Thursday, July 19, 2007

How to Avoid a Shitty Bottom: Anal Sex Etiquette

Doin’ the butt

Sex doesn’t come with a manual. Anal sex – penetration of the anus/rectum by a penis or phallus – can be especially tricky to figure out. For some obvious (and some not-so-obvious) reasons, anal sex requires planning, communication, practice and etiquette. Never fear: Doin’ It Well is here!

Although we often associate anal sex with gay sex, not all gay men have anal sex. In fact, many opposite sex and lesbian couples engage in anal sex play. However, anal sex has some particular terminology within the gay subculture. For instance, a “top” is the term given to the person who is penetrating the “bottom.” This should be pretty self-explanatory. Although someone may prefer to give or receive anal sex, these are often fluid and flexible roles. A self-proclaimed top may enjoy bottoming and vice-versa.

Anal anatomy

The anus is the entry to the rectum; it’s about two inches long and surrounded by two rings of muscles: the external sphincter and the internal sphincter. The external sphincter can be controlled at will, whereas the internal sphincter is an involuntary muscle. The rectum is the canal inside the body and is about eight inches in length. The rectum is able to expand, like the anus or vagina. There are lots of nerve endings around the anus, and for some people, the anus is an erogenous zone that responds to sexual touch. Because the anus doesn’t produce lubrication like the vagina, it is important to use lots of lube to minimize tearing and to always wear a condom.

Shitty bottom

The primary bodily function of the anus/rectum is to expel fecal matter. Everybody poops, right? Generally, the rectum is not a place where feces are stored before expulsion, but some fecal matter will remain in the rectum and on or around the anus. Certainly, anal sex can stir up some fecal matter. However, if a partner has not cleaned themselves beforehand or expelled their bowels, it is not only messy, it is inconsiderate. No one wants a shitty bottom! So here are some tips for keeping your bottom clean.

Wash behind

First, be sure to clear your bowels. This may also mean avoiding foods that may produce diarrhea. After that, the easy answer is to just use your hands. One recommended method is to lightly soap a washcloth, and insert the washcloth with two fingers into the rectum. You do not have to use a lot of scrubbing for cleaning internally, and avoid using harsh soaps or shampoo. Remember to pay attention to both the inside of the anus/rectum and also to the outside. For individuals with a lot of pubic hair, you could be storing last week’s corn-on-the-cob. Wash well.

Enema mine

Another popular way to clean the rectum is the enema. Enemas are basically fluid inserted into the anus, which triggers a bowel movement. Commercial enemas have a chemical that reacts in the rectum, but an enema bag simply uses water to create the same reaction (and it is more environmentally friendly). Enemas are usually used to relieve constipation, and the instructions frequently suggest to “hold” the enema inside briefly by contracting the anal sphincter. Our sources suggest that for a simple cleaning, it is not necessary to retain the fluid in the rectum, but to simply insert and release (leading some people to term this “douching”). Holding the fluid may produce unfortunate and ill-timed bowel movements. Give yourself a few hours before engaging in anal sex, and also be sure to wash externally.

Be careful about over-using enemas; overuse cause your body to lose important fluids, which can create a chemical imbalance. Pay attention to your fluids, and consult your doctor.

Don’t even go there

There may be moments when, although you may wish to engage in anal sex, the timing is just not right. Only you can prevent shitty bottoms! We’ve heard a lot of clever one-liners to communicate to a partner that now is not the right time, but our favorite is, “I’m saving that for marriage.” Whatever you tell your partner, drawing a boundary can make everyone a little happier. Just because it isn’t the right time for anal intercourse doesn’t mean that the night is over.

Safer and cleaner!

As always, it is important to use a condom to help prevent the spread of STIs, including HIV/AIDS. But during anal sex, condoms also allow for an easier clean-up process. Safe and clean! Now there’s a safer sex message we can all stand, er … behind.

Sex 411: Anal Sex Resources

-Teenwire: www.teenwire.org – Excellent resources for teens with questions.
-Morin: Anal pleasure and health

Thanks to Jesse Pierce for his invaluable assistance to this column.

Kim Rice and Ross Wantland are professionals in the fields of sex education and violence prevention. E-mail them at buzzdoinitwell@yahoo.com

Posted by Jo Sanger & Ross Wantland in 20:12:06
Comments

9 Responses to “How to Avoid a Shitty Bottom: Anal Sex Etiquette”

  1. Anonymous says:

    If you use the store bought enemas with the chemical reactant, it may be a good idea to pour out the contents and refill with water. Those chemicals can cause diarrhea in a person who is not constipated and make for a shitty bottom!!

  2. Kim Rice & Ross Wantland says:

    Excellent point! The longer the chemicals from commercial enimas – like Fleet – are held inside the body, the more of a reaction they will cause. Most reusable enima kits simply use good old fahsioned water, as you suggest.Thanks for the important addition.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, What is the difference between a ‘high-colonic’ and a good double bagger?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Anonymous,
    We’re assuming by a “good double bagger” that you mean using a doubled amount of an enima bag – or using two enima bags. Although both are intended to cleanse the colon, there is a lot of difference between an enima and a colonic. Whereas enimas only cleanse the lower portion of the colon, colonics cleanse the entire length of the colon. Colonics are adminstered by professionals who insert a tube high into the colon (thus “high colonic”), and several infusions of fluid are generally administred into the colon during one session. During a colonic, the fluid leaves via a tube, and the receiver won’t have to see or smell the fecal matter. Enimas, on the other hand, are largely self administered, and the fluid is injected into the colon, held in the rectum, and then ejected into the toilet through the regular means. For the purposes of most anal sex, enimas should work fine. Thanks for this great question!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dear anonymous,
    I have a reaccuring problem between my boyfriend and I. I guess it’s a pretty “shitty” one. haha. Anyway, no matter how much I scrub,douche,wipe,squeeze,shit sometime when he fucks me in the ass it gets stinky. Sometimes I have have some leakage issues. Maybe I need more fiber in my diet to make my poop harder and come out all in one shot? I’m really at a loss. This shit is just haunting me. It seems like there is always some left over inside of me. BLAH. He doesn’t make a big deal about it but I can imagine that it would be a little bit gross to deal with. I really don’t know what to do. If anyone has anything suggestions….that would be awesome.

    Peace and love
    -Sebastian

  6. Anonymous says:

    , Hi Sebastian, great questions, check out a more recent post on this very topic…Friday, April 3, 2009. Hope it helps. -Jo & Ross

  7. gadgetryj says:

    You’re my idol. Your blog is wonderful, I learned a lot, thank you.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi
    whenever i have sex with my married boyfriend there seems to be shit involved… the problem his penis is 9 inches almost so i never seem to clean enough,,he always reaches for the shit inside with his tall dick…
    what can i do? i’m hopeless….

  9. Anonymous says:

    Check out a more recent post on this very topic…Friday, April 3, 2009. Hope it helps. -Jo & Ross