Enema FAQ (III)

capacity, retention, expulsion, equipment

[this is the third and final section of this article, if you came here directly from the menu or a search engine you can click this Enema FAQ link to start from the beginning]


Every individual has his or her own capacity, and it will change from each enema to the next. The cleanliness of the colon and the amount of gas present will have a great effect on the volume of water that can be taken. Medical researchers have determined that the average adult human colon has a capacity of 7 quarts. However, this measurement has been made using colons removed from cadavers, who wouldn't complain about the pressure. You may want to experiment with this by taking the largest enema that is comfortable, and then rolling from side to side very slowly and seeing if the water runs downhill to distend the lower side more. You probably will find that the lower part of the colon will be noticeably more swollen, indicating that it is your abdomen that is unable to expand to allow the colon to accept any more fluid.

The general advice however is not to exceed the quantities mentioned here. As always, it's not a contest and you're not setting out to break the world record on holding fluid in your intestines.


Most people will find it difficult to retain an enema for more than five minutes. If the bowel is not clean, then the peristaltic action of the colon will push against the fecal masses and produce intense pressure. This will frequently happen with the first enema in a series. If you are planning more sessions, you may try a "chemical" enema first to cope with this and change the method for the next session(s).

If your get a strong cramp and an urge to expel, getting up is the worst thing to do. Making the descending colon vertical adds gravity to the force pushing out. This is how to have an accident. If you can, wait while lying down. The pressure will pass in 10-15 seconds as the wave of peristalsis passes the sigmoid colon and reaches the end. Then get up and expel without straining to hold it in.

Whenever the pressure is building, or you can feel a big bulge with your hands, massage around that area until the pressure relaxes. Some people recommend rolling from one side to the other every minute or so. The idea is that the water will flow repeatedly downhill, alternately filling the descending and sigmoid colon and then running down to the cecum. This is supposed to break up any masses in the transverse. A butt plug is a great tool to help (or force) to hold the water in but will not completely stop any expulsion. Make sure the plug you use is not too big - the power of the expulsion may be big enough to push the plug out and that may cause damage. So always make sure the plug can be pushed out with relative ease.


Obviously, most people expel their enemas while seated on the toilet. This is probably not the best position for expelling water from the colon because of the need for the wide cecum to push the water up hill to the transverse, and then for the transverse to pump it back up its sag to get it to the descending. A large volume in the descending will cause the descending colon to slide down the left side and kink where it meets the sigmoid. This can get you stuck! If you can feel lots of water bulging on the left side, but can't get it out, you need to change positions. Get up and lie down for a moment, or get into the knee-chest position, or just turn around as if you're looking over your shoulders. These techniques can un-kink the descending, and get the water passing out again.

Some people prefer to expel in the bathtub, which is much easier, because the colon does not need to lift water to get it out. This is extremely messy, however, so don't do it unless you don't mind cleaning up. If the colon becomes severely blocked while holding an enema, you may prefer to do this rather than call the paramedics. In the hospital, patients are usually given a bedpan when expelling enemas, to get the same benefit of the position, so this is a technique you may turn to as well because it allows for maximum comfort and saves the trouble of having to run to the bathroom. Especially in combination with bondage or restraints the use of a bedpan is a must since you may not always have the time to free someone (or get free) in time.

If there is substantial gas in the colon, it may be very difficult for the colon to lift water when large air bubbles are present. These like to collect at the hepatic flexure, high on the right side, and can be detected by a rumbling sound when you press there. If you want to get the gas out, sit on the floor and make sure the gas is at the hepatic. Roll slowly onto the right side, then massage the transverse, following its course with your hands. You will know that you're moving that gas by the rumbling. When you have the gas moved to the splenic flexure, move quickly to the knee-chest position. Now massage the descending colon upward, from the ribs to the groin on the left side (you're "upside down", remember) until the gas has moved to the sigmoid. Use heavy massage in the groin area, to move water out of the sigmoid, and move the gas in. When this is done, get on the toilet quickly, and it should be possible to expel a prodigious gas blast. You may have to repeat this procedure several times, but when all the gas is out of the colon you should be able to expel the water quickly.

Don't sit on the toilet for more that a few minutes if there's no water coming out. Sitting too long and straining are the chief causes of hemorrhoids. Those will certainly ruin your enema pleasure. If nothing is coming out, lie down either face down or up, or lie on your left side, or get into the knee-chest position. These will help the water move, and soon you can go back to the pot.


