Not surprisingly, The Mindy Project received a plethora of backlash from the episode—with many fans and critics saying it was a poor depiction of consent. Defending the episode, Kaling, who both writes and stars in the show, said "[Danny] tried something because he was trying to see what he could get away with, but I don’t think that Mindy’s reaction to it was ‘I feel violated’; it was ‘Hey man, run that by me!’"

But that's exactly why it's so wrong. When you're trying to "get away" with something it means that on some level you know it's unacceptable. In the case of anal sex, men already know their partner may not be up for it, but rather than ask and risk rejection, some would rather Just Do It and leave their fate up to the butt sex gods.

Other shows are just as guilty of showing surprise anal as a funny mishap rather than the clear violation it is. On the pilot episode of Girls, Lena Dunham's character, Hannah, goes to visit her on-again-off-again boyfriend Adam (played by Adam Driver) in order to hookup. Adam tells her to lie face down on the couch and demands she take her pants off. He then proceeds to commence Surprise Anal. Hannah's immediate reaction is "Don't do that, that feels awful." She then apologizes for not wanting anal sex and tries to talk about what an anal-sex encounter might look like in the future, but Adam's response is "Let's play the quiet game." In other words, shut up the f*ck up.

In both of these instances the female did not want anal sex and the man didn't give her an option—which is exactly what British GQ advises. Both men stopped once the female said no, but at that point something had changed. The sex was no longer sexy, instead it was cringey. In fact, the Girls scene often ranks on "TV's cringiest sex scenes" lists.

So how does one actually ask for anal sex?


As I mentioned earlier, women can get a lot of joy out of anal sex—so don't assume that your girlfriend / lover / Tinder date / wife will automatically be against it. Instead, broach the subject and ask if it's something he or she would be interested in. Because the truth is anal sex can be new and scary and comes with a lot of uncomfortable side effects. As female Vice writers who advocate for more anal sex point out, a "bleeding asshole" is a possibility.

Doesn't logic and respect dictate that if you're about to do something that could lead to a bleeding asshole you should at least ask first? I think so.

Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.