Artist Fernando Sosa recently created a likeness of Donald Trump that will certainly not be serving as his official presidential portrait, were he to, by some long shot, secure the position. After hearing about Trump’s remarks about Latin@s and America’s immigration policy, Sosa took action and reproduced Trump’s likeness … as a butt plug:
The sex toy was created in reaction to Trump’s last month of blasting Mexico and Mexican immigrants. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he said in remarks after launching his presidential campaign.
Having his visage reproduced in the form of what is clearly meant to depict something to be inserted and kept in the rectum for periods of time is likely upsetting, embarrassing and offensive to Mr. Trump.
Right now there is a lot of conversation around whether Trump deserves this degradation, but there is limited conversation around why it’s so degrading. For some background for those of you who don’t know, I’m a sex educator. I’ve worked in a variety of adult retail stores, I review sex toys on the Internet, I write, teach workshops, and I occasionally talk on the twitters. When I’ve worked face-to-face with the public, I’ve encountered and observed a lot of strange and intriguing mentalities around sexuality. Anal play is one such thing that a lot of people have many feels about.
Socially, anal penetration, especially when received by a masculine person, is perceived as feminizing, submissive and degrading. Rectums are seen as dirty, and the prevailing mentality is that anal penetration is painful — which is incorrect, when done correctly. You can learn a little bit about anal play and why this mentality exists here.
I recall one specific instance when I worked in retail when someone picked up a prostate massager and asked what it was. I started to describe how it functioned, how prostate play felt different from other forms of stimulation, and how it could actually benefit prostate health and potentially help prevent prostate cancer. As I was describing this, the customer’s face became gradually more sour until they finally interrupted me and yelled, “I’d rather die of cancer than put something in my butt!”
This is just a taste of the interactions I had with customers regarding anal penetration. It’s considered taboo, wrong, dirty and all sorts of degrading by society at large, even though more people than you’d think enjoy it pleasurably in the privacy of their bedroom. Anal play is not aggressor versus victim, but a lot of the way we think about it as a culture positions it in those terms.
This all adds to the reasoning behind why the Trump Plug is offensive. Another aspect of how fascinating this is to me is how it turns the usual dynamic on its head; the person receiving the plug is the one doing the degrading, rather than the other way around. By creating Trump’s likeness in butt plug form and (hypothetically, not actually, for the reasons stated above) inserting the little guy anally, the person receiving the penetration becomes the “aggressor” in the scenario.
I would argue that this is in part because of the vague air of the non-consensual around the act: Trump did not consent to being re-created as a butt plug, a kind of anal “voodoo doll” representing him, and did not give consent for its use as an instrument of taboo pleasure. The reason why we find this to be degrading is because we think anal play is gross and wrong. We find this to be degrading because it is non-consensual, and the concept of using this totem representing Trump anally is symbolic of actually defiling him.