Article Thumbnail

The ‘Secret Buttholes’ Instagram Reflects Our Most Basic Psychic Urges

Secret_Buttholes explores the universal phenomenon of seeing buttholes in everyday, non-butthole objects

I would argue that seeing dicks everywhere requires a certain frame of mind, an eye honed to identify phallic imagery among the visual noise. But a butt? A big ole juicy wagon with a taut little starfish butthole in the middle? It’s practically a natural instinct to see butts everywhere, like knowing not to touch fire. You could show any three-year-old child a picture from the Secret_Buttholes Instagram, devoted to random objects that look like butts and buttholes, and they would accurately identify that the object does indeed look like a butthole. 

That’s really the magic of the account: It speaks a universal language

Most of the photos there are follower-submitted, sent to what I imagine is the most coveted email address of all time, [email protected]. The account has been running since 2013, releasing around one new faux-butthole a week and now with just over 75,000 followers. 

View this post on Instagram

a wrinkle in time 🔭 @brothadylan

A post shared by Secret Buttholes (@secret_buttholes) on

Donuts and other baked goods are common sources of butthole sightings, as are pumpkins and sea critters. The best ones, though, are those that are the least expected. There are some that truly, at first glance, look like an authentic butthole. 

View this post on Instagram

flu season stay safe

A post shared by Secret Buttholes (@secret_buttholes) on

View this post on Instagram

rorschach butthole

A post shared by Secret Buttholes (@secret_buttholes) on

Ordinarily, I’d interpret these photos almost as a Rorschach test, thinking maybe it says more about me that my first instinct is that I’m looking at a wrinkly anus than a man sneezing. The beauty of it all, though, is that the account proves that you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with you. That photo really does look like someone placing their butt next to an infant. 

Beyond that, though, Secret_Buttholes also raises the question of why buttholes seem to appear so often in nature. What function does it serve? What is nature trying to tell us?

View this post on Instagram

Trees poop too 🌳

A post shared by Secret Buttholes (@secret_buttholes) on

If I had to guess, I’d argue that it’s not so much that nature resembles buttholes, but that our own buttholes resemble nature. Yet, we hold a Freudian attachment to our own anus, often viewing it as a mysterious portal into our bodies we may never fully explore. To see buttholes everywhere, then, is our own subconscious desire to make our bodies less foreign. Secret_Buttholes allows us to confront this anonymously en masse. It’s a return to the anal stage of our psychic development, where the butthole is everywhere before us, but still somehow a secret.