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The Ins and Out of Bottoming

Many of us assume that fastidious cleaning of the anal region is a great way to prepare for anal sex.

Keep It Simple!

It’s important to realize is that simple is better.  Using chemical wipes and excessive wiping can lead to irritations that cause skin abrasions, making the area a much more likely entry point for STIs and HPV.  The best course of action is to simply clean the outside of the anus well in the shower or bath with plain water or a very gentle soap.

Enjoy The Fiber.

Also, extremely key is to make sure to always eat a high fiber diet that includes foods such as whole grains, broccoli, and beans.  This diet can be pleasing taste-wise and regulates bowel movements and decreases the likelihood of soiling during sex. Fiber helps bulk up stool and decreases liquidity, further minimizing the chance of a mess. In general, men should consume 30-40 grams of fiber per day, and women should consume 25-30 grams of fiber per day.

Considerations To Bear In Mind With Enemas.

Due to the common fear of excrement rubbing off on one’s partner, many people perform enemas (whereby they inject liquid into the rectum) before having anal sex. While enemas may seem like a logical way to avoid this embarrassing possibility, doctors usually advise against them. Enemas also slightly increase the risk of acquiring infections, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis and even HIV.  According to the recent Lighthouse article, “A Doctor’s Guide to Bottoming,” anal biopsies have found that people who performed enemas with tap water or soap suds show deterioration in their intestinal lining, resulting in increased susceptibility to pathogens. Also, among subjects who performed 50 or more enemas in their lifetime, there is a trend for increased risk of anal dysplasia. If you don’t feel like you need to go to the bathroom (we’re talking number two), the rectum is likely empty, and you will be ready for anal sex.

The colon is 5 feet long and you don’t have to clean the stool out of the entire colon. If you try to clean high up, the water will mix with the stool. This can fill the rectum with liquid stool, increasing the chances of a messy experience.

Relax and Lubricate.

Before getting down, it’s important to relax your anus using various foreplay techniques and to keep your anus relaxed and well-lubricated while bottoming. Toys are a great way to prepare for intercourse, but they can easily cause trauma if used incorrectly, and even spread infections if shared. Passing them back and forth between partners without thoroughly washing them can spread STIs. Opt for softer latex toys that are much less likely to cause trauma than ones made with more rigid materials. 

Rimming can provide some lubrication and helps the anus relax before sex. That said, rimming can put both partners at risk for STIs, so be careful. You can use dental dams as a protective barrier to be safer. 

Adequate water or silicone-based lubricants offer the best protection during anal sex, since these lubricants reduce friction during the act.    

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) medicine is recommended for those who choose to go bareback. When taken correctly, PrEP reduces the risk of contracting HIV from sex. PrEP can serve as a valuable backup if you are at even a minor risk for HIV exposure. Always consult your doctor to see if PrEP medicine is right for you. See more information on PrEP here.

The Play by Play After Foreplay.

After foreplay, it can be fun to lubricate the outside of the anus and your partner’s penis. It’s important not to stimulate the bottom’s penis while attempting penetration.  Gently allow penetration to the point of minimal discomfort. It may be more comfortable for the bottom to control penetration by sitting on their partner’s penis. Within a minute, the sphincter will relax, and the penis can be slowly inserted.

TLC Next Steps.

After anal sex, shower normally with a gentle soap. Clean the outside of the anus very gently — do not attempt to scrub. Do not use enemas, including soap suds or Fleets. Get tested for STIs every three months if you are having anal intercourse with more than one partner, and every six months if you are monogamous.  If you experience any fissures, anal itch, be sure to apply the appropriate Bloop product.

Click here to learn more about finding Bloop’s Anal Fissure Healing Cream, which accelerates the healing process, providing relief from the pain and discomfort of anal fissures: Anal Fissure Healing Topical Cream – Bloop (gotbloop.com)

Dr. Joseph Terlizzi

Highly accomplished in his field, Dr. Terlizzi is double-board certified in general and colorectal surgery, specializing in proctology and anal cancer. His work is widely published in colorectal surgery, proctology, and dermatology. Dr. Terlizzi serves on committees for the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) and the International Anal Neoplasia Society (IANS).

Amany Mousour-Awad

Amany Mansour-Awad is a pioneering force in compounding pharmacy, specialty healthcare, and personal care.

Amany identified and addressed market voids with the inception of Chemistry Rx, a preeminent, woman-owned compounding pharmacy catering to rare disease patients. Chemistry Rx is one of the country’s largest compounding pharmacies and is known for its groundbreaking formulations for the skin, hair and innovative ingredients.

Taking her vision further, she launched Bloop, a personal care brand centered on natural ingredients, championing the philosophy of “Wellness for our body’s most sensitive area.” Bloop is dedicated to restoring and maintaining anorectal health for all. Throughout her career, Amany’s continuous innovation and leadership have persistently transformed healthcare and personal care landscapes.