“Holecare” Is Here. Do We Need It to Be?

More recent attempts have been made to take anal care mainstream, as in the case of Asset, whose sole SKU, a “hole serum,” is made with allantoin and vitamin E and intended to soothe frequent irritation or inflammation. Its creator, Chad Connell, credits his own chronic anal irritation with inspiring Asset. Connell originally worked in advertising, and in 2015 launched Whisper, a direct-to-consumer bidet—an enterprise that was self-therapeutic. “Using a bidet helped a little bit,” he says. He still dealt with fissures and hemorrhoids regularly enough that he began formulating a solution himself, which resulted in Asset.

He also saw an opportunity to conquer a new beauty frontier. “There are all these brands that represent good hair, good face, but no brand represents the best version of your butt,” says Connell. One dermatologist, two years, and four chemists contributed to Hole Serum, which launched in 2021.

Despite the particulars of its marketing, the holecare category can benefit anyone. A straight person is just as likely to enjoy the perfumed scrubs of Studio Ready as a gay one, which is why they’re stocked at the Standard Hotel Spa in Miami Beach. What makes Hole Serum distinct from other entrants in the holecare market is its therapeutic use-case, which is completely divorced from the act of anal sex. It looks more like Topicals meets Coloplast. Asset’s paid marketing runs through Meta, on Facebook and Instagram, which has been successful enough that Connell hasn’t needed to advertise on other platforms. “It’s going better than our best-case scenario,” he says.

An Instagram ad for a new beauty product usually incites one of a few questions in its viewer, a common one being, “Do I need that?” In the case of anal skin care, the answer is probably no. “I always encourage my patients to focus routine care on the basics—daily warm water and gentle soap,” says Rudy Guadron, NP, the clinical director of anal health for Callen-Lorde Community Health Center specializing in the prevention and treatment of anal cancer. He adds that each ass has its own harmonious bacteria cultures, and that harsh chemicals can “upset this important natural balance,” resulting in irritation or worse. A simple water-powered bidet can help encourage hole health, Guadron says.

Some topical products are good, even great to use, but for very specific reasons—like chronic irritation, or a good time. The majority of people don’t need anything beyond whatever soap is in their bathroom. But, Dr. Goldstein points out, it’s important that the area dries completely. “Many people will go to sleep wearing underwear, tighter clothes, or using heavy blankets,” he said. “Remember: That area needs to breathe.” Otherwise, you have an environment for unbridled bacteria growth that can lead to irritation, tears, or infections. “All because people aren’t educated.” That’s how you care for your ass: Smarter, not fancier.

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