Sadly Necessary Sex Guides #4: Prepare for Butt Stuff

Sadly Necessary Sex Guides #4? What happened to 1, 2, and 3? Well, dear reader, allow me to introduce you to Mixtape_Heart (that’s his Fetlife handle). He is the man behind the Sadly Necessary Sex Guides, and frankly, I think he wins the interwebs for what you’re about to read about butt love. This is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read on Fetlife, and the fantastic thing is it’s deliciously practical. So, grab a drink, settle in, and prepare for the ultimate smack down on all things butt and anal.

Prepare for butt stuff

Yep, it’s time for the topic that oh so many conversations come back to, both on Fetlife and beyond: butt stuff. You knew it was coming1, and it really does need talking about, so let’s all sit back – gingerly for some, perhaps, but with great confidence for others – and talk about the part of the body that Shakespeare did not but certainly might have called “the other undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveler returns without learning at least a bit about baby wipes and patience.”

A quick word to those souls already well-versed in the Great Backdoors: like a lot of the Sadly Necessary series, this writing is aimed a bit more at anal padawans than true Dark Lords of the Butt. While I think it will have something for everybody, especially in the cultural discussion and some of the tips for talking to partners, if you’re looked for advanced techniques this isn’t your writing. Just to be upfront about that.

Oh, and if you thought my puns were bad before? Buckle up. This topic … it tends to bring out the puns in the best of us. Be thou warned!

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing butt the truth

The culture at large is perversely – hang on, “perversely” is really not the right word in this particular community. Hmm. Let’s go with “oddly” instead.

Anyway, the culture at large is oddly obsessed with All Things Butt. On the one hand, the butt – and particularly the idea of sticking things up it – is pretty much a nonstop comedy gold mine. And let’s be clear – like it or not, there’s nothing new about that.

On the other hand, having a character display any kind of sexual satisfaction from any sort of anal activity is one of the quickest ways to show that they are sexually “deviant” in the eyes of the mainstream. (With the possible exception of homosexual men, though having a homosexual man proposition a heterosexual man for anal sex is still viewed as awkward comedy gold by many a lazy writer.) It’s good for some old fashioned snickering, and for picking out those “freaky” types in bed, but beyond that it’s strictly off-limits for any sort of rational discussion.

I mean, it’s the butt, right? It’s the Taco Bell of body openings – shady, filled with questionable content, and absolutely dirty by definition. So anyone who enjoys doing stuff there like touching it, licking it, putting things in it, you name it, they must be dirty by extension. (Hell, even just by association.) And I don’t mean just physically dirty here (though that too), I mean dirty as in “wrong”, as in, if you like this sort of stuff you are a bad person and should feel bad about your bad choices.

And that’s the root of the cultural problem, really.

This is often seen as a problem primarily for heterosexual men, because our culture teaches that having anyone – man, woman, helpful robot – touch your butt in any sort of sexual context automatically gives you The Gay. To enjoy any sort of butt stuff is, therefore, unmanly at best and a sign of latent homosexual feelings at worst.

This is so deeply entrenched in our culture that even guys who have no problem with homosexuality, would never dream of so much as uttering a homophobic word, in fact support equal rights for their homosexual brethren, often still have trouble talking about any kind of enjoyment they might have of anal play in general. At least if it’s their own butt. Because, you know, only gay guys like that.

But it isn’t just a problem discussion for heterosexual men, not by a long mile. For one thing, there’s the popular assumption that anal sex is the natural culmination of any homosexual male encounter, just as PIV intercourse is to a heterosexual one. Which is an assumption that causes many a homosexual or bisexual man to roll their eyes and sigh from the very depths of their soul.

A whole lot of the hate and distrust for homosexual men that homophobes have stems from this notion, that butt sex is dirty, and that all gay men are doing it up the butt all the time, like literally any chance they get – commercial breaks, long BioShock loading screens, the seventh inning stretch, you name it. On top of everything else, homosexual men have the indignity of being perceived as ass-crazed Weeping Angels, as if it’s some universal truth that if there are two gay men in the room with you, and you’re not watching them right now? Yeah, butt sex is totally happening.

(Don’t. Blink.)

