Teen Vogue has been coming out with a lot of really great material lately, acting as a top-notch resource for its teenage readers. And, quite frankly, their sharp political posts over the past year have been enjoyable for all ages.
They post about all sorts of things, including celebrities and fashion.
But they also post about health, relationships, sex, and life -- and their recent anal sex guide is earning the magazine a lot of praise ... and a lot of controversy.
Some critics are claiming that "women's rights organizations" are slamming the guide ... but a closer look reveals that things aren't quite what they seem.
This article, a simple beginner's guide to anal sex, seeks to help their readers -- teens.
(But frankly, some adults could use this, too)
The author had noticed that most internet resources on anal sex were for sexually experienced couples looking to improve what they were already doing.
That doesn't help a young couple so much.
Pornography, which is of course not realistic, makes for an even worse guide.
All in all, in a world where so many "sex ed" programs are still forbidden to so much as mention condoms, let alone discuss how sex acts might actually be safely carried out.
So the Teen Vogue anal sex guide, by Gigi Engel, covers a lot of important topics.
The key points of the article are:
-lube is extremely important (we've seen anal without lube referred to as like going down a dry waterslide)
-tips for avoiding fecal matter (though some traces may still be present)
-ways that the act can be enjoyable for both partners
But there were complaints.
Of course there were.
Brace yourselves -- we've got a lot of stupid to break down for you.
One of the first complaints comes from transphobes.
Okay, maybe we're being unfair.
Maybe a few people are genuinely confused by inclusive language.
So, the article refers to "prostate-owners" and "vagina-owners."
Well, a trans guy without a prostate is still a guy.
A trans woman with a prostate is still a woman.
Not to mention the countless people who don't fit into the gender binary.
It's just a way of using inclusive language and not being rude.
(After all, that "dreaded" PC culture that certain pundits like to complain about is literally just ... not being rude)
Kind of like saying "with your dominant hand" in, like, knitting instructions or whatever instead of "your right hand."
Because not everybody's right-handed.
Speaking of how this article is LGBT-related, though.
This guide is of course extra relevant to many (though certainly not all) gay and bi couples.
But let's not pretend for one moment that anal sex isn't a popular choice with heterosexual, cisgender couples.
Internet access, a marginal increase in sexual liberation, and the ease of ordering supplies discretely over the internet has made sexual activities like anal intercourse much, much more common.
Generally speaking, most couples like to try new things together, especially sexual activities that they might both enjoy.
So, remember how we mentioned that people were claiming that "women's rights organizations" were blasting the article?
It turns out that there's no, like, Grand Council of Women that meets in a space station that orbits Venus and hands out certificates of authority to groups that advocate for women's rights.
Any group can claim to be "women's rights advocates."
The Taliban could make that claim.
One socially conservative article by The Christian Post, for example, cites an organization called the "National Center of Sexual Exploitation."
Now, you see that name and you think that maybe they work to break down sex trafficking or rescue underage girls or end child marriages or something, right?
We looked them up.
They are in fact an organization that mostly concentrates on hating porn and anything that might have to do with sexuality in mainstream culture.
They want to "combat obscenity" and enforce Judeo-Christian values upon society.
So ... they don't behead anybody, but in terms of their goals ... that Taliban analogy maybe wasn't so far off.
As for critical articles like that Christian Post one ... you get eyestrain reading them.
(Because they use words like "sodomize" ... and we just rolled our eyes super hard at that)
Then there's the complaint that this post is male-centric.
(Which is, as we mentioned, super rude to trans people, though at least not as awful as James Woods' transphobic tweet)
But let's say that the faux women's rights groups and the pearl-clutching social conservatives were being inclusive and meant penis-centric.
They're still wrong.
Not only does the guide address how a recipient of anal sex who has a prostate will experience pleasure ...
... The article also talks about how very close the wall of the rectum is with the vaginal wall, which is why many people with vaginas find anal sex very pleasant.
So, the post addresses different genitals and how they might be impacted.
Anyone who thinks that anal sex is solely for the penetrator's pleasure is either grossly misinformed or doing it wrong.
And let's see ... what other nonsense did people spew ...
Then there's the complaint that Teen Vogue is somehow hypnotizing young people into having anal sex by ... making sure that they can do it safely.
It's always interesting to see the people who think that knowledge of how to do things that are perfectly fine is somehow "dangerous."
(It reminds us of how Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix doesn't want any students actually practicing spells)
(Actually, that bit has always seemed analogous to conservative views on sex ed)
Teenagers have sex. Not all of them, and not all of them before college.
But a large enough proportion that they absolutely need to be informed.
Besides, having knowledge doesn't coerce people into doing anything that they didn't already want to do.
Having knowledge will help them do things more safely, however.
But we all know that, in the end, most of these critics are just upset that we don't live in The Handmaid's Tale and that people can make their own sexual choices.
Maybe they should loosen up?
We hear that Teen Vogue has some suggestions on how to do that.