If you're having anal sex, poop is going to enter the equation at some point, and that's that on that. But when it comes to maintenance and logistics, it's largely receptive partners who are left responsible for preparation. Whether you're fisting, rimming, playing with toys, or attempting to make the missionary position work, anal sex generally requires a bit of forethought. And while that perfectly clear fleet water is what we all aspire to, it's largely unattainable, according to some anal expertise.
Porn actor Ty Mitchell is a self-described "pro bottom," and his approach to getting camera-ready is two-pronged: dieting and douching. Mitchell always eats breakfast before a shoot to keep his energy up. "If I don't have energy to be performing, then the scene's not going to turn out well and I'm just doing something bad to my body," he explains. "People often think that you're supposed to starve yourself before you bottom. That's not true." And the best way to keep your ass clean, Mitchell advises, is a regular diet: eating as clean as possible, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables, non-greasy proteins, and little-to-no dairy. He also eats plenty of fiber, and somewhat smaller portions than normal.
His douching routine is less involved than most would think. If he's using a store-bought enema, he'll dump out the saline water and use lukewarm tap instead. "You should only use saline if you're genuinely backed up and don't have to have sex for four or five hours," he cautions, adding that saline is more appropriate for aiding constipation. Then, he'll bend over and grab his ankles or lean over a bathtub to empty the douche, refill it, and then do his first flush after 10-30 seconds. He then repeats the process two more times, until all the solids are gone, and then as many more short flushes as needed until everything looks relatively clear--but not perfectly, which he says isn't "completely necessary or realistic, and you're probably just going to be sitting there rushing through for a while." For a porn shoot, he'll usually do between five or six flushes.
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But according to some, even this might be overdoing it. Dr. Will DeWitt, the Director of Anal Health at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York City, believes that queers are generally douching too much. The anus is an extremely delicate area, and skin can very quickly drop off and turn into mucosa, a mucous membrane that's sensitive to temperature changes, chemicals, and substances as it's far less protective than the rest of the epidermis. DeWitt says that many of his patients "look a little inflamed...fragile and a little bleedy, and usually it's because they've just enemaed. I have a feeling that enemas probably do increase inflammation a little bit."
But when you're working in porn, a little inflammation is part of the job, as is a little poop -- shit happens! When it does, "it's not a big deal at all," says Mitchell, "and everyone is super sympathetic to it, and it just means that I should go back to the bathroom and do a couple more rinses and everyone will chill out, wait, and clean up." As long as there are no solids and he doesn't feel a bowel movement coming, he's fine returning to the shoot. "Obviously, with porn shoots, I'm working for several hours, and things can move around. I'll usually take an Imodium to slow that down, but most times I'm on a shoot, there will be a little bit of lube mixed with residual fecal matter that will spill out, and when that happens, if it's not too bad, sometimes we'll just move on." Imodium is an over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicine that some use but can cause constipation.
Rembrandt Duran, a cast member on MTV's Are You the One? and one of New York's "legendary tops," believes that being a considerate top means being understanding about the work that goes into bottoming and the reality that accidents happen. He says that "traumatized bottoms" who have had bad experiences will often over-apologize should things get messy. "I know they've dealt with some tops who've been like, 'What the fuck? This is gross,'" a clear misunderstanding of how the human body works -- one fueled by toxic masculinity and internalized homophobia. "They're trying to overcompensate," Duran claims, "and they're making it seem like it's even grosser than it actually is, because they know that they've been around men who've paint-shamed them."
"There's a lot of bottom-shaming stuff," DeWitt agrees. "The fact of it is, it's a place where poop comes out, and you're using it as a sexual organ -- that can cause spinning out in terms of being obsessed with being clean. People definitely overdo it, both enemas and wiping." Even using wet wipes can leave skin dry and irritated because of their fragrances, so DeWitt advises using wet toilet paper instead.
As a top, Duran realizes that the over-reliance on douching and preparation isn't really about his experience, it's about his partners feeling comfortable. "It's kind of like when girls say, 'I don't wear makeup for boys. I don't wear makeup for you. I do it because I want to.' That's what bottoms do. 'I don't Fleet for you, I Fleet for me.'" Duran hopes bottoms will "stop centering the top" when it comes to preparation, because any top worth his Truvada won't make a big deal out of a little shit, a sentiment Mitchell echoes. "Any top that I sleep with who has any amount of experience having sex is not pressed about getting poop on their dick," Mitchell says. "And if they are, they can leave."