What’s the Appeal of Rimming?

womans bumMaybe you’ve looked up this question because your partner has asked you about rimming and you’re not sure why you’d want to do that—or maybe you’re the one who wants to try it out, but you’re having difficulty figuring out how to explain it to your partner.  In some ways it’s sad that feel like we have to “explain” any of our sexual desires—as though they’re something we should feel ashamed of.  There has been a long-standing taboo surrounding rimming which is just now beginning to fall away.  One of the first things you can mention if you’re explaining the idea to your partner is just how many really widespread, straightforward sex acts were completely taboo until relatively recently in history.  Standard oral sex was actually illegal in several states until not that long ago!  Just as that’s become much more acceptable, rimming probably will become very mainstream before long.  It’s definitely enjoying a strong trend right now.

Why the Taboo?

There are a couple of reasons that rimming isn’t really that huge in the mainstream yet, and why a lot of people feel confused or ashamed about having an interest in it.  One reason is the obvious biological one.  Rimming means licking your partner’s anus, or having her lick yours.  The anus is the part of our body we use when we need to get rid of waste, so naturally most of us have pretty unclean connotations with the anus.  That doesn’t make the anus “unclean” either in a literal or figurative sense, though.  Sure, it’s unclean if you don’t wash it, but if you do, it’s just another body part.

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As to the figurative concept of the anus as “unclean,” that’s really a pretty unhealthy attitude about an important part of your body, isn’t it?  You can’t survive without it after all.  Human beings all need to eat, and we also all need to take a dump after we do.  It’s part of our basic daily cycle.  And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who you are—that’s one thing we all have in common.  And yet we’re taught to be ashamed or embarrassed about it.  How strange is that?

Another part of the taboo surrounding rimming has to do with homophobia.  Rimming is practiced by straight and gay people alike; but because so many people associate anal sex with homosexuality, there is a tendency for homophobic heterosexual people to sometimes associate rimming with homosexuality and believe that rimming is not a proper “heterosexual” behavior.  In reality, gay and straight people both practical anal sex, including intercourse and rimming.  There is nothing “straight” or “gay” about any type of anal sex.  It’s just another way to have sex with someone.  So a desire to try rimming shouldn’t cause you to question your sexual orientation.  It’s just another way to experience being with your partner—whether that partner is the same sex as you or not.

So Why the Appeal?

So why is rimming appealing to so many people?  For some people, it’s mere curiosity.  Anytime a sex act becomes some kind of cultural trend (as rimming is currently), a lot of people who have never done it or thought about it suddenly wonder what the appeal is, and try it just for the sake of trying it.  Most of these people will probably try it once and then move on.  Others however will genuinely enjoy it.  Here are a couple of reasons why some people love to give and receive rim jobs.

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The first reason is physical.  There are a lot of nerve endings in the anus.  The vast majority of us aren’t sexually aroused while we’re taking a dump, but the same nerves, when interacted with differently, can cause pleasurable erotic sensations for some people, especially when already in a state of arousal.  These sensations can enhance other sex acts or stand alone as an enjoyable experience.  This is one of the reasons that anal sex is popular, and it’s the same reason that rimming is enjoyed.

The other reason is psychological.  When you talk to people about rimming, there is almost ways going to be someone who says, “That’s disgusting and humiliating.”  This is part of that whole taboo surrounding the anus as an “unclean” part of the body—and we’re talking about the psychological connotation here.  Again, washed and disinfected with soap and water (you can use an enema to clean out the anal canal), this part of the body is usually no more dirty in a literal sense than any other.

Taboos can work both ways though.  Because we’ve been taught to perceive of this area as unclean and its function as something to be ashamed of, rimming your partner can be your way of saying to your partner, “I love and accept all of you, just the way you are.”  And when your partner performs anilingus on you, you can feel equally loved and accepted as a whole human being.  At the end of the day, we’re not really the perfect people we pretend to be in public, are we?  No, we’re the human beings who need to eat and shit.  Embracing that fact can make us more whole, and embracing the whole of each other can lead to healthier, more satisfying and more intimate sex with your partner.

So if your partner has been asking you to consider rimming and you’ve been unsure why this could possibly be appealing, hopefully now at the very least you have a better understanding of why she wants to try it.  And if you’re the one who has been trying to figure out how to bring the topic up, maybe now you have a better idea how to explain the appeal to your partner and alleviate any concerns.  Be sure to observe all safety precautions and make sure that everything is clean before you try rimming, and have fun exploring your sexuality with your partner.

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