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Sex Talk by Simon Shepard
Buttplay
by Simon Sheppard - SGN Contributing Writer Ah, the lowly asshole. What high-flown joy it can bring.

While homophobes tut-tut that the anal aperture is for excretion only, it's a fabulous fact that the back door is a full-fledged erogenous zone, chockablock with nerves that, properly played with, provide plenty of pleasure. Yes, many's the bottomboy who enjoys the extended attentions of a top who likes to play with ass.

Still, there can be squeamishness to surmount. After all, poop goes with the territory. Says one gay guy, "When I was growing up, starting to accept that I was queer, I thought that buttsex was just plain nasty. My, how times have changed!"

Yes, the nether region can be a veritable theme park of lust, and not all the rides depend on penetration. The outside of the hole is sensitive, responsive to stimulation from fingertips and tongues. Confides one top, "If I'm with someone and I don't know if he's into getting fucked, or if he's an anal virgin, I'll spit on my fingers, start massaging the outside of his pucker, and see what happens."

Though getting your butt played with is supposedly submissive, receiving oral-anal sex, also known as "getting rimmed," blurs the line between top and bottom. The rimmer, after all, is going down to make his partner feel good (and, unfortunately, risking a number of diseases as he does so).

Often, a finger is fated to slip deeper, hooking over to hit the pleasure-giving prostate gland. And from one finger, a top can proceed to two, and then a handful, stretching a bottom's sphincter, filling him with deep sensations. With practice and lots of lube, a guy can even take a whole hand. Care is called for, though: fistfucking can be dangerous. One experienced fister cautions, "Handballing is definitely an acquired skill, for both top and bottom."

Then there are "toys," anal gizmos - dildos, buttplugs, vibrators, and the like - that come in a pornographic profusion. A well-stocked toybox can contain anything from itty-bitty dickie-shaped starter units to "anal beads" - strung-together insertable balls. There are even curved probes designed to hit the prostate just right.

And while fingerfucking and the like can serve as a prelude to penile penetration, for many fans it's an end in itself. The idea of being fucked by a foreign object can be a major turn-on for some dudes. "It's not a fake dick, it's a real dildo, "says one toy collector. "I know some men who think of dildos as second rate. But, unlike men, toys are always available. Some of them are a lot bigger than even the most elephant-sized appendage. They're great for masturbation sessions, and novice bottoms can use them for training. And, maybe best of all, you never have to worry about them going soft."

When it comes to anal insertion, though, a certain amount of caution is called for. Whether homemade or commercial, toys without large bases can slip all the way inside; don't be one of the poor dudes who take a trip to the emergency room to have a misplaced cucumber removed.

Sadly, though, playing with butthole has other perils, too. Tushie may be a lot of fun, but even the cleanest hole is hardly germ-free. Sharing uncleaned toys is clearly unwise, and eating butt without a barrier can transmit a laundry list of gut-wrenching nasties. Fingering or fisting without a latex glove can pass on blood-borne diseases, because the rectal lining is easily torn. That fragility is also a reason why - while cleanliness of the nether parts may be next to gay godliness - overenthusiastic douching can leave a bottom's bottom more vulnerable to VD.

Still, the naughty nature of buttplay is no reason to overstate its perils. A fellow who works in a sex shop offers some sage advice: "Good bottoms know how to relax. There's less chance of pain and injury when a sphincter's not clenched. If you're going to fingerfuck, use protection. If you're going to use toys, don't overdo the size thing. And be sure to use plenty of lube."

Some guys just don't like assplay, of course, and you can take a pass on playing with hole and still be a good homo. Even so, getting penetrated can be such a pleasure that an increasing number of straight boys love bending over for a girl with a strap-on.

You need not fuck to have fun with the fundament. Life will be brighter if you put a thumb, toy, or tongue where the sun don't shine.

Simon Sheppard is the editor of Homosex: Sixty Years of Gay Erotica, and the author of Sex Parties 101, Kinkorama, and In Deep: Erotic Stories, and can be reached at SexTalk@qsyndicate.com. Visit Simon at www.simonsheppard.com.

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