Don't Kink-Shame Kanye
While tweeting about his new album this week, Mr. Kanye West got sidetracked into an online spat with fellow rapper and weed connoisseur Wiz Khalifa. Before long, Amber Rose, an ex of both men, and mother to Wiz Khalifa’s child, chimed in after a series of mean tweets by Kanye directed at her and her son.
Still reading? With Rose’s claim that the Yeezus rapper likes a little anal play, a meme was born. There were gifs and illustrations and hashtags and before long, West offered a long-winded denial.
"Exes can be mad but just know I never let them play with my ass … I don’t do that … I stay away from that area all together,” he tweeted, followed by “I’m not into that kind of shit … I like pictures and videos … Me and my wife got the kind of love that can turn exes into best friends.”
This is not West’s first public feud. Usually, he’ll say something stupid and self-aggrandizing, as is his wont––like when he hijacked Taylor Swift’s Grammy moment, or said Beck should “respect artistry” and give his award to Beyoncé. It’s easy to win a fight with Kanye in the court of public opinion, as West, talented artist though he may be, is so clearly and so reliably unhinged in these moments.
So when West claimed he had to take 30 showers before his now wife, Kim Kardashian, would get with him after he dated Rose, the ex-stripper and self described “Bad Bitch” reaped the benefit of being seen as a sexually liberated, anti-slut shaming hero.
But with her tweet—specifically calling West a “bitch” for his alleged proclivities—Rose has positioned herself as a kind of shamer, too, and proponents of consensual adult kink are none-too-pleased.
“There are so many other things she could have said. To say this is pretty fucked up,” said Charlie Glickman, Ph.D., a sex and relationship coach, and the author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure.
“Especially with the hashtag, #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch, that is exactly the kind of homophobia that makes it difficult to explore prostate play. It’s the male equivalent of slut shaming,” Glickman said.
In the process of writing his book, Glickman surveyed over 200 men and and asked what was keeping them from exploring that hidden pleasure center.
“The three responses we got over and over, were: ‘Will it hurt?’ ‘Is it gonna get messy?’ and ‘Does this mean I’m gay?’ I think that shows how homophobia gets in the way of men exploring their full erotic potential,” he said.
“What Rose did was tell all of the men out there that if they like or are interested in prostate play, then they’re ‘bitches.’”
But, Glickman says, lots of men—gay and straight—enjoy prostate stimulation, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“Your nerve endings have nothing to do with your sexual orientation. Who you want to have sex with and what kind of things feel good to you—that’s your nerve endings. It’s not like gay men have magic nerve endings that make them enjoy prostate play.”
Not surprisingly, there are no good statistics when it comes to how many men engage in prostate stimulation during sex. But Glickman says, at least anecdotally, interest in the prostate for pleasure has risen in recent years. “In the last three years, I’ve been getting more questions about it, and more acceptance of it. When I teach workshops I used to get 10 people. The last workshop I did, 60 people showed up,” he said.
But resistance to the idea is just as strong, “which is too bad,” Glickman says, because the prostate is the male g-spot. “They’re both made up of the same tissue, in the same way that the penis and the clitoris and the testicles and the ovaries are the same kind of tissue.”
For those who skipped junior-high sex ed, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits right below a man’s bladder. It’s main job is to make a vitamin and protein-packed milkshake that can keep sperm safe as it makes its way through the penis and to a final destination.
But some men claim the prostate has super powers beyond its role in reproduction. Body-rocking orgasms and the elusive male multiple orgasm can be achieved by practiced massaging of the gland. “It’s the single most extravagant sexual pleasure a man can experience,” a sex blogger told Mashable for an article on the subject.
Sex toy manufacturers—with obvious skin in the game and perhaps questionable survey methods—claim 71 percent of straight men in a relationship have tried or are willing to try a prostate massager and 80 percent of women are willing to perform a massage on their partner.
Yet even with numbers like these, the shame persists. Over at Reddit, there are countless anonymous newbies looking for online support as they explore their own anus. And I scrolled for minutes on the secret-sharing app Whisper, reading confessions from men who wanted to share their love of prostate play. One reads, “Imma proud straight dude who owns a prostate massager. DO NOT tell me that it's 'gay' and begin to stereotype me."
It’s a response Kanye West could learn something from.
“The way he responded, I think everyone knows that’s not accurate,” Glickman said. “Frankly, I would love to see Kanye say, ‘Yeah I loved it and what’s it to you?’”