This post originally appeared on VICE UK.
If there's anything I know about sex, it's that most people—regardless of gender—like a finger up the butt. When I learned that fact, I knew that I would spend forever being good at sex. "Just put a finger in their butt": it's the golden grail of sex tips, like every single piece of advice ever printed in both Men's Health and Cosmo, distilled into one perfect life lesson.
That, I'm sure you'll agree, is why the Kanye-Wiz Twitter beef last night was so interesting.
If you don't live on Twitter, let me break it down for you: last night Kanye West went in on Wiz Khalifa with a 26-tweet-long attack calling the rapper "corny as fuck" and accusing him of getting "trapped" by ex-girlfriend Amber Rose. It all started because Khalifa tore into Kanye for re-naming his album Waves, implying he was ripping off imprisoned rapper Max B. The tirade included such gems as "maybe I couldn't be skinny and tall but I'll settle for being the greatest artist of all time as a consolation."
The whole thing was a mess—Kanye was weirdly preoccupied with skinny jeans and letting everyone know he's an "OG" (catch up on it here if that's your sort of thing)—but the one tweet that managed to cut through all the confusion was Amber Rose's response:
With these simple words, illustrated with a single erect finger emoji, our image of Kanye had shifted from "angry dominant auteur" to submissive man, lying on his back with his feet in the air, purring as he's fingered in the butt.
So let's unpick this: what was Amber Rose trying to achieve? Well, she was trying to embarrass him—that's obvious. She was attempting to emasculate him with alleged personal details from their sex life together, and she feels that revealing this particular alleged detail is the most effective way of doing that.
In doing so, she's inadvertently highlighted a universal truth: little is more taboo and potentially embarrassing to your average straight guy than admitting he likes a finger up his butt. Which is strange, really, because, to the best of my knowledge, a lot of straight men love it.
To corroborate both the actual and anecdotal evidence I was already aware of, I googled "Do straight guys like having their butt fingered?"
These guys said:
And as this guy says, it's sex, guys! Just sex!
This comment, however, summarized why Amber's putdown was so effective:
Any sexual act to do with a guy's butt is still seen as borderline homosexual, and many straight men have a problem with that. Whether it's a tentative little finger, rimming or a full-on strap-on experience, expressing a desire for a woman to explore the back door – in many people's eyes – is as good as admitting you're way up there on the Kinsey scale.
But so many men do enjoy it, so why all the secrecy? Why has there not been a mass movement of men banding together to proclaim their love of receiving a finger in the butt in a sexual context? To get a better gauge on things I spoke to five straight men about it, all of whom wanted to remain anonymous.
VICE: Hi, can you talk about getting your butt fingered?
Straight Man One: I can talk about it, but only how butters [gross] it is and how I've never done it. And never will.
It's butters, because it's my asshole, so get the fuck away from my asshole. I think it's to do with male pride, also. I think the idea of someone penetrating you in some way doesn't vibe with a lot of straight guys. It's the ultimate horror, conceptually. It's also a hygiene thing for me.
VICE: Do you like fingers in your butt during sex?
Straight Man Two: I don't do it, but then I haven't even done anal with a girl. I just kinda like pussy more than the idea of assholes. But I've heard that dudes like it because it intensifies their orgasm, and I think with anything sexual it's so subjective and personal that it's best just to let people crack on.
Is it taboo for straight guys?
Again, the taboo element has been created from a group male psychology that essentially is still quite homophobic in my opinion. Yes, we're pretty cosmopolitan as a nation, but I've played in enough football teams to know that it's still seen with negative connotations among young men. I think it's butters that most "lads" are still like this, but then again most "lads" are dickheads.
For me, personally, I don't like the sensation of the whole butt thing. People have asked me to do pills up my ass and shit 'cause it's meant to be better, but fuck that. I'm not against the idea as an idea, I just don't feel like butt stuff gives me any pleasure
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VICE: Yo, do you like getting your butt fingered?
Straight Man Three: I'm flattered you thought of me, but I have no experience in this area, I'm sad to say. Sorry to disappoint.
VICE: Hiya. So, butt fingering.
Straight Man Four: Playing with the butt-hole is pretty cool, mainly because it feels nice. And who doesn't want to feel nice? There are people out there who think sliding your thumb into a nicely lubed-up asshole is for gay people, and maybe it is. Gay means happy, right? Because that's exactly what I am when someone's rumping-and-pumping or slowly tickling the inner-walls of my rectum.
VICE: Hey. Do you like having a girl's fingers in your butt?
Straight Man Five: If you asked me that a few months ago, then no. But then it sort of accidentally happened one night; she was playing around the edges and then, y'know, oops, in it was! And yeah, it was weird but good.
So it happened for the first time in your mid-twenties. Is that because you didn't want to do it, or because it'd never occurred to you?
To be honest, probably because it feels like it shouldn't happen, like it's a bad thing. I'd do it to girls, but the other way around seems wrong. Or, at least, that's what I thought. I guess the idea made me feel really passive, like the sub. A little bitch. But now I've popped, I won't stop.
So there you go—the general consensus from a tiny, unscientific case study of straight dudes: once you're down, you're down. It's no big deal. Historically, oral sex was taboo, and now it's sexual bread and butter. Societal norms and attitudes around sex continually shift and stretch to include a whole host of new sex acts and kinks.
But, for now, there's still a barrier straight men have to get over before they can admit they like a finger in the butt. Which is precisely why Amber Rose's tweet was the winner of last night's beef—and from now until the inevitable "Is 2017 the Year of the Male Finger-Bang?" think-piece comes out, she'll have the power to silence a man as momentous as Kanye with the weight of a single yellow finger emoji.