You’re curious about anal play, but concerned about cleanliness.

That’s totally normal!

We’ve all heard stories about what can go wrong.

But what if I told you that there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure a clean, more pleasurable experience?

In this article, I’ll walk you through the essential tips for anal hygiene.

Trust me, being prepared is the best way to get rid of your fears!

How to Prepare for Anal Sex

Anal Hygiene Basics

Anal play is a natural, healthy, and an exciting way to spice up your sex life. It can range from a gentle caress to full-on penetration.

Hygiene is a key aspect of being able to fully relax, for many people.

Taking concrete steps to ensure that you’re clean before anal play can ease your mind.

The extent of your preparation process will depend entirely on what you’re comfortable with. For some people, having a bowel movement and cleaning the outside of their anal area after is enough preparation.

Others will need a bit more than that to feel fully comfortable. The anus is a sphincter, so relaxation is essential for a pleasurable experience with this body part.

This article will help you find a hygiene process that works for you, along with some helpful tools to make the process easier.

Once you implement these steps, you’ll be able to relax fully into the experience and enjoy anal play.

Start Small

There’s really no reason you have to dive right into the deep end with anal sex.

Even the softest touches around the area can provide intense pleasure.

If you’re new to having this area stimulated, start small. Ask your partner to touch you there during more familiar sexual activities, to begin with.

Cowgirl is a good sex position to begin experimenting with anal stimulation. Your partner can easily reach around your body and touch your anus while you’re having sex.

Experimenting like this can help you and your partner ease into the experience and feel more comfortable.

Consider Your Diet

While the tips I’m going to give you later in the article will make your anus and rectum cleaner, you can make the hygiene process simpler with diet.

Here’s the deal:

Your rectum and anal canal don’t store feces. Rather, they provide a passageway for your colon to empty itself.

But if your diet is full of processed foods, the area may have more residue than you would like.

The state of your anal area is a direct result of what you eat. A clean diet makes for a cleaner rectum, while a messy diet makes it messier.

Prioritizing healthy, fibrous foods in the days before engaging in anal play will give you more solid bowel movements.

And when your bowel movements are more solid, they’ll leave less debris behind when they exit your body.

Here are some fiber-rich foods to eat in the days leading up to anal play:

  • Grains: Brown rice, barley, and oatmeal are good alternatives to white bread or other products made with white flour.
  • Vegetables: Adding more vegetables to your diet is a quick, easy way to get more fiber. Cabbage, carrots, and spinach are all good sources.
  • Fruits: Fruit is another good fiber source. Add more apples, oranges, pears, and avocados to your diet and, when applicable, keep the skins on.
  • Beans and Legumes: Add some hummus, kidney beans, or lentils to your diet if you want to stay regular.

Prioritizing a clean diet and drinking plenty of water will keep things moving, clearing out the canal and minimizing the risk of messy butt play.

Don’t Cross-Contaminate

If you’re switching back and forth between anal play and touching genitals, be mindful of bacteria.

You should never use the same hand to touch both areas without washing up in between.

Spreading bacteria from the anus to the genitals can lead to an infection. Designate one hand for each area to prevent this kind of mishap.

Cross-contamination is also a risk if you or your partner don’t wash your hands after anal play.

Always go to the bathroom and clean your hands thoroughly after engaging in this type of fun.

Flush Out Traces of Waste

anal douche

While prioritizing a clean diet is the most important step for a clean anal cavity, you can also rinse it out for further peace of mind.


Using an anal douche isn’t necessary for a clean experience, but using one can help you feel cleaner.

As a result, you’ll be calmer and more open to anal pleasure.

You can use a simple anal douche with warm water to rinse out your rectum. Never use anything other than water, as that may cause an infection.

To flush out your anal cavity, simply fill the bulb with warm water, lube up the tip, and insert it.

Squeeze the bulb to release water into the rectum, then hold it in for a second or two before releasing it into the toilet.

Do this a few times, or until the water comes out clean.

External Cleaning

Now that you’ve taken care of cleaning out the inside of your anus, it’s time to make sure the outside is clean.

This can mean simply taking a shower before anal play, taking extra care to wash thoroughly.

For others, waxing or shaving the area around the anus will make them feel more comfortable.

If you have hair around the area, that’s totally fine, but you’ll want to make sure you use plenty of lubrication to prevent any uncomfortable snagging. Which brings me to my next point…

Use Lube, and Lots of it

As you probably already know, the butt isn’t self-lubricating like the vagina. This is another reason why anal sex requires more preparation than standard sex.

A high-quality lubricant will help you relax and minimize the risk of pain or damage.

Opinions vary on whether it’s best to use water or silicone-based lubricant.

So what’s the bottom line?

The right choice for you comes down to personal preference. Silicone-based lubricants won’t dry out as fast as water-based options.

