Eating Ass: A Guide for the Straight Man

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A man tosses a salad.Photo: Rob Daley/Compassionate Eye Foundation/Getty Images

Sometimes butt tastes like poop.

In fact, that very possibility might explain why something like 60 percent of the adult population has never once, in our entire boring little lives, dared to have anal sex, let alone place our tongue, however gingerly, on or about the butt hole of another person.

I get that. That’s real.

And for straight men, the numbers are even smaller. But for the brave bung-diving brotherhood (and sisterhood), this crapshoot, as it were, is simply not an obstacle.

Although the visibility of booty eating has increased significantly in recent years — especially since Playboy’s canonical, groundbreaking 2014 study of eating ass — and women and gay men have spoken openly about the topic, straight men have been slower to embrace butt lust, at least publicly. In private, it may be a different story. As the Cut has noted, it “turns out the fastest way to get every straight man in a room to shut up is to shout, ‘Who likes rim jobs?’” Meanwhile, according to one survey, some straight guys apparently wonder if receiving a rimming is “going to make me gay.” Remember Kanye’s squeals of horror when Amber Rose claimed she’d gone dirty south on West?

It doesn’t have to be this way. Butt cheeks — both his and hers — are designed to be parted. I’m no “sexpert,” and my erotic life is far from glamorous, but I can tell you that I’ve had some very delightful rimming experiences, and that eating ass is not as gross you might expect — that is, if you take the proper precautions …

Here, a few tips for anyone looking to dine downtown.

Remember: The tongue is a very special organ.
As one might suspect, there are real physiological reasons for the intense sensations experienced by the butt-play recipient. And while there are several body parts that can be deployed in pursuit of anal pleasure, it turns out the tongue is ideally suited to the task. Flexible, soft, and wet, perpetually bathing in its own natural lubricant, and capable of shifting between probelike stiffness and exquisite, pillowy suppleness in a fraction of a second, the tongue can do things that other organs and objects simply cannot do. Use it wisely. Experiment a bit. Vary your approach, speed, density, and so on, and pay attention to how your partner responds.

Relish the taboo.
You know how they told us in sex ed that the brain is the most important erogenous zone? What they left out is that a great way to fuck someone’s brains out is to break a sexual taboo with a willing partner. And the licking of the anal aperture is one of the final taboos left. It’s the forbidden fruit. In my experience, nothing else gives plain old vanilla sex the same chocolatey decadence.

Even after my numerous experiences in this area, getting rimmed still feels dirty to me. And it’s even hotter to reciprocate, the only gentlemanly move, should your partner be game. Between the unshakable conviction — the result of years of social conditioning — that my tongue isn’t “supposed” to go here, and the evident pleasure the act tends to impart, it’s almost silly how arousing it can be to tongue a woman’s asshole.

Keep it clean.
It bears noting, anallingus does involve placing one’s taste buds on an excretory orifice (gross), so it makes sense to consider hygiene. In addition to being associated with all the same STDs that can be transferred by mouth-to-genital contact (HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, etc.), rimming can in rare cases transfer intestinal parasites. (The risk may be smaller than you’d think, given the intensity of the taboo, but if you’re concerned, have a look at some of the many guides out there, and maybe talk to a doctor.)

As for the ick factor, it too is not nearly as bad as all that — given the modern miracle known as a shower. I once made the mistake of eating butt after being out all night on a sweaty July evening. The earthy flavor repelled me, and I came up for air after all of 15 seconds. However, with the same partner later that week, I joyfully chewed booty through a good third of the 1999 album. Because we’d both showered this time, the second salad was much more palatable than the first. If a shower’s not available, clean the area with soapy water — and rinse! — or make use of some baby wipes. You might also avoid food that will make you gassy, for obvious reasons, and trim your butt hair — or, better yet, have a good friend do it for you. Safety first.

Go easy.
It’s also worth noting that rimming doesn’t have to involve super-deep tonguing. Remember that Girls episode? A full motorboating is usually just gilding the lily. Merely licking around the butt hole can be plenty arousing for both parties, and it’s a perfectly acceptable approach if you’re not ready to dive right in.

Use your tongue … to speak.
This is critical: Be up-front and open about what you’d like to do. As shocking as this may sound, not everyone enjoys giving or receiving a rim job, so talk about it in advance. Have a frank and open exchange of ideas, as they say around the State Department (they don’t call it Foggy Bottom for nothing), about your partner’s comfort level. In other words, always make sure your channels of communication are open and functional before you visit the dark side of the moon.