fbpx A Tried-and-True Guide to Rimming

Sex - Exploration | August 9, 2021, 8:33 CDT

A Tried-and-True Guide to Rimming
As long as you're squeaky clean, ass-eating offers up an often-untapped world of pleasure.
Jake Hall

Written by

Jake Hall
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Illustration by Josh Christensen

Internet heroes come and go, but the last few days have seen timelines flooded with odes to the so-called "demon twink," a gay guy who had his ass eaten out in the middle of a crowded, Britney-themed boat party. Within hours, there were calls for Ryan Murphy to direct his life story.

Aside from offering a tantalizingly horny glimpse at the possibilities of Hot Vax Summer, this viral twink has reaffirmed that rimming—also known as "ass-eating" or giving a "rim job"—is still very much in style. It's a humble sex act that has long been popular among gay male couples in particular, but the last few years have seemingly seen a rise in popularity, as indicated by a 2017 article that mused on the "gentrification of rimming."

Now, pleasure enthusiasts of all genders and sexualities are getting in on the action. "There's this myth that only gay men like rimming," explained clinical sexologist Gigi Engle, author of "All the Fucking Mistakes." "This idea has scared straight, questioning and even some queer men away from enjoying anal play for too long and, frankly, it's a travesty!"

Yet when it comes to ass-eating, there are a few factors to bear in mind—from health and hygiene to preparation and technique, there's a lot that goes into giving the ultimate rim job.

As always, when it comes to anal play, in particular, preparation is key. Steer clear if you have even the slightest hint of a stomach bug, and wash your butthole liberally with mild soap and warm water beforehand. "This is especially true for hairy butts," continued Engle, "as flecks of shit can get tangled in the hairs."

Try not to get too caught up in aesthetics, though: Shaving or waxing your butt can actually do more harm than good, so don't go overboard. "When you remove hair from any part of the body, you create microabrasions," Engle said. These tiny tears in the skin, invisible to the naked eye, can increase the likelihood of contracting an STI by up to 80 percent."

It's a humble sex act that has long been popular among gay male couples in particular, but the last few years have seemingly seen a rise in popularity.

There's also the age-old debate: To douche or not to douche? Evan Goldstein, D.O., founder of anal surgery specialist Bespoke Surgical, has spent his career pondering this question. "There are multiple factors to take into account," he summarized. "These include the type of liquid solution you're using, the size of the douche bulb, the force you're exerting to dispel liquid into your rectum and how many rinse cycles you're doing."

His key advice was to stick to isotonic solutions––he co-created one himself, called Future Method––rather than water or drugstore enemas, use a small douching bulb and combine your anal hygiene with a high-fiber diet, which "bulks the stool" to make things a little less messy downstairs. If in doubt, Goldstein recommends the toy test––"take a toy, preferably one that mimics your partner, lube it up, insert it and then remove it. If it comes out clean, you're ready to play."

As with waxing and shaving, the key is moderation: Over-douching can lead to irritation, trauma and, again, heightened risk of STI transmission.

Now that you're prepared, it's time to think about technique. "The exterior rim of the anus is a super-sensitive part of the body," explained Goldstein, likening it to "the nape of the neck or the underside of the arm." With this in mind, a few tips to maximize this sensitivity: "I recommend you try licking it like an ice cream cone, or brushing up against it, although gently if one of you has facial hair," Goldstein continued. "Finally, switch between blowing warm air, like you're fogging a mirror, and cool air, like you're trying to extinguish a candle." These tricks are all about teasing, but you can also just dive right in. "You can even make out with it," Goldstein continued. "The wetter, the better."

Position matters too, and it often depends on context. Jessie Sage, a Pittsburgh-based writer, sex worker and co-founder of Peepshow Magazine, gets plenty of requests for "ass worship" sessions from clients. In these sessions, visuals play a key role. "I've always had a big butt, even when I was much thinner than I am now, so I think I've always attracted 'ass people,'" she said. "When things are raw and kind of fetishy, like in ass worship sessions, it can be fun to be on my hands and knees with the other person behind me, just diving in. There's something animalistic and primal that makes it really hotter."

In more intimate settings, Sage has found her fail-safe ticket to orgasm: "I love to lay back and softly masturbate by rubbing my clit while my partner is sensually eating my ass," she continued. "This makes me come every time." For people with penises, massaging the perineum––which externally stimulates the prostate, known as the P-Spot––is similarly advisable.

Everyone has their own preference though, so allow yourself to get experimental with ass-eating. In the right setting, with the right partner, it can be transcendental.

As always, when it comes to anal play, in particular, preparation is key.

Logistics also come into play––face-sitting can be hot as hell but doesn't always allow the person giving the rim job to maneuver freely. For this, Goldstein recommends the recipient position themselves on all fours or with legs in the air, so the person giving the rim job can get deep and try different techniques.

Finally, there's sexual health to consider. It might seem low-risk compared to other sex acts, but according to Susan Gilbert, co-director of the NCSH (National Coalition for Sexual Health), there's still a risk of contracting STIs like "herpes, HPV, syphilis and hepatitis A and B," as well as "bacterial infections such as E. coli and salmonella," found in feces. Using a dental dam can lower these risks, but as long as you're cleaning thoroughly and regularly screening for STIs anyway, there's nothing to suggest rimming can't still be good, clean fun.

Stigma might still linger around rim jobs, but there's a whole world of pleasure to be unlocked by wholly embracing the humble butthole. Whether you're blowing, licking or straight-up making out with it, there are endless ass-eating options to unlock the demon twink inside of you.

Jake Hall

Written by

Jake Hall

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