An enema is a method of cleansing the colon and rectum (the last portion of the digestive system) by introducing liquids directly through the anus. After the liquids are held in the rectum for a set amount of time, they are ejected into a container along with any fecal matter (body waste). In many parts of the world oral laxatives and rectal suppositories (drugs inserted into the rectum where they dissolve) have taken the place of enemas.

Enemas can be done in a hospital, in a clinic setting, and at home. The equipment varies according to the setting and the desired outcome. One form of equipment is referred to as a 'fountain syringe' or 'combination syringe' (because the set also doubles as a vaginal douche bag). It involves a high capacity reusable bag resembling a hot water bottle that can be hung or held up. Narrow rubber tubing is attached to it at one end and the other is capped with an insertable plastic tip.

Disposable enemas administer smaller volumes of liquid. They can be done at home and come pre-packaged and pre-lubricated. These are simple to use and involve a plastic bottle with an insertable tip on the end. A bulb syringe is based on the same principle, but its advantage is that it can be reused.

What's the different between an enema and a laxative?

Both methods stimulate the bowel, however the laxative is taken orally while the enema is administered through the anus; they are never used in combination with one another. Enemas are not meant to replace laxatives; rather, they're geared towards patients who suffer from 'fecal incontinence' (the loss of regular control of the bowels). Laxatives, on the other hand, are generally reserved for those who have bowel control or at least the potential for it. Laxatives are widely available but they do have the potential for short and long term side effects. If one abuses them, the bowel can develop a dependence on them. Enemas can stretch the colon. With frequent use, the colon may eventually lose muscle tone, resulting in the colon being unable to generate the muscle contractions necessary to expel feces.

Can you have an enema with fluids other than water?

There are a multitude of concoctions that can be used to rinse the bowels. One of the safest and gentlest preparations is a warm saline solution as it doesn't draw out electrolytes from the body. Colon Cleanses incorporate enemas prepared with herbs, dietary supplements or components such as lemongrass, fresh lemon juice, garlic, or coffee. Recreational enema enthusiasts may practice do-it-yourself enemas to achieve a certain effect; they employ an extraordinary variety of ingredients such as wine, Castile soap (soap made with olive oil), molasses, etc.

Medical Purpose

Enema therapy has been practiced since ancient times. Historically, they were administered to relieve symptoms of constipation, stomach pain, and various illnesses. Moreover, midwives used to administer them to pregnant women just prior to delivering their child. This practice is still utilized today, as a way to induce contractions or to avoid the expulsion of feces during labor.

In modern times, enemas are used to treat a variety of physical concerns such as constipation, fecal incontinence, and bowel obstruction or dysfunction. Patients who need to make use of enemas may be suffering from conditions related to injury, old age, paralysis, or terminal illness.

Enemas may also be done to clear any obstructions before medical imaging or immediately before a surgical procedure such as a colonoscopy. Medical professionals may also choose to administer medications by way of an enema in order to avoid medications passing through the digestive tract. Also, enemas can be used to relieve irritation in the rectal area from such conditions as 'Irritable Bowel Syndrome' (IBS).

Alternative Therapy

Alternative therapies have popularized colonic cleansing, which some may also refer to Colonics, colon hydrotherapy, or colonic irrigation. Some believe that receiving an enema cleanses and removes harmful toxins that build up in the colon and lower intestinal tract. The reasoning behind this theory is that bacteria can accumulate in the intestinal tract as a result of feces that haven't been completely expelled. In this way, irrigating the colon may contribute to better overall health and well being. Unfortunately, current scientific research finds more risk than benefits to this therapy.

Enemas for Erotic Purposes

Nerve endings in the rectum are capable of producing highly pleasurable reactions, similar to those produced by nerve endings in and around the genitalia. Even though receiving an enema may feel uncomfortable (or even painful) to some, the experience can produce arousal in the receiver. Some become so aroused that they masturbate while the enema is in progress. For men, this may be due to their prostates being stimulated in the process. The actual act of receiving the enema may or may not induce an orgasm.

People commonly perform enemas prior to engaging in anal eroticism such as analingus anal Intercourse. This not only gives the couple a sense of cleanliness, but it also reduces the risk of getting feces on toys or genitals.

