The spotlight is suddenly on the exact place where the sun don’t shine. Why is anal play seemingly everywhere now?
When Americans think of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, certain salacious details spring to mind: the stained blue dress, the Oval Office blowjob, the cigar tube that President Clinton inserted into her vagina. But one particularly raunchy footnote from the Starr Report—that Clinton had allegedly received “oral-anal contact” from Lewinsky—flew under the obsessive punditry radar. It’s unclear if the act was considered overly indecent to publicize or simply forgotten—but if that rimjob had happened today, it would’ve been an entirely different story.
That’s because 2014 is the year of the butthole: From widespread coverage in the mainstream media to lyrics to a hit single, it seems as if we’ve been collectively obsessed with this formerly taboo body part. So what we talking about when we talk about buttholes?
Now, this certainly isn’t the first time that pop culture has toyed with the butthole—but it’s historically been maligned or gawked at with juvenile fascination. Khia’s “My Neck, My Back” reached No. 42 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002, but the chorus constitutes one of the most widely giggled-about rap lyrics (to the uninitiated: the aforementioned back goes on to rhyme with her crack). In a 2001 episode of Sex and the City, Miranda goes home with her running partner, who proceeds to surprise her with a rimjob. She is noticeably distressed, and the next time they end up in bed, she can’t bring herself to reciprocate.