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feminism misogyny MRA rapey sex

What, what. A post about butts.

Hey! Ass is showing.

So, butt sex. In a recent posting on Jezebel, Hugo Schwyzer notes that heterosexual anal sex is now more popular – or at least more prevalent — than ever. According to one study he cites, some 40% of women age 20-24 report that they’ve tried it.

Obviously, many women love love love it – check out Toni Bentley’s engaging if possibly a little too enthusiastic buttsex memoir The Surrender if you don’t believe me. But Hugo wonders if some women are getting pressured into it. And it’s a reasonable concern, especially now that more straight guys have come to expect anal sex as a regular part of sexual relationships. Indeed, Hugo quotes a couple of young women who say that, yes, guys are constantly trying to cajole them into going to “5th base.”

The blogger Scallywag is having none of it.

Fending off anal sex? Really? Are we as men to believe that? If truth be known it is often and still remains the prerogative of women who she will have sex with (as much as a man may attempt to influence her decision) let alone anal sex. That a woman is somehow forced to accede to this demand strikes me as presumptuous and lacking in the understanding that as much as men often control the financial shots of a relationship (but that too is changing) it is often women who decide if and what type of sex will occur or not (otherwise it would be rape).

Uh, yes, I would hope that women always, not just often, would decide who they have sex with, and what kinds of sex they have. Same for men. That’s the way consensual sex works: everyone involved in it gets veto power. Otherwise, it would indeed be rape.

Scallywag, I would recommend that you go back and read the basic rules of sex before engaging in any more of it, much less something as advanced as anal.

As for Hugo, well, after asking that good question, he wanders off into some weird paternalist nonsense about anal sex being

yet another manifestation of the pressure on young women to focus on performance rather than on their own pleasure. …  Perhaps the greatest incentive to do anal is the chance to prove the all-important capacity to endure pain. … [F]or most (certainly not all) young women, pleasure doesn’t seem to be the point.

You know, if anal sex hurts, you’re NOT DOING IT RIGHT.

Also, some people enjoy pain as a part of their sex life, at least when it’s inflicted safely and consensually. Sex is a messy and complicated thing, and you’re not going to get very far in understanding it if you project your own preferences and assumptions onto others with rather different preferences and assumptions about sex.

Hugo goes on to complain further about what he sees as the “sheer physical hurting that young women are expected to endure in order to meet the contemporary cultural ideal.” Somehow in his mind this includes not just painful waxing and the model-thin beauty ideal (a real issue, obviously) but also … sports:

Girls play more sports (and suffer more overuse injuries) than they did two decades ago. … On the soccer field or in the beauty salon, this generation is expected to prove its toughness as none before … .

Really? Maybe girls and women are getting more involved in sports these days because they, er, want to? And because they have more opportunities to get involved in sports these days because of, you know, feminism?

It’s one thing to worry about people – male and female – being pressured into conforming to social ideals or into sex or specific sex acts they don’t want. But it’s another to assume that girls’ and women’s choices are never really choices because patriarchy!  Assuming that girls and women are playing more soccer, or going to “5th base,” mostly because they’re being pressured to is really kind of, well, assy.

On that note, enjoy this song about butts and coconuts.

WARNING: Do not actually put coconuts up your butt. For safe anal play, only use objects with a flared base. I cannot emphasize this enough.

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MarinaS
8 years ago

I’m afraid “if X is Y then you’re doing it wrong” doesn’t solve the problem here though. A lot of what both young men and young women consider “normal” sex, from watching either porn or even just Hollywood movies, really does hurt the woman (and maybe the man too – I’ve heard tell of toothy head and yanking hand jobs, but I’ll leave it to others to comment).

I had the misfortune to have a lot of piston-like poundings resulting in ripped tissues & a bruised cervix before I got enough experience and confidence together to call a stop to that – and even then, you don’t know if a guy is going to do something “wrong” until you let him do it, however much you talk it over maturely to begin with. And when you don’t have the experience and confidence to talk it over maturely ahead of time, you’re also probably not best placed to make any negative comments on his performance mid-coitus.

So I don’t think Hugo is being particularly paternalistic in warning of young women suffering unnecessary pain during sex they don’t really feel in control of; at least from my position of someone who used to be one of those young women, he’s bang on target.

I grant you the sports thing is weird.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

This is the best post you’ve ever written.

Arks
Arks
8 years ago

Women having anal sex is like blackface for gays. You don’t have prostates, ladies, and it doesn’t feel good for you, so stop fucking pretending it’s something you want.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Maybe Hugo (Dumbass, PhD) should be less concerned about women “proving their toughness” with manicures, and more about men “proving their toughness” by shooting each other dead.

Fucking prick.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

It’s still the best post ever written, though, because buttsecks is hilarious.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

OK, wait. I actually agree with him that there’s a lot of pressure on younger women to do anal even if they don’t want to, based on what women in their late teens/early twenties I know have to say about it. But sports? More girls playing soccer is a sign that we’re pressuring young women and rejoicing in their pain?

I think he needs to lay off the alcohol-free eggnog.

captainbathrobe
8 years ago

Hey Arks? Maybe women should be the ones deciding whether they like it or not. How do you know know that they are all just pretending to like it?

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Okay, I guess I do agree that some women are being pressured to engage in anal sex. Of course, men are also pressured into doing things sexually, even by feminists (see: Jill from Feministe’s post about how men NEED TO GIVE ORAL or they are “misogynist”). This is not a gendered problem.

Then he goes totally off the rails, of course, with his thing about SPORTS!

DomGirl
DomGirl
8 years ago

I’m gonna come out of lurking just to answer Arks…I’m a woman who loves anal sex. Often prefer it, in fact. Because it feels good and gives me amazing orgasms. Yeah, I’m a bit of a masochist, and a little pain is part of the attraction. But I’m also the dominant in my relationship when we’re feeling kinky. My girlfriend fucks me in the ass because I tell her to. Just wanted to register my existence.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I’m still trying to figure out how he got from anal to soccer, actually.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
8 years ago

Arks, as someone who’s not, personally, a fan of penetrative, anal sex I do recognize that lots of women enjoy it quite a bit. I mean, you seem to know a lot about anal. You know that there are a bunch of nerve endings totally independent of the prostate.

Why are you so resentful of men wanting to have sex with women and women with men? I sometimes get annoyed with the heteronormative default that informs so many discussions about human sexuality. I get that. But, your more humorous trolling aside, you seem so genuinely offended by the very idea that a lot of men and women enjoy having sex with opposite sex partners. A lot.

You’re as equally derisive of women’s arousal as you are their right to sexual agency. Why do you care? Are you upset that so many men don’t consider you a viable alternative to heterosexual sex?

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Cassandra, he’s just an asshole who is running out of material after six months at GMP and Jezebel, so he’s reaching. For another example of this, see his bizarre “college affirmative action” posts.

Hugo is just an asswipe who is receiving too much attention, which I’m sure feeds his simultaneously narcissistic and self-loathing ego (I know, I thought it was an oxymoron too).

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I think Arks is just pissed off that there are any men who enjoy doing anything with women, and any women who enjoy doing anything at all.

Bah humbug, dude. Sucks to be a misogynist.

BTW I’m firmly in the no buttsex for me camp, and I do think a lot of women don’t like it but do it anyway due to various external pressures, but the thing is, “most women say they don’t like this” is not the same as “no women like this”. And even if no women at all liked it, I’m still not seeing what that has to do with girls getting ACL injuries while playing soccer.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

In terms of Hugo, he really does have this wierd sort of tone that’s part fatherly and part creepy older dude taking far too much interest in the sex lives of young women. That’s a big part of why a lot of us find anything he posts about his students creepy – he always takes this same tone. If any of my professors had talked to or about me like that while I was at university I’d have been seriously skeeved.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
8 years ago

I agree with Hugo about “the anal ultimatum”. Many young women are pressured into having anal sex in order to please their boyfriends or partners. I am all for people doing it if they want to, but not all women are doing it because they want to. This is what bothers me. Hugo has a good point that the bar for women’s sexuality is rising, such as women being expected to shave down there and now being expected to have anal sex. It’s not a problem for women to do these things because they like them. The problem is people demanding they do them, and then women doing them reluctantly.

Hugo’s also right that pornography also gives some men unrealistic expectations that a small amount of spit is adequate lubrication. I feel sorry for women that are pressured into having anal sex without lube or any type of warm up just because that’s what their boyfriends saw a porn star do, and if she really loves him she needs to do what was shown in porn. Heterosexual sex shouldn’t be a contest of ‘How much pain will a woman endure to please her partner?’.

I think a woman should know it’s OK to demand lubrication for anal sex, it’s OK to never have it, it’s OK to stop giving a blowjob if her jaw hurts, and it’s not okay for someone to make her feel guilty for setting those boundaries. These seem to be the points I took from Hugo’s blogpost at Jezebel. I’m glad he said it, because when women bring these points up, we’re afraid we’ll be compared to Dworkin or be called prudes.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

And women play sports, THEY ARE CLEARLY BEING OPPRESSED!!!!

Grade-A dickhead.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Yeah about the porn issue, though. You can always tell men who got their ideas about how to have sex mostly from porn because a. they’re terrible in bed and b. they seem to be following a script.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Also…how to put this? For me I feel like playing sports actually helped a lot in terms of making me more confident, assertive, etc. Not that I’m saying women should have to play sports if they don’t feel like it, but in my experience girls who do often get a major confidence boost out of it and a sense of their bodies as being for something other than decoration. Plus it tends to teach you how to have cooperative relationships with other women, and helps to channel competitive instincts into actual competition. I don’t see any way in which more girls and women playing sports isn’t basically a win for feminism.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
8 years ago

Of course there are women who feel pressured to do anal. But there are women who feel pressures in to PIV intercourse. And there are gay men who don’t like anal.’and straight men who are ambivalent to receiving oral. And so on. 

Human sexuality is complicated. Pressure is not necessarily coercion. Hugo may be striving for a tone of concern but is erasing sexual agency from women.

Worry about what your partner does and/or doesn’t like in bed. Generalizations of this nature are obnoxious.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

A big part of why I didn’t play a lot of sports as a kid was that I felt it wasn’t something girls were supposed to do. Breaking down that barrier is a good thing, Hugo.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Personally, I think that if Hugasshole doesn’t have anything of value to say, he should shut his perpetually yawning trap.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Maybe middle-aged men shouldn’t be writing about the sexuality of young women. His tone is rubbing me the wrong way.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

MRAL, you might want to re-think your participation in this thread. You’re getting assy.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

MRAL, it seems like you’re letting yourself get pretty upset. You don’t like his work, cool; maybe you should step back from it for a while. Didn’t you want to start feeling better in your day-to-day life? Take it from someone who’s been working on her depression for quite a while 🙂 – it may be wise to stop seeking out the things that upset you.

It’s Christmas Eve! Go drink some hot chocolate or something. Much warmth from me to you.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Hugo has been labeled as one of the Boobz, though! Happy day! Also, I have nothing else to do.

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

Could someone explain to me how blackface, gay men and women claiming to like anal when they don’t (because of some evil womenny thing) produce a coherent statement? I actually tried googling gay and blackface, and all I found was a sad story about what a gay black man had to go through in the 60s and why he felt that the african american civil rights fight ties into the QUILTBAG fight.

And I think women, especially in the professional circuits, do push far past their pain threshold, but that’s because that’s part and parcel of being an athlete and also because they’re still trying to gain the recognition and respect that they deserve. So, no, it’s not women playing sports to prove something, but it’s women proving that they are more than capable of playing sports.

@Kendra, the Bionic Mommy
I think the fact that Hugo, as a man, is bringing this up is the main issue. He has no citations, admits that there haven’t been enough studies on the subject, and then bizarrely goes on to tell us how a majority of women feel by using compelling evidence that seems to have been pulled (ironically) out his ass

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Okay, I’ll try to stay out of this thread (mostly).

rabbitwink
rabbitwink
8 years ago

After reading the Pervocracy link I personally will spend the rest of the day snickering to myself over the term “bio-dick”.

Tomio Black
Tomio Black
8 years ago

So what is the difference between asking a woman for what you want – something that ANY person concerned with relationships, sexuality, or mental health would promote – and pressuring them? Maybe something like this:

He: I’d really like to try anal sex with you.

She: I don’t know. I’ve never done it.

He: Really? It seems like it would be great.

She: It seems like it would hurt.

He: Well, I understand if we use lubricant and go slow it doesn’t hurt.

She: I just don’t know.

He: We could try it. If you don’t like, we could stop…

Pressure? Or two people having a conversation? If it’s a BAD thing; then how do people actually discuss such things?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

“And I think women, especially in the professional circuits, do push far past their pain threshold, but that’s because that’s part and parcel of being an athlete and also because they’re still trying to gain the recognition and respect that they deserve.”

See, this is what rubs me the wrong way about that part of his post. I did a lot of sports when I was younger. Working through pain is part of competitive sports. Hugo himself does both running and cycling, so I know he knows this. And in fact soccer is a relatively pain-free sport – of all the sports I did (swimming, running, hockey, lacrosse, various track and field stuff, gymnastics), the one that caused me the most pain and injury was gymnastics, which is very common. Anyone who isn’t willing to work through severe pain isn’t going to get very far in gymnastics. So why pick out soccer of all things as the evil sport in which girls are being forced to endure injuries? And why act like having to deal with injuries is oppressive to girls specifically? That part does come across as really paternalistic. If women are going to play sports, they’re going to get hurt, and sometimes they’re going to have to keep playing anyway, because that’s part of being an athlete. If someone starts getting all “but oh, they’re girls and they’re being hurt” then to me that sounds like they don’t really fundamentally believe that women can be athletes.

Former jock me says “fuck you” to that idea. I’ve competed while hurt, and I did it because I wanted to, not because society made me.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
8 years ago

Human sexuality is complicated. Pressure is not necessarily coercion. Hugo may be striving for a tone of concern but is erasing sexual agency from women.

It’s such a gray area, deciding where to draw the line between what is pressure and what is coercion. I’d have to judge that on a case by case basis.

I didn’t really think Hugo was erasing sexual agency for women, but instead giving women more sexual agency. I interpreted his post as saying that it’s okay for women to not want to do a certain sexual act, and that they shouldn’t have to feel guilty for setting sexual boundaries.

As far as sports, though, yes he did take the point too far. I don’t think of pain in sports as a gender issue. He could have made a persuasive argument that “pain proves toughness” can be problematic in sports. For example, coaches can be downright abusive to athletes so there should be limits on what they subject them to.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Okay… Hugo doesn’t seem to understand that, by definition, to “deserve it” you *need* to push past your pain threshold. In fact, in a very real sense the person who pushes the most is the one who deserves it the most. I used to run distance, and I was never very good, but that’s in large part because I simply didn’t want it enough. There’s a level of conditioning involved, obviously, but 75% of it is in your head.

As Cassandra says, Hugo obviously knows this as he is a runner himself; however, his obsession with blaming men and covert pedestalizing women makes it difficult for him to conceive of or accept a situation in which women have to, well, do anything.

ithiliana
8 years ago

@Hellkell; you’re right-dang, I never realized it before.

But my memory of Hugo’s posting about “women” is indeed that he focuses a great deal on young women (does he ever talk about the feminist issues for women in their, oh, say, fifties?). That focus is disturbing….

Shaenon
8 years ago

This is one place where I agree with Dan Savage: gentlemen, don’t demand anal unless you’re willing to get pegged yourself. (Fairness aside, you’ll be better at giving it if you have some idea what it feels like on the receiving end.) Same goes for oral: you don’t want to go down on a lady, fine, as long as you don’t expect her to go down on you.

Especially in this holiday season, there’s much to be said for the spirit of mutual giving.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

From the little I’ve read of him (I can’t take more than a little) it seems that Hugo doesn’t see women over 35, kinda like our MRA friends. Granted, he’s a professor and surrounded by younger women, but he can still kiss my 40 year old ass.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I do think there are specific sports in which we could do with a rethinking of the ideas about playing through pain. It’s finally happening in hockey, and that’s a good thing, because concussions are serious business, and going back into action too soon after some injuries, particularly to the knee, means that they never actually heal. There’s some of the same stuff in gymnastics, though, so this isn’t a gender thing, it’s a sports thing. We need to think more carefully about whether or not competing through an injury is worth causing long-term damage to the athlete, and be more realistic about the fact that that’s what’s happening right now. But again, that’s an issue with the culture of sports in general.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

