So, butt sex. In a recent posting on Jezebel, Hugo Schwyzer notes that heterosexual anal sex is now more popular – or at least more prevalent — than ever. According to one study he cites, some 40% of women age 20-24 report that they’ve tried it.
Obviously, many women love love love it – check out Toni Bentley’s engaging if possibly a little too enthusiastic buttsex memoir The Surrender if you don’t believe me. But Hugo wonders if some women are getting pressured into it. And it’s a reasonable concern, especially now that more straight guys have come to expect anal sex as a regular part of sexual relationships. Indeed, Hugo quotes a couple of young women who say that, yes, guys are constantly trying to cajole them into going to “5th base.”
The blogger Scallywag is having none of it.
Fending off anal sex? Really? Are we as men to believe that? If truth be known it is often and still remains the prerogative of women who she will have sex with (as much as a man may attempt to influence her decision) let alone anal sex. That a woman is somehow forced to accede to this demand strikes me as presumptuous and lacking in the understanding that as much as men often control the financial shots of a relationship (but that too is changing) it is often women who decide if and what type of sex will occur or not (otherwise it would be rape).
Uh, yes, I would hope that women always, not just often, would decide who they have sex with, and what kinds of sex they have. Same for men. That’s the way consensual sex works: everyone involved in it gets veto power. Otherwise, it would indeed be rape.
Scallywag, I would recommend that you go back and read the basic rules of sex before engaging in any more of it, much less something as advanced as anal.
As for Hugo, well, after asking that good question, he wanders off into some weird paternalist nonsense about anal sex being
yet another manifestation of the pressure on young women to focus on performance rather than on their own pleasure. … Perhaps the greatest incentive to do anal is the chance to prove the all-important capacity to endure pain. … [F]or most (certainly not all) young women, pleasure doesn’t seem to be the point.
You know, if anal sex hurts, you’re NOT DOING IT RIGHT.
Also, some people enjoy pain as a part of their sex life, at least when it’s inflicted safely and consensually. Sex is a messy and complicated thing, and you’re not going to get very far in understanding it if you project your own preferences and assumptions onto others with rather different preferences and assumptions about sex.
Hugo goes on to complain further about what he sees as the “sheer physical hurting that young women are expected to endure in order to meet the contemporary cultural ideal.” Somehow in his mind this includes not just painful waxing and the model-thin beauty ideal (a real issue, obviously) but also … sports:
Girls play more sports (and suffer more overuse injuries) than they did two decades ago. … On the soccer field or in the beauty salon, this generation is expected to prove its toughness as none before … .
Really? Maybe girls and women are getting more involved in sports these days because they, er, want to? And because they have more opportunities to get involved in sports these days because of, you know, feminism?
It’s one thing to worry about people – male and female – being pressured into conforming to social ideals or into sex or specific sex acts they don’t want. But it’s another to assume that girls’ and women’s choices are never really choices because patriarchy! Assuming that girls and women are playing more soccer, or going to “5th base,” mostly because they’re being pressured to is really kind of, well, assy.
On that note, enjoy this song about butts and coconuts.
WARNING: Do not actually put coconuts up your butt. For safe anal play, only use objects with a flared base. I cannot emphasize this enough.