Yes, Botox For Your Butt Is A Thing—But, No, It Doesn’t Cost $25,000

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For the last two days, articles about “anal Botox” have been blowing up my Facebook and Twitter feeds, with most of the headlines (like this one from Cosmo) saying something along the lines of “Anal Botox Is A Thing, And Costs Up to $25,000.” To me, the surprising thing about these headlines wasn’t that people were putting Botox in their butts, but what they were supposedly paying for it. Let me explain.

We’ve known for quite some time that Botox—a drug that works by temporarily paralyzing muscles—has a number of sexual applications, for women and men alike. For instance, it has been used as a treatment for vaginismus (a condition in which the muscles around the vagina involuntarily contract, thereby making penetration painful and difficult). It is also currently being explored as a treatment for both premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, and the initial results are promising (learn more about this research here). Not only that, but some guys are getting Botox injections in their scrotums, which prevents the sac from being pulled closer to the body during arousal and cold temperature. The net effect is that it can make one’s sac appear larger (read up on “Scrotox” here).

The way I see it is that if people were already injecting Botox into their vaginas, penises, and scrotums, it was really only a matter of time before they starting putting it up their butts, too.

“If people were already injecting Botox into their vaginas, penises, and scrotums, it was really only a matter of time before they starting putting it up their butts, too.”

All of the media articles about anal Botox have focused on how it could be used to relax some of the muscles “down there,” thereby facilitating receptive anal sex. I did some searching to see if there was anything to back this up in the medical literature and, believe it or not, there are actually a ton of hits that come up if you search for “anal Botox.” In fact, there are articles dealing with this subject dating back nearly 20 years! The vast majority of them are about the use of Botox as a successful treatment for anal fissures—small tears in the internal lining of the anus. Botox can promote healing by preventing spasms. Anal Botox has also been used as a successful treatment for certain types of constipation.

As far as I can tell, no research has specifically addressed anal Botox solely for reasons of comfort or pleasure during anal sex, so we don’t have any data that can speak to how well it works for that purpose or whether there are any potential side effects. So, while it does appear that at least a few doctors are offering this procedure, just remember that there’s no data, so buyer beware.

As for that supposed $25,000 price tag, that’s the truly unbelievable part of these headlines. As a reference point, Botox usually costs $10-20 per unit. To treat, say, forehead wrinkles (one of the most common cosmetic uses of Botox) would probably require about 20 units, translating to $200-400. Likewise, in the studies where Botox has been used to treat anal fissures, 20 units is about how much was used there as well, so we’d be talking about a similar cost for that. I’m not sure how much Botox doctors are using if the goal is to promote comfort during anal sex, but they sure as heck aren’t injecting $25,000 worth of Botox up there! For reference, $25,000 would be enough to treat 62.5 foreheads, assuming the cost is $20/unit. Let’s just say that you wouldn’t want to have THAT much Botox injected anywhere in your body.

So, yes, anal Botox is indeed a thing—and it turns out that Botox has a surprising number of potential applications for the booty and beyond. However, don’t believe the sensational headlines about the cost. There may be some people who are spending that much money for anal treatments, but if they are, odds are that they’re getting far more than just a little Botox (indeed, some are getting the full “anal rejuvenation” suite—but that’s a story for another day).

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology ? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on Facebook (facebook.com/psychologyofsex), Twitter (@JustinLehmiller), or Reddit (reddit.com/r/psychologyofsex) to receive updates. 

Image Source: 123RF/Piotr Marcinski

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