Anal douching is becoming much more commonplace in recent years. Not only gay men, but heterosexual and even lesbian couples have begun to indulge in the practise, some cleaning their rectum daily to prevent the build-up of faeces and bacteria. While the practise is perfectly safe for the most part, there are some dangers to regular or excessive douching that you should be aware of if you plan to take up the practise.
These dangers can be loosely grouped into incorrect douching, and excessive douching.
How you douche can be the most important factor in whether or not it actually benefits your body. Using incorrect techniques or equipment can put you at a lot of risk. Even if your techniques are correct, some styles of douche will need more care than others.
Douches are designed by nature to be inserted into the anus. While there is nothing inherently wrong with inserting things in your butt, it’s an unfortunate fact that our bodies weren’t originally designed for this use. The anus doesn’t produce any natural lubrication, unlike the vagina, so plenty of lubricant will be needed to avoid damage to your anus, sphincter, or rectum.
Failing to lubricate will be painful, but this might not be the biggest worry. Pushing things into your anus dry could lead to abrasions, scratches, tears, or even punctures. The first three will make you much more susceptible to infections and diseases being transmitted through the wounds. Punctures though are much more serious, and will usually require surgery and have a long-term impact on your life.
Which liquid you choose to douche with will have an impact on the benefit, or detriment, to your body. In some cases, this will be simple. DO NOT douche with bleach, alcohol, acid, car oil, anything that is quite obviously going to be toxic, poisonous, or unhealthy for your butt. With other liquids, knowing which to use can be a little more difficult. For example, regularly douching with tap water can cause an electrolyte imbalance within your body.
When something is going to be going inside your body, you’re going to want to make sure it is properly clean. This should go without saying, but some materials used to make the nozzles will be harder to properly sterilise than others. You need to take extra care to make sure any nasty bacteria have been fully removed between each use. We’d also advise that you never share your douching kit with anyone else. Having one for each person is so much easier, and cuts down risk of infection massively.
Some douche nozzles are designed to be attached directly to the faucet of your shower, eliminating the need for a bulb or bag. While this might sound like a great time saver, it significantly increases the risk factor. Household pipes don’t usually have consistent pressure levels, so it can be difficult to get the water flow right. Even if you do, a sudden surge in pressure could fill you up a lot faster than you were inspecting, and might rupture your rectum or colon. If you use one of these douches take things very, very slow, and be even more careful than usually.
This should be quite an obvious danger, especially if you use a shower shot douche nozzle. Most people won’t enjoy having a cold or even room temperature douche liquid. It is usually recommended to heat the liquids up to around body temperature before insertion. Getting this wrong though can suck. Too hot, and you’ll burn your rectum. Too cold, and all your insides will tense up making the whole experience much more difficult and unpleasant. If you plan to douche regularly you might want to pick up a simple thermometer to make sure you get it right.
While the other dangers are relatively simple to identify and monitor, excessive douching is a little more difficult. There isn’t really any hard and fast rule on how much you should douche, or how much is too much. What we do know though, is that doing it every day is almost certainly going to be bad for you.
The rectum, while not self-lubricating, does contain a mucus lining. This helps to protect the rest of your body from any of the nasty bacteria you’ll find in the area (which is quite likely given what it’s for). There are also a number of healthy flora and bacteria that live in your rectum and digestive system. People will often drink probiotic yoghurts to help boost these good bacteria, as maintaining a good level of them improve your overall self-being and wellness.
Douching has the opposite effect on both these natural processes, quite literally flushing them down the toilet. When done occasionally, this isn’t going to have a huge effect. If done every day though, your body will never have time to recover these good bacteria and mucous so the rectum will gradually weaken.
Good Douching Practise
Proper douching is quite a simple process, and carries limited risk. To make sure you get it right, there are a few simple steps you should follow:
- Ensure that your equipment is clean and sterilised.
- Lubricate the anus and nozzle well.
- Check the temperature of the liquid you use to make sure it isn’t too hot or too cold.
- Gently squeeze the liquids into your rectum. Avoid too much pressure.
- Hold the liquid inside you for as long as you are comfortable with. When your body wants it out, let it out!
- All of the liquid might not exit your body straight away, so stay near the toilet for at least half an hour after you douche. Avoid straining to push the liquid out.
- Following your douche, be sure to thoroughly clean and sterilise your equipment ready for the next use.
- IF AT ANY POINT DURING THE DOUCHE YOU FEEL PAIN, OR SEE BLOOD, STOP IMMEDIATELY!
While we understand that dealing with faecal matter during sex can be a rather unpleasant experience, it’s equally important you understand the risks you take when “washing your insides”. Take care not to overstress your body, and try to listen to its signs and signals. If you have any worries, always go to your doctor for advice.
How Often Should You Anal Douche?
