Bottoms Up

Maureen O’Connor, who is quickly carving out the TMI beat, declares that “butt stuff” is officially in:

What [my friend and I] were talking about was heterosexual anal play—not treating the anus like the vagina’s pervier cousin, useful merely for penile penetration, but actually pleasuring it.

That kind of “butt stuff” does seem to have reached a tipping point in straight culture, at least to judge from magazines devoted to conventional gender roles. Playboy published an essay on rim jobs last year, and Cosmo followed suit with a how-to guide a few weeks ago. (“If you are performing anilingus on a hairy guy, just part the hair with your hands.”) And while we’re familiar with the idea that anal sex is getting more and more common, a less talked-about side effect is the rise of “anal messing around”: The CDC reports that 44 percent of straight men and 36 percent of straight women say they have had anal sex, and an academic study found that 51 percent of men and 43 percent of women who’ve had anal sex have also participated “in oral-anal sex, manual-anal sex, or anal sex toy use.” And once the ass is in play, it’s more likely to get played around with: Half of straight men who’ve had anal sex, and one in ten who haven’t, report having inserted a finger up a sex partner’s butt in the previous month. “Oral is the new sex, and rim jobs are the new oral,” a male friend proposed. …

But why? Transgressing a nasty boundary is, for some, part of the appeal. For those people, filth—symbolic and, yes, literal—is a plus. “Do you know why I’m doing this?” a man once asked as he reached for my butt­hole after sex. “Because you know I don’t like it?” I responded. “And for the smell on my hands,” he replied. My horrified reaction seemed only to delight him further.

Update from a reader:

Sex and the City handled this topic much more succinctly (and hilariously) more than a decade ago. The scene starting at :27 is where the good stuff starts:

Best. SATC scene. Ever.

Another:

*Sigh* Everyone who’s been reading Dan Savage since the very early days (His “Hey, Faggot” column in The Onion was essential reading when I was a college freshman in Milwaukee) already knows the pleasure of the Rim Job. And although I’ve forgotten names and faces and classes and everything else about my doomed first freshman year, I can still recite Dan’s sacred rules for ass-licking:

1. Shower, Shower, Shower

2. Look before you lick

3. Never give a rim job to somebody who won’t kiss you immediately afterward.

Another:

I’m mildly dyslexic, so I damn near did a spit-take when I read “Best. SCAT scene. Ever.” at the end of the reader comment.

Happy Monday!