Standard safety advice for doing this with others: wear latex gloves at all times during an enema session and have a good quantity available so you can change gloves every time they get dirty. In general, you can never have enough of them. Since they are cheap this is an investment you don't have to worry about. The other thing to invest in is lubricant. Lots of it. Buy water-based lubricant so your latex gloves and other latex or rubber equipment will not be damaged and buy a dispenser instead of the little sachets or tubes. Easier to handle, especially if larger amounts of lubricant are needed -- and they always are with ANY form of anal play. If you're planning to do any enema play outside the bathroom - as in bed or in your dungeon - buy a large quantity of plastic foil and cover the bed, bondage table, floor or whatever with LARGE quantities of it because there is a serious risk things may become messy. Even trained enema users can never exactly predict how long they can hold the enema and the expulsion may come instantly. For this reason: never run for the toilet if you feels the expulsion starting. Usually you won't make it. Instead expel on the foil -- it's easy to fold and remove instantly afterwards (and seriously, all other attempts will probably fail).

Enema bags and tubes

The standard enema apparatus available in the drugstore can be divided into several types. There is the open-top fountain syringe, usable for enemas and douches. There is the closed-top type bag, which can also be used as a hot-water bottle. There is the four-way type, which also is intended to be used as an ice bag. Most of these units offer 2 quart capacity. If that is the limit of your capacity, the open-top fountain syringe is the best type to use, because it is very convenient. The enema and douche nozzles that come with these units leave much to be desired however. There are also discreet type units sold primarily for feminine hygiene use, but some come with enema tips also.

In many European countries it is usually a lot easier to obtain your enema bags and tubes from your local erotic boutique. "Princess" is the most common brand for this and their equipment (usually found in the "nursing" corner of your boutique) is reliable although a bit more expensive compared to what you can buy over the counter at a pharmacy or drugstore.

Another brand/type is the "Shy" - an expandable syringe which is filled by pressing the mouth of the bag against the sink faucet. This bag will hold 4 quarts. The big drawback is that it has no way to shut off the flow except to remove the bag from the tube, which will cause the water to flow from the rectum. What you need to do is to attach a hose with a clamp to the nozzle, which is inserted into the bag. You can pour liquid soap into the bag before filling with water.

Even though there is some information around on building your own equipment the general advice is NOT to do that. Pressure is everything when it comes to enemas. The pressure comes from the influx of the fluid and too much pressure is painful and dangerous, hence the combination of bag, tube, nozzle and position is paramount and is best left to the professional producers of this equipment.

There are small rubber ball type pumps around, used for children in hospitals. Do not buy these. The risks of pumping air into the colon or building up too much pressure are too high and the quantity is not enough for an adult anyway so you would need to pump in fluid several times, thus only increasing the risks. The same goes for - very antique - enema pumps. Don't use them, but they may be nice to add some atmosphere, especially for those into "nursing" games. Oh, and another DON'T - never ever try anything that is directly connected to a water tap (like the shower or a hose). There is no way you can control the quantity of fluid, the temperature and the pressure this way. Also, forget about any plans to use a funnel.

Nozzles and tubes

There are many different types of nozzles and tubes available for inserting into the rectum. What you want is either a colon tube (a rubber tube from 1/4" to 1/2" diameter and anywhere from 10" to 3 feet long) or a nozzle with a bulb on the end, to help hold it in. These are called "N-Tips". Some of the best drug stores carry these items, but usually you'll have to ask for them. Some USA drug stores also carry the fleet high-volume bag enema or an equivalent brand, these are made of plastic and will not deteriorate when oils are used, as a rubber bag will. The "high-volume bag" usually holds 2500 CC (over 2 quarts) but in the same series, the manufacturers make a barium enema container which can be ordered, and it has 3500 cc capacity (almost 4 quarts). Medical and ostomy stores carry many of these items. These are considered disposable, but with a little care they will last a long time.

The Colon Tube is a straight tube with a rounded end, and usually a small hole in the side near the tip. They come in many sizes, and are usually measured in "French" sizes. 28 French is a small tube, and 36 is fairly large.

The N-Tip is really made to help patients hold a barium enema (not for use at home - barium enemas are used as "contrast fluid" during X-ray photography in hospitals), but many people use them for other enemas. It's made of molded plastic.

This is the end of our Enema FAQ for now, but here is a link to a special Enema Quick 9 Point Safety Reference that'll open in a small floating window for you.

[if you came to this Part 3 page directly you can click this Enema FAQ link to read the first two sections of this article]

Based on materials from the POWERotics Foundation
© 2000; republished here with their permission;
see the Contributors page for contact links.