Some guys are blessed with good rimming skills, others must learn them. My first experience rimming came six years ago during my first year of college. I was very drunk and so was he. We took a shower in my dorm room late at night and while we were rinsing off I told him I wanted to do it. I had never done it before. I knelt down in the shower, put my face between his furry butt cheeks, and carefully stuck out my tongue. “Not sure where it is,” I said. “Arch your back.” He did, and I found it. My tongue was on his hole.
I slowly started to lick — and he started moaning. My poor, horrified roommates were trying to sleep on the other side of the wall. An hour later, a friend pulled me aside in the laundry room and said, “You know why dog breath smells bad? Go brush your teeth. Use mouthwash.”
With that intro, here are eight rimming tips. Bon appetit. [Note: A later version of this post appeared in my column in The Advocate and also appeared on Plus.]
1. Whoever is getting rimmed needs to clean out. It’s basic hygiene.
Douching is generally the best way to go, although many sexperts say this is not a healthy long-term practice, especially not if you douche very frequently. That said, guys all over the world douche before they get rimmed so that their tops have a pleasant time eating ass. Use an ear syringe, hand bulb pump, or shower hose attachment (for a deeper clean).
Since no tongue is that long, you don’t have to overdo the clean or clean very deep. The only thing you need to worry about is making sure you’ve released all the water from your butt. You don’t want to relax or shift position and release douche water into his mouth. A good way to do this: Lay on your stomach or on your left side and breathe slowly while gently rubbing and massaging your stomach and groin area. Eventually, any trapped water will come out.
2. When you’re rimming someone, vary it up.
Aggressive rimmers will go straight for the hole and just lick continuously in the same motion over and over, gradually pushing the tongue deeper and deeper in. While this can feel good, it gets boring after a while and can actually start to wear on the hole. Saliva dries out the skin, and the hole is the last place you want to dry out, especially if rimming is foreplay for anal sex.
Divide your tongue between his hole and the hypersensitive area around it. Make designs and patterns (stars, zigzags, spirals, concentric rings, horizontal licks, vertical licks, quick dots, long strokes, etc.) Tickle the hole with just the tip of your tongue, then thrust your tongue in as deep as it can go. Alternate between the wider, flat part of your tongue and the narrower, probing tip. Do quick, light licks between deep, strong, drawn-out ones.
3. Bottoms must consume daily fiber. Doing so makes getting clean much easier.
Fiber is necessary for healthy digestion, and having a good, clean ass is entirely dependent on your digestive health. If you’re prone to stomach aches and loose, watery poop, you’re going to have a hard time getting clean, even after an hour in the shower. Consuming daily fiber like Metamucil solves the problem. Fiber clumps your poop together, making your stools harder and firmer so that when you go to the bathroom, everything goes, and less is left in your rectum for you to clean out later.
4. It’s not all about the tongue.
Don’t underestimate the effect of breath on the skin. If you’ve ever spooned in bed, you know how someone’s breath can feel on the back of your neck. It can tickle or comfort, arouse or annoy, depending on your sensitivity. Breath is vital to a good rim job. Making a small “o” with your lips and blowing on an asshole (as you would a birthday candle) can make him moan. This is usually cooler breath. Alternately, as when you breathe on someone’s neck, an open-mouthed gush of warm breath will moisten the hole and add a tingling feeling of expectation – making him ready and excited for your tongue.
5. Know the rimming health risks.
If you are getting rimmed, you’re pretty safe. Sit back and enjoy. If you’re an ass eater, your risks are greater for contracting gonorrhea, hepatitis A, harmful amoebas, genital warts, herpes, syphilis (if there’s an open sore), pink eye, and other infections. Even cleaned, douched asses can still harbor sexually transmitted infections, and STI infection is not exclusive to rimming — all sex acts carry these risks. An unrealistic doctor would recommend the use of dental dams, but I’ve never used one, and I don’t think it’s realistic to suggest you use them, because what’s the point of rimming? Know the risks. Get tested for all STIs frequently — for gay men, every three months.
6. Use teeth sparingly, or not at all.
Some really good rimmers know how to use teeth (hint: don’t suck in when your teeth are pressed against his hole, because it doesn’t feel good). If he uses teeth and it feels good, consider this a pro move. I’ve had bad rim jobs where guys used teeth and it felt very unpleasant. Paired with the tongue, teeth can be a nice alternating feeling, a bit of hardness on a hyper-sensitive, soft, tender area. But by no means bite, nibble, suck, chew, or get aggressive with teeth. Ever. The area you’re playing with is very sensitive and has very delicate skin.
7. If you’re scruffy, try using it.
Some guys love the feeling stubble on their holes (I do!) — but some don’t. This is a personal preference. Best way to find out if he likes it? Try it and ask. Beard and stubble can tickle and create a pleasant texture on his hole, but it can also scratch and irritate it. It all depends on your guy.
8. Don’t be an endless rimmer.
The better you rim, the longer you can do it — but there is a limit. Some bottoms can get rimmed for a long time, but keep in mind that most of us enjoy it as a method of getting the asshole wet and slick for something else. It feels amazing, but after a while, saliva will inevitably start drying things out down there and the rim job will stop feeling great. Read his body language and learn when to cut yourself off.
9. Don’t be a jerk if the butt is not 100% clean.
Make peace with this: It’s impossible for butts to be 100% clean. There will always be tiny particles of shit, so small you can’t see them. But sometimes there’s more than that, and you take this risk every time you eat ass. It’s a butt. You know what you’re doing. Shit has passed along this luscious stretch of skin since day one. If someone is a little messy and you want them to wash out a bit, you’re allowed to politely stop and say, “Hey, don’t freak out, because I still think you’re insanely sexy, but you might need another pass in the shower.”
10. Get tested regularly for STIs.
For a sexually active gay man, the standard comprehensive testing panel includes testing for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and Hepatitis C. But if you do a lot of ass-eating, you should also get tested semi-regularly for gut bacteria like shigella and E. coli., which can be transmitted through fecal contact and can wreak havoc in your intestines (diarrhea, pain, inflammation, the works). Talk to your doctor about your sex practices and be forthcoming. Ask for a more comprehensive picture of the risks, which are virtually the same for sexually active heterosexuals — straight folks love rimming too.