How to douche

, Pierre-Cédric Crouch, PhD, ANP-BC

douchieDouchie brings butt health & happiness out of the closet so you can care for your butt in the way it deserves. Get info about everything from douching to fissures with this series on all things anal.

Check out Douchie’s Guide to Butt Health & Happiness by San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Pierre-Cedric Crouch

Pierre-Cédric Crouch, PhD, ANP-BC

Anal douching isn’t something we talk about much in our community and we aren’t given many opportunities to learn about it. My high school coach taught sex ed. He said “Keep it in your pants, boys. Keep it in your pants.” Surprisingly, he never covered anal douching. Yet, we are all supposed to somehow know all about it. And, we succumb to societal pressure to pass white glove tests at all times of the day. #bottomstruggles.

At Magnet, we are asked a lot about how to douche safely. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t douche at all. But to be real, no one wants to leave a crime scene on their partner. There isn’t much research on regular anal douching before sex but we do know some things. Below, I’ll give you the low-down on what we know about what’s safe to do—and what you should avoid doing if you douche.

Use the right water.  

Tap water is fine if you aren’t using it every day. If you douche too often with tap water, you can cause an electrolyte imbalance that using normal saline would prevent. Avoid it if you can but it’s not always easy to do so.  And absolutely do not use olive oil, bleach, alcohol, or anything else that you find under your kitchen sink. These will cause significant harm to your butt.

I know you aren’t running a cooking show at home to make your own normal saline. And sometimes your big top daddy is coming over too soon to run to the store to get a Fleet’s. So what about tap water?

douche characterUsing the right type of liquid to clean out  your butt is important. Your body maintains a delicate balance of electrolytes to function normally. If you use the wrong liquid, you can cause imbalances that harm your body. One of the safer liquids to put up your butt is called “normal saline.” This is a water mixture that has the right amount of a sodium electrolyte to match what is in your body. You can get this stuff in a saline Fleet enema or you can also make normal saline at home by combining a half teaspoon of salt with a cup of water.

And while you are pouring the water, be sure to check the temperature. I can’t over-emphasize this one. The mucosal lining of your intestines and colon is much more sensitive to temperature than the skin on the outside of your body. You may be able to tolerate a hot shower, but you’ll burn your insides if you use that same temperature in an enema. Test the water temperature first with your hand and turn down the temperature until it feels lukewarm. Then turn the temperature down just a bit more. That’s what can go up your butt.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • A working definition of anal douching.
  • The pros and cons of douching with an enema.
  • Why it’s important to use an enema before anal play.
  • Some basic medical concerns related to douching.
  • The physiology of your anus and how rectum works.
  • How your digestive system works.
  • Optimal Douching Times
  • Types of anal douches used by gay men with instructions.
  • How to clean your enema
  • The best time to douche.
  • Dietary information for the best gay bottom experience
  • Douching Don’ts
  • Gay enema myths
  • Gay bottom poll

how to douche anal

What is Anal Douching?

Douching, in its purest form, is the process pushing fluid into the lower part of the rectum that is responsible for holding and eliminating fecal matter.

Using an enema, the water dislodges poop and allows it to pass through the rectum and out of your body. Generally speaking, there are three types of douches. All are designed to shoot water at a high pressure up the anus for fecal removal.

The three primary types are:

  • Bulbs with elongated noses (enemas)
  • Shower apparatus systems (shower enema)
  • Water bag douche

Further down in this article, I’ll give you an overview of each with personal experiences, thoughts and reflections. For now, let’s continue our anal cleansing journey.

Why Should Bottoms Use a Douche or Enema (Pros)

Before moving forward, it’s important to establish the need for an enema in the first place. In other words, why douche at all? Here are some reasons you might want to consider:

Reasons for gay men to douche:

  • Cleans anal canal and avoids “messy moments”.
  • Makes the bottoming experience more enjoyable.
  • Allows for butt play that goes beyond bottoming.
  • When douching properly, an enema can feel good.
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On this particular point, men who identify as tops have repeatedly shared that their major pet peeve is when bottoms don’t properly clean themselves out.

Related: Gay tops don’t like dirty bottoms

When you think about all that is involved with taking on the bottom role, it kind of makes sense. And there’s something to be said about regular, healthy bowel movements. Mother nature can only do so much.

Later on in this article, I’ll give you some tips on how to maximize cleanliness through diet that works in conjunction with douching.

gay men douching and safety

Reasons Bottoms Shouldn’t Douche (Cons)

To be fair, there are valid arguments against douching for bottom men. The main reasons relate to health and STI prevention.

Other reasons include:

  • Potential interference with gastrointestinal functioning.
  • Possible medical concerns (see below).
  • Creating a reliance upon enemas for bowel movements.

Is it Safe to Use an Enema?

Many gay men who bottom wonder if using an enema is a smart idea. It’s a perfectly natural question when you think about it. After all, you are sticking a douche up your butt in order to clean it.

Here’s the truth. There hasn’t been enough research on this topic to make a definitive statement either way. The main concerns about douching include:

  • Removing the protective layer of mucous from the lining of the anus.
  • Irritation of the anal wall which may cause tears.
  • Overuse of enemas may disrupt the normal cycle of bowel movements.