But even then…I have damage to my elbow caused by gymnastics, and to my knee caused by hockey. Both of those injuries wouldn’t have happened if I’d never played sports, and they’d probably have been less severe if I’d immediately taken time off and not done anything again until they were 100% healed. But at the same time, it’s not like I’d be wanting to compete now at age 38 anyway, and overall I think the health benefits I got from doing those sports outweight the problems, even now – my bones are a lot stronger than someone who never did sports, for example, and overall I’m inbetter physical shape than most people my age, partly because I did the sports that caused those injuries. All of these things would also be true for a man who’d taken the same path. So why are these lingering injuries a problem just because I have a vagina?

Unconscious sexism is still sexism.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Personally, I don’t get the appeal of anal sex. Your dick gets shit on it and it seems like a really awkward position and it’s not really a mutual sex act but more like somebody “taking their pleasure” from somebody else. Not that any of that’s a bad thing, but I don’t get the almost legendary status it now has.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

MRAL, I think most of that status is due to porn, which is utterly ubiquitous thanks to the internet.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

“Women having anal sex is like blackface for gays.”

Christmas came a day early. Thanks for the laugh, Arks.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Hellkell, you’re about my age, right? Do you remember anal being a thing back when we were teenagers? I honestly never encountered a guy even asking for it other than once, and that was partly because he was bi and therefore already knew that he liked it.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

It’s sort of like oral sex, honestly, which is something I’m still just a LITTLE aversive to, despite others’ defense. I think that there is a certain area that evolution design for this kind of thing. We’d be stupid not to use it.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

Also, Hugo can be pretty insufferable at times. He seems to have the same attitude towards women that some guilty white liberals (myself being a liberal, so I’m not attacking the other side here) have towards minorities; that they’re some poor creatures who need to be protected because they don’t know what’s good for them.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Indeed, I think the tongue is marvellously well designed for giving oral…

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Well, like I’ve said, I don’t like porn, so I guess I haven’t been conditioned or whatever. I start imagining the girl and guy getting up afterwards and eating chips and dip on the table next to the camera, and then the guy taking Viagara or whatever before the next scene, and it’s just nasty.

And then I read Snuff by Palahniuk, which basically solidified my perception. Gross.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

MRAL, you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to, but I’m just curious. Why don’t you like porn? None of my business really, so feel free to ignore, I’m just curious as to the reasons since it’s not something you hear very many men say.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

To clarify, not that I have a problem with porn, or anal sex, or whatever (don’t want to come off like Hugo). I just am not a fan.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Cassandra, yeah, we’re about the same age, and anal wasn’t a thing when I was younger (same with shaving/waxing bare). It wasn’t until my late 20s/early 30s that it was being asked for more often.

Lady Zombie
Lady Zombie
8 years ago

WARNING: Do not actually put coconuts up your butt. For safe anal play, only use objects with a flared base. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Bwahahahaha! Too true, David!

Okay a little off the subject but one of my jobs was as a phlebotomist in an acute care hospital. I was the unwelcome person who came around to poke you with needles and draw your blood. Anyway, I went to the ER a lot. A lot a lot. After my second year, I had lost count of the times someone came into the ER with some kind of object wedged up their backsides. It was usually a sex toy, but not always.

At first I was surprised that some of the objects had drawn so far up into the lower intestines that the patient had to go to surgery to get it out until the pathologist explained what may go wrong during anal play with objects.

Personally I’ve never seen the appeal in anal sex. But I know some people, men and women, enjoy it and some don’t so to each, their own.

Hugo, Hugo, Hugo. You just can’t help sticking your foot in your mouth.

Oh, and Happy (whatever you celebrate) to everyone!

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
8 years ago

Like I said, to me sex is only worth anything when it’s a private act, done for the sake of it by two people. If you’ve got cameras in the room, and she’s filming her 10th take, and both of them are obviously being paid, and there’s some fat dude sitting in the director’s chair… to me, that’s a goddamn waste of time. It does not turn me on.

This is also why I find prostitution really kind of repulsive, and to a lesser extent, even strip clubs. Again, I don’t have a moral problem with them, it’s just not my thing.

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