Nor are women exempt from discussion shaming on this topic. As with all too many sexual practices in our culture, enjoyment of anal play or anal sex is seen by many in our culture as a sign of a “dirty” or debased woman – you know, the kind of girl who’ll let guys just do anything to her. [blockquote align=”center”]Any woman who enjoys receiving anal sex must have no self-esteem, lack the ability to tell her partner “no”, or be some kind of depraved porn star wannabe.[/blockquote]

I once heard women discussing other women dismiss another woman’s partner preferences with the comment “well, she likes anal, so you know, whatever.” The tone indicating that admitting she enjoyed that sort of activity, I don’t know, disqualified her from consideration as a reasonable person, somehow. The smallest of sample sizes, I know, and hardly representative, but still it shocked me how casually that was thrown out – and accepted.

And a woman who enjoys giving any kind of anal play? Ring the sirens, you’ve found the perviest of perverts. Because butt stuff is dirty by definition, after all, and since our culture teaches that only dirty women enjoy sex, well, the wench be twice damned.

OK, but who really likes butt stuff?

Short answer? Way, way more people than you might expect, especially if your own tastes don’t run that way. One of the (many) problems with our cultural perception of butt stuff in general is that we reduce it to two groups and two groups only: Gay Dudes and Freaky-Deaky Hardcore Weirdo Sex Perverts.

In fact, for a lot of mainstream folks, anal play of any kind is a “Kink Flag”2 – if you like it that must mean you also own a leather mask, six whips, a pair of crotchless panties with a picture of the Golden Girls across the butt, and something that started life as a Sawzall but is definitely, definitely not a mere Sawzall anymore. Admitting you like butt stuff in any form automatically places you in that category in their mind, and you’ll have a tough time getting back out (if you try).

The other thing is, unlike a lot of sexual activities, butt stuff is seen as an all-or-nothing – if you’re into even one type of butt stuff, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. You must secretly be some kind of rampaging butt Juggernaut smashing through the walls of Hogwart’s Less Popular School of Buttcraft & Sodomy in search of an anal bead attachment to your sonic screwdriver like some kind of metaphor in an out of control pop culture mashing run-on sentence that really needs to end right now.

Which makes it hard for people to express even a slight curiosity in anything butt-related, because they feel even taking a tiny step will somehow brand them forever, and so they decide not to risk it at all. And that’s a shame.

But hey, if you are into butt stuff, or even just curious about it, take heart – you’re not nearly as lonely or strange as you might otherwise be led to believe.

To butt, or not to butt? Lube is the question

To adapt a popular hyperbole and a half meme: LUBE ALL THE THINGS!!

OK, so that’s not true for all butt stuff.

Rimming, for example, rarely requires much lube, and on second thought, is probably more enjoyable without it. (Unless you have especially delicious lube, in which case, go nuts. Or butts, as the case may be.) In fact, before you start playing around too much at all, you’ll want to look into the hygienic aspects of butt stuff.

Why start there? Well, it’s important, for sure – you want to know what kind of precautions are necessary for what kinds of activities, as befits your personal health and safety needs. That’s key to any sexual activity, and certainly belongs here too. But it’s also useful for de-programming yourself a bit if you’re new, and learning that the human butt is not quite the runaway nuclear reactor of unstoppable vile grossness that we’re often told it is.

Seriously, when you take a look at the health and cleanliness practices recommended for a lot of anal play, it’s not exactly like getting fitted for a hazmat suit. Different, maybe, but still, not things that take hours to prepare or are unreasonable to pack in your nookie sack3.

If and when it comes time for things to enter the butt, though, reach for the lube, and don’t be stingy with the stuff. Swooping down on your partner’s unprepared ass like the Goddamned Batman landing on a unsuspecting purse snatcher might sound – for lack of a better word – badass in theory, but it can lead to some positively painful situations in practice. And not painful in the “good kind of pain” way that often accompanies these activities (even with lube), but in the bad, “I might need to see a doctor” sort of way.

It’s also well worth noting that if you intend to be, let’s say, ambitious about actually putting things into your butt, training is not a terrible idea. (In fact, it’s a pretty highly recommended one.) Whether this involves placing larger and larger objects there to build up to the size of the object you desire, or including longer/more vigorous anal play with a partner each session, or both those things and more, don’t discount the need for training if you’re thinking of really exploring this aspect of butt stuff.

But in the end, for all the shameful mystique assigned to it by our culture, anal play – and yes, anal sex – isn’t that much more daunting than many other forms of play, and perhaps slightly less logistically demanding than many others. So, even if you’re only casually curious, look into what it actually takes to do what you’re curious about. I think you’d be surprised at how much less intimidating it is than you might have previously imagined.

