If you think drinking a cup of coffee perks you up, wait till you get 16 ounces of it tubed into your butthole
Credit: Photo by Jeremy Glass

I’m not the kind of guy who does stuff like this. In fact, I am vehemently against sticking unnecessary things in my butt, especially doing so in the name of “wellness.” That being said, I got a coffee enema today lol.

Let’s backtrack. I first heard of the concept of a coffee enemea on the TV show My Strange Addiction. In one episode, a couple was featured who found themselves addicted to coffee enemas. They were so addicted to coffee enemas that they both were forced to work from home to accommodate their unusual lifestyles and not—how do you say—uncontrollably shit lots of coffee public transit.

Gravity East Village is a wellness spa in New York that specializes in colon hydrotherapy sessions and offers coffee enemas for $150. It’s located in an unmarked apartment building between Avenues A and B and gives the impression that is plays host to some pretty shady shit. That is, until you step inside apartment #1A.

Credit: Photo by Jeremy Glass

The moment you walk into the apartment-sized spa, you’re hit with a wave of incense that calms you down. I was met by a nice woman named Elena who kindly asked me to remove my shoes and handed me a waiver essentially saying I wouldn’t sue them if my colon fell out of my butt or anything. Just kidding, I obviously didn’t read the waiver, never do.

Next, I was led into a very small room with a covered table like the one you’d find in a doctor’s office and a toilet. My heart dropped the moment I laid eyes upon the massive tank and protruding tube that were directly above the table. I was told to undress, cover myself in a tissue paper towel, and lay down on the table. A few minutes later, Elena entered the room and ran me through what was going to go down in the next hour.

Credit: Photo by Jeremy Glass

First, she would apply a castor oil pack to my liver via my stomach and let it sit for ten minutes. Then she’d come back to administer the enema. After applying the oil to my liver area, she shook a few drops of vanilla/lavender essential oils into my hands and told me I could rub it on my chest or just smell my hands. I chose to smell my hands.

Elena then said she was leaving the room to prepare the coffee, a statement that would ordinarily comfort me, but this time sent waves of anxiety through my body. While I knew there was nothing in particular to worry about (except for perhaps getting burnt by spilled coffee inside my colon) the uncertainty of it all kept me from fully relaxing.

As it turns out, there is a company that makes coffee especially for enemas called Premier Coffee Organics. It’s a Costa Rican blend grown by third-generation coffee farmers that’s not over-roasted so as to protect its healthy phytochemicals. I asked Elena if it tastes good. She said it does, but it’s really for anal use only. Hearing the sound of the coffee grinder from the other room made it all very real. In a few moments, I was going to have two cups of coffee poured into me.

Credit: Photo by Jeremy Glass

But would it make my gut healthier, or is it just a weird novelty treatment? Elena assured me that coffee enemas are completely natural and aid in detoxification and all that jazz. She spoke about a woman who had come to her after traveling to Australia and swore the enema killed a number of parasites that’d be lurking in her system.

What happened next was… you know how an enema works, right? She told me to roll over on my right side, removed the tissue blanket, and put the tube up my butt. Sixteen ounces of water then proceeded to make its way from a small bucket into my colon. The temperature was hotter than expected, but aside from the initial insertion point, I actually couldn’t feel the coffee going through my system. Elena then told me to roll onto my other side so the coffee could travel through my body. She set a timer for ten minutes and told me to use the toilet next to me after that ten minutes was up.

“Some people can’t wait the whole ten minutes,” she said. I assured her I was a master at holding it in.

Sitting on my side with my colon full of coffee, I thought about everything in my life that had led me to this place. Regardless of my position, I can’t say it was that bad. Halfway through the ten-minute mark my stomach began to grumble as if I’d just eaten a family pack of burritos from Taco Bell. I considered joining the ranks of people who couldn’t exercise sphincter-related restraint, but I pushed through. Once my ten minutes were up, Elena knocked on the door and told me to sit on the toilet.

Credit: Photo by Jeremy Glass

I stepped off the bed, and holy fucking shit. Remember that scene in The Simpsons where Homer goes to Apu and is like “you got any of those potato chips that give you diarrhea? I need to do a little spring cleaning.” How I felt is how I assumed he wanted to feel. If you’ve never shit out two cups of coffee, you haven’t lived. I’ve never released that much fluid in such a short time before in my entire life and, baby, is it refreshing as anything. After the initial shock, all I could do was revel in the good feeling.

It was actually pretty incredible. Apparently there is nothing more refreshing than a coffee enema. I don’t think it’s the most caffeinated I’ve ever felt, but I was fairly amped up. After Elena administered my second and final enema, she told me more about the culture surrounding this bizarre trend.

“Some people do coffee enemas five times a day,” she said. “People with cancer use it to shrink their tumors.” While that skewed too much on the side of “woo-woo hippie shit” for me, I could absolutely recognize the benefits in terms of a pick-me-up. If you think drinking a cup of coffee in the morning perks you up, wait till you get 16 ounces tubed into your butthole.

As I left Gravity, I was as calm as I’ve been a long time. I truly didn’t think I’d feel that relaxed and happy. I was floored that such an objectively weird process could actually provide any benefits. Elena urged me to try another enema at home, and even offered to give me the same bucket and tube she used on me earlier. I politely declined. I thanked her dearly for her time, left a generous tip, and walked to the train, stopping first for a quick cup of coffee.