How to Safely Use an Enema

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How to Safely Use an Enema


These days more people than ever are engaging in anal sex. Attitudes around anal sex play have shifted drastically in the last decade. Still, when it comes to butt play, there are a lot of folks out there experiencing what I like to call “poop anxiety”. Running into fecal matter is a reasonable expectation when you talk about exploring the butt (also, it’s totally natural!) but for some folks, poop anxiety can be a huge obstacle that stands in the way of anal play enjoyment. This is why some folks choose to take some time before butt stuff to engage in practices that help minimize the possibility of poop making an appearance. These practices can include a cleansing enema.

So, let’s talk about what an enema is, how to perform one at home, how to keep it safe, and what to expect from the experience!

What Is An Enema?

Let’s take a sec to make sure we’re all on the same page. What exactly is an enema? An enema involves injecting liquid into the rectum and while there are several reasons one might do this (for example, medical professionals might perform what is known as a barium enema before certain medical procedures), today we’re talking about what is called a “cleansing enema.” This is a type of enema done to evacuate the bowels and something that might be used to prepare for anal sex.

This type of enema is designed to help empty your bowels of any stool that might be hanging out down there. It typically involves a water-based solution that might feature ingredients like sodium and phosphate, mineral oil, or bisacodyl or a saline enema solution-- a water mixture with the correct amount of sodium and electrolytes to match what is in your body.


What You'll Need

Gathering enema supplies is actually pretty easy as prepared enema kits that come with a pre-filled bottle and lubricated nozzle tip for easy insertion are available from most pharmacies. 

However, if regular enemas are part of your routine, it might make sense to consider something reusable. There are tons of options available, from the basic, like the PinkCherry Ultimate Cleansing System, to the more powerful, like the Enema Syringe, to the full-on commitment like the shower-installed Colt Anal Douche . There’s an enema and anal douche for every comfort level. 

Each of these options comes with its own set of instructions. Be sure to read any directions that come with your particular enema kit, and follow them closely.

How to Use an Enema Safely

Doing a bowel cleansing enema at go home is pretty easy. Here are the steps you will want to follow:


Do Your Prep Work

Before attempting a bowel cleansing enema you want to:

  • Avoid eating for about half an hour beforehand.
  • Drink at least 8 ounces of filtered water.
  • Get comfortable near a toilet. You can bring a blanket or a comfy towel into the bathroom to lie down on. 
  • READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. We mentioned that already but, seriously, do it. 
  • Wash your hands.


Don’t Forget the Lube

Does an enema hurt? The anus is typically pretty tight, the skin is delicate, and it does not self-lubricate. There are many reasons why the lube is an absolute must any time you attempt any kind of anal penetration. When performing an enema, you definitely want to lubricate the enema nozzle to help it slide in smoothly without causing any pain, friction, or injury like rectal bleeding.  Disposable kits will typically come with a pre-lubricated enema tube tip.


Get Comfortable

There are a couple of positions that are popular for staying comfortable during an enema. They include lying on the back with your knees pulled in, getting on all fours with the chest on the ground and the butt elevated, or lying in a fetal position on your left side.  


Take Insertion Slow

The keyword for insertions is GENTLE. When you are inserting the tip of your enema bag, go slow, be gentle and stop if you feel any resistance at all. 


Release the Liquid

Enemas vary in terms of how exactly you get the liquid into your body. Many have simple squeeze bulbs, but whatever type of enema you use, the process basically revolves around this step. Follow your enema’s instructions for getting the liquid out of the enema and into your body. Once you have done that, you can remove the enema from your butt. However, as long as you are reasonably comfortable, you should remain in the same position until it is time to take the next step.  


Wait Until You Have to Go

You will eventually-- probably after several minutes-- you will feel like you need to evacuate your bowels. When you are ready to go, carefully move to the toilet.

After you go, it’s smart to stay close to a bathroom for the next several hours as you might need to expel the liquid into the toilet multiple times before your body releases everything it needs to. Additionally, it is a good idea to give your body a little time to recover before engaging in anal stimulation.

Tips for Enema Success

Remember, an enema should never ever (seriously, never) be painful, however it might be a little uncomfortable, especially your first one when you might be nervous and the sensations are all new and unfamiliar. There are some steps you can take to help alleviate some of that discomfort, though. So read on for my favorite tips for maximizing your enema success:


Be cool as a cucumber.

Tension can make your rectum clench up and that will make an enema way less comfortable so while I know it can be hard to do when you are nervous, try to mellow out a bit. Something like a hot bath can be nice as it both relaxes the body and calms the mind. 


For the love of gawd, breathe!

When we’re nervous, a lot of us instinctively hold our breath. Don’t do that, it really won’t help. In fact, it can be helpful to focus on long deep breaths as it will help you stay calm and give your brain a distraction which can be helpful if you are getting anxious. Here’s a technique that can help you breathe your way through the enema process: When you are ready to insert the (lubricated) enema nozzle, take a deep inhale to the count of 10. Then, when the enema is inserted, take a long, slow exhale to the count of 10. Repeat those long, slow inhales and exhales while introducing the fluid into your body and holding it in. 


Ignore your intuition.

Typically I would never advise ignoring your intuition but in the one very specific case it can be a good idea. Why? Because when it comes to comfortably inserting your enema tip (especially if you are feeling resistance), the best thing you can do is actually kind of counter-intuitive: bear down. That’s right, you want to bear down like you would during a bowel movement. This can help relax the muscles, allowing the enema tip to slide comfortably into the rectum. So if you are having a hard time, give that a try but, remember, you definitely don’t want to force it.   


So that’s what you need to know about performing enemas safely at home. You can absolutely administer safe and comfortable at-home enemas as long as you follow the instructions, keep everything clean, and don’t overdo it (no more than 2-3 enemas per week).

Remember, an enema is not something you have to do when it comes to preparing for anal play but the option is there if getting extra clean will help you comfortably enjoy yourself.

Are you butt play curious? Let PinkCherry help you out with a huge selection of adult sex toys, anal toys (including anal training kits and starter toys!), lube, anal douches and enema products.


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Written By: JoEllen Notte

JoEllen Notte is a writer, speaker, sex educator, and mental health advocate whose work explores the impact of depression on sex and relationships. Since 2012 she has written about sex, mental health, and how none of us are broken on her award-winning site The Redhead Bedhead as well as for Glamour, The BBC, Bitch, PsychCentral, and more. JoEllen is the author of The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression, and the Conversations We Aren’t Having.

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sunny Rodgers

This content was reviewed for accuracy and relevancy by Dr. Sunny Rodgers.

Dr. Sunny Rodgers is a clinician, author, and speaker who has worked in the wellness industry since 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sexology, and is an accredited Sexual Health Educator. She is the Founder of The Institute of Intimate Health, an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, regular lecturer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Sexual Confidence Coach for the Marigold App, and a professional Sex Toy Concierge™. Rodgers hosted a popular weekly show on Playboy Radio, has been an expert guest on several TV and radio programs, and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Men's Health, Cosmo, Bustle, and many more publications.