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To enema or not to enema, that is the question. Sinclair tells us that the choice to do an enema is entirely up to you and your comfort levels around, well, poop. “What cleaning decisions you make really depend on how well you know your body, especially your digestive system and your comfort levels surrounding hygiene,” Sinclair says. “You are, of course, inserting something into your anus, so sometimes, people prefer to clean up before anal play.”

If you want to do an enema, that is entirely up to you. You are not, by any means, required to do an enema before anal sex. If you have a partner who insists on your doing an enema when you don’t want to, show the scrub the door instead of your backdoor. Sinclair says that a thorough rinse in the shower will suffice nicely.

Should you choose to do an enema, do so safely. Give yourself the enema one to two hours before anal play. “You only need to use a couple of cups of water because you’re just rinsing out the last six to eight inches of the rectum. In fact, if you use too much water, you can stimulate your digestive system and make things messier.” Sinclair advises. “Use warm water only and check it against your wrist. Enema bulbs are often the easiest way to do this. You can try a reusable one, or you can use a disposable enema.” (You can buy a bulb enema on Amazon here.)

Take care with aftercare

Let’s be real for a second. When you’re doing butt stuff, there will probably be some fecal matter involved. There really isn’t a way around it (even if you do the enema). To clean up after anal play, Sinclair recommends classic baby wipes for a thorough wipe down. The anus is a porous area and you want to avoid any harsh chemicals. Then, hop in the shower and clean yourselves up.

“Launder dirty towels, properly dispose of used latex barriers, and thoroughly wash your toys in soapy hot water,” Sinclar adds.

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Anal sex can be a RubMaps dating website particularly vulnerable experience. After all, anal has been historically considered taboo, and engaging in it can make for a mixed emotional response.

Sinclair says aftercare is especially important with anal sex: “It’s good to remind your partner about all the things you liked about having anal sex with them. If your partner is new to providing anal stimulation and penetration, let them know what you loved, what you’d like to see more of next time, what you might change, and finish with a compliment.”

Anal sex is undeniably popular these days. Data from PornHub has shown that since 2009, searches for anal sex have increased by 120 percent. Just look at pop culture if you need more proof: Will anyone ever forget the famous Kim K Paper Magazine cover that nearly broke the internet? Everyone is talking about butt stuff, declaring it the “it” thing, and even venturing to try it out for themselves.

But, for all its newfound acclaim, anal shouldn’t be taken so lightly. It’s serious business, so before you throw yourself into it, full-throttle, spur of the moment, take a pause first. There is a lot more involved than you may have even realized. And if you don’t go about it tactfully, anal can be painful, dangerous, or even traumatizing. In fact, many people can get turned off by anal sex forever because of a nasty first experience. And who wants that?

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