What was once a rude gesture of denial — “kiss my ass” — has recently gained increasing prevalence as a sexual invitation in the media. Perhaps due to its controversial nature, anilingus found a spotlight on the season four premiere of the HBO show “Girls,” prompting discussions of lickin’ butts all over the Internet. Of course, Allison Williams’ character was hardly the first to enjoy the pleasure of oral-anal contact. Many couples discover the magic of anilingus by accident when they tongue lower than usual and find that the receiver experiences pleasure, and asks for an encore!

Some may assume that rim jobs are a primarily homosexual practice. However, people of all genders and sexual orientations practice and enjoy rimming — after all, everyone has a butthole! For those who find themselves scandalized by the thought of kissing someone’s booty hole, remember it wasn’t so long ago that oral sex was viewed as a taboo sexual act and was even outlawed in many states.

What makes licking an anus so awesome?

Our back door is an erogenous zone packed full of highly sensitive nerves that respond very well to touch. This sensitivity is similar to that experienced by the lips and tongue, so when the two connect, magical things can happen. In addition, the pelvic floor muscles (the ones that contract during orgasm) are located beneath the surface of the anal area and can be stimulated with rimming. Rim jobs may be used as foreplay, coupled with oral sex or as a precursor to anal penetration. The perineum— that little patch of skin between the bottom of the balls or vulva and the anus — is also very sensitive. Licking or kissing this area can also stimulate the prostate in male-bodied folks.

Besides the physical factor, giving that starfish a smooch can make partners feel incredibly intimate. The mutual trust and complete acceptance associated with rimming can be an incredible turn-on. Anilingus can also be a great way to introduce anal pleasure to the bedroom without penetration. For those who are building up to anal sex, foreplay with fingers and tongues (as well as lube) is essential for maximum enjoyment during penetration.

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Isnt there poop down there?

Most people who shy away from their lovers’ booty holes do so out of fear of feces. While it is possible to come into contact with poo, it is unlikely, especially with careful personal hygiene. According to San Francisco sex therapist Jack Morin, Ph.D., the anus, anal canal and rectum contain very little stool, since most fecal material is stored in the descending colon above the rectum. When stool moves into the rectum, it causes the urge to go. Most of the time, there is no urge, and there are only very trace amounts of stool in the rectum — which can very easily be washed out with soap, water and the help of a finger.

If you are especially worried about the possibility of poop, simply take a shower with your partner. This way, you can both get squeaky clean together. The receiver can also use an enema, which rinses the rectum and anal canal. Disposable enemas are available over the counter from pharmacies, and are very easy to use. Simply get on your hands and knees, insert the flexible nozzle into the anus and squeeze the bottle so that the fluid is pushed into the rectum. Then sit on the toilet and allow the fluid to drain out. Cleaning up beforehand can help everyone involved relax about risks and enjoy all that the anus has to offer.

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Tips for the Lickers

  • Use your tongue. Vary sensations by using a flat or pointed tongue. The flat tongue can be used to lick, flick, rub or press, while the pointed tongue can penetrate, probe, tap and trace.
  • Use your lips. Kiss, suck or lightly brush them against the b-hole. Create anticipation by slowly kissing up the thighs, buttocks and lower back.
  • Be hands-on. Pull apart the cheeks for better access or reach around the front to fondle their genitals.
  • Fair Warning. Some people may not be into anal play, so don’t just plunge your face into their butt crack without asking for and receiving explicit consent first. Be sure that everyone knows which roles they are playing (rimmer or rimmee). Consider discussing the activity outside the bedroom, where there is less pressure to perform it immediately.
  • Use toys. Butt plugs, dildos, dicks, anal beads and vibrators can all heighten and intensify the sensations that accompany rim jobs.
  • Rinse your mouth afterwards. Use mouthwash to sanitize the area, especially if you are not using any barrier methods. If you don’t have any antiseptic mouthwash handy, rinsing with water is a good idea.

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Tips for the Licked

  • Get squeaky clean. You and your licker will both be more comfortable with a clean anus. You can take a shower together, use an enema or simply use a wet soapy finger.
  • Shave. Not only does this mean your partner won’t have a mouthful of hairs, but having a hairless hiney increases the sphincter’s sensitivity to touch. For a truly smooth posterior, try waxing.
  • Relax and enjoy. Feeling self-conscious? People who perform rim jobs often find that they really enjoy it, so take solace in the fact that you are doing something your partner finds erotic.

Positions for the Licked

  • Sit on your partner’s face.
  • Lie face down with pillows under your hips for easier access.
  • 69.
  • Get on your hands and knees, arch your back and spread your knees.
  • Lie face upward and pull your knees to your chest to expose yourself.
  • Lie on your back with a pillow under your backside.
  • Stand with hands against the wall, or bend over with legs spread apart.
  • Doggy style, on your knees and elbows.

Play Safe

Just like any other sexual activity, rim jobs have their risks. Besides the heightened sexually transmitted infections risk due to lack of self-lubrication, the digestive tract is home to lots of bacteria that can make us sick. E. Coli can cause vaginal infections or urinary tract infections in female-bodied people, so make sure that anything coming into contact with the anus should not touch the vulva or vagina before it is cleaned or the barrier method (a condom or sex dam) is changed. Bacteria (especially Shigella and Salmonella), intestinal parasites and viruses (such as Human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis) are all related to the digestive tract. In order to stay safe and healthy, get hepatitis vaccines and use sex dams (sheets of latex), laying them on the booty before going to town. If you don’t have a sex dam, a condom cut up the side or a sheet of non-microwaveable saran wrap will work in a pinch.

Our bodies are a wonderland of beautiful, interesting and fresh experiences. Although some people are reluctant to lick butt hole, those who do discover a wealth of pleasurable experiences.

Are there specific topics you have questions about or are just interested in? Do you have a question about your own sex life or relationships that you would like me to answer (anonymously or not)? Email me at [email protected]!