When it comes to preparing for anal, some people consider douching or doing an enema to be a necessary step. Other people could take it or leave it.
Here is what you should know about douching before anal sex.
What Is an Enema?
Simply put, an enema is a procedure to clear the colon. Don’t let the word “procedure” intimidate you, though.
The truth is that people self-administer enemas all the time. They are readily available at drugstores, and the instructions are simple enough to follow along at home.
Are an Enema and Douching the Same Thing?
Both enemas and douches are used to achieve similar goals. No matter which one you use, you will end up with a cleaner anal cavity. The main difference between the two is how deep the cleansing goes.
In the case of an enema, you can typically expect to go a bit deeper into the rectum, reaching the colon. This is why an enema is sometimes performed to relieve people of constipation. Douching focuses more heavily on the rectum and the passages at play during anal sex.
These two terms are often used interchangeably, especially in more casual settings. As a general rule of thumb, you can remember that a technical enema goes further into your intestines than a douche. We acknowledge that’s far from the sexiest way of thinking about it, but it is memorable.
What Are the Advantages of Douching Before Anal?
The advantages of douching before anal are both physical and mental. For physical benefits, you can look forward to a cleaner experience. Douching before anal can also help to loosen you up, so the prep process is expedited, and you can get to the penetrative sex faster.
Regarding the mental benefits, you or your partner might feel more comfortable knowing that the likelihood of any accidents is lower. Good sex is all about comfort and communication, so taking this extra step can be immensely helpful for getting in the mood when the time comes.
Is an Enema Before Anal a Requirement?
Although some people prefer to douche before having anal sex, that does not mean it is a requirement. You and your partner can discuss your expectations ahead of time so that there are not any surprises. From a cleanliness standpoint, however, it is an optional step.
This is because anal sex occurs in the rectum, which is usually free of fecal matter unless you actively have to use the bathroom. Douching the rectum will clean it out much more, potentially making your experience more enjoyable. But as long as you have gone to the bathroom in the past few hours and are regular, you should not have anything to worry about.
Ultimately, whether or not you choose to do an enema or douche before anal is entirely up to you and your partner — think about what makes you feel the most comfortable and what would help you have a better experience together.
Consider both of your needs, but never do something you aren’t comfortable with. When in doubt, remember to communicate.
What Happens if You Don’t Douche Before Anal?
If you choose not to douche or give yourself an enema before doing anal, you run a higher risk of having some messy accidents. The key is to know your body and understand that no one is perfect. Feel comfortable with your partner, and put down a towel.
How Often Should I Douche Before Anal?
Exactly how often you choose to douche before anal is up to you, but remember that too much of a good thing is a real possibility. For some, guaranteeing a cleaner experience is enough to prompt them to want to douche in preparation every time.
Others might enjoy the ritual and feel like it is a part of the process. We get both of these rationales, but douching too often can lead to unpleasant complications.
Limiting anal douching to twice or three times per week is recommended and never more than once a day. If you are having anal more often than that, remember that you can still have sex without doing this step ahead of time. For added peace of mind, ensure you have had a bowel movement earlier in the day.
What Happens if I Douche Too Much?
Douching giveth, and douching taketh away (if you do it too much). If you douche more than two or three times a week, you can become dehydrated, have too few electrolytes, and even harm your anus or rectum. Avoid this by taking necessary precautions such as limiting how often you douche, considering what you use to douche, and using proper technique.
What Are the Main Different Kinds of Enemas?
Now that you have thought about whether or not using an enema is a helpful routine for you, you should think about what kind would work best.
If you go to the drugstore, chances are you will find a saline enema solution quickly. This variety is cheap, easy to use, and above all, effective. Often referred to as “Fleet Enemas,” these quickly clean you out and prompt a bowel movement.
If you are in a pinch but need to douche now, rest assured that you can use tap water to clean yourself out. Saline is likely a healthier option, but you should be fine if tap water is used as a last resort or a once-in-a-while option. You shouldn’t make too much of a habit of using tap water to perform enemas because of water intoxication and dehydration.
The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to use this technique sparingly and with limited water. Water intoxication is most likely to occur when a lot of water is inserted and retained. Be mindful of this possibility when using tap water enemas.
Some people even have attachments built in so they can douche right from the shower. This definitely adds to the overall convenience of douching. We understand the appeal of simply adding this to your pre-sex shower routine rather than making it a separate item on your to-do list. That said, there are some factors to consider if you go this route.
When you have a douche attachment in your shower, you have to be wary of two primary things: water pressure and temperature. With a saline enema, you would be able to control the speed at which it is administered, and it would be room temperature.
In the shower, it can become a bit more unpredictable. The last thing you want is to blast yourself too fast or with piping hot water, so be sure to feel it out before diving in head (or ass) first.
Get Anal About Anal
With communication and prep, anal sex can be a fantastic experience both solo and with a partner. As long as you have the right tools, you’ll be ready to get reamed in no time.
Enema Use among Men who have Sex with Men | PMC
Rectal Douching Associated with Receptive Anal Intercourse: A literature review | PMC
Tap Water - An Overview | ScienceDirect