How to Not Poop During Anal

Trying anal for the first time can be awkward and confusing. It’s important to ask yourself and your partner questions about consent, safety and pleasure before anal sex begins.

Your rectum doesn’t store feces permanently, but it does serve as a hallway for it to travel from your colon to your anus. So, poop does occasionally make its way into penetrative anal play.

1. Take a shower or bath

When you’re having anal sex, it’s not uncommon for fecal matter to make a cameo. This can happen in the form of traces or full nuggets and can be pretty gross. It can also transfer to your partner’s penis or their fingers (and sometimes even sex toys).

Your rectum doesn’t store poop; it’s more like a hallway that poop passes through as it makes its way from your colon up through your anus. This is why it’s important to empty your pipes before anal sex.

It’s also recommended to take a shower or bath before anal, and many people use a douche to clean their anus. However, don’t douche on a regular basis as this can cause anal irritation and lead to infections. Instead, try using a hand-held bidet to spray your anus with water until it feels clean. This can help prevent the build-up of poop and other waste particles, which could make for an uncomfortable anal experience.

2. Clear your bowels

In rare cases, it is possible for fecal matter to make its way through tiny tears in the anal sphincter or rectum and travel elsewhere in the body. This can cause bacterial, viral or parasitic infections such as E. coli, salmonella, Giardia or Cryptosporidium.

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The best way to prevent this is to empty your pipes before you do anal sex. For most people, this will mean going to the bathroom shortly before anal sex and getting the job done quickly. It is also recommended to eat a high-fiber diet that includes things like prunes, apples, kiwis and flaxseed to encourage regular bowel movements.

Using a towel or a washcloth to clean the anal canal and rectum before engaging in anal sex is also helpful, especially if you are concerned about poop leaking into your mouth or vagina. Some people also use enemas to get waste out of the colon before anal sex, but this can be dangerous for some, since the solution used may change the chemical balance in the colon and cause irritation or even a tear.

3. Eat a high-fiber diet

Eating a diet rich in fiber can help ensure that feces don’t make an appearance during anal. “Diet plays a massive role in what we might end up dealing with on our bottom,” pelvic floor physical therapist Heather Edwards tells SELF.

The anal sphincter isn’t where poop usually hangs out, but it’s not uncommon to encounter some brown remnants during anal penetration, Pitagora says. It’s because poop is stored in the colon and passes through the anus to exit the body, and sometimes some of it can end up on the rectum and penis.

A diet high in fiber (like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) can help prevent this by improving the consistency of stools. Soluble fiber absorbs excess water in the colon, bringing it to a gel-like state so that feces can glide through the colon more easily, sweeping up stragglers along the way.

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4. Stay hydrated

There’s no way to completely stop poop from showing up during anal (or any kind of body play for that matter), but there are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood. These tips include emptying your bowels before anal, drinking lots of water, eating a healthy diet, and using anal lube.

Having a fecal accident during anal isn’t always a huge deal, but it is important to wash any areas that came into contact with the poop as soon as possible. Fecal material can contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause infections if not properly cleaned.

It’s also important to avoid douches and enemas before anal, as they can cause injury and may be harmful for your partner. Douching too often or with too much pressure can irritate the skin of your rectum, leading to cuts and abrasions. Regular use of enemas can also lead to electrolyte imbalances.

5. Avoid smoking

The digestive system moves waste through the bowels, which connect to the anus. If you’re eating the right foods, staying hydrated and exercising regularly, you shouldn’t have much residue hanging around your anus, Pitagora says.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen, especially if you’re eating a lot of food before having anal. During anal, small bits of fecal material can get transferred to your partner’s penis or fingers or any sex toys that make contact with your butthole.

Bacteria on the anus can also cause itching in and around the anal canal. To help ease the itch, use lubricant on your penis, hands and any other sex toys you may be using during anal. Over-the-counter ointments and creams can also relieve itching around the anus. If you’re unsure what type of ointment or cream to use, ask your healthcare provider for advice. Also, be sure to wash your hands, genitals and any sex toys that come into contact with poop thoroughly after sexual activity.

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6. Wear a condom

If you want to take the worry out of anal, a condom is a good option. Just make sure to use it in a way that doesn’t leave any gaps in the seal. You should also be careful not to douche too frequently, as this can irritate the skin in and around the anus and lead to a higher risk of poop during penetration.

Ultimately, the concern about poop during anal is understandable. But it’s important to remember that poop is usually stored in the colon, which connects to your rectum and anus. The penis or dildo that enters the anal during anal isn’t touching your colon, so it’s unlikely to accidentally poop on your partner’s penis or dildo. Still, it’s a possibility and it’s a good idea to take precautions, especially for people with digestive issues like Crohn’s disease or IBS. And if you do happen to poo during anal, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed — just wash your hands and any sex toys that came into contact with fecal matter thoroughly.

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