Last year (how fun to say that!) Jezebel had an article that asked Why is There Poop on My Thong? An Investigation. I love this! We all have something that happens to us on a regular basis that is kinda weird or squicky but we're dying to know what the deal is.
So what’s going on here? Tracy Moore consults a nurse to find out the reason and the cause is determined to be poor wiping technique. However, if you go through the comments (never recommended!) it’s full of adamant wipers and fiber enthusiasts who could put any modern poop shamer to, well, shame. I believe them! I believe these fastidious thong wearers!
What’s not mentioned is that this is expected and totally normal. Our body is constantly bathing our cells, tissues and surfaces in fluid. This system of keeping some surfaces moist* and others wet allows for flexibility, movement, and removal of bacteria. Our soft orifices and surfaces are constantly flushed with all kinds of specialized fluids. We have mucous that streams out of our noses and down our throats (especially when it’s cold outside) beautifully composed ear wax, saliva flowing, sebum, sweat, tears and my absolute favorite psoriasin!
Your rectum and anus have the same physiology. You might be an obsessive wet wiper (but don’t flush them!) or a consistent bidet bather but if there’s fecal matter left in the anal canal it will be rinsed out. Rectal lining tissue is very soft and interestingly, not very sensitive. The rectum holds poop until it expands and surrounding nerves send the signal that it’s time to empty out. Without this combo of flexibility and sensitivity we might not get the signal that it’s time to drop the kids off at the pool. Your anus has glands in its walls. They secrete a sebaceous substance that keeps the interior surface moist and flexible and are continually active. The secretions serve to flush anything left behind (sorry) out of the cavity and onto the surface of the body where it will be removed manually, distributed across the surface of your intergluteal cleft (yer butt crack) or in this case, absorbed by your thong.
Any piece of fabric kept against your anus is going to be in the prime spot to collect and concentrate the outflow. And yeah, this outflow might have poop in it! This sounds kind of gross but it’s immensely beneficial to keep our anus healthy and happy. The outflow moves bacteria out of your interior so it can't hang out and cause problems. Lingering bacteria can cause infection. Blocked glands can lead to fistulas or abscesses. This outflow is healthy and secretions of the anal glands help you pass your poop smoothly and comfortably and keep your tissues soft, flexible and clean.
So is there anything you can do about poop in your thong? You could up your fiber intake to change the consistency of your poop or get a little more intimate and in depth with your wiping (be gentle) as suggested in the article, however, you can't stop the flow. And you don’t want to. Your body has evolved a clever solution to expelling its waste and keeping its interior clean and tidy. Wet wipes are a neat invention but you've got a good system in place. Really, the best you can do is wash your undies, stick to cotton and wicking material, wash your hands and keep a sense of humor about fabric that spends time in your butt crack.
If you’re really stressed out by it, give your thongs a vacation and pick up some new chonies. Full coverage granny panties and high waisted boy cut shorts are totally in fashion right now (thanks T. Swift). Never hurts to change up your undie rotation.
* yeah I said moist