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Can Dingleberries Be Good For You?

What happens when your asshole isn’t 100% clean after going #2? Does residual fecal matter help your microbiome?

Every day I see a lot of ass. I mean tons. Some are sparkling clean and others… not so much. The bulk of my client base is made up of members of the queer community, where the pressures to have an immaculately clean hole (both in and out) are high. It’s not just about hygiene — it translates to the bedroom, too. However, what’s interesting is that there are often studies showing that the presence of fecal matter is in the best interest of our whole body or, more accurately, our hole and body. For layman, what does this actually mean and how do we know what mechanisms in the anal area create equilibrium in the microbiome?

I thought of all this after reading a recent article in The Economist on the benefits of giving birth via vaginal delivery vs. cesarean section. Per The Economist, “Babies born via Caesarean section do not come in contact with their mothers’ faces. That’s actually a bad thing — faeces contain a multitude of bacteria that help strengthen newborn babies’ immune systems.” It’s amazing to think that this incites a positive response, altering the newborns microbiome in a positive way. And since I don’t take care of newborns — at least not anymore (thank god) since both my kids are old enough to wipe their own asses — I of course took this data and applied it to who I see at Bespoke Surgical: bottoms.

It’s yet to be truly studied, in any official capacity at least, but I did want to start the discussion because I think it’s an important one, especially for our community. If you follow me regularly, then you have heard me voice my concerns over wet wipes because they not only wipe away your shit, but they also wipe away the good bacteria. In doing so, it can create many unwanted pathologies in the anal region, from infections to anal warts to fissures and more. Similarly, when you over-wipe with standard toilet paper, the repetitive friction can lead to local inflammation and irritation that can foster an over-population of bad bacteria, viruses, and/or fungi. Sure, you can pop in the shower, lather some soap, and come out with a squeaky clean hole, butt if you’re like me and you take say two shits in the morning before heading to work, it’s not always that easy. And how much is too much? Soap in and of itself can cause local irritation and also dry out the external region, especially if you have a lot of hair in between your cheeks. That brings us to bidets. Nowadays, they are so cheap, readily available, and super easy to install. These are definitely a good choice, yet many people still haven’t warmed up to the idea of having a bidet in their home and others still prefer to get cleaner than a quick spritz can do.

Let’s take a quick detour and talk about internal cleaning or douching. For those who douche anally, unfortunately, most people fall into one of two camps (or both): they use a liquid not designed for anal douching (like tap water or a Fleet enema, instead of an isotonic solution, like Future Method) and/or they use inappropriate techniques (cleaning too deep, with too much force, or with too much liquid — either all at once or through too many applications) primarily caused by using either bulbs that are way too big or shower hoses. We know that over-douching alters our insides, which can lead to a potentially higher risk of STD transmission and/or other anal pathologies.

If we take the possible alterations — externally and internally — and combine them, are we creating the perfect storm without even knowing it?

I wish I had the right answer. I am definitely of the mindset that some bacteria is needed to repopulate the external skin and keep that balance or homeostasis we all strive for. It’s imperative to function properly. Most of us at some point have had local anal issues and the key to eradicating these issues is re-stabilizing the microbiome, no matter what treatment is sought. So maybe I do have the answer after all: stop wiping. No, I am totally kidding. This isn’t the right answer. But my hypothesis is: variety. By this, I mean to switch things up. Don’t use the same shampoos all the time or wear the same underwear. I think the body is way smarter than you or I think and will adapt. However, prolonged use of one approach seems to affect homeostasis. Sometimes use soap, other times just water, then just wipe and/or bidet. Most importantly, don’t be afraid of some residual fecal matter. You may not always have a hole that’s ready to be eaten and that’s OK. For now, we know that even with bacteria, a balance of good and bad bacteria creates harmony. Next, we just need to figure out what that means for you and your hole life. Good luck.

Don’t forget to stay in touch on Instagram: me and Bespoke Surgical.

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An elite practice purpose-built for today’s male and focused on sexual wellness. Founded by Dr. Evan Goldstein.

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Dr. Evan Goldstein

Dr. Evan Goldstein

NYC Gay Surgeon discussing ASS: A\rt, S\cience, and S\ex www.bespokesurgical.com/

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