“I’m takin’ my freedom / Pullin’ it off the shelf” —Jill Scott, Golden
“‘There’s an old Chinese proverb my friend taught me,’ he said. ‘Mei you yao neng zhi ni— no medicine can cure you.’ So self-satisfied. Suffering from the great delusion of men everywhere, that their disregard for other people makes them interesting.” —Charlotte Shane, Prostitute Laundry
“I just didn’t want to look at them anymore.” —Annie Graham, Hereditary
(Also, Edward Siddons DMing me about Chipotle)
My name is Ty Mitchell, and I have eaten my own shit. (Hi Ty.)
Incidentally, of course. And I’m not talking chunks, but particles at the microscopic level. Mainly, off a dick that’s been inside me. Probably, out of a mouth that’s licked me clean.
As many of you know, I am a big proponent of shitting on dicks, even if this is counterbalanced by a spotless record of bottoming on film. I don’t actively try to fuck on a full rectum— as delightfully terroristic as that sounds— but it’s worthwhile to recognize that the ass is constituted by fecal matter at the microbiological level, and that even if you can’t smell it, see it, or taste it, we’re all playing with shit. The boundaries we invent between shit and not-shit become arbitrary in the throes of anal sex, especially good sex, especially when we might cum soon anyway. We more accurately experience this as the difference between “messy” and “fine,” which speak less to the presence of shit than the tolerability of it.
Disabuse yourself of the false assumption that the ass’s potential for pleasure is separate from its function of excretion, or that shit is what we release and ass is what remains. Consider instead that the ass is lined irremovably by shit, and that preparing for anal sex merely means minimizing the shit that looks, smells, or tastes bad. Consider that there are forms of shit that look, smell, and taste good— zero-calorie cocktails of anal ephemera mixed with sweat, lube, and cum. For the sophisticated palette, like kombucha.
I’ll try less of a reach: it’s important to accept the possibility that shit during sex can happen and eventually will. This is an inconvenience. It will not be taken personally by your partner, or shouldn’t be. It says nothing about you as a highly sexy person. It’s not worth taking an hour or more of your time to prevent, much less starving yourself. It will interrupt things, and necessitate a break to clean off. In my view, good sex should include an intermission anyway. But you must make peace with somebody else seeing your shit, and slough off the shame entrenched in childhood around soiling oneself, given that it is a natural side effect of getting your asshole plunged by cock.
If you cannot subdue these insecurities, there is a dietary supplement for that, branded specifically to fleece gay bottoms. This is not a new concept, especially to women, of identifying consumers’ fears of intimate ugliness, and deepening them with new products and services for purchase. While this alone demonstrates the quotidian evil of free enterprise, I hate the way “bottom anxiety” pathologizes an entirely structural set of problems with our health care and our food.
Doesn’t it strike anyone else as bizarre that so many people have no idea if and when they’re going to shit everywhere? It would appear we’re all just enduring random bouts of diarrhea without seeking a medical or nutritional remedy for it, because that’s not affordable under privatized health care. It would appear we’re all just putting up with shitty food that estranges us from our bowels— and the expectation that our bowels be predictable— because food apartheid and industrial agriculture have narrowed the availability of alternatives. Where bottoms ought to be on the vanguards of food and health justice, struggling against systematic poisoning at the very edges of our orgasms, we’re instead sloshing around holey water, prostrate on a bathroom floor, popping vaguely masculine fiber supplements in the name of nasty, gnarly butt sex that’ll still be pure enough for a fucking man!
I say all this, and yet I douche religiously. I ask my boyfriend to clean out before I fuck him, knowing this is despicable. I’m a nurse with a cigarette. I protest too much. I possess an anxiety, no matter how managed, that I share with many people, that feels inextricable from my desire.
But I do not share it with most of my sexual partners— namely, tops. They don’t seem to give a shit. In fact, the less they care, the more competent they tend to be at fucking me. They accept shit as a possibility of the sex they seek a priori, and when it happens, they move like neatly programmed androids to wipe my ass (??????), wash their dicks off, and get back to business.
This has led me to a startling theory regarding a trite question. Perhaps the truest distinction between tops and bottoms is our relationship to shit. Not the anatomical anchor of our pleasure, not a desire to inflict versus endure. No, not how we identify, as if sexuality were simply a state of mind, and not the stains of a juicy, shimmering fruit by which we come to know power.
Rather, maybe you are as much of a bottom as you are worried about shit, whether before sex or during. Maybe the constitutive concern of bottom-hood is the fantasy of an asshole without excrement, and thus a careful management of this approachable but impossible desire. This is deeply transfeminine, of course.
You might object, “What about the tops who do get hung up on shit?” Well, they’re bottoms. Bottoms with masculinity hang-ups or disembodiment issues that prevent them from actually bottoming. It’s fair and within the domain of tops to be annoyed by shit-dick, especially when it happens repeatedly and preventably. But this differs from how bottoms top, wracked with suspicion and sympathy toward their partner, and their ability to perform. We proceed with caution, which is the trademark of bottom desire. Get it? Trade mark.