Remember earlier this year when Amber Rose suggested that Kanye West enjoys anal penetration?
It was a silly exposure of bedroom antics that highlighted a taboo subject related to male sexuality: saying a man enjoys anal sex is basically a gay slur.
While Amber may not have been insinuating that Kanye’s #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch-ness made him same sex oriented, the subtext of her Tweet was one of emasculation, that his enjoying a little butt play makes him inferior.
“It feels good,” sex therapist Dr. Christine Milrod told ATTN: by email. “That’s why most people have recreational (not procreational) sex. Feeling good from intense orgasms when the prostate is stimulated makes men relaxed and ready to face the rest of their daily lives.”
As Dr. Milrod pointed out by email, a National Survey Of Family Growth survey revealed “44 percent of straight men reported having anal sex at least once in their lives." Though this data doesn't indicate what percentage of men have been on the receiving end of anal sex, Dr. Milrod said stigmas surrounding the act are dying.
“The stigma will most likely fade away as all varieties [of] sexual behavior become more accepted and Millennials disclose more of their behaviors openly in a variety of media," she said.
Dr. Carol Queen — sexologist at Good Vibrations and author of The Sex & Pleasure Book — concurred via email with ATTN:. "It’s believed that anal is THE way gay men have sex, and that one man must take on the 'female role.' ... It’s not just homophobia but also butt-phobia, because of the way that anal is associated with feces and dirt; though oddly, this stigma dissolves a bit when women are on the receiving end."
If men are nervous to bring up the subject, there are ways to work around the stigma that Amber Rose highlighted. “If men are ‘scared,’ the best way to deal with it is on an individual level,” Dr. Milrod said by email. “People have been having anal sex for as long as homo sapiens have existed, but that still doesn’t encourage a lot of men. If the partner questions their sexuality, the best way to deal with this is to inform the partner of statistics.”
Dr. Queen had a good follow up to this in an email. "It can also take a guy out of the masculine 'I am a sex machine, always on' role, and [help him] learn about receptivity and allowing someone else to wear the cock. Plus: [it provides] insight about these things, which is very valuable, and about what it may be like for women to have penetrative sex. It could certainly make a guy into a more aware and conscious lover."
Knowledge is power, clearly — as is talking with your partner about sex and respecting each other. Dr. Milrod continued: “Be open with your partner and tell him/her that you want to explore your entire body — that includes the anus. You can start with a feather and get your anus tickled on the outside. If this is pleasurable, you can go on with getting rimmed with your partner’s tongue. You can proceed to a prostate massager so that your prostate is stimulated while you either masturbate or have your partner give you a hand job. Your partner can also insert a butt plug or tiny dildo.”
Here are a few words of warning.
Anal sex, no matter your gender or sexual identity, requires some finesse and hygienic maintenance. “Be clean; this means giving yourself an enema or defecating and then washing carefully with mild soap and warm water before embarking on anal penetration,” Dr. Milrod said. “If your partner wants to stick a finger inside your anus, be sure that s/he has no ragged fingernails as this can hurt. And clean hands are a must, too. If you are squeamish, use gloves. If there are no gloves, a condom over a finger can work, as long as it doesn’t slip.”
“Use plenty of water-based lube and instruct your partner to go slow. If you are using a prostate massager on yourself, you will feel when you clamp up: relax by deep breathing. If you are anally rimmed, tell your partner to brush his/her teeth and rinse with mouthwash. And wash the sex toys afterwards.”
As expected, lube is your friend with this: Dr. Milrod recommended silicone lube for person-to-person interaction and waterbased when using condoms.
If this conversation hasn’t excited a desire to try something new in bed, know this: no sexual activity is tied to a sexuality. That is just an antiquated stereotype, a bad rumor spread to scare people from exploring. “ANY activity that one gender or orientation likes might be enjoyed by another!" Dr. Queen said. "Getting out of boxes like this frees us up in our sex lives."
"There are only human sexual behaviors,” Dr. Milrod said. “Whatever you might consider ‘gay’ is also practiced by non-gay individuals.”