Enemas may occur during BDSM (acronym for 'bondage, discipline/ dominance, submission/sadism, and masochism'). Some people get turned on by the ability to make someone take an enema or with the idea of getting cleaned enough for the other. There may also be some fetish toward the amount of liquid one can hold in their rectum. Pleasure might be derived from the ability to hold it in for a long time, or from someone forcing them to retain the liquids. Enema enthusiasts might also get off from the cramping, or the sensation of feeling "full" while simultaneously masturbating.


This fetish is characterized by a powerful sexual gratification involving enemas. To some, the inclination towards enemas may be considered just a quirk in 'normal' sexual activity, while for others it comes along with a variety of other fetishes such as urophilia (urine) or coprophilia (feces). The urge to receive an enema can be so powerful that a Klismaphiliac (Klismo) may exaggerate medical conditions so as to receive treatments administered by health professionals.

In addition to gaining pleasure from receiving an enema, the Klismo may get turned on by administering them to another, or by the mere thought of performing one of these roles. Others are stimulated by the sight of or the texture of the rubber equipment. The use of ingredients like soap or egg yolks can create a chemical stimulation of the anus, which may be uncomfortable, even painful. On the other hand, the sensation of pain or burning may be arousing to some.

An article in The American Journal of Psychotherapy (Apr76, Vol. 30 Issue 2, p236, 20p) explores Freud's interpretation of this paraphilia, 'In receiving the enema, the patient identifies with his mother, while the one administering the enema represents his father. The enema represents the act of copulation and the patient emerging from the experience, an "excrement infant".

Enema Spas

There are spas all over the world that cater to a variety of needs. Those that specialize in the nether regions, dubbed 'enema spas', operate under the umbrella of colonic cleansing and offer colonic holidays complete with irrigation and detoxification services.

There are also 'specialty service providers' such as brothels that are trained in the art of anal erotica. These practitioners can satisfy more atypical enema requests. Have you ever heard the phrase, "Drunk off your ass"? Ashley Hames, the fearless erotic explorer of the Showcase series Sin Cities, visited one in Montreal to procure their services. In an interview discussing the wildest thing he's ever done, he unquestioningly listed a red wine enema performed by a 'nurse' as one of them.

Enemas and Alcohol

For those of you curious about alcohol enemas, bear in mind that they can feel extremely painful because of the burning sensation caused by the alcohol. If you can tolerate the sensation, it is very possible to get drunk if the alcohol is kept in the anus long enough; moreover, only a small amount is needed to achieve this effect. Why? Because the colon absorbs alcohol into the bloodstream faster than the digestive system. Be extremely wary … the potential of overdosing is high, and you risk the chance of alcohol poisoning and even death!

Enemas in the Movies

The sexual fascination behind the enema (pardon the pun) is nothing new; in fact, it may stem from the previous generation's enthusiastic practice of it. If you still have no idea what we're talking about, you'll get a better idea after you watch the bathtub enema scene in the adult film classic, Devil in Miss Jones (1973), written and directed by the same man who created Deep Throat (1972). It depicts a woman sensuously pouring water into every one of her orifices using a rubber tube that's hooked to the tap. Another enema oldie, Water Power (1977), featured the Enema Bandit, who goes on a violent 'cleansing spree' by forcibly giving enemas to unwilling co-eds. This was released in Germany under the title, "Schpritz" and became a kinky cult hit.

The Monumental Enema

In June 2008, the Russian town of Zheleznovodsk bore witness to the unveiling of a five foot, 800 pound bronzed statue honouring, you guessed it, the enema. This work of art, depicting three angels holding up a classic syringe bulb, combines "irony and humor", due in part to its resemblance to Alessandro Botticelli's renaissance pieces. It was installed in front of the square of the Mashuk-Akva Term Spa, which is known for administering treatments to heal digestive complaints using water from the mineral springs of the Caucasus Mountains.

Final Thought

If performed by an experienced practitioner, the negative side effects of an enema are rare. If you decide to do one yourself, get an at-home kit and read the instructions carefully! Take extreme caution because rectal tissue is extremely delicate. If you don't, your ass (as they say) could be in a sling!

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