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Sunday Reads: Ass, Ass and More Ass (Plus a Killer Interview with Killer Mike)

The best of MEL from the Week That Was

If you visited MEL this week, you might have noticed this subtle banner accompanying some of the articles:

Yeah, so that was a thing we did. But honestly, we’re not crass about ass. Nope, in our eyes, the ass is an essential part of our contemporary cultural dialogue. What does it mean to be a bottom? To truly open up? What are we still getting wrong about the butt? How does it factor into geopolitics?

All important questions. So read on.

Must Read of the Week

“My Month With A Bottom Coach”
C. Brian Smith’s piece about his experience as a lifelong “top” attempting to become a “bottom” is a testament to the man’s commitment to narrative nonfiction and immersive journalism (and frankly, this site). Because being a bottom isn’t just about the sex act itself. Smith’s journey then is as much about the emotional complexities of bottoming, and how it’s tied to gay identity as it is the preparation and maintenance that goes into anal sex. READ MORE

The Week in Ass

The Assman Cometh
Right on time for Ass Week, a Canadian man was in the news for being denied a license plate with his last name on it: Assman. Inspired by this man’s incredible bravery, we spoke to three other men who bear the Assman name about what it’s like to be an Assman. Surprisingly, they’re all super into it.

Ass on the Menu
Ass-eating has been mainstream for years now — or at least, the dialogue around it has been. But are straight dudes really out here rimming and being rimmed as much as it seems? We asked 60 men who sleep with women for the answer.

Shop Talk
Contributing writer Isabelle Kohn spent the last two years working at a sex shop where she was often the first source of information for people looking to explore anal sex. Here she spills some trade secrets from handing out all that info 10 to 20 times per day — from what types of toys to start off with to the best lube ingredients to what you should eat the day of the act.

Debunking the ‘Dirty’ Stereotype

Of all the awful stereotypes contributing writer Hussein Kesvani has had to deal with as a Muslim post-9/11, the one that’s most perplexing is that he’s unclean — especially when it comes to his ass. Yet, the idea that Muslims wipe with their bare hands is wildly pervasive — particularly online — despite cleanliness being an essential part of the Muslim faith.

The Loophole
If you’re a devout Christian, you’re taught from a young age that purity is a virtue, and that good ol’ penis-in-vagina sex is off-limits — at least until marriage. But anal? The Bible conspicuously doesn’t address its implications. Which means, for some Christian teens, anal sex is “God’s Loophole,” and they’re using it like a get-out-of-virginity-free card. But beating chastity at its own game comes with a lot of misinformation, pain and guilt.

A Big-Booby Fish in an Ass-Centric Pond
For much of the 1990s, big, bolted-on fake breasts were all the rage in porn. But these days, with the tables turned and asses the body part du jour, the performers behind those breasts are trying to find their place in an industry where their tittylicious look is no longer en vogue.

A Man We Loved This Week: Killer Mike

In a piece that made me go “Damn, now that’s a hot take,” Zaron Burnett III spent an afternoon interviewing legendary Atlanta-based hip-hop artist and activist Killer Mike of the rap supergroup Run the Jewels. They discussed his new Netflix show Trigger Warning, politics (of course), racism, Mike’s creative process, Keanu Reeves, the NRA and really any other hot topic you can think of.

What Kept Me Up At Night This Week

Would Tony Soprano Be A MAGA Guy?

Ever since Miles Klee brought up the question of whether Tony would be a Trump guy earlier in the week, I’ve been shook. It’s far more complex than the debate over whether or not Tony dies at the end of The Sopranos (I’m in the camp that he doesn’t, and I don’t want to hear any arguments for otherwise). For example: Would Tony even vote? Would he have liked Trump’s policies, but hated his personality? I’m distraught.

The MEL Wayback Machine

I Give Men the Scrotums They’ve Always Wanted

Though it’s been nothing but asses here at MEL this week, it’s my duty to remind you that, naturally, we talk a lot about dicks, too. And last year’s “as told to” with a doctor who’s made it his career lifting and tucking scrotums will stick with you like a pair of balls to your thigh on a hot summer’s day.

But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…