We Never Had to Douche

My name is Alexander Cheves. My nickname is Beastly. I write about sex.

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I recently started dating a guy and at first, the sex was amazing and we never had any problems. But now sometimes when we are having sex there is now the fear of poop. I’ve never had this issue before so I read all the blogs and advice. I could start a whole new diet with high fibers and be more conscious of the sugars and fatty food that I eat and began to exercise a lot more. Yet there is still a problem with the changes it still occurs I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong or what else I could change to help this now constant fear that it can happen.

Hi friend,

You’re not doing anything wrong. Your body is behaving like a body.

Many people think bodies work like machines. If you plug in specific formulas of food and exercise, the body spits out predictable results — muscle gain, weight loss, and shit-free sex. This is a myth, one that many health bloggers, personal trainers, and retailers want us to believe. In reality, our bodies are quite unpredictable. (If they adhere to anything, it’s genetics, which we have no control over.)

Every gay man I know shares your fear of poop. So many queer sex lives are ruined or simply abandoned because of this fear. And I know where it comes from: before I came out, I heard countless crude jokes about gay men, and every one of them involved poop. When I came out to friends, one told me, “Do what you want, man, but I don’t want a dirty dick.” The night I told the truth to my parents, my father said, “It’s poop, Alex. That’s all gay sex is. Poop.” I’ve never felt so ashamed. That memory still makes me cringe.

Most straight people seem to think gay men play in shit. This may be less true now, as anal sex guides have become buzzy features in mainstream media outlets like Cosmopolitan, GQ, and Teen Vogue, but I still wager that the average straight man plucked off the street has no idea I douche before getting fucked. For men who fuck men, douching does two things: it makes anal sex less messy and it combats the negative image of homosexuality we grow up believing, an image that exists because of the jokes. We are taught to associate gay sex — and gay men — with poop. Douching saves us from our own shame.

But douching isn’t like clockwork, because the body isn’t a machine. Douching doesn’t work every time. A high-fiber diet doesn’t always result in an easy-to-clean butt. Anti-diarrhea pills, which many gay men take before sex to stop the body’s process of digestion, only work about 75% of the time for me, and some say it’s less. And this inconsistency drives us insane. Why won’t our bodies just behave?

The people in my hometown don’t care about Cosmopolitan or GQ. Urban gay men easily forget that a large percentage of our tribe lives in rural, agricultural, conservative places where views of sex are antiquated at best, and the straight people there are absolutely fixated on our anal sex. It’s the only thing they know about us and the only thing they can attack us with. This means that every small-town faggot has to hear shit jokes and phrases like “dirty dick” — and internalize them.

We are burdened with creating happy sex lives from that shame. Without instructors, we usually turn to gay porn, where everyone has a spotless, ready-to-fuck hole. When our sex doesn’t go that way, we assume we’re doing something wrong, that sex must be easier for everyone else. (False.) This is the story of my sex life and it’s probably the story of yours. You may not have grown up in a small town, but you grew up — as we all do — among heterosexuals who presented heterosexual sex as “normal,” “clean,” and “beautiful.” In straight love scenes in movies, the music swells, candles flicker. Gay sex, in contrast, is talked about as the ugly kind — the kind that involves poop.

I’ve lived long enough to see and experience beautiful gay sex. Fearsome, candle-lit, animalistic, passionate gay sex. I’ve seen anal sex between men that looks cleaner and more romantic than any cinematic love scene between a man and a woman. But I still sometimes remember the jokes, the locker room talk on the football team, and my dad saying “It’s poop.” And I feel ashamed.

On top of all this, we’re dealing with thousands of years of evolution. Humans ritualize defecation — a private experience now instead of a public one — to keep poop out of view, separated from life. We are instinctively shit-phobic, and we evolved this way purposefully: we avoid foul-smelling things because bad smells in nature usually indicate that something is unsafe for us to eat. So as sexually-active gay men, we have to untangle the biological impulse to fear shit, overcome a lifetime of anti-gay myths and jokes, and discern real sex from porn — all while learning to do something hard (anal sex is difficult) without any instruction. This task is so overwhelming that many just give up.

Don’t give up.

What’s missing from your question is your douching process. Douching is a ritual we learn through trial and error. I’ve written specific details on how to clean the butt for anal sex and included the douching regimen that works best for me. Some guys need a few minutes in the shower with a small douching bulb. Others need an hour and a shower shot (a hose with a nozzle attached to your shower head via a diverter — they make portable versions of these as well). Some guys need one dose of fiber a day, others three. Everyone’s plumbing is different. But even when you have a douching regimen that works most of the time, you will still have nights when it’s hard to get clean. Every bottom does.

When those nights come, you must do something that only gay men have learned to do. Your straight friends haven’t learned to do it; your parents haven’t. You must love the animalism of the body, even the shit and stink and grime of it. You must see the body as a powerful creature — and all creatures poop. Your dog poops (sometimes at inconvenient times and places) but you still love it. Extend that love to yourself and to the guys in your bed. When you do that, you will look at everyone walking around terrified of their own bodily processes and you will pity them.

