There are many things that we do in this life simply because we are required to, such as going to the dentist and telling people their babies are cute even though they look like someone tried to make a hand puppet out of a yam. Performing a sex act that you're not suuuuuuper into just because you think it'll make your boyfriend happy is not one of them.
Yet that is not the opinion of one Bobby Box, a writer at the media website Thrillist who yesterday penned a paean to heterosexual men's ardor for the butt. In his now-deleted piece, "Straight Men Explain Their Fascination With Anal Sex" (we have linked to a cached version of the article), Box posits that the reason why straight dudes love butt sex so much doesn't so much have to do with the fact that it's pleasurable for all parties involved — which is, of course, the primary reason why people have sex in the first place. Rather, it has to do with the fact that ladies hate it — which, of course, is what turns guys on so much about it. How flirty and fun!
We've reached out to Thrillist, and will update when we hear back.
In the piece, Box outlines the reasons why anal sex is a "badge of honor that men wear proudly," an enchanting, not to mention super-duper original, argument in favor of heterosexual anal sex. Box quotes "expert" Matt Diaz, the owner of a sex toy website, saying that part of the reason why dudes love making their girlfriends get porked up their poopers is because they don't really want to do it in the first place.
Let's break down Box's borderline William Jennings Bryan-esque rhetoric, shall we?
"Because so many women seem reluctant to allow a man to share this experience with them, there is an additional sense of accomplishment or feeling of conquest when a man has 'convinced' a woman to engage in anal sex."
Gentlemen: You are not Vasco da Gama. The inside of a woman's anus is not your India. You should not feel a sense of accomplishment or "conquest" after you insert your penis in a woman's butt. The only thing you should feel is good, because you presumably just had an orgasm, and grateful that she allows your janky ass to be within ten feet of her in the first place.
"...when a man has 'convinced' a woman to engage in anal sex."
You know what another word for "convincing" a woman to engage in a sex act is? Coercion. That word is coercion.
Box later doubles down on that point, quoting comedian Jim Jeffries as saying that "the reason men like f*cking you in the ass is because we know you f*cking hate it.'"
"And he's right. There's something wildly attractive in the fact that a woman would be willing to do something she doesn't want to, just because we want to."
You know what another word for making a woman do something she doesn't want to do in bed is? Rape. That word is rape.
Box's piece concludes by claiming that anal sex is a "badge of honor" that men wear proudly, essentially as a way to lord their alpha male status over their fellow bros:
The greatest aspect of anal sex is being able to say you've had it. It's a badge of honor we men wear proudly. If a guy hasn't been fortunate enough to engage in said act, he's seen as more of a beta among his group of buddies. Being able to say you've done the act is yet another factor that feeds our bravado. It makes us look cool and macho. And what's cooler, and more macho, than being able to brag to your buddies?
The obvious misogyny and borderline rapey-ness of Box's piece aside, it's worth noting that the piece perpetuates a number of very real and very dangerous myths about anal sex that are enacted IRL. According to a 2014 study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, it's fairly common for young women to feel coerced into anal sex by their male partners — even though many find the act not at all pleasurable, and in some cases even painful.
While the reasons for this vary widely, from the widespread prevalence of porn to young men's belief (echoing the premise of Box's piece) that putting your penis in a lady's butt is the bro equivalent of winning a MacArthur Genius grant, the effect is clear: women are having anal sex with their partners, but not necessarily because they want to.
Gentlemen: You are not Vasco Da Gama. The inside of a woman's anus is not your India.
That said, it's worth noting that not every woman feels pressured into having anal. There's evidence to suggest that tons of women really enjoy it. According to 2015 data, 94% of women who had anal sex reported having an orgasm during their encounter — not necessarily as a direct result of anal stimulation only, but likely as a result of the erogenous zones stimulated by anal play, as well as the thrill of the taboo nature of the act.
But as is the case with most things in life, the question of whether ladies enjoy anal sex largely comes down to personal preference, which is why men should never operate under the assumption that the butt is on the table. Nor should men view anal sex as a victory, as Box posits in the piece. After all, an orgasm is an orgasm, no matter how one achieves it, and that's the foremost goal of sex — not, as Box clearly believes, a way to stroke the delicate male ego.
So gentlemen, if your woman suitor doesn't want you to worship at her dirty temple, accept her decision and go worship elsewhere — and if she does, don't view it as a sign that she's so in awe of your enormous manly veiny phallus that she's willing to have you put it anywhere you damn well please. Because you know what another word for that type of thinking is? Wrong. That type of thinking is wrong.