I'm a straight, cis, married woman with young kids. My spouse is generally pretty great and I would describe our home life as joyful and fulfilling. The issue I'm writing about is perhaps a small one, but it's an ongoing annoyance and I'm wondering if you have any helpful ideas.

My husband doesn't know how to clean his own asshole.

He's able-bodied and in great health, and he has good hygiene habits in general, so it's a bit of a mystery to me. The main reason I'm aware of this is because his bath towels are shit-spotted more days than not. I wouldn't say I go looking for skid marks, but as the main laundry-doer I can't help but notice. I've considered investing in beige towels, but, honestly, hiding the shit doesn't mean the shit's not there, you know?

This is not a new issue, and the gentle suggestions I've made over the years have not been helpful. For example, I've mentioned that the wet wipes we keep on the back of the toilet for the kids come in handy for me, too. I've mentioned that the removable shower head is perfect for a really good rinse down under. And a couple of times I've said something like, "Hey, I noticed some stains on the towels, it seems like you're not getting totally clean in the shower!" My husband seems sheepish when I've been more direct, so I think he understands it's kinda gross. And yet, it persists.

This also impacts our sex life, mostly in that I know my husband is interested in being on the receiving end of more ass play, but I'm not game to put my tongue or fingers in an asshole that isn't even clean when its owner is freshly showered. And, fair or not, the simple awareness that my husband is about as good at wiping his ass as my three year old can sometimes be a turn off for me.

But otherwise, this is a supportive, loving, super sexy guy, a good father and partner... the plus column is full. The minus column is short but contains this super shitty (pun intended) thing.

What do I do?

Another Stain Showing His Oddly Located Excrement

We've been getting a shit ton of letters lately from women complaining about their boyfriend/husband's dirty holes. The Tech-Savvy/At-Risk Youth are starting to complain. Hell, they're starting to demand safe spaces and crisis counselors.

What's up, dudes?

After some digging, it turns out my inbox isn't the only online receptacle getting backed up. From a post back in October on Boing Boing, "Septic masculinity: when homophobia prevents men from literally wiping their own asses":

Keith Calder has been looking around on Reddit and has found a string of messages from baffled, distressed women whose male romantic partners literally don't wipe their asses because touching themselves between the cheeks might make them gay. The tales are a combination of unhygienic living (skidmarks on everything, always, including the bedsheets after lovemaking; the smell is unbelievable) and abusive, reactionary men who blow up at the suggestion that they should be wiping their asses. The mind boggles.

So, yeah. I guess this is a thing. Maybe the thing unpacked on Boing Boing isn't your husband's thing—maybe it's not about a homophobia so crippling your guy can't touch his own butthole—but dirty butts is definitely a thing for some guys.

A text message exchange between a Tech-Savvy/At-Risk Youth and his girlfriend.
A text message exchange between a Tech-Savvy/At-Risk Youth and his girlfriend.

Chalk it up toxic septic masculinity. But have men always been like this? What's with the uptick of letters? Are women finally coming out about their husband's dirty manholes? (Seattle, by the way, recently decided to rename its manholes the gender-neutral "maintenance hole" and now I'm thinking of selling a line of "high maintenance hole" t-shirts. I think my husband, whose maintenance hole is always sparkling clean, would look great in one.) And if straight men think cleaning their manholes maintenance holes is gay, what do they think about masturbating?

The mind reels, boggles, breaks.

But, ASSHOLE, some practical advice for you: You could go the European route and get yourself a bidet. Cheap, effective ones that attach to your toilet can be had on Amazon.


YOU COULD STOP DROPPING HINTS. Seriously. Stop telling him how you use wet wipes in hopes that he'll start using them too; stop telling him how useful you've found that detachable shower head to be when it come to reaching cleaning those not-the-least-bit-difficult-to-reach spots in between taint and tailbone.

Memorize this, ASSHOLE, and practice saying it in the mirror until you can get through it without a hint of disgust playing on your face: "Honey, I'm sorry to be blunt, but I regularly find feces on the towels you've used and that's unpleasant and inconsiderate and it has to stop. Barring some underlying medical issue, there's no good reason something like should happen again and again."

I bring up medical issues because men and women have died because they were too embarrassed to ask their doctors about ass issues. Like the nice doctor says...

Some people are reluctant to get a colonoscopy or speak to their doctor about colorectal health because they’re embarrassed to talk about that area of their body, he says. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if men and women 50 or older were screened routinely. It is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. “Don’t be a statistic,” says Dr. Stamos. “Don’t be embarrassed to death.”

If your husband is constantly leaking back there—if his ass drips like a chocolate frozen yogurt dispenser in the back of Tastee-Freez in Texas in the middle a brownout during a heatwave—then he needs to see a doctor. There could be something wrong and the longer he waits to get checked out, ASSHOLE, the higher the chances of premature death. That's alarmist, I realize, and your husband's problem is likelier to be poor personal hygienic practices and/or a lousy diet. (Is your man getting enough fiber? If not, he could borrow a page from the homo playbook and take fiber capsules. They make for firmer and more regular bowel movements and butts that are ready-to-go-for buttstuff.)

You hesitate to address this directly because he's gotten sheepish when you've raised the issue in the past. But you're never gonna get the towels you want—skid-mark free—and he's never gonna get the ass play he wants if you can't discuss the issue directly. Don't allow his embarrassment to shut the convo down.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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