This was originally written for the official ‘fauxmos’ blog: We Haven’t Kissed Enough Pretty Girls http://fauxmos.wordpress.com/ ‘Fauxmos’ simply refers to anyone who rejects fixed sexual and gender identities. But also it relates to the group blog we set up in that name.
It is fast becoming a ‘Fauxmos’ catchphrase. I have to admit it is as good as any I have heard: ‘Bumming up the arse anally’ does have a nice ring to it.
But actually, when it comes to sexual and gender identity, and specifically, control of and limiting of those identities, bumming is a very serious business indeed.
My first experience of anal sex felt like my first time of any kind of sex, all over again. The slight fear and anxiety, the pain when his cock entered my unmarked territory, the shock of being so utterly attached physically to someone. The way he held me and shook, when he came. The strange sensation in my arse afterwards, the sheer intensity of it. It opened my eyes and made them sting a little all at the same time.
But I never talked to my friends about bumming, not the way we might casually laugh and joke, and share details of the rest of our ‘sex lives’. This suddenly felt taboo. I remember a mate of mine saying she didn’t like ‘fetish’ things, such as anal sex. It’s not a fetish I thought, it’s just something else to do.
But anal sex has become fetishised in our culture. It signifies male homosexuality, and not in a positive way. If you call someone a queer or a fag, or a sodomite, or a bugger, or a bummer, you aren’t really giving them a compliment are you?
I am not an expert, but I know that historically, the laws around homosexuality have fetishised bumming too:
I feel like I could go on about this subject at great length, not because of my vast experience, but because it sheds a little light on why sexual identity is so ridiculous. Does it matter if you are a man fucking another man with your dick in his ass? Or a woman with a strap-on fucking a man? Or a trans man fucking a woman with a strap-on? Or a woman fucking her girlfriend with a finger, or a fist, up the ass? Do these separate yet really quite similar acts warrant being classified into whole types of people? I don’t think so. I don’t think Melissa Gira and her friend think so either:
I have introduced anal sex to a number of men. I have enjoyed their eye-watering, intense, exciting ‘first time’ as much as I enjoyed my own. I loved especially their wonder and slight discomfort, at doing something with a compliant (yet assertive) woman, that they probably only really imagined men did with other men. This implied being gay, which they weren’t, so they tried not to think about it at all. I like to believe that I have done my little bit to break down the barriers between sexuality typologies, and got rid of some of the assumptions and prejudices that make us all so unhappy.
Don Paterson is the only writer I know who has written about anal sex in a heterosexual relationship. He captures something of the sadness I feel at no longer knowing my first bumming partner – who would have loved fauxmos. Paterson’s poem also captures the sadness of doing something that means you don’t get to look in your lover’s face, and you don’t get to feel ‘normal’ and safe. But what the fuck is the point in normal and safe anyway?
and though I know it’s over with
and she is miles from me
I stay a while to mine the earth
for what was lost at sea
as if the faces of the drowned
might turn up in the harrow:
hold me when I hold you down
and plough the lonely furrow.