Big thanks to Kanye West and Amber Rose for giving us our first reason to discuss ~assplay~ in 2016. And not because we care about what these folks are doing in their bedroom, but because we care when they perpetuate outdated notions that spread shame and stigma.
On Wednesday, Rose got into it on Twitter with her ex-boyfriend Kanye West, after West insulted Rose’s ex-husband and the father of her child, Wiz Khalifa. Eventually, Rose attempted to shut it down with what was likely intended to be an epic knockout:
In the eyes of many, that was it. Mic dropped. Goodnight, Kanye.
But West slept it off and came back late Thursday with this response:
But let's not let the catty public brawl between ex-lovers distract us from the real victim here—assplay.
For way too long, folks have tried to cash in on the stigma that anyone who likes to serve up a little assplay during sex is dirty and shameful. But this type of shade reeks of slut shaming, and it's also homophobic. Neither of which we are here for.
Generally, we're fans of Rose. She’s a strong, badass woman who doesn’t take garbage from anyone. Last year she launched SlutWalk, an event to fight back against the damage that word had done to her, personally, and continues to do to many other women. “This event,” the website states, “will have a zero tolerance policy on all hateful language, racism, sexism, ableism, fat-shaming, transphobia, or any other kind of bigotry.”
So what the f*ck with the assplay shaming, Rose?
If Kanye, or any of us, likes fingers, tongues, or other objects around the backside—that’s totally healthy and normal. Roughly 40% of women aged 20 to 49 and men aged 25 to 59 have had anal sex, according to a 2010 study from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University. That's a lot of people.
And finally, a quick anatomy lesson on the basic physiological reasons why assplay feels good. As you may or may not know, this region of the body is filled with erogenous zones, so stimulation is pleasurable.
For men, the pleasure comes down to the prostate. Just a few inches inside the anal canal, the prostate can become engorged during sexual arousal, and when properly stimulated, intensify orgasms.
For women, when fingers or other objects are inserted into the anal canal, the act can stimulate the G-spot, which is separated from the canal by very thin layers of tissue. This means some women receive indirect G-spot stimulation from assplay.
This is all to say—the next time somebody calls you a #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch, the proper response would be: "You should try it sometime."
Cleo Stiller is a digital producer covering the intersections of sex, tech and culture. Words to live by: get your money's worth.