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Getting Clean Down There for Anal Sex by Adidasluvr

Step 1
– warm shower, gently clean around the outside.

Step 2 – You’re done!

That’s right, if you have a normal healthy bowel habit you are now clean. There is no need for enemas or douches. In fact an enema or douche can cause more problems than they solve and have been implicated in the increased transmission of STIs (including HIV).

The Lower Bowel

In order to understand why you need to understand the normal physiology of the lower bowel.

The upper bowel (stomach & small bowel) is responsible for the breakdown and absorption of the nutrients of the food you eat. The by product is then moved into the large colon where the main function is the absorption of water, on a daily basis 1.5-2.5 litres of water enter the large bowel and only 100-200ml leaves as faeces.

Faeces do not constantly enter the rectum, instead they accumulate in the last segment of the colon (sigmoid) and are moved on mass into the rectum. On arrival pressure sensors notify the brain of the need to defecate and when socially appropriate you do so. The rectum is lined with mucus secreting glands which coat the outside of the faeces with a thin slippery coating in order to ensure the smooth departure of the faeces without residue.

So, all functioning normally, between bowel motions your rectum should already be clean and empty. A normal person needs to go for a bowel motion between three times a day and once every three days.

Whilst we are here, please don’t scrub your bum clean with loo paper. It is abrasive and ends up grinding faeces into the skin of the bum causing irritation. You are best to wipe away the worst with the toilet paper, and then use a bidet, shower or a moist wipe to gently remove the rest. Your bum will thank you.

So why do enemas exist?

Enemas were created as a temporary solution to the medical problem of constipation.

Unfortunately in the early 1900s two fashionable ideas saw their use spread to the general population. Firstly, the idea that regulating your child bowels through the use of regular enemas would reduce masturbation (myth). Second, that regulating your own bowels through the use of enemas would avoid the need to go during socially inconvenient times (terribly important when you want to impress the well to do!).

This second idea revealed the downsides of interfering in your normal bowel function. Overuse of enemas results in the bowel failing to function normally and you become dependant on them.

For gay men, the belief in enemas and douching stems from the urban myth that the rectum is constantly full of faeces and that anal sex = poo pushing. Poor diets and poor bowel habits only reinforced this fallacious need.

During insertion of a douche or enema trauma to the rectal tissues can occur resulting in pain during anal intercourse. Additionally the chemicals of a douche can cause a low-grade irritation that only becomes obvious during anal intercourse. It may be that you don’t enjoy anal sex because you’ve douched!

"But I only use water"
Using water only still removes the mucus lining of the rectum that may have a protective function. A number of commonly available sexual lubricants have been shown to cause irritation of the rectal tissues and an intact mucus layer reduces this.

There are a limited number of studies that show an increased risk of STI transmission following douching (mainly HIV & hepatitis studies). There are a larger number of studies that show microscopic damage to the rectal mucosa following douching and from this there is biological plausibility for the concern about probable increased risk of STI transmission.

The recent abandonment of a microbiocide study (for vaginal intercourse) due to increased transmission of HIV from microscopic changes induced by a chemical that seemed quite safe reinforces the concern and biological plausibility that douching could lead to an increased risk of STI transmission.

So how do I get a healthy normal bowel habit?

The biggest causes of retained faeces within the rectum are the prolonged delay in defecation once the rectum is full, and inadequate dietary fibre from the consumption of over processed foods.

As stated above in the section on the normal functioning of the bowel the rectum has pressure sensors to notify the brain once a load is ready and waiting. These pressure sensors are so fine-tuned they can tell the difference between gas (a fart) and solid, so that you know when you can safely relax your sphincters without shitting yourself. Prolonged delays in defecating once the rectum is full leads to overstretching of these sensors and they lose their sensitivity and fail to let you know that there is still some faeces in the rectum.

So, you are best to go crap shortly after the message reaches your brain of the need. Delaying this causes problems. (As does trying to force shit out when it is not time to go – piles often follow this futile act.)

Dietary fibre comes from whole grain breads & cereals (not over processed fluff!) and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Although fluids are mentioned in all discussions on constipation their contribution is usually minor unless you are chronically dehydrated. An adult only needs a minimum of one litre of fluid a day for normal function of all their organ systems; this includes tea, coffee and other beverages. (The belief that water only counts is an urban myth.)

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