There is a current resurgence in the world of sex that has been considered long overdue by some for a very long time, and one that seemingly came out of nowhere for others: the resurgence of anal play. Anal sex and other forms of play regarding the anus have been very, very popular for a very, very long time, cross-culturally and worldwide, though it’s practiced by a minority population today.
Anal play has been popular likely since the dawn of human civilization, since the very foundations of human and animal sexuality, and has persisted since in various forms of popularity, though that popularity has waxed and waned throughout time. If you aren’t living under a rock and have internet access, you’ve probably seen comments, threads, or memes discussing analingus or “eating ass,” as it's called most often colloquially called. What's this sudden rise in popularity all about and why rimming?
This story seeks to discover the history and mechanics of various forms of anal play, with a focus on anal-oral love, or analingus. But first, a little background on the popularity of anal play in general.
The History of Anal-Oral Love
Of all of the cultures of the world, the Moche culture of prehistoric Peru and other parts of South America could likely be considered the ultimate of anal-obsessed cultures of the world, leaving us pots which were not unlike those of the ancient Greeks, pots which depicted racy sex scenes of luscious debauchery and naked decadence. They left us thousands upon thousands of their prehistoric sex pots for our scholars to analyze to try and begin to understand the culture a bit better and figure out what happened to them. One thing that you’d figure would be present is conspicuously absent from the pots, however, pots which depict acts of heterosexual activities: vaginal sex is noticeably almost nonexistent.
So much so, that for the longest time, scholars didn’t believe that the Moche created sex pots that featured vaginal sex, believing the culture only adored and iconized anal sex, but this isn’t the case, they just had a massive preference for anal sex acts over vaginal sex acts.
The art of the culture of the day was almost entirely worship of anal sex, something that many modern, American and otherwise western counterparts seem to align themselves with. The Middle Ages saw a dampening of attitudes towards anal sex, including analingus, particularly because the Christian church saw anal sex as “sodomy” and it was thus quite prohibitive to engage in such activities until the more recent two centuries. The first modern, scientific use of the term “analingus” stems from 1886 when it was employed by Richard von Krafft-Ebing, and it’s been in practice at least since then.
But now that the veil or religious puritanism has been lifted, we’re seeing anal play grow in popularity, and one activity that’s taking both bedrooms and internet culture by storm is the act of analingus — partially for its genuine shock value when both practiced and discussed, and also partially as a way for lovers to set themselves apart from the status quo — or appear more compliant, willing, or downright kinky. Other people do it because, at least for a certain portion of the population, people seem to enjoy it.
Unusual or downright disgusting as it may seem to some, our culture seems to be rediscovering the erotic value of the anus as a complimentary sex organ on top of its traditional function.
According to the stats from the pornography giant PornHub, viewership of all things anal has been on the rise for years, decades even, with a 120% jump in viewership in the United States from 2009 to 2015, and a 78% jump worldwide.
There is a stark divide among those searching for anal-related pornography, and while there is a divide between the human sexes, with men being 33% more likely to search for anal-related porn, the difference is actually age. 18–24-year-olds are significantly less interested in anal than their older counterparts 25 and up, and this group is 290% more likely to search for My Little Pony themed porn than others, but 33% less likely to search for anal related porn than older groups.
“Gangbang” is actually the search term that saw the highest increase in searches with an astounding 499% increase over the same period, and “gangbang” is a category considered “anal-affiliated,” meaning that anal is involved in almost every video. It’s safe to assume that people not only love anal, but they love multiple kinds of sex blurred together in the same sex act.
Some have even gone as far as to say that 2014 was the beginning of the fad, the so-called “year of” anal-oral love, and internet popularity began to surge around that time.
While it may seem like a pop-culture phenomenon, statistics and porn site views aside, it’s really nothing new. The great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who brought us dozens of wonderful symphonies even had a song about none other than analingus.
The tune was called Leck Mich im Arsch, the English rendition of the German being, “lick me in the ass,” or “lick my ass.” There is some debate as to what was intended, whether it was a gag piece and Mozart was just having fun and making his friends laugh, or genuinely enjoyed the practice is anyone’s guess, but the idea of licking the bum isn’t anything terribly new.
The lyrics go, “Lick my ass, quickly, quickly!” and another part, “Lick my ass nicely, lick it nice and clean,” and still another, “Come on, just try it, and lick, lick, lick.”
Yes, that’s Mozart. Mozart actually wrote that. So the next time you walk into an establishment that’s playing Mozart, just remember that Mozart wasn’t the stuck-up and boring drab that he’s often believed to be, but to the contrary, was quite a colorful character.
