The Sex Doc is now a daily! Check back here every day for a new question. Have one for Dr. Debby Herbenick of the Kinsey Institute? Send it in anonymously here.
My BF is really freaked out by any girl touching anything near his butt. Like, no touching whatsoever, and he will actually jump if you graze too close to the crack. I have no desire to do anything butt-related with him but its really distracting to have to remind myself to be so careful around his butt. What’s up with that and how do I help him get over it?
Sarah: Butt anxiety is real. And while it’s not your job to delve deeply into its root causes like a psychoanalytical spelunker, you should respect that anxiety. After all, you’d expect him to have the same respect for your body, right? From what you describe about this pretty extreme no-contact rule, I might reset your sights on a smaller goal than “getting him over it” because a) it’s still not your job and b) you’ve phrased this problem in such a way that tells me you think of this as inconvenient for you, which is not a loving way to approach a resolution. Instead, approach it as a conversation first before you start trying to put your hands where your fella doesn’t want hands. Think about it not as a physical barrier you have to break down, but more of a mental one you should invest some time in trying to understand.
Debby: Some people simply aren’t used to having anyone or anything near their butt and the sensation is strange and not pleasant. Others associate negative feelings with anything anal due to a history of health issues (like hemorrhoids), older brother roughhousing, sports team or fraternity hazing (which can include forms of sexual assault that are often not recognized or talked about), or sexual abuse. Whatever the reason for his jumpiness, it’s his reason. If it’s super distracting and getting in the way of your sex life, try to (gently and kindly) let him know this and see how you might be able to slowly get him more comfortable with full body touching. For example, as he grows to trust you more perhaps you can suggest that you give him a full body massage. He would be naked and lying face down on the bed. Using a lotion or massage oil, start by rubbing his shoulders and neck, then lower back. The first time or two that you massage him, don’t go anywhere near his butt. It’s trust enough that he’s letting you massage him in this vulnerable way. As he and you become more comfortable, ask if you can massage him a little closer to his butt. Always ask before you touch and don’t surprise him or try to be funny by touching his butt without his permission. GO SLOWLY. If you’re a woman… You know how gynecologists usually give you fair warning before inserting a speculum into your vagina or a finger in your anus? Fair warning matters. Ask - and only if he says yes - massage close to his butt. And when he’s ready, see if he’ll be comfortable with you massaging his butt cheeks. If you and he are able to get to that point, he - and his body - may learn that you can be trusted around his butt. Everyone has sensitivities. They may be physical or emotional or both. Good for you for doing your best to be attentive to his.