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Yes, Ladies, We’ve Seen Your Butthole, and That’s Okay

Judging by the reactions of women around the world, 2017 may be remembered as the year of the Great Clench: the moment when many women learned for the first time that yes, we men can totally see your buttholes when we have sex doggy-style.

As you’re no doubt aware, the year’s most momentous butthole reveal began with Marie Claire’s interview with Chrissy Teigen. In it, Teigen reveals that, having told friends the only part of her body that partner John Legend had never seen was — surprise! — her butthole, Teigen was shocked when Legend replied that, uh, yeah he had — every time he’d ever taken her from behind, in fact. This possibility wasn’t one Teigen had ever even considered, and as it turned out, she was far from alone.

The responses to the interview fell largely into two camps: “Well duh, of course I/he can see it,” and the somewhat more vocal, “ZOMFG MEN CAN SEE MY BUTTHOLE!!” Once more we were a nation divided, only this time, the assholes responsible were our own.

As a guy, I fall naturally into Camp Duh. It’s basic anatomy — we’re directly behind you while your butt’s pointed up in the air. It’s not a case of us being able to make it out if we squint: We literally can’t miss it. With this in mind, like many men, I was mystified at first as to how this could be a surprise to anyone.

But on consideration, it makes sense: Before now, I’d never once wondered what parts of my anatomy partners might have seen without my knowledge. Maybe everyone I’ve ever had missionary with has seen up my nostrils. Maybe anyone who’s gone down on me has found themselves unavoidably eye-to-eye with my taint. (I admit that neither of these possibilities makes me feel good about myself.)

This is where I find empathy with the second camp. When we have sex, we like to think that above all else, we’re fucking sexy. That our partners are seeing something that turns them on, that our bodies are a big part of what’s driving them crazy. To discover that a body part you’ve never even factored into this equation is actually front and center may be discomfiting, to say the least. For some, it may even shatter the illusion of their own sexiness, or present their sexuality in a way they hadn’t intended, to the degree that they don’t want to (unwittingly) display themselves this way ever again.

But for those people, here’s the important thing to remember: Yes, we can see your butthole — and we like it.

I know. But I don’t mean this in a raised-by-internet-porn, “Have you considered anal bleaching?” context. This is about how men feel about you during sex in general: When we want you, we want all of you. Men have a remarkable ability to decide that when something is great, everything about it is great and there can be no gray areas. We develop instant, devotional blind spots and will fight to the death anyone who tries to point them out. Our local taco stand; our crappy sports team; our collection of Megadeth records: We love everything about them, especially — and perhaps defiantly — the bits we’re maybe not supposed to. And without wanting to draw an unflattering comparison between your body and, say, the beat-up old Ford Taurus sitting in your boyfriend’s garage, this is also how we feel about you.

Yeah, sure, we may sometimes fixate on your breasts or your lips or your feet or whatever else makes us hot during sex. But if we’ve decided the whole package is something we’re into, we will unequivocally embrace everything in it — butthole included. Male sexuality may be complicated at times, but male lust is not: If we have been wildly turned on by you, then we have been wildly turned on by your butthole. If we have loved you, then we have loved your butthole. If we have married you, then by God, we have married your butthole.

There are simpler explanations, too, of course: Some guys may just be really excited by seeing your butthole. But then, that’s a good thing too, isn’t it? The truth is, from whichever angle you come at this (so to speak), we’re down. So while it may have come as a surprise, you shouldn’t in any way let it derail your sex life. I promise, it’s okay: You really can unclench now.