Can Fiber-Rich Foods Eliminate Anal Douching?
If you're prepping for anal sex, then you might've engaged in rectal douching, which can help reduce fecal matter in your anus. However, douching for more than 30 minutes can cause damage to the lining of your anus, according to the book "Naked Nutrition," by Daniel O'Shaughnessy, a registered nutritionist and certified functional medicine practitioner based in London. Plus, according to O'Shaughnessy, it can affect levels of friendly gut bacteria and naturally occurring mucus in the colon.
What's more, douching with household products commonly found around the house can lead to damage of the rectal epithelial tissue. In turn, it could bump up your risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.
However, studies have revealed that there are some drawbacks to rectal douching. What if you could eliminate rectal douching altogether? Enter fiber. Let's look at how fiber can mean you can nix rectal douching, and learn about of the best foods to eat before anal.
Fibrous foods and anal sex
The main advantage of fiber is that it increases the size of your stool and softens it at the same time, explained Cindy Cedillo-Ruiz, M.D., a doctor at Prickly Pear Family Medicine in Houston.
"This can impact how people feel during anal or vaginal sex," Cedillo-Ruiz said.
Let's say you're constipated. If so, you have stool sitting in your bowels, which in turn increases the pressure and discomfort level in your pelvic area during sex.
"Having a healthy gut is key to more comfortable vaginal or anal sex," Cedillo-Ruiz said. "A high-fiber diet minimizes the need for douching because the stool passes easier with less remnants."
When it comes to douching for anal sex, being too aggressive can cause rectal damage, explained Cedillo-Ruiz.
"A high-fiber diet also minimizes the frequency and duration of cleaning a person has to perform before being the bottom during anal sex," she said. "In other words, eating more fiber means less douching is needed before anal sex."
Interestingly enough, adequate fiber consumption is a public health concern for Americans overall. Only about 5 percent of Americans get the recommended daily amount of fiber.
"To increase fiber intake, a diet with vegetables, whole grains and a fiber supplement is recommended," Cedillo-Ruiz said. "This will help you avoid constipation, minimize cleaning time in preparation for anal sex and enjoy sex more."
Soluble fiber vs. insoluble fiber in foods
It's important to know the difference between insoluble fiber and soluble fiber, O'Shaughnessy explained in his book. The distinguishing factor is how they dissolve in water: Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber doesn't.
As O'Shaughnessy described, most plant foods have a mix of both soluble and insoluble fibers. For instance, the flesh of an apple is soluble fiber, while the skin is insoluble fiber.
Foods that contain insoluble fiber include whole grains such as brown rice, wheat bran, nuts and beans, and certain vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower and potatoes.
Foods that contain soluble fiber include most fruits and vegetables, oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, lentils and psyllium husk.
As O'Shaughnessy wrote, soluble fiber helps your metabolism. Further, it can help you avoid constipation. Insoluble fiber works as a bulking agent. In turn, it can assist with motility, or the contraction of the muscles that mix and propel contents that are in the gastrointestinal tract.
The best foods to eat before anal
If you have sufficient levels of fiber in your diet, you should have complete and normal bowel movements. You should be ready for anal sex with your partner without needing to douche, O'Shaughnessy said in an interview.
O'Shaughnessy advised that the first step is to try to increase fiber in your diet by way of complex carbohydrates. Whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa and oats are examples of high-fiber foods to eat before anal.
Remember, this isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. You want to pace your fiber intake accordingly.
"However, not everyone is the same and, therefore, need to consider their digestive health when it comes to anal sex," O'Shaughnessy said. "If you're not used to eating a lot of fiber, you may want to increase slowly as this can lead to excess wind, which can defeat the point of increasing fiber to improve your sex life."
Pay close attention to soluble vs. insoluble fiber foods
If you find that fiber causes problems such as incomplete bowel movements, gas, constipation or urgency to go, you might want to mull over the two different types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. O'Shaughnessy suggested that in the lead-up to sex, consider limiting insoluble fiber.
"So in those periods, you would want to switch to white rice instead of brown rice, going easy on whole grains," he said. "If you're unsure when you're going to have sex, then try to work out your trigger foods."
If you prefer to go the fiber supplement route, just make sure you take it away from any medication and with a big glass of water, O'Shaughnessy recommended.
Take a look at your entire diet
Beyond upping the fiber intake in your diet, be in the know about food sensitivities that can impact your sex life, O'Shaughnessy suggested. Common foods to avoid before anal sex include dairy, gluten and red meat.
"Consider an elimination diet for a few weeks," he said.
In order to have enough water in your diet for healthy bowel movements, be sure to stay hydrated, O'Shaughnessy said in the interview. Plus, eat probiotic foods such as miso, kefir, kombucha, yogurt and kimchi to help any digestive imbalances, such as parasites or yeast. This rings true if you have a history of digestive disorders, he added.
"You can also take a supplement, but be mindful as probiotics can cause some initial unrest if there are bacterial imbalances," he said.
And last, don't forget to break down your food by chewing thoroughly.
"Most people don't chew their food properly, and this can lead to it coming out the other end in large bits," O'Shaughnessy said. "If you chew, you break the food particles down and digest them better."
By incorporating plenty of fiber in your diet, you might be able to eliminate rectal douching altogether and enjoy pleasurable and fun anal sex.
Editor's note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our medical experts advise that you consult with your primary healthcare provider before you begin using a supplement. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.