What Salon got so incredibly backwards about Anal Sex

Salon.com recently posted a piece by Marilyn Friedman called How Anal Sex Ruined My Relationship. I read it (via Alternet who reposted it) because I was expecting a liberal, thought provoking, nuanced approach to modern relationships and what the implications are for opening your brown eye. What I got was the same rehashed trite bullshit about anal that we’ve been saying for decades.

The protagonist/author, Marilyn, begins as a 26 year old so desperate to get married she’ll do anything to trick a man into dating her, by following the advice of her well maintained, blonde,  big-butted sister (whom she describes as a gold digger), and then continues to do anything to keep said man. Marilyn ends up as someone who finds love and marriage (thank god!) with someone she doesn’t have to change for or, gasp, do anal with.

Listen, most women who engage in sex with men will, at some point, likely be propositioned with anal sex. Those who do it aren’t immoral sluts who will never keep a man thanks to their dirty dirty assholes, as Friedman would have us believe. They’re women who like anal, or like trying new things or are willing to try something to please a partner (because give and take are part of relationships). Those who choose not to engage in anal sex aren’t better or more deserving, they’re just people who chose not to and that’s fine too.

But all the fucking moralizing about anal and dating that Friedman shoves into this piece would have you thinking the exact opposite. She paints herself as an eager beaver who will completely change herself or go against her instincts for a man. While she luckily learns to snap out of it eventually (good), consenting to anal freely and without coercion is not the same as dropping a load of money because you’re so desperate to impress a man.

The whole thing stunk of sex negativity and an idea that any woman who engages in anal is only doing it to keep her man pleased, when everyone knows (according to Friedman) that he doesn’t give you a ring after you give him your O-ring.

I expected better from you, Salon. And certainly better from you, Alternet.

And for fucks sake, if you’re going to have anal sex, clean out your fucking asshole. Your shit literally ruined that relationship.