Awesome! ALL YOUR ASS ARE BELONG TO US!

Whoa there, Rear Admiral Chelle! I admire your desire to fire a portal gun under the mainstream and drop this country into a more enlightened state. Remember that while, as a country, America might be way, way more into butt stuff than it is ever prepared to publicly admit, that doesn’t mean the partner across from you feels the same way. Like anything else related to sexytimes, individual mileage varies widely.

Some people love just about all forms of butt stuff and can’t get enough of it – it’s a regular if not omnipresent part of their sexual rotation. Other people only like a few activities, or perhaps like more things but only occasionally – for them it’s a “sometimes treat”, in perhaps the only Sesame Street reference to anal sex that will ever be made by me. (Perhaps.) This applies across the board as well – it’s not unique to any particular gender expression or sexual orientation.

It’s worth noting, of course, some people don’t like it – some of it, all of it, what have you. And that’s OK, too. Don’t assume it’s because they’re ignorant or misinformed either; while you can certainly talk to your partner about it, if it’s something you’re into and they’re not, it can be a little too easy to flip the script around and accuse someone of saying no just because they’re frightened of something they don’t understand, when they actually might understand just fine and simply not be interested in that type of play.

Indeed, one reason it’s so important to understand some of the cultural underpinnings to the discussion of butt stuff in this country that we brought up before – not just because it might help some people get past their programming and try some things they might enjoy, but also because you should understand what might be going through your partner’s head when you bring up the subject of playing with their butt. And that’s not even counting any actual personal experiences they might have had in this regard.

In the end, many partners either don’t talk about butt stuff or have a couple of awkward conversations and then stop because they don’t know exactly how to navigate the various land mines our culture has dropped into it. So they either hit one and limp away, or decide to avoid the whole thing entirely. Which might spare them some pain or some awkward moments, but might also mean they miss out on new things they’d enjoy.

If it’s new to one or both of you, take time and talk about the subject honestly. Admit it if you’re a bit grossed out, or if you’ve got one of those pesky cultural hangups despite your curiosity (their roots go deep, don’t underestimate them). Do research together – at the same time, in the same room – and even share some laughs if it helps defuse the situation.

If it’s not for you at the end of it, fair enough. Nobody has to like everything, after all, and even if they did, that’s a lot of play sessions to load into the Google Calendar. But you might find at the end of it that you’re more open to some things than you thought – and that it’s a lot easier to explore than you’d imagined.

And hey, after all this is over, if someone cracks a bad joke or makes a biased remark based on cultural misconceptions about anal play, you’ll at least be able to look them straight in the eye and say, with perfect seriousness: “You know, I was once an anal padawan, much like you. But I have read much and traveled far, and speaking as a true Dark Lord of the Butt, I can tell you with absolute conviction that, unlike an anus that has been properly prepared for sexual activity in accordance with hygienic principles and partner courtesy, your misinformed joke/remark is well and truly full of shit.”

If nothing else, you’ll be the talk of other folks at your high school reunion for weeks after.

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The Back End Disclaimer: As you can imagine, especially regarding an activity as socially charged as butt stuff, you can place a huge YMMV sticker on this piece and take it with a whole handful of salt besides. Just about anything I’ve said here might fly in the face – well, somewhere, anyway – of the preferred practices of various practitioners of the anal arts. And that’s OK. I’m not claiming to be Earth’s one and only Sodomite Supreme, I’m just a guy talking about butt stuff and hoping it helps some people out.

1 Like Keith Richards, this joke will never get old, and definitely never die.

2 Is it just me, or does Kink Flags sound like just the best amusement park ever (assuming we sort the waivers and consent agreements)? The concessions. The souvenirs. The Is That Water? That’s Water, Right? park. And the rides, you guys. IMAGINE THE RIDES.

3 You guys have nookie sacks too, right? Tell me I’m not alone in this. Everyone else always snickers when I say that …

[note title=”Meet the author”]You can find the man behind the butt stuff on Fetlife with his kinky handle Mixtape_Heart. According to his thoroughly engaging profile, he describes himself as a married man in a wonderful open relationship, a geek, straightedge, and a flirt. Oh, he also bruises like a peach. [/note]

  • Dawn
  • June 21, 2014