PSA: Dude, Put Down the Wipes.
I feel like a fucking broken record, but in order to change a habit that’s ingrained in our culture, I must continue to write, blog, tweet, video — whatever it takes to educate people about the truth of wet wipes. For some people, the mere thought of having to ditch wet wipes probably seems devastating. But I can assure you, it’s worth it in the long run.
Whether you bottom or not, you’ve probably reached for a wet wipe at some point in your life. Babies use them. Millions of brands make them. How could they possibly be bad for me?! Maybe you don’t believe me. Maybe you don’t want to believe me. Butt I’m only trying to save your ass — literally.
Some people tell me, “But I’ve been using them for years and I’ve never had an issue! Why stop now? What happens if my favorite top is 5 minutes away and I don’t have enough time to shower? What do I do when the sex is over and I need to quickly (and efficiently) wipe away any lingering bodily fluids and lube?” I get it. The alternatives — having to use dry, linty toilet paper or hopping in the shower every time our booty needs a refresh — suck.
After some thinking, I decided maybe it’s time to change my approach and focus on using using wipes while you’re experiencing an anal issue. Let’s say you took a big dick and now you feel raw and irritated. We speak a lot about these being micro-tears or what’s called an anal fissure. After repeatedly bottoming, you begin to feel constant pain in this area. You may also experience bleeding or spotting when going to the bathroom. Generally, it’s like your ass just feels “off”. So you grab your wet wipes because, well, they do a damn good job at advertising them for situations such as these: they provide soothing, gentle moisture to help calm the area.
Suddenly, you find yourself wiping away to your heart’s content, but, for many, shit ends up gets worse (excuse the pun). You don’t find any relief, a rash develops or persists — sometimes ulcerations occur or even anal warts from HPV, a common virus for those who engage in anal play. *As an aside: unfortunately, Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, doesn’t protect you 100 percent.
So you ask me, “What do you see, doctor?”
Many patients come to me with itchy, irritated asses and my first question is always, “Do you use wet wipes?” As you may have guessed already, the majority of them frequently do. I then explain to them, when someone has a micro-tear in the anus, their body is obviously irritated. Most of us have anal HPV and/or herpes type 1 (HSV-1 or oral herpes) and both of these love irritation. These infections do not want your micro-tears to heal. They feed off of irritation. Then, when you start using wet wipes that produce excess moisture, you begin to alter the anal microbiome and this continues to feed that irritation even more. That itchy, raw ass you have has now worsened. It becomes a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped immediately.
Your next question is probably: what makes wet wipes so bad anyway? Is it the moisture that’s harmful? Is it the ingredients? What about the type of fabric? Is it the propensity for anal issues that exist among those who engage in anal play that makes this a major challenge? I have no fucking idea. But what I do know is what I see each and every day at my practice: adding wet wipes to an already delicate area of the body makes a bad situation even worse.
Okay, Dr. Goldstein. What alternate options do we have then? You can stick with basic toilet paper (try more of a patting or dabbing motion than a wiping motion) or pop in the shower and use some soapy water (just make sure you thoroughly dry your crack before getting dressed). A simpler choice would be to invest in a bidet. I use them at home and we even have them installed at our office. Nowadays, they’re economical and easy to install. Just be careful not to turn the pressure on too high (yeouch!) and don’t forget to pat your booty completely dry as excess moisture can lead to local infections.
In the end, I implore you to stop the fucking wet wipes, dude. If you find your ass needs more than toilet paper or a bidet to get clean after going to the bathroom, it’s time you start looking at your overall health, specifically focusing on oral-to-anal gut health. You may need to incorporate more fiber into your daily routine, as well as probiotics (Future Method, a company I co-founded, developed these), and possibly make changes to your diet and exercise regimen. Of course, you should also optimize your local anal care, including, you guessed it, ditching the wipes. Less is always more and by throwing out the wipes, you will hopefully set the stage for healing your primary anal ailments, all the while preparing successfully for taking those big dicks and enjoying an irritation-free booty.