Sphincter muscle exercises improve loose anal musculature and assist in preventing leakage from the bowels and improve pleasure during anal sex. For patients with fecal incontinence or other issues, daily stretches may be able to build up muscle and improve symptoms.
Below, we‘ve listed some symptoms of a weak anal sphincter, what causes loose anal musculature, and how to strengthen sphincter muscles.
Can An Anus Become Loose?
I spend a lot of time educating my clients on the right way to begin engaging as a bottom, but after years of anal play, something else many bottoms are concerned with is the possibility of loosening up their sphincters too much. Some common questions for those worried include, “does the anus tighten back up” or “how do I tighten loose skin around the anus?” This begs the question: is this a legit concern, and, if so, what steps can be taken to prevent a loose anal sphincter?
Unfortunately, a loose sphincter is a real possibility, especially if people push their sphincter‘s boundaries of relaxation. Most of the people who experience a loss of function tend to like bigger toys or penises, and/or engage in fisting. All of these factors can definitely, in due time, cause the anus to loosen itself beyond repair and result in issues that would require anal tightening. For more information, check out my comments in the Myth of the Loose Butthole.
What Causes a Loose Anus?
As noted above, some other common causes of a loose anus include diarrhea, constipation, chronic bowel or urinary diseases, and muscle or nerve damage. Some types of muscle or nerve damage can come from aging or giving birth. However, anal intercourse, toys and fisting are other known risk factors.
Other factors that cause an anus to become loose include:
- Constipation and straining
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Chronic urinary tract infections
- Heavy lifting
- Other rectal injuries
All of these factors may affect anal elasticity. Being able to open up to receive a toy or penis is a skill that has nothing to do with increased distensibility or how most describe as having a “loose anus” and instead, has everything to do with mind over matter and anal sphincter control. Continue reading for sphincter muscle exercises and tips on how to tighten loose skin around anus areas.
Honing into this skill set – being able to control the reflex – and modulate to the degree of maximal pleasure is a true art and takes practice. However, when someone engages in fisting and/or any excessive dilation, this is when someone opens themselves up (no pun intended) to the possibility of a loose anus.
This is because one can stretch the muscles beyond recoil, causing damage. Our muscles are normally able to relax to a degree and it definitely has a maximal capability of opening. If one pushes beyond the boundaries excessively one time or beyond the boundaries over one‘s lifetime, it can lead to a loose anus. Without treatment, this issue could even progress to medical conditions such as anal incontinence, decreased sensation, and gas. Also of note, specifically within the LGBTQ+ community, enema use and/or distention from long-term cleansing can also cause loose anal muscles. If one actually needs any cleansing at all, the intent should be: less distention and more gentle irrigation. Following guidelines such as Bespoke Surgical‘s anal douching best practices can help ensure you‘re doing what‘s best for your body.
Basic Symptoms of Loose Anal Musculature
All of the ramifications depend on the degree of elasticity. It can range from decreased sensation during anal intercourse/play for you and your partner to more extreme symptoms, like gas or fecal incontinence. There may even be a sensation that one‘s insides are undergoing rectal prolapse. The goal is to understand all of the issues surrounding the increased elasticity, with prevention and/or regular monitoring to improve outcomes.
Symptoms of a loose sphincter can include:
- Complete loss of bowel control,
- Bowel leaking during exercise,
- Passing stool following gas,
- Coughing or sneezing causing a leak.
It‘s often accompanied by diarrhea, constipation or gas and bloating.
Prevention, Recovery, and Sphincter Strengthening
With that said, when I recommend that my clients use butt plugs to assist relaxation while preparing to bottom, the opposite can be done as well. In other words, you should use butt plugs to tighten and strengthen the muscle around the plug, just like you would at the gym working out your biceps. This is a key component to retaining a tight anus. A few times a week of contraction work will go a long way when it comes to muscle preservation. Proper techniques and muscle hypertrophy with these tips should set you straight (but don‘t worry – not that straight!). One additional route to tighten anus muscles is to pursue gluteal work with squats and kettle bells in order to set up the muscular growth and/or stability to maintain a tight anus. Our anal training services can also show how to safely grow accustomed to voluntarily loosening your sphincter for anal play.
How Do I Tighten My Sphincter Muscle?
Use kegel exercises as one of your tools to support learning how to tighten anus musculature. Here‘s how to do kegels:
- Relax your abdomen and buttocks.
- Spread your legs slightly apart.
- Squeeze your anus and pelvic floor muscles and hold for 5-10 seconds
- Release gently.
- Repeat five times, at least twice a day.
Bespoke Surgical has a Guide To Kegel Exercises for Men that can improve pelvic floor strength and assist with general anal tightening and issues such as fecal incontinence or a loose sphincter.
Can Your Anus Tighten Back Up?
There are two rings of muscle around the anus, and the outer ring of muscle is the external sphincter. Each can be damaged if they are strained or otherwise at risk. Like any muscles, your anal musculature and sphincter will heal over time if they are strained; however, sometimes too much damage will need medical attention.
If you‘re wondering “does the anus tighten back up?”, the answer is yes. Steady exercises and treatment can be combined to improve these voluntary muscles’ tightness or looseness.
If you‘re wondering “how long does it take for an anus to tighten?”, regular exercise should show improvements in 6 to 8 weeks to build up strength in your muscles, just like most muscle groups. We recommend maintaining your anal sphincter strengthening exercises for three months for the best results.
When Is it Time to See a Doctor for Anal Tightening?
As mentioned, though, sometimes using a butt plug simply isn’t enough. Which leads us to the next question: at what point is it time for someone to go see a doctor? And what type of expertise should the doctor have in order to be able to provide the best remedy for a loose anus?
If you have tried all of the above without improvement, seeing a physician with extensive knowledge on anal intercourse with all of its ins and outs is imperative. The intricacies of the science of bottoming is quite vast and since we only have one asshole, correct initial management is a must. It all starts with an appropriate and detailed non-biased sexual history. During a full external and internal evaluation, a lot of information can be obtained, assessing for whether or not there is a functional abnormality, like hemorrhoids, skin tags, or muscular laxity leading to the lack of coaptation. Full muscle evaluation in both a relaxed and contracted state provides more useful information, especially functional. With all of this, one can understand form, function, and the aesthetic issues surrounding a loose anus, with planning appropriate corrective actions. The mainstay is medical optimization, plus or minus pelvic floor therapy or surgical corrective approaches tailored to each client’s needs. A tighter hole with more control can lead to normalization of defecation, no sudden accidents, an improvement in sexual stimulation, and overall wellness for both you and your partner(s).
Bespoke Surgical is an elite anal surgery practice in NYC focused on health and wellness. We offer an anal elasticity training program that’s hand-tailored to treat your specific needs. Programs can include education, sEMG biofeedback, pelvic floor stimulation and more. Check out the anal elasticity page here for more information.
About the Author
Dr. Evan Goldstein is the Founder and CEO of Bespoke Surgical. Dr. Goldstein has extensive experience educating and shedding light on health care issues relating to the gay community, and has been published in several national publications including The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Vice, Refinery 29, NY Mag and more.
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