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Someone asked us: hi I was wondering if you have to clean your butt out with an enema before you do anal. If you don’t, will there be poop?

It’s no secret that poop comes out of butts, and that sometimes people also like to put things (like a penis, sex toy, or fingers) in their butt for sexual pleasure. So this is a very common question!

When you put a penis, finger, or sex toy into your butt, it’s going into your rectum — that’s the tube between your anus (butthole) and colon (where poop is stored). Fingers, penises, and sex toys aren’t long enough to reach your colon.

Your body keeps poop tucked away in your colon until you get that “gotta go” feeling, when it’s time for poop to come out through your rectum. Most other times there won’t be a bunch of poop in your rectum, but it’s possible that there might be a little bit of leftovers hanging out in there. 

So basically, you may find no poop at all, but it’s also totally normal if you run into a bit during butt stuff. And there's absolutely NO reason for you or your partner to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or surprised if a little bit of poop shows up. It’s not your fault — poop happens!  If you or your partner’s body parts do come in contact with poop, just make sure to wash them with soap and water. 

Sometimes people use something called an anal douche to rinse their rectum before they have anal sex. This helps wash away leftover poop that might be hanging out in your rectum. Anal douching isn’t necessary before you have anal sex — it's a personal choice. If you want to do it, go for it. But it's not unsafe or bad to have anal sex without douching first.

Here are some tips for staying safe if you’re going to use an anal douche:

  • You can use a plain saline solution enema from the drugstore, but don't use a medicated laxative enema that's meant to make you poop and empty your colon — you only want to gently rinse your rectum (the lower part where a penis or sex toy goes during anal sex). Don’t use medicated vaginal douches in your anus either.
  • You can use a device meant specifically for anal douching, or empty out an enema bottle and fill it with water. If you’re using tap water, it’s best to only douche once a week. 
  • The skin in your rectum is much more sensitive than the skin on the outside of your body, so make sure you use cool water  — even lukewarm is too hot. 
  • Put some lube on the nozzle before you put it into your butt. ( always put lube on anything going into your butt.) It's best to use a douche with a softer nozzle if you can.
  • Before you put the douche in, make sure your anus is relaxed. Put some lube on your finger and slowly rub your anus until you feel ready and the nozzle can comfortably go in. Never force something into your butt — stop if you have pain or discomfort at any time.
  • Keep the water pressure low, go gently, and use a small amount of water. Squeeze a little bit in your rectum, hold it for a few seconds, then relax and release the liquid into your toilet or shower. Repeat until the water comes out clear.
  • Don’t douche more than 2-3 times a week, and make sure you do it gently. Douching too often, or with too much water or force, can rinse away the mucus in your rectum that helps protect the delicate skin inside your body. It can also lead to irritation and tearing to the epithelium — the type of protective body tissue that covers all your organs and body cavities. Damage to the epithelium can cause a higher chance of getting sexually transmitted infections (including HIV). 
  • Try not to douche right before having anal sex. Do it an hour or 2 before, to help your butt recover from any potential irritation.
  • It’s also important not to douche if you have hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or any other kind of irritation in your butt. It could hurt or make them worse.

Tags: anal sex, douching