The Tail Taboo
Whispers from behind the back door

Anal intercourse is still so taboo that chicks don't even talk about it among themselves. We will share the most intimate details about size, taste, smell, longevity, technique, grooming, and number of orgasms elicited. We're not shy about comparing bruises and hickeys, rashes, rug burns, and home pregnancy test results. We'll freely seek collusion on broken futon slats, stained sofa cushions, and shapes on the sheets that resemble Elvis. But ask a gal pal if she's ever been buggered, and you've broken an unspoken cardinal rule of girldom: the Open Door Policy becomes "Don't ask, don't tell" when it comes to the ancient customs of the Sodomites.

See also...
... by Jan Richman
... in the Crave section
... from November 2, 1999

I've had three guys pull up to my bumper in their long black limousines. Only one of them whispered in my ear in the heat of passion, "I've never done this before!" And he, it turned out, was a very sweet, very suave pathological liar. When I did the math I realized that I was not the first settler to stake claim on these parts. Clearly, other girls had been hunched before these very gents in a similar manner; and if you multiply that number by the number of gents out there enjoying the occasional butt-boffing -- well, I didn't study my flash cards today, but it's a lot.

So why the cone of silence? Well, it's dirty. I mean, not necessarily literally (I'm a very clean girl), but the whole idea is a little seedy. Bad girl. Sleazy. Wrong side of the tracks. Let's be honest: That's why it's fun.

Trying to navigate the confusing and often unintelligible world of sexual dynamics without the aid of one's gender-wide support group can be a bit daunting. If you're flirting with someone at a bar, how can you tell if he's the kind of guy who's going to want to flip you like a pancake later? Men, like women, hardly ever come right out and ask for what they want. I've discovered a few telltale signs, though, that a seemingly well-adjusted, as-pictured-in-the-brochure dream date might turn out to be a butt-love enthusiast:

1. We are at a karaoke bar, and he chooses to croon with hip-thrusting conviction to the Spinal Tap song "Big Bottom." He undoes his ponytail and flips his hair to the part that goes: "Big Bottom! Big Bottom! Talk about mud flaps, my girl's got 'em!"

2. He keeps asking for a ride in my rumble seat.

3. On the way home from the bar, we decide to stop by a video store to procure some titillating late-night entertainment. I am hemming and hawing between The English Patient and The Love Bug when I notice him bounding excitedly toward me from the back of the store, clutching Little Anal Annie and the Backdoor Housewives.

4. He carries a tube of Astroglide in his back pocket.

And guys, how can you tell when a girl is interested in rubbing you the wrong way? Well, think of it as though you're playing a game of find-the-hidden-treasure. If you start heading into that terrain, and she's whispering, "Cold, cold, freezing, icy, brrrrr!" then you should probably veer in another direction entirely. On the other hand, if she's giving you the "Warm, extremely warm, hot, oh-my-God-I'm-burning-up" signs, then go ahead and send your cannonball express down her secret mineshaft. Excavate the whole kit and caboodle. Just be gentle. And don't you dare lie and tell her it's your first time.

Jan Richman is poet and writer living in SF with her 13-toed cat named Smitty.