When it comes to anal douching, there’s one question that nobody really has an answer for. How often should you do it? It’s a difficult thing to answer properly, as even amongst the medical community there are many different answers you’ll find. We’re going to try and dissect the issue, and hopefully help you decide when it’s right to douche.
How Often Is It Necessary?
In general, douching will never be truly necessary. In a human body operating at full function, the body does its own job keeping everything clean and healthy, and it does it well. So, if something is completely unnecessary, then why do it at all?
Well one obvious answer to this is medical reasons. Douching can be recommended to many patients suffering from a wide range of medical issues. Constipation, in particular, can be greatly helped by a level of regular douching.
Outside of medicine, the reasons to douche are entirely up to the individual. For some, they might feel it’s better to do it more often. Others might only prefer to do it occasionally or for special occasions.
Who Should Douche Less?
There are a few aspects of your everyday life that can affect how often you should douche. Diet makes a particularly large difference. If you regularly eat a lot of fibre, and have a healthy and consistent schedule of bowel movements, you probably won’t need to douche much or at all.
Who Should Douche More?
Those who need to douche more will usually decide to do so based solely on personal reasons. If you regularly engage in more extreme sexual activity such as fisting or gaping, then regular douching will help you feel more comfortable. Many gay men will douche before every sexual encounter as social norms expect them to have very clean rectums.
Other people may just want to douche more because it makes them more comfortable. The risk of encountering faecal matter during anal sex can be very off-putting for a lot of people. These people will usually douche before nearly every anal session.
Can You Douche Too Much?
Douching too frequently can cause some serious damage to your body. Your gut and rectum are full of all kinds of healthy bacteria and flora, as well as bad ones. Douching makes no distinction between these, washing away the good bacteria too and leaving your rectum more susceptible to damage.
If You Are Unsure…
A good way to check if you need to douche or not is to use an anal sex toy before you plan to have anal sex. Preferably choose one that is clear or light coloured. Insert it into the rectum and then after removing, check for any faecal matter. If there is none present on the toy, then you probably don’t need to douche.
Even if you still choose to, try not to do it all the time. If at any point you feel pain during the process, be sure to stop immediately. While having a clean rectum is important, it’s even more important to practise safe douching.
Can I Reuse My Anal Douche?
A relatively simple question you might have when starting to anal douche is whether or not you can reuse your kit. Most kits consist of a simple bulb and nozzle design. Being able to reuse them will depend on which kind of douche you buy.
Re-usable douches are your standard anal douche. They usually have a detachable nozzle which can be removed between uses in order to properly clean the equipment. The bulbs on these are often also of varying sizes, so you can get one to hold exactly the amount of water you feel comfortable taking into your rectum.
Single Use Douches
Single use douches are usually much smaller than re-usable douches. They function in a similar way, with a removable nozzle to fill the bulb. As they are designed to be thrown away after use, they will usually be made of lower quality materials.
Which Should I Choose?
Whether you go for a single use, or re-suable douche will largely depend on your own personal preferences.
- Price wise, there isn’t a huge difference. Obviously if you go the disposable route the you will need to continue buying them, so over time this will work out more expensive.
- For hygiene, disposables will be the clear favourite here. Using a fresh one for each session means there will be minimal chance of [cross contamination or infections to your rectum.
- The materials in re-usable douches will generally be much higher quality than a disposable. Disposables are often made of plastic.
- Size wise, you can get much more of your chosen liquid into a re-usable douche. This can make them much easier to use as you only need one refill for a full clean.
- If travelling, single use douches will generally be much smaller and easier to pack.
The short answer is yes, you can reuse your douche. But if this is your intention, you need to ensure you pick up a high-quality douche that is going to last a while. There’s no point avoiding disposables if you end up having to replace your douche every couple of weeks anyway!
Can I Use My Anal Douche in the Shower?
Most guides to anal douching you find will probably tell you to be near your toilet, so that when everything comes back out you have somewhere easy to drop it all off. It is perfectly acceptable though to douche while in the shower! Not only does it have a drain for things to flow away, but it means you can adopt douching as part of your showering regime. You were probably going to have a shower afterwards anyway, so why not do both at the same time?
Ensure that you have everything you need before you jump in the shower, or you’ll have to be getting in and out. You can douche at the start of the shower, or the end, it’s entirely up to you. Perform the douche as normal, being careful not to slip over, the let everything out as normal. You can continue until the water ends up running clear from your butt, then finish your shower as usual.
If you find that you particularly enjoy having your douches during a shower, you can go an extra step. A shower shot is a small nozzle which attaches to either your shower hose, or directly to the shower fitting itself. Which you choose will depend on if you plan to use it all the time. With a shower shot douching nozzle, completing your anal douches while in the shower requires no extra set up or equipment, and can really speed the process along.
If you’ve ever considered anal douching, but been a bit worried about the mess, then why not try doing it in the shower? Then when you step out, you’ll feel squeaky clean inside and out.