Anal Douching, Gay Men and HIV Concerns

The primary concern for men who use an enema before bottoming is potential damage to the anal wall. Here, I’m talking about the plastic head (long nozzle) of the enema scratching your rectal lining.

To avoid this from happening, it’s important to use the right type of enema while making sure it is properly lubed up. When you first push an enema up your butt, you’ll feel it go in.

But after about 1.5 inches in, you won’t feel much at all. That’s because your anus doesn’t have pain receptors. In some ways that’s good for bottoming. But for douching, it can be problematic because you could accidentally cause a tear.

As we continue, I’m going to make recommendations for both the type of enema you should use and lube to minimize problems while maximizing pleasure.

I’ll reiterate again there really isn’t enough data about enema use and STI’s to make declarative statements. That’s why minimizing your risks is the best approach; similar to a top wearing a condom for penetration.

The general consensus is that douching for gay men is fairly safe. And new research from the International Rectal Microbicide Advocates suggests that use of an anti-microbial agent for douching may act as a prevention approach for STI’s.

Obviously, special care needs to be used when cleaning your anus out for play. The process shouldn’t be rushed.

Ive been douching for years and have never experienced any problems – not even once. But I’ll also say that I always allow myself enough time to complete the process.

Anal Physiology: How Your Rectum Works

Since we are talking about the anus, enemas and douching for bottom men, it might be helpful for you to have a broad overview over your colon and rectum.

A lot of guys don’t know this but the outer area of the anus is filled with sensitive nerve endings. Inside of your hole, there are two small rings that are responsible for opening and closing.

  • Outer sphincter
  • Internal sphincter

As a bottom, you have the ability to control the tightening of your outer sphincter. The inner ring, however, is completely involuntary.

All of this relates to douching because knowing how the inside of your butt works can help you with understanding the various sensations you will feel when you clean yourself out.

Water Absorption and Your Anus

The lining of your anus is designed to absorb water. I mention this because when you shoot h20 up your butt, it can cause your blood pressure to increase.

If you have a history of heart problems, kidney issues or other medical challenges, it’s probably better to avoid douching until you speak with your doctor.

Types of Anal Douches with Recommendations

Previously, I mentioned there are three primary types of douches that are used by bottoms to clean themselves out. I’m going to walk you through the bulb enema method in exhaustive detail because that’s the one most guys use.

The shower enema and bag douche work in similar ways. But realistically, most men use a bulb because it’s practical, portable and easiest.

anal douche for gay anal men

Bulb Douche (Best Enema Choice)

Bulb douches are the most widely used type of enemas for guys who bottom. I personally use OTTBA Kit because:

  • The nozzle is rounded and prevents cuts and nicks.
  • The bulb apparatus holds plenty of water for cleaning. This is a distinct advantage over its competitors.
  • The elongated nozzle goes far enough up the anus to dislodge poop.
  • FDA approved
  • Comes with a small tube of lube to put on tip to help with insertion (see point #4 below).
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You can order it directly from Amazon and have it mailed right to your home.

Guys, I’m here to tell you that bulb type douches are the easiest to use and least expensive. This douche usually comes in two parts: (1) The Bulb and; (2) Nozzle. To put together, you simply screw the nozzle onto the bulb and you’re done.

Shower System Douche (Second Best Choice)

Should you choose, there are professional shower enemas on the market that are high quality. One of the best ones you can buy is from the folks at Clear Stream (see Amazon for pricing).

It includes four different tips, which allows for optimal cleaning. This particular type of douche is often used by guys who consider themselves serious power bottoms.

Related: Definition of a power bottom for gay men

There are drawbacks to this approach. First, I’m not a fan of shower systems because the pressure can be hard to control. Second, the cleanup process takes time because there are more parts to clean. Third, shower enemas aren’t all that portable.

If you know for sure you will be bottoming at your place because it’s the norm, the shower system douche may be a good choice.

How to Clean Your Enema

Once are done using your enema, it’s important to immediately clean it. Running water over it is not sufficient. I’ll quickly walk you through enema cleaning steps.

FYI: These directions apply to the bulb enema mentioned earlier because that’s what most guys use.

1. Disassemble the enema.

2. Rinse nozzle and base under running water

2. In a clean bowl or sink, pour 2 cupfuls of hydrogen peroxide and 1 cupful of organic soap into basin of water.

3. Manually wash nozzle and base.

4. Thoroughly Rinse both parts under water again to soap and peroxide.

5. Place both parts on a paper towel and allow to air dry.

douching gay botoms

When in the best time to Douche?

There has long been a debate about how much prep time is really needed before bottoming for a top. Here’s the deal – there’s no definitive answer.

Based on my own personal experience, combined with conversations I’ve had with other guys who are into anal penetration over the years, I can give you some basic guidelines that may be helpful.

Douching Preparation Suggestions

  • Allow up to two hours at a minimum to prepare.
  • If you haven’t been having regular bowel movements, allow even more time.
  • If you cleaned yourself out early in the day, don’t assume it will last you the duration. That’s because your gastrointestinal system is constantly digesting food products and creating chyme.
  • If you have a history of GI problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 3 hours is suggested.

