Mythbusting Sex Ed

People Are Lying to You About Your Butt

I don’t believe anything I hear about my anus unless it comes from a qualified sex educator. Why? Because people (unlike rectums, but we’ll get to that) are full of shit!

… because, anus… and, shit…

Today, we’re going to put to rest some of the most common misconceptions about butts. Ready? Buckle up!


1. There Will Probably Not Be Poop (Unless You Douche!)

So, yes: poop comes out of your butt. Before going any further, however, let’s take a look at how it gets there.

That’s the human digestive system. We put food into our mouths and it travels down our esophagi, through our stomachs, around our small intestines, across our large intestines, and – finally! – out of our anuses.

The important thing to note is that even though poop eventually makes its way to the anus, we control when it gets there. We store fecal matter in the colon (that’s the lumpy green tube on the diagram) until we decide to defecate or simply can’t hold it. At that point, poop enters the rectum (the blue-green blob at the bottom) and passes through the anus. Food that’s not fully digested remains in the colon, waiting its turn.

Since anal sex only involves penetration of the anus and rectum, then, you’re unlikely to encounter poop during sex unless the receptive partner hasn’t gone to the bathroom in a long time or is having digestive troubles. You might encounter flecks of fecal matter, especially if the receptive partner hasn’t been having solid bowel movements, but that’s usually about it.

Unfortunately, the myth of shitty sex has spread so far and so wide that an astounding number of people advocate anal douching as a way of “cleaning out” before anal play. Douching involves squirting water up your butt to “wash out” the lower digestive tract. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly how it works. More often than not, douching just dilutes the fecal matter in the colon and increases your likelihood of pooping on your partner. So stop doing it. A shower and some vigorous scrubbing is all you need.

One final note: even though you aren’t likely to encounter poop during backdoor playtime, never have vaginal sex after anal sex without washing between activities. The rectum contains bacteria and other material that can cause serious problems in vaginas.

2. There Will Probably Not Be Pain (Unless You Rush It!)

If you’re experiencing pain during anal penetration, it’s likely due to one of two factors. The first possibility is that you’re not using enough – or the right kind of – lubricant. Unlike vaginas, anuses do not self-lubricate, so it’s important to lube up before anal play or you’ll risk tearing the anal lining.

Additionally, stick to silicone lubricants for anal sex (I recommend Überlube). Since the lower intestine’s entire purpose is to suck up excess water, water-based lubricants tend to dry out very quickly, leaving behind a sticky, gunky mess that doesn’t work very well for sex.

The other common reason people experience pain during anal penetration is that their bodies simply aren’t relaxing. Time for another biology lesson:

The anus is made up of two circular muscles called sphincters. These muscles are your body’s gatekeepers; in order for you to successfully poop or have anal sex, both sphincters must be open. There’s a catch, though: we only have conscious control over one of our anal sphincters. The other sphincter only opens when we’re feeling happy and relaxed. This is why you can’t force anal sex. If you try to go for it before that sphincter is relaxed, you’re likely to feel uncomfortable pulling and tearing sensations.

If you or a partner are having trouble relaxing, try rubbing the exterior of the anus while kissing, cuddling, or having oral sex. Many people find that holding onto their penises or rubbing their clitorises can be helpful. It might take a couple of minutes (or longer) for your anus to get used to the idea of letting anything inside, and that’s normal! Just take some deep breaths and make sure that you and your partner are both aware of how the other is feeling.

Alternately, try penetrating yourself with a warm toy (I’m a big fan of the njoy Pure Wand – just run it under hot water to warm it up) before you have anal sex with a partner. This way, you’ll know what the sensation feels like before you get a dick in you, which can help ease any nervousness or tension you might be feeling.

3. Your Butt Will Not Get Loose (Unless You Want It To!)

For some reason, this is everywhere. Ever since I came out as gay (which, by the way, does not mean I have to have anal sex), I’ve been reading and hearing about people who had so much anal sex that their buttholes got permanently stretched out and they could no longer control their bowels.

There is no such thing as too much anal sex. 

Go nuts!

The science behind this one is simple. The anus, as we’ve learned, is a muscle. Like all muscles, it will atrophy (i.e. get weaker) if you don’t use it. Luckily for us, we use our anuses all day, every day, so there’s not much risk of them atrophying until we’re too old to walk. Additionally, if we’re really worried, we can strengthen our sphincters by doing pelvic floor (a.k.a. kegel) exercises.

“That’s not true!” some of you are probably thinking. “I have a lot of anal sex and I definitely feel looser down there.”

Well, yes. And after a lot of yoga, I feel looser, too. Anal sex is like yoga for your butthole: it helps you become more flexible, stronger, and more aware of your body’s needs. Some people who have a lot of anal sex might notice that their bowel movements do become easier or smoother, but this is simply because they’ve learned how to relax their anal sphincters on command.


I could go on (and on and on and on), but I’ll stop here and let you contemplate. Anal play is fun that everybody can engage in, because… well, we all have butts. And hopefully we understand them a little bit better, now.

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