"Patient unsure how it got there"
December 26, 2019 3:02 AM   Subscribe

What Did We Get Stuck in Our Rectums Last Year? The only essential end of year round-up, courtesy Barry Petchetsky, has moved from Deadspin (RIP) to Vice.
posted by Gin and Broadband (94 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
“BUG, TRIED TO REMOVE WITH BOBBY PIN, BOBBY PIN NOW STUCK”

An outline for the second verse of an interminable folk song.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:10 AM on December 26, 2019 [43 favorites]


Ah the old crayon in the penis trick. I believe it was first popularized in a Mapplethorpe photo.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:25 AM on December 26, 2019 [3 favorites]




“JUMPED OFF COUCH LANDED ON SPOON”
posted by 168 at 3:49 AM on December 26, 2019 [10 favorites]


“PATIENT STATES HE STATES SLIPPED IN THE SHOWER AND LANDED ON A METAL AIR FRESHