In the shower, high on psilocybin, I ate ass for the first time.
Eating ass, rimming or tossing salad are the more exciting terms for the act of anilingus: oral sex on the bumhole. This is another taboo topic that my generous editors indulged me in writing about this month. Although it may seem taboo to talk about eating ass, the act itself is more common than some may realize.
Prohibited or restricted by social custom
I asked my friend what he’d want to read in an article about eating ass, and at first he responded “I don’t want to read about it. I just want to do it!” I laughed. I get it. He then pointed out how a lot of the hesitation around eating ass (or getting your own ass eaten) could have to do with how children are socialized around pooping.
I’m doing my masters of social work and I’m reading a LOT of Paul-Michel Foucault. My friend’s point reminded me of Foucault’s definition of disciplinary power. Disciplinary power refers to the enforcement of the status quo or, in other words, social norms.
From these norms, people are trained to have a “common-sense” understanding of what is socially acceptable or not. Disciplinary power refers to how we chastise ourselves due to this indoctrination. We become our own disciplinary figures, judging ourselves for not fitting into given norms.
From what I’ve gathered from the pals I’ve asked, they hoped this article would destigmatize this act, as well as contain practical tips on how to make it more approachable. Showering right before – or during – anilingus is something I highly recommend (especially if it’s your first time). It definitely makes the whole act less intimidating. Many parts of our bodies get dirty while out and about living life. C’est la vie.
CATIE’s Safer Sex Guide explains the STBBIs (sexually transmitted and bloodborne infections) that are more commonly passed via anilingus (like herpes or syphilis) vs. those that are less common or extremely unlikely (including HIV). Using a dental dam or a cut condom over the asshole while performing or receiving anilingus is the most effective way to reduce STBBI transmission.
Morally judging a person for their own standard of hygiene is different than having a personal preference when it comes to how you want to engage in your own sex life. Open and accepting communication with (a) partner(s) around your preferences is always a good practice.
Some examples of good communication are: “I’d be interested in exploring eating ass with you, but can we wash each other first in the shower?” or “I appreciate that this is something you’re interested in, but eating ass isn’t for me.”
In my experience, eating ass can be an incredibly intimate act. It’s inherently vulnerable, especially due to the socialization around bums. I’ll reiterate the phrase “don’t yuck my yum.” The asshole is full of sensitive nerves, just like our genitals and other parts of our bodies. Anilingus can also be an effective form of foreplay prior to anal sex.
If this is something you want to try, I encourage you to embrace your human booty and all that that means. Set your boundaries and have fun exploring!
Madeline Rae, a University of Winnipeg alum, is a sex educator and writer living in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. She holds a BFA in performative sculpture, a BA in psychology and is studying her masters of clinical social work at Dalhousie University
Published in Volume 77, Number 08 of The Uniter (November 3, 2022)