How to Do It

I Don’t Believe People Really Do What My Boyfriend Is Asking for in Bed

A man and a woman next to a peach emoji.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Getty Images Plus.

How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Every week, the crew responds to a bonus question in chat form.

Dear How to Do It,

I’ve been dating a new guy for about a month and the sex has been really good. I prefer to stick to penis-in-vagina sex, but I try to be open minded about other things. I don’t like giving oral, but I like getting it, so I (cheerfully and without being asked) offer it. I don’t like bondage, but I don’t HATE it, so I will indulge him every now and then within reason.

But I am absolutely repulsed by the idea of anal. When he first suggested (on the first date!) doing it to me, I said no. The fourth time we had sex, he asked me to do it to him instead, and I had no idea of how that would even work. He gave me a dildo to wear, which I thought was weird, but I followed his instructions and he seemed to enjoy it. The next time he wanted me to finger him, which I agreed to do only wearing gloves and still found thoroughly disgusting. But he really enjoyed it. Now he’s asked me to eat out his ass, which I didn’t know was even a thing. Do people really do that? I wouldn’t want my own feces in my mouth, and I sure don’t want anyone else’s there. But he seems to want this really bad and I’ve turned him down three times already. He is a very generous lover when it comes to pleasing me (oral and digital stimulation of my breasts and clitoris can go on for an hour), so I feel selfish denying him something he wants so badly. Is there something he can do to clean himself out? Or something I can do to him that would have the same result that he might accept as a sort of foreplay?

—Ass Kisser

Stoya: People do really eat ass.

Rich: Yes, Virginia, there is analingus.

Stoya: I’ve eaten ass. A number of times. There’s documented record.

Rich: Same, except not on the record. You know, I’m not out to shame anyone’s inexperience, and I’m happy to get questions about things I’m well-versed in and can answer without turning to my Rolodex of experts for help. But sometimes we get something that’s so noob that it makes me wonder if people’s internet service is spotty. Thank you for coming to us at Slate for help with this matter, but a quick Google search would present you with hundreds of thousands of clips of ass-eating.

Stoya: I’m feeling a bit … anal … about one part of this letter. She’s turned him down three times. Which means he got a no twice and kept asking. In the space of a month.

Rich: Yes, she really doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to, and his persistence at this point could qualify as bullying.

Stoya: Yeah, it seems like a lot.

Rich: Especially since she’s already given him a lot—a dildo up his ass for one thing.

Stoya: If anal is that important to him, I feel he should be more direct with his partners before they have sex. He mentioned it on the first date, she said no, and then he kept chipping away at her as he revealed more.

Rich: Yes, I think moving forward he should state it as close to the start of a relationship as politely possible. Because this letter is an example of how it can play out with someone who’s reluctant. Better to weed out the ass phobes early. It would have been clear quickly: I think her fastidious (I mean fass-tidious) belief that butts are inherently dirty is quintessential anal noob.

Stoya: I’m almost reluctant to answer that part of the question though.

Rich: Because you don’t want to help her help him coerce her?

Stoya: Exactly.

Rich: OK, let’s not then.

More How to Do It

My wife and I have been married for 40 some years. I will admit: I’ve strayed in the past. I’m not proud of it, but I can’t apologize. It is a fact. I’ve been careful, safe, and never disrespectful of her during my interludes. But I’m not doing that now, and I want to focus on my wife. Now that I’ve turned my attention to her, I’m not sure how to proceed, because she is much less interested in sex than me, and we have many issues. Can you give me suggestions on how to have a conversation, and take an approach, that reflects both her issues and mine? I fear the “golden years” absent of fun and play.

Listen to the women of Thirst Aid Kit talk about romance novels and how they helped us learn about articulating desire.