I suppose it won’t really surprise anyone who knows me that I like to get fucked. After all, I wrote a book all about prostate play, I teach workshops on anal sex, pegging, and prostate massage, and I’ve been saying that the world will be a better place when more men take it up the ass. So really, is it so unlikely that it would be one of my favorite ways to have sex?
The more I claimed this aspect of my sexual self, the more I noticed the ways in which we’re surrounded by messages that say that’s a bad thing. Some of it has to do with people’s reactions to blurring or disregarding the gender norms that say that getting fucked means losing masculine status, that it means becoming a punk, a fag, or taking on the “woman’s role.” Clearly, that has says a lot about sexism. Some of it has to do with people’s unthinking squick or disgust reactions about anal sex, though those are consistently more easily triggered and more reactive when it comes to men on the receiving end. That says a lot about homophobia. Some of it is bound up in sex-negativity. After all, “fuck you” is an insult and lots of people say “I’m so fucked” when something bad happens. Is it really so difficult to consider that those might shape our ideas about sex and gender for the worse?
Even in communities that describe themselves as sex-positive or that have embraced the fact that many women enjoy anal play are sometimes uncomfortable when men talk about getting fucked. And it’s not as if gay men are immune to that, either. Some of the guys we surveyed for The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure said that they had concerns about losing their “top status” if they switched roles. (“Top” here refers to who does the fucking, which is a different concept than how the word gets used in BDSM contexts. Though of course, there are some clear parallels.)
It’s pretty apparent that sexism, homophobia, and sex-negativity wind around each other like a braided rope that holds a lot of men back from exploring something that can bring amazing pleasure. So let me explain a little about why I like it.
First up, I enjoy the way it feels. Whether prostate stimulation is part of it or not, I really like the physical sensation of anal sex. Not all of the time, and not with every partner- it’s a situational thing for me. But when things are lined up, it’s definitely in my list of favorite ways to have sex. It helps that my very first experiences were pleasurable because I had partners who knew what they were doing. I’ve spoken with a lot of folks whose first experiments were disasters, usually because of alcohol, clueless or selfish partners, or lack of genuine interest.
In discussions about anal sex for women, I’ve often heard folks say that the reason that gay men like it and women don’t is because men have prostates. But when we surveyed men for our book, we found that that simply isn’t true. Anal sensations are distinctly different from prostate sensations. And I’ve spoken with too many women who enjoy anal sex, either on its own or along with clitoral or vaginal stimulation, to buy the notion that women don’t like it. Of course, plenty of folks don’t enjoy it, just as plenty of people don’t enjoy certain kinds of food. But let’s let go of the clearly false claim that enjoying anal sex has anything to do with whether someone has a prostate or not. It’s just not true.
I also find that anal sex one of the best ways to relax the muscles of my pelvis. In modern US culture, we spend way too much time sitting and that can cause real problems for the body. When I’m at the computer or driving too much, I can feel my pelvic floor get stressed out and while I have a very strong yoga practice, there are times when that’s not enough. When it’s done well, anal sex helps me release that muscle tension and I simply feel better after.
There’s a reason that people who are stressed out all the time are called “tight asses” or “uptight.” The pelvic floor literally tightens up when we’re under pressure, scared, or stressed. The same thing happens to dogs and cats, and it’s a lot easier to see on them since they have tails. But people have a very similar physical response and all the time we spend sitting only magnifies it. When my pelvic floor gets like that, getting fucked is a great way to release that tension. (Please note- some people have had physical injury or trauma to the pelvis. In those cases, you’ll want to see a professional like the physical therapists at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center or a sexological bodyworker.)
I’ve also found that learning to relax and receive has made me a better lover when I’m on the giving side, especially for penetrative sex. It’s one thing to know intellectually that your partner prefers or needs a lot of warm-up before penetration, but knowing it on an embodied level is a much different thing. I know from personal experience that it’s possible to be turned on and really want it, while my body simply isn’t up for penetrative sex. So when my partner is in that place, it’s easy for me to switch things up and find something else fun to do. I don’t take it personally because I’ve been there.
Then, there’s the fact that enjoying getting fucked forced me to choose between the pleasure I was experiencing and the negative attitudes that I’d internalized about the pelvis, the anus, my body, penetration, gender roles, sex, queers, and women. There are a lot of cultural barriers, relationship challenges, and emotional triggers keeping men from trying anal play. A lot of men only manage it by using alcohol or other drugs to avoid their feelings. Pleasure was a great motivator and it helped me move through some pretty challenging stuff.
You can’t be fully present in your body without being present in your ass. That doesn’t mean you have to have anal sex. But it does mean that if you’re tuned out of your pelvis and your ass, you’re limited in your ability to be totally engaged in your body. I’m too deeply committed to being fully present in my body and in my sexuality to go that route. It took a lot of work to move through the stories in my head that were getting in my way., and I know that I’m a much better person for that.
But really, when it comes down to it, I like it because it feels good to me. I know that there are lots of people it doesn’t work for. After all, we all have different tastes when it comes to sex. But how are you going to know whether it works for you if you never even try it? Are you going to let your fear rule you or are you brave enough to let go of the performance of masculinity? Are you willing to discover whether getting fucked feels good for you, too?
In my world, “getting fucked” is no longer an insult. What about you?