Buttholes

by Jason Stotts

Let’s be honest, when you read the title of this essay, it made you uneasy.  It’s okay.  The taboo against buttholes is so intense in our culture that it’s hard to even see the word without having a reaction to it.  But, you might wonder, why is there such a strong negative reaction to buttholes?

Your first response, and the standard argument, is that there is so much negativity associated with buttholes because they are dirty.  This is, of course, true.  Your butthole is where you expel used food from your body in the form of feces.  While the various bacteria you have in your intestines helps you to digest food, those same bacteria can be harmful if they get into other parts of your body (if, for example, you were to ingest some).  However, with the level of hygiene that modern life affords us, we have little to worry about form these microorganisms if some basic health standards are maintained (e.g. working plumbing, washing with soap, etc).

So, if the strong revulsion to buttholes can be averted by hygiene, it would seem that our aversion to buttholes will go away with time as we come to see that our buttholes are not necessarily dirty.  However, it could be the case that our concern with hygiene is not our real concern; if we practice good hygiene and still have an aversion to buttholes.

If it is not safety that is the concern, then what could it be?  With apologies to Suspense, the answer is concerns about anal sexual pleasure.

Our buttholes are tightly packed with nerve endings, the same kind of nerve endings as are in penises and vaginas.  This makes our buttholes extremely sensitive to the touch. Now, whether anal sensitivity is an evolutionary benefit to keep intruders out or a fortunate bit of luck, this makes our buttholes a potential source of intense pleasure. For men the butthole is the gateway to the prostate, the seat of a man’s orgasm, and one of the most pleasurable spots on his body.  If it weren’t for the negativity associated with our buttholes holding us back, we would get a lot of pleasure from touching them.  So why don’t we?

The negativity associated with buttholes, that is not a function of hygiene concerns, is a product of religion. The religious insistence on the idea of an eternal soul leads directly to the idea that the body is base and low.  Since the soul is “divine” and is our true self, but is trapped in this body that will die, has needs, and generally impinges on its more divine part, the body is a liability to the soul.  The body is the disgusting prison for the pristine soul.  The body is transient, while the soul is eternal.  Of course, on this understanding, deriving pleasure from your lowly body is base and animal like: the temporary host body should not be enjoyed as it is low and corrupting.

The objection is deeper than this though: sexual pleasure and sexual freedom are absolutely abhorrent to religion.  The proud, happy man or woman does not need religion.  It is the weak that need religion and thrive under its inversion of values: it’s slave revolt.  By attempting to reduce sexual pleasure, they attempt to shackle the strong to make them susceptible to the poison that is religion.

Now, that the answer to the origin of the prohibition on buttholes has been revealed, let us ask a new question.  Why do we feel shame at our own buttholes?  They are, after all, part of us.  They are part of who we are: a part of what it means to be human.  Not only that, everyone has a butthole.  That’s right, you’re not the only one.  Furthermore, it is pleasurable for everyone to touch his or her butthole.  We all have the same nerve endings and if it weren’t for the negativity associated with buttholes, then anal eroticism would be more prevalent.  If we deny the vicious religious mind/body dichotomy, then we can enjoy what it really is to be human.

The harm from the prohibition on buttholes is most pertinent to men.  While women can have different kinds of orgasms: clitoral, vaginal, or g-spot, men can only have one kind of orgasm.  Contrary to the common understanding of the male orgasm, the seat of the male orgasm is not the penis, but rather it is the prostate.  Indeed, a man can have an orgasm through prostate stimulation alone without any penile stimulation, while the reverse is not true as the nerves in the penis connect directly to the prostate.

The problem is that most men do not understand this, as there is such a strong prohibition against anal eroticism in our culture and this has been coupled with the idea that only a homosexual man could be into anal eroticism (it’s interesting that the prohibition against female anal eroticism is much lower and female anal eroticism is even sometimes actively encouraged).  Indeed, it is common in our culture for a man, even when being anally stimulated by a woman, to fear that this enjoyment of anal stimulation means that he is gay, even though he has no interest in men.  While this idea is obviously silly, as it has no basis besides fear and there is nothing wrong with homosexuality anyway, it means that most men will not experiment with anal eroticism and, consequently, will cut themselves off from one of the most intense pleasures a man can experience.  Worse, is that if he has no knowledge of his prostate, he will be unable to even understand the workings of his own orgasms!