But they often come with the downside of being incompatible with some sex toys. The only potential downside of using water-based lube is needing to re-apply it more often.

Thankfully, you can buy water-based lube with a thicker consistency, which will last longer.

Choosing lubes specifically designed for anal play is more important than whether you choose a water or silicone-based product. Check out our anal lube buying guide here.

Use plenty of lube, pausing to reapply it as needed.

When you and your partner are new to this, it helps to take it slow, so you can both learn the ropes.

After a while, you’ll be more familiar with the right amount of lube to use and the correct pace for your own comfort.

Keep Gloves on Hand

Vinyl or latex gloves are an option for people who still feel squeamish about anal play despite taking precautions.

Your partner can put a glove on if they want to switch between touching your anus and genitals.

Doing so will also reduce potential friction from their fingernails when you’re engaging in anal foreplay.

While gloves certainly aren’t necessary for a clean anal experience, they’re worth keeping on the bedside table if they’ll ease your mind.

Another option is having your partner start out wearing gloves and then engaging in anal play without them later, when you’re more familiar with it.

Experiment With Toys

Experiment With Toys

Another option for preparing for anal is experimenting with anal toys when you’re masturbating.

This can get you comfortable with the new sensations and help you relax more when it’s time for fun with your partner.

Anal sex toys, like anal beads or butt plugs, stimulate the nerve endings in your butt and can feel great.

Before trying anal sex, try wearing a butt plug as you engage in foreplay with your partner. This type of toy can help prepare your muscles and loosen them up for penetration.

An anal sex toy is also a quick and easy way to check your own cleanliness before having butt sex. This works better with a toy that has a lighter color.

If your toy comes out clean, you can rest assured that there’s no residue up there and that you’re ready to engage in mess-free anal play with a partner.

We like recommending “starter kits” for beginners.

You can try the Beginner’s Anal Kit from Lovehoney, which comes with a butt plug, vibrating anal beads, and more.

Tools like this can be a fun way to test the waters before full-on anal penetration.

Always make sure you’re selecting toys specifically designed for anal play. Otherwise, your sphincter can suck the toy up inside of your body.

Yes, this can actually happen!

Also, remember to thoroughly sanitize your toys with warm water and soap after every use.

4 Newbie Anal Mistakes to Avoid

Anal sex has totally different rules than ordinary sex, so I’m going to go over some common mistakes people make.

That way, you can avoid them and ensure a safe, fun time for you and your partner.

1. Post-Anal Vaginal Penetration

The bacteria in the anus is different than the bacteria in the vagina, and you can easily transfer it via sex if you aren’t careful.

Try to keep these two areas as separate as possible during sex. If you just had anal sex with your partner, wash off your penis thoroughly with soap and water before inserting it into your partner’s vagina.

The same applies to toys you’ve used for butt play. Sanitize them thoroughly as soon as they’ve been exposed to the bacteria in the anus.

Following this protocol will help prevent vaginal infections, which are never any fun.

2. Forgetting to Wash Up Before Sex

When you’re dealing with sensitive areas of the body, you can’t be too careful about cleanliness.

Ask your partner to wash their hands before touching your anus, penis, or vagina, and do them the same courtesy by keeping your hands clean.

Of course, both of you washing your hands after playtime is also a great idea.

3. Not Properly Storing Toys

I already briefly mentioned the importance of sanitizing sex toys after use. But don’t forget to store them properly, too.

Use a protective bag, box, or case for your sex toys to help protect them from bacteria and debris.

That way, when you want to have some fun with your toys, you know they’re ready to go.

4. Too Much Fiber, Too Fast

Introducing more fiber into your diet can give you a more sanitary anal experience, but it’s important to increase your intake gradually.

If you aren’t used to taking in a lot of fiber, the sudden change may cause pain, gas, bloating, and other symptoms.

This is the last thing you want before engaging in fun butt play with your partner, so make dietary changes slowly.

The Key to Great Anal: Arousal & Relaxation

You’ll ensure a much more comfortable and pleasurable experience with anal play if you take it slow and feel relaxed during the process.

Take a bath with your partner, have them give you a massage, or share a glass of wine to get into the mood and loosen your muscles.

While foreplay is important for sex, in general, it’s essential for successful anal play.

This is a chance to explore new ground with your partner, and rushing the process would be a total shame.


The external anal sphincter is extremely sensitive, so you don’t need to start out with penetration to have a fun time.

Instead, work your way up to penetration with gentle stimulating touch, and encourage your partner to focus on other erogenous zones, too.

Hopefully, this guide was helpful for you and eradicated some of your concerns with cleanliness during anal.

Sex is highly individual and personal, so take it at your own pace and don’t rush into anything you’re not comfortable with.

Happy exploring!