Fivelies_BHole

Five Lies You’ve Been Told About Your Butthole

Are hairy holes really dirtier? Does everyone even have an asshole? Let’s find out the truth.

The world is full of lies, and it’s hard to get through life without taking a few on board. Luckily, we’re here to sort the fact from the fiction, and find the plankton of truth in the ocean of bullshit. This week: Your butthole. Beyond knowing it from your elbow and finding it with both hands, there’s a whole load of, er, shit surrounding it.

Lie #1: The Anus Self-Lubricates

The tendency of pornography to go straight from chatting to nuts-to-the-buttocks anal sex has led an alarming amount of people to assume that that is simply how it works. It’s the magic of Hollywood — cutting the scene where the pirate and the cheerleader have a conversation about consent, boundaries and their specific desires while applying large amounts of lubricant and starting off slowly.

“As the result of a lack of sexual health education that specifically includes medically accurate, evidence-based information about anal sexual behaviors, many people are unaware of the increased risk of sexually transmitted infections and local trauma, such as tearing and pain,” says Kimberly R. McBride of the University of Toledo, who has written extensively on the subject. “This lack of education may result in a failure to take adequate precautions that minimize the likelihood of harm during anal sex. For example, the anus doesn’t self-lubricate in the same way that the vagina does and the anal tissue is more fragile than the tissue in the vagina. As such, anal tissue is more prone to damage if commercial sexual lubricant isn’t used.”

“However, not all commercially available sexual lubricants are equal,” McBride continues. “There is research to suggest that petroleum-based lubricants can damage the tissue of the anus, increasing risk of negative sexual health outcomes such as STI transmission. Using household products like essential oils and lotions isn’t recommended and the use of saliva is also a no, since both can increase the risk of STI. The sequencing of behaviors is another consideration, since going from the anus to the mouth or vagina can introduce bacteria that lead to infections.” 

Life (and your butt) isn’t as simple as porn — who knew?

Lie #2: That Dirty Ass Needs Wiping

We’ve said it before, and we’ll no doubt say it again: You’re wiping your ass wrong. A wiped ass is cleaner than an unwiped ass, of course, but you know what ass is cleaner than both of them? A bidet-sprayed one. That dirty ass needs hosing! Bidets (or their manual equivalent — a bucket of water and a wandering finger) are very popular in Asia and continental Europe, and pretty much everywhere that isn’t North America, the U.K. or Australasia. Ninety percent of Venezuelan households have bidets, for instance, while 60 percent of Japanese households use one specific model, the Toto Washlet.

As well as being more sanitary, bidets can lead to fewer urinary tract infections and treat conditions like rashes and hemorrhoids better than scrubbing with a wad of paper.

The environmental impact of toilet paper is also pretty terrible — according to Scientific American, the U.S. switching to bidets would save 15 million trees and 500 billion gallons of water annually, as well as keeping 250,000 tons of chlorine out of the ecosystem. While making one roll of shitpaper requires 37 gallons of water, a bidet blast to the browneye requires just one-eighth of a gallon.

Lie #3: The Toilet is the Pinnacle of Pooping Technology 

We tend to think of the toilet as something we’ve perfected, a throne to sit on as kings and queens of the big brown castle, but we might be doing ourselves a disservice. Science, in fact, favors a squat: A 2019 study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology concluded that people with conventional toilets could benefit from the use of a Defecation Posture Modification Device, i.e., a little footstool to turn your sit into more of a squat.

“The convenience of the modern Western toilet is undeniable,” says Carson Stilson of Squatty Potty, a DPMD manufacturer that has been featured on Shark Tank. “However, if you look at many countries in Asia, you’ll notice bowel issues like constipation and hemorrhoids are far less common. This is because the majority of them squat to poop. We know that our bodies are naturally designed to poop in a squat — our ancestors had been doing it for millennia. Removing the modern toilet from the equation is unlikely, but lowering it or using a Squatty Potty can easily solve the problem.”

Sitting on the toilet for too long can also lead to rectal fissures, hernia formation, and in extreme circumstances, rectal prolapse — however absorbing that throne-top long read, it’s not worth your butthole falling out. 

Lie #4: Everyone’s Got One

Not everyone has a butthole: There’s a condition known as imperforate anus, which affects about one in 5,000 births and can mean the rectum simply ends in a “blind pouch” — this Australian mother of a boy with imperforate anus refers to him as being “plumbed but not wired.” It’s a serious condition that can mean a lifetime of high-maintenance medical issues and incontinence, as very sensitively dealt with in this NBC headline, “Holy Crap! Chinese Dude Lived 55 Years Without An Anus.”

Lie #5: A Hairy Hole Is A Dirty Hole

If you try and picture the nastiest ass you can, odds are you’ll go for the more hirsute end of the rectal spectrum (or “rectrum”). As anyone who has spent any time on a sheep farm will tell you, dingleberries, aka tagnuts, aka clagnuts, aka cling-ons, aka winnets, aka dags — clumps of shit matted in hair around the anus — aren’t the most pleasant of backdoor developments. 

However, there are thoughts that hair around the ol’ hole can actually protect you, helping to prevent bacteria getting from your feces to your genitals, as well as working to stop chafing. Most of the science around anus hair is purely theoretical, as the world seems happy enough to shrug and leave it at “some people have hairy butts,” but there are people who reckon anus hair could be useful in scent communication, and by trapping pheromones and sebaceous secretions, they subconsciously make us more attractive. Yum!