Backdoor mania

By Susie Bright
February 27, 1998 10:46PM (UTC)
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Can you guess what's the fastest-growing sex act in America today? Despite
fellatio's recent high profile at the White House, when one travels to the
bedrooms of today's young citizens, it is, as they say on so many
pornographic box covers, "all anal, all the time."

You may demand to know my sources on this, and I must turn you toward the
informal consensus reached by sex workers, porn producers and dildo
salespeople nationwide.


It's not that sales of butt plugs have surged past those for clitoral
vibrators, or that the missionary position has been usurped. It's just that
there has never been such an incredible heterosexual interest in anal sex
before, taking the subject out of its traditional "kink" corner and
catapulting it into the mainstream of erotic exchange.

Two excellent books on the subject of anal sex both inspire and reflect the
current trends in butt-fucking acceptance. The bible of anal sanity is "Anal
Pleasure and Health: A Guide for Men and Women" by Jack Morin, Ph.D., now
in its third edition, featuring some tremendous new thoughts and information. One of Morin's acolytes, Tristan Taormino, has also come forth this year
with her own riot grrrl approach to the subject: "The Ultimate Guide to
Anal Sex for Women," which I received in a press packet along with a
magenta-sparkle butt plug and miniature lube packet.

The whole notion that there would be a handbook for the fairer sex on the
joys of sodomy just goes to show how far we've come since most people
considered anal penetration for women synonymous with rape. Many assumed
that the porn starlets who take it up the ass must be either masochists or
making obscene amounts of money for their "pain."


But women have an orgasmic self-interest when it comes to anal intercourse.
Pressure from a penis, finger or dildo in the female anus goes directly to
the back side of the clitoral body. What's the "clitoral body"? Well,
there's a lot more to the clitoris, internally, than its glans, which is
the only part of a woman's "cock" visible on the outside. When I see those
porn stars having wall-to-wall anal orgies, I'm astonished not by their
tolerance for "abuse," but rather that they can prevent themselves from
maxing out on orgasms.

Anal sex, done improperly, really does hurt -- for either sex. But when you
approach it correctly, it's bliss. One of my favorite bits of Morin's
advice is that he asks his readers to promise never to do anything -- even
for a second -- that causes discomfort.

Morin covers all the basic fears about anal sex, which, in short order,
range from the physical -- that it will be dirty ("I went through diaper
training for this!?") -- to the more complicated psychological apprehensions.
Men wonder, "Does this mean I'm a big fag?" and women worry, "Does this
make me a big whore?"


I suppose the sex-positive answer to both those questions is, "So what's
wrong with that, girlfriend?" But Jack is more patient and discusses the
societal prejudices that are actually much more degrading to our character
than anything about the reality of anal sex. By the time you have soaked up
his wisdom on the irrational discrimination against anal sex, you will be
ready to lecture on the subject at Harvard.

I called Morin after I finished Taormino's book, because as great as it
was to read chick-centric anal advice, it made me feel so old. "Jack, she
dismisses hemorrhoids as if they were nothing! Well, I just can't wait
until she has a baby and is sitting on a foam donut howling in agony!"


Jack told me to take a look at his new introduction, in which he reveals
that he, the guy many people thought of as "Mr. Butt Party," actually had
terrible problems with hemorrhoids before he knew anything about anal sex,
and was even prescribed surgery. He began his research in a quest for
alternative healing methods after traditional doctors had nothing left to

And here all this time I thought the word "health" in his title was just a
strategy to make it more respectable! This time when I re-read the book, I
realized that Jack's advice was for people who had both erotic and
non-erotic motivations for picking it up -- a goal of all-over butt
happiness and healing.

Some of you may ask how I can be carrying on about anal intercourse without
mentioning AIDS. Actually, AIDS is the biggest reason why anal sex has
become so provocative to the straight world. While everyone was reading
those headlines about the fatal dangers of receptive anal intercourse, a
lot of heterosexuals were thinking, "Wow, it must feel awfully good for
people to take these insane risks!" Yeah, you're right. Plus, the fact is
that confident use of condoms is easy to add to anal sex play -- and if you
don't believe it, I'm sure Tristan Taormino would be only too happy to
strap on her dildo harness and show you how.


The big news in the condom review section of Jack's book is his revelation
about a bizarre contraption that appeared on the market a couple years ago:
the Reality condom -- a "baggy" for the vagina that women can use for
do-it-herself birth control and STD prevention. I'm sure if you've seen
this thing in stores you've taken one look at its un-aesthetic diagram and
gone, "Ugh!"

I always wondered why the Reality condom stayed on the market -- and now I
know! It turns out that quite a few gay men discovered that if you cut one
of the rings off the end of the "Reality," it makes a better condom than
the traditional Trojan.

What a great new trick! The next time I visit my druggist, when he asks,
"Another tube of Anusol, Madam?" I'll say, "No, my good man, hand me the
coconut oil and a month's worth of Reality!"

Susie Bright

Susie Bright is the author of the new book "Full Exposure" and many other books, and the editor of the "Best American Erotica" series. For more columns by Bright, visit her website.

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