The stigma comes up around anal penetration for men.
When talking about our book, folks sometimes say things like “Prostate play is something which has long since been taboo.”
This is true in so far as prostate massage involves anal penetration. But in my opinion, it’s not prostate stimulation, per se, that is taboo.
I would say that the prostate is first and foremost unrecognized as an erogenous area (though that has been changing lately as this practice grows in popularity).
When folks think of the prostate, they tend to think of cancer and uncomfortable visits to their doctor’s office. They don’t typically think of a healthy prostate throbbing with erotic energy and pulsing with ejaculatory contractions. Many men don’t even know they have a prostate until they start having prostate health issues.
For these reasons, I do think that folks sometimes feel ambivalent toward prostate stimulation specifically, but that is simply the result of our enduring tendency to think of this organ in terms of disease, rather than in terms of sexual function and pleasure.
Anal penetration, on the other hand, is plenty stigmatized. And this is doubly true when the receiver is a man.
Lots of folks shrink away from the anal area as a source of sexual pleasure because of fear of “the mess” or the expectation that it will hurt. But for many men, the real mental roadblock comes from the idea that penetration is in conflict with masculinity: that it is an act of domination, that being penetrated is the “woman’s role” in sex, or (if he’s straight) that a desire to be penetrated means that he is secretly gay.
I’d wager that if the prostate were accessible without anal penetration, men would massage theirs without hesitation. As CT from Aneros likes to say, “If your prostate was up your nose, you’d pick it all day!”
Ok, that image is a little crude, but the point is valid just the same. If men could reach their prostate without anal penetration, clearly it would be considered just as “normal” to pleasure this area as other areas of a his sex equipment.
Actually, the prostate can be stimulated without penetration – by applying pressure through the perineum (aka the “taint”). It doesn’t feel as intense, but it can give you a glimpse of what this pleasure is all about, especially if you do it leading up to and during orgasm.
This technique is all over sex tip lists and women’s magazines, and has been for years. Sometimes, it is even identified as the prostate or “male g-spot” area that is being pleasured.
Yet notice how there is no sense that it’s makes him less of a man if you apply pressure to the prostate through the perineum.
Of course not. Because there is no stigma around prostate pleasure. All the uncomfortable feelings come up when penetration gets involved.
Not all men or partners of men struggle with the idea that penetrating him is in conflict with masculinity, but enough people do have these concerns that we actually devoted an entire chapter to it in our book.
If you’d like a taste of our perspective on the subject, check out our page “Do men really like this?”
Follow the pleasure! Go where it leads you.