Guidelines for Eating and Bottoming

The longer you have between your last meal and the time you engage in anal play, the better.

If you know early in the day that you will be bottoming later that night, it’s OK to eat but I’d allow a six-hour window just in case. Clear soups and high fiber fruits are ideal.

Here are foods I would totally avoid:

  • Dairy products
  • Red meats of any type
  • Chips and nuts
  • Low fiber foods
  • Fried foods

enema constipation anal

Laxatives, Enemas and Gay Bottoming

You may be wondering if it’s OK to use a laxative before bottoming. Honestly guys, I’m here to say that if at all possible, you should avoid using any type of laxative.

Not only are these loaded with chemicals, laxatives aren’t really a cure for the root of your problem. Plus, some products make your gas smell really bad and cause diarrhea.

Unless your doctor has told you to use a stool softener or laxative, you are far better off reaching for something else. See next section.

Douching Don’ts

I’m going to list several “Don’ts” regarding douching with the hope of discouraging you from engaging in any of the following.

  • Don’t use an empty plastic bottle because you’re in a rush. It could tear your anal lining.
  • Don’t continue use of an enema if you see the presence of blood.
  • Don’t use an enema for douching unless it has been properly cleaned.
  • Don’t use anti-bacterial soaps to clean your enema because these types of cleaning agents are now banned by FDA.

myths about douching men

Gay Douching Myths

Just for fun, I thought it would be helpful to list out several common myths associated with gay men who douche. Some you may have heard of. Others, maybe not.

  • Men who douche are effeminate
  • Versatile guys don’t use enemas
  • Guys with brown eyes only need to douche
  • Douching isn’t really an anal activity
  • If you douche, it means you’re are a total bottom

Vaginal Douching

One of the worst things to do for the vagina is to douche.

I have had women tell me they use a variety of things as suppositories, including vinegar, yogurt, peroxide (yes. I know), soap, garlic and tea bags.

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I’m going to say it again. DO NOT DOUCHE.

The vagina is virtually a self-cleaning oven. justin-luebke-43169.jpgIf you feel the need to clean the inside or want some relief, take a plastic cup into the shower- not glass, #safetyfirst – and use it to rinse the area with warm water while gently spreading the external lips. That’s it!


D-Mannose is a supplement used to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. I don’t recommend this to treat a UTI, primarily because if it doesn’t work, a kidney infection could develop and kidney infections are real. By real, I mean REAL DANGEROUS. Anyway, D-mannose was brought to my attention by one of my patients because she suffered from recurrent UTIs. She wiped from front to back, urinated after sex, drank a lot of water, and still had to deal with UTIs every 1-2 months. Since trying D-mannose, she said the frequency dropped substantially.

bacteria under microscopeD-mannose is a natural molecule that is found in cranberries, apples and some other fruits. It is the active ingredient in cranberries, minus the sugar that usually accompanies cranberry products like juice. Sugar is the not an infection’s best friend, so being able to consume the active ingredient without the sugar is best. Drinking water is also very important. The molecule has been found to reduce the ability of bacteria to adhere to the urinary tract, which is why I think that it is most useful for prevention rather than treatment. The bacteria don’t even make it in the door, let alone have an opportunity to trash the place. Risks are relatively low with this product, especially if used as directed.

Your Takeaway on Natural Remedies for Vaginal Health

Vaginal health is greatly influenced by overall and general health. Drinking plenty of water, maintaining a good weight, eating a well-balanced diet, taking a daily probiotic to keep the vaginal environment healthy, using condoms, all of these things can be extremely important to reducing the number of infections in a year. Although natural remedies in general are not harmful, they are not routinely tested or regulated by the FDA. It may take some trial and error to find one that works well for your lady bits.

Also, if you try something that has worked in the past and it isn’t working anymore then it is a good idea to have a doc check it out. Remember these are just guidelines and it’s always best to review all questions with your physician.

How do I undertake a nasal douching?

Please read the information leaflet.  Share the information it contains with your partner and family (if you wish) so that they can be of help and support.  There may be information they need to know, especially if they are taking care of you following this examination.

To douche the nose first all make up the following mixture.

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
  • Add to 1 pint (approx. 600 mls) of boiled water, allow the mixture to cool.

Pour some of the solution into a clean container and draw up the solution with a syringe (which will be provided by the ward prior to discharge). Avoid contaminating the main solution with the syringe by only inserting the tip of the syringe into the solution. Gently dispense the solution into the nostril using the syringe whilst sniffing the solution through the nose into the throat and spit out. If you lean over the sink or a bowl this will collect the solution that comes out of the nose.

Do not worry if you swallow some of the solution as it will not cause you any harm. It is best to continue until no more debris is washed out of the nose.  You should then repeat this process  with the other nostril. Some people find the solution stings a little at first but this eventually settles after a few days.

If you have been advised to take nose drops please take them after you have finished douching and have had a few moments to let your nose settle.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Neurosurgery Department on tel no: (01482) 674369

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and well-being and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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