Anal vulnerability

Getting humped by a dog:

I personally find it fascinating how demeaning and humiliating it is to get humped by a dog. A dog jumping into your lap or leaning against your leg might be endearing, but once it starts thrusting its hips, all cuteness gives way to revulsion – the dog is no longer being affectionate, it’s using you to get its rocks off. How much more humiliating it must be, then, to have a human hump you on a crowded subway train, because the threat of sexual vulnerability then is not so symbolic.

I bring this up because of an article I read by Calvin Thomas, which links men’s sexual invulnerability to the conception of men’s impenetrability. It’s not uncommon to hear men claim that men who engage in sexual relations with another man are not gay unless they are being penetrated (see for example here); this would indicate that there is something significant about the act of penetration that defines masculinity in opposition to pseudo-masculinity (male homosexuality) and femininity.

This, Thomas suggests,  serves as part of the reason that men shit in stalls but pee out in the open; it’s not a matter of modesty or embarrassment, but rather an admission that exposing the anus is a central focus of male vulnerability. Additionally, he suggests that perhaps, in order for men to consider themselves feminists, they should first be fucked in the ass, because being fucked in the ass is incumbent on being able to comprehend the magnitude of vulnerability that is associated with penetration.

So why am I talking about vulnerability when I started by talking about humiliation? Because sexual vulnerability is gendered (except in prison), whereas humiliation is not. Getting humped by a dog serves as a good link between sexual(ized) humiliation and sexual vulnerability, in a society where not many men can make that link. I’m not trying to trivialize sexual harassment or rape by comparing it to getting humped by a dog, nor am I claiming that men can never feel sexually vulnerable; I merely think that getting humped by a dog is symbolic of a more general feeling of sexual objectification, and I think it deserves more attention.

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