What I am proposing is this: I want everyone to think about his or her butthole today.  Just think about it.  If you feel revulsion, try to discover why you feel it.  What, exactly, bothers you about your butthole?  Is this a rational problem you have with your butthole or an irrational hang-up?  What can you do to help yourself work through your issues?

For most people the way to work through your issues is to actually try touching your butthole.  If this causes immediate anxiety in you, then try this: take a shower and wash your butthole thoroughly.  After you’ve rinsed it, try touching it and see what it feels like.  As you grow more accustomed to your butthole, you’ll notice that your psychological hang-ups will begin to disappear.  By consciously thinking about your fears and slowly working yourself into anal eroticism, you can make the transition smoothly without undo stress.

Ultimately, reclaiming our buttholes will help us to reclaim our own sexuality.  If we are forever closed from a part of ourselves, then we can never experience the full range of our sexuality.  Further, dispelling our fear of our buttholes will help us to be more comfortable with our bodies: with who we are.  The fact is that you have a butthole and no matter how much you want to not think about it, you’ll have to think about it at least once a day.

Anyone who wants to learn more about anal eroticism, anal health issues, and psychological aversions to anal play should pick up Jack Morin’s book Anal Pleasure & Health: A Guide for Men and Women (it’s hard to find a new copy of it, but it’s well worth the search).

—–Update!—–

There is apparently a new edition of Jack Morin’s book being released soon and it’s available for pre-order on Amazon already.  The new title is: Anal Pleasure and Health: A Guide for Men, Women, and Couples.  It appears that it will release in May, so pre-order it now.

(Note: if you click on the link and purchase the book, I will get some small amount of money.  So help me out!)

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7 Responses to “Buttholes”


  1. Benpercent

    But what about internal hygiene? Would it not be a bad idea to go “in” with the soap?

  2. oilboy

    addressing the article and the one comment above:

    It is possible not only to clean ‘outside’, but also ‘inside’, that is to ‘flush’ or ‘douche’ inside. It makes a mess during the flush, but it makes the experience of anal sex much more clean and pleasurable during anal sex (it prevents smelly surprises).

  3. JasonStotts

    Anal douching, more usually referred to as an “enema,” can be a good idea if you’re worried about excessive fecal matter. If you want to have an enema, the kits are sold basically everywhere that has a pharmacy. I’d recommend emptying the bottle and refilling it with warm water, if you buy the kind that comes filled with solution, because it usually has a laxative in it and that would make anal play…well, less than fun.

    I do want to point out that there is usually very little fecal matter in the rectum as your body does not store feces there. Usually, even for anal sex, there will be very little fecal matter and just washing afterwords is fine.

    ~Jason

  4. Harold

    “What I am proposing is this: I want everyone to think about his or her butthole today. Just think about it. If you feel revulsion, try to discover why you feel it. What, exactly, bothers you about your butthole? Is this a rational problem you have with your butthole or an irrational hang-up? What can you do to help yourself work through your issues?”

    I’m going to try this. I appreciate your efforts to stimulate rational dialogue on these important issues.

  5. Harold

    Looks like there’s a fourth edition coming out very soon.

  6. JasonStotts

    Great! Thanks for the heads up! I’ll update the post.

    Anyone who has never read it should definitely order a copy.

    ~Jason

  7. Tom Rowland

    Actually it didn’t make me feel uneasy. It is the sentence in which you say that the taboo against butt-holes is so intense in our culture that it’s hard to see the word without having a reaction to it. What makes me uneasy is the assumption, without anything to back it up that butt-hole is a word or thing about which we have a taboo. Do you have any statistical evidence at all for this statement?

    I actually like what you’re trying to do here, even though I disagree with you often about the logical order and some of the formulations.

    Keep up the effort.

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