Will anal sex play cause incontinence?

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Dear Dr. Myrtle,

I just read the information you have on anal sex. I have a health question. My boyfriend and I have a large butt plug for me (I’m a woman). Is there any danger that my sphincter may get TOO stretched out? When I get old will I be more likely to have need for adult diapers? I am concerned.


This is a very common concern, but don’t invest in the adult diapers just yet. Incontinence of urine or stool is not uncommon, but its cause is the opposite from what you are thinking. Incontinence is found in about 2 percent of the population, most commonly in women who have had forceps-assisted vaginal delivery, a change in their neurological system, or chronic anal tension.

That’s right, anal tension. People who are unable (or unwilling because of social pressures) to pass gas (fart), or have a hard time passing stool, mess up their normal neurological function. It’s like little kids who really have to go to the bathroom, but are having too much fun playing outside, so they hold and hold and hold it in, until their body says "enough" and oops - "incontinence". For someone who holds stool or gas in the rectum, they change the normal function of their sensory signals, such that regular bowel movements are very difficult to predict, or pass.

Too much of this leads to poor anal health. A "program" (if you will) of becoming comfortable with using anal plugs actually increases the function and tone of your anal sphincter, thereby reducing your risk of urinary or anal incontinence over time. To be able to use a plug, you need to massage your anal sphincter with lubricant and gloves, and learn to relax your sphincter consciously. If you contract your vaginal muscles or have an orgasm while you are penetrated with your anal plug, this is the same as doing "Kegel" exercises that doctors prescribe for urinary and anal incontinence.

It’s more likely that people who can comfortably massage, relax and control the tension of their pelvic floor/anal muscles have good anal health. You are more likely to undergo successful vaginal delivery should you ever decide to deliver a baby, and because you probably have good pelvic floor muscle tone, your orgasms are more likely to be powerful. If you’d like more information on anal health, get a copy of the book Anal Pleasure and Health by J. Morin, or The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women by T. Taormino. Both are highly recommended.

Dr. Myrtle