While many have chosen to view the act of analingus, and anal play in general, as part of the patriarchy and a symbol of heteronormative male dominance, the science actually kind of says that the opposite is true. While it is presupposed that heterosexual men more frequently enjoy giving anal play to their female partners, but not receiving for fear of being perceived as homosexual, reports (which are likely understating the prevalence of the act) show that men who engage in all forms of anal play are also likely to be on the receiving end of either analingus or anal fingering.
There is still a discrepancy, that 24% had performed analingus on a female partner while only 15% had received it, but we can’t jump to the conclusion that it was for the reasons of feeling insecure in the act of receiving — maybe their partners simply didn’t want to, maybe they simply didn’t want their partners to, and that’s okay — sex is all about volition and consent.
A further sex survey conducted found that 12% of men secretly wished they were having their bums licked, even though they weren’t, another number which is likely under-reported because of the nature of the taboo.
It should be emphasized here, that anal sex acts are neither heterosexual nor homosexual, and regardless of where you stand in the giving-and-receiving relationship, it does not speak on your masculinity or dominance — as I’ve covered in The Sexually Submissive Male, the desire to give our partners pleasure is in no way effeminate, but rather, neutral, and for some men, a great way to realize their masculinity.
What’s the Hype?
There is, of course, an extremely vast concentration of nerve endings in the anus, which can make anal play, including analingus, either very painful for the recipient, or completely ecstatic, which largely depends on the giver of said activities. Some people may never enjoy it or may never want to enjoy it, and that’s okay, but for those who do, this is the reason why we feel pleasure when this erogenous zone is stimulated with something as gentle and loving as a tongue.
The pudendal nerve is the main nerve responsible for such pleasurable stimulation, reaching from the external portion of the anus, and connecting to the penile dorsal nerve in men, and the vaginal dorsal nerve in women, meaning that, as far as the nervous system is concerned, the anus is connected to our actual sex organs — the ones we use for reproduction.
Ask any massage therapist, pain and pleasure defer from their original locations quite often, so a pain you feel in your chest might actually be caused by a muscle located in the arm or neck. This is because our nervous system often has to send the signals of pain and pleasure over long distances to reach the brain and can sometimes alert us of either in unusual ways.
Perhaps people are just discovering a new, unique, and novel way to feel pleasure and to give their partners pleasure, unafraid of the stigmas of old? Perhaps they're just being shocking? Many people just downright love every inch of their partner including the anus and want to please them in every way possible, and have an inclination to lick it much like we kiss, considering the intimacy involved to be something truly special. I covered this a bit more in-depth in The Psychology of Anal Sex, which can be found here.
The fact remains, that while analingus isn’t a prerequisite for intimacy, there is an undeniable intimacy in giving or receiving it, an act in which there’s no way around the fact that you’re just about as up-close and personal with the “essence” of your partner as possible, and many enjoy this form of intimacy, while others don’t.
There is something to be said for someone who’s ultimately communicating to their partner, “I enjoy every inch of you and want to kiss it; nothing is out of bounds or off limits,” and a partner saying, “I want you to enjoy every part of me and be able to kiss it; nothing is out of bounds or off limits.”
Discussions About Safety
For those interested in practicing the act, the first and foremost thing that needs to be done is consent — discuss it over with your partner, any concerns, questions, or desires you might have, and make sure that everyone is on the same page before any physical activity takes place. Consent is of the utmost importance.
Remember that it’s possible to contract various diseases, some of which like E. Coli aren’t so nice and can even become flesh-eating in some instances, so it’s no joke that you read up on the possibilities out there and proceed with applicable caution.
Having that said, every person has a risk profile and various preferences of what they want, what they expect, and what they’ll enjoy safely. A risk profile is what you’re willing to risk during sexual encounters, what you consider a worthwhile risk, what you do not consider a worthwhile risk. Some partners prefer to stick with the ultra-safe barrier option, placing a barrier between the anus and tongue, others prefer to go raw, and this is a decision to be left up to the individual partners. It’s best always to be respectful of your partner’s risk profile and what they’re willing to perform or receive. More on the how-to of analingus can be found here.
All in all, while the risks are minor, they are present, and any piece about the practice that didn’t mention these risks is correspondingly incomplete. Consider your risk profile and give it some thought before deciding whether it’s for you and your partner.
Analingus is enjoyed in a minority of bedrooms, but as has been stated, we’re seeing a vast resurgence of popularity and it’s honestly a beautiful thing. I’ll never for the life of me consider consenting, happy adults finding new and novel ways in which they can indulge in the pleasures of the flesh together a bad thing.
So long as everyone is genuinely willing and has no reservations about whether or not they want to engage in a certain activity, let the games begin.
As always, if you’ve made it this far, I both applaud and thank you. For more juicy material, follow my publication Moments of Passion.
© 2019; Joe Duncan. All Rights Reserved