with a finger before sex and be good to go.
While it is possible to get all the fibre you need and more through foods like fruits and vegetables alone, many of us do not get our daily recommended amount of fibre without supplements.
Fibre supplements are very effective as an alternative to douching, and they are all remarkably similar. Fibre supplements marketed to gay men have a high markup but are relatively similar to the cheaper alternatives. Find the one that works best for you and don’t be afraid to look for something less costly. Psyllium husks are an excellent, low cost option for this.
It’s important to remember that while fibre can make a huge difference, you still need to drink plenty of water. Additionally, you shouldn’t take fibre supplements 2 hours before or after taking medication.
For some, fibre supplements alone may not be enough, so when you think you might bottom, avoid foods with caffeine, spicy, acidic foods or anything else to which your stomach is sensitive.
STIs and Anal Health
How often a guy douches depends on several factors. Some may do it only once a weekend, others may feel the need to do it every time they engage in ass play. While douching often may be tempting to ensure cleanliness, it is very possible to over-douche. Here are some possible side-effects:
- Your body has a delicate balance of bacteria in your intestines called microflora. This ‘good’ bacteria helps protect you from other, harmful bacteria, and helps you get nutrients from your food. Douching can interfere with your intestinal flora, which may lead to poor gut health.
- Your bum produces mucous that helps protect and soothe its cell lining. Douching can irritate these sensitive cells and eliminate the mucous. This can cause dryness which can lead to cracks, tears, or bleeding during anal sex. This can also make you more susceptible to STIs.
The bottom line is this: gays love to be prepared! Even still, it is important to be mindful of douching too often, and to treat your butt with the TLC it deserves!
We hope this resource helps people feel more at ease about preparation, reducing anxiety and making the whole experience more pleasurable. However, if for some reason you are feeling uncomfortable about bottoming – you haven’t had time to prepare, your stomach is upset, you just don’t want to – it’s ok to say no! Don’t feel pressure to do anything you don’t want to.
Accidents happen. We may not like thinking about it, we do everything we can to avoid it, but they happen. Whether you’re topping or bottoming, it should be obvious that anal sex has the possibility for poop. It should also be obvious that this is something that happens with everyone’s ass, so if it happens, just be cool! Clean it up, laugh it off and try to keep the mood light for everyone involved. Bottom shaming isn’t cute, and it’s not fair either.