Douching is big business. Wellness brands have exploited every human insecurity imaginable so why not this one? I’m not certain when the modern douching craze took off, but you should talk to gay men in their 60s and 70s about their wild years. This is anecdotal — oral history always is — but in the slutty heyday of the ’70s and early ’80s, douching was not as common as it is today. Many men from this era still don’t douche before sex. AIDS is likely responsible for establishing the myth of cleanliness — that everyone must clean and must be clean for sex. On top of that, I believe the image of a totally clean butt for sex is mostly a (very successful) marketing campaign developed by people who want our money. Douche manufacturers and sex toy manufacturers and porn companies have all profited from marketing the idea that if you’re not completely clean, you’re not doing anal sex properly and should be ashamed of it. And that has resulted in a generation of queer men believing that a completely natural part of having a body is something to remedy.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t douche (although many health experts and butt pigs alike warn that too-frequent douching and over-douching isn’t good for you — it can erode your gut flora and cause gastrointestinal issues). It just means that you don’t have to in order to have enjoyable anal sex. Douching is for your comfort only. Some people find it more comfortable to douche for sex, and many fist pigs douche for fisting (shit fisting feels grainy and uncomfortable for most bottoms). Do whatever you find comfortable. Some of my best sex nights have been when I didn’t clean out at all and some of my most frustrating and disappointing nights have been when I cleaned for an hour, to no avail.

Try different douching techniques to see what works. If the problem persists for six months, talk to a GI doctor. No douching technique will work every time, but you’ll find something that works a lot of the time. (Remember not to over-douche — minimal douching regimens are better.) And when messes happen, don’t panic — challenge yourself to be less afraid of your body. If a guy wants to fuck your hole, he should understand that it’s an ass. Its primary biological purpose is to poop. Its secondary purpose is to give you pure, maddening pleasure.

Love, Beastly

I am a man who likes to top but I really love to bottom and want to try to take more ( bigger cocks, toys, eventually work up to fisting, which is a huge turn-on for me). But I never feel like I’m clean enough or it takes forever and still I am not sure. Any tips would be great and liberating. I just want to be able to enjoy sex without worrying about this. Thanks so much and I just wanted to say that you are super hot. You can delete that part if you want to…

Hi future fist pig,

It’s nice to be complimented, so thanks! I think my advice above applies here too. Something every bottom should remember: your hole will never be 100% clean. Even if you take a lot of fiber and douche thoroughly, there will still be particles of poop you can’t see. Instead of seeing douching as “cleaning” — a word I hate — see it as “clearing enough stuff so you can have more comfortable sex.”

Watch fisting videos. Watch guys with pro holes getting punched. Look at the lube and juices leaking out of their cunts after a hard session. It’s not white or clear. It’s filled with lube, mucous from the anal wall, and, in all likelihood, tiny traces of shit. They still had a great time. Even after a great fisting session, I never wipe with a white towel. There will always be some shit left.

The goal of douching is to get enough out so there’s somewhere for the dick/fist/toy to go. If you can get the bulky chunks out, that’s good. You will never get all the little pieces, brownish liquid, and butt juices out, and attempting to do so is not good for your bowels. Over-douching can cause real problems (for helpful articles on douching and anal sex, click here). I will never be able to say I’m 100% clean, but I can say I’m clean enough to get fisted.

It’s hard to recommend specific tips because I don’t know what you currently do. A helpful tip I was given was to wait after douching — up to an hour — before having sex. This is not always possible, but when I do it, it makes a difference. It gives my body time to relax and settle, and it lets more stuff come down the pipe if it needs to. Douching irritates your hole, so I find that a break before sex feels better.

Always take fiber. Even when I’m on a sex break, I try to diligently take fiber twice a day. Your body benefits in many ways from fiber supplements, but you also never know when you’ll want a spur-of-the-moment hookup. What you ate 24 to 48 hours ago will affect your douching process now — taking fiber the day of your hookup won’t do any good.

I tend to fuck at night (morning sex people baffle me) and I find that when I eat a decent dinner and have two post-dinner bowel movements, my ass will not need much cleaning at all. I’ll still hop in the shower, but after two good BMs, I need a few squirts of water and I’m ready to go. The impulse with bottoming is to not eat, but remember that eating food stimulates your digestion — your body has to push waste out to make room for more. So eating, then using the bathroom is a great way to flush your system. DO NOT use coffee to flush yourself. Coffee is a diarrhetic and will make your stools looser.

After a certain age, we seem to worry less about shit. I think we realize at some point that our sex lives involve playing in places where shit must exist, so it’s ridiculous to fear it. Reaching this point of comfort with your body won’t necessarily make cleaning any easier, but it’ll relieve some of the fear and pressure — and sex will get so much better.

Love, Beastly


  1. I don’t fear but I am not doing the douching regimen so I will probably bottom. When masturbating with a dildo, I just wiped it off. I will say poop tastes awful. There was a little bit on my dildo and I wanted to see what it tasted like. I wouldn’t recommend it.


  2. “This is anecdotal — oral history always is — but in the slutty heyday of the ’70s and early ’80s, douching was not as common as it is today. Many men from this era still don’t douche before sex. ”

    I’m from that era, and it boggles my mind that anyone would feel the need to clean out before anal sex. Before fisting, yeah, sure—but regular anal sex? One thing that has changed is the American diet. Before the U.S. dietary guidelines were first officially promulgated in 1989, most people ate more meat and a *lot* less carbohydrate. It may be our current high-carb diet that has made anal sex so messy.

    I also notice that the culture is a *lot* prissier these days, too. For example, shorts and tight jeans that no one thought twice about in the 70’s and 80’s are now considered scandalously risque. So it’s no wonder that people are now also afraid of an earthy bodily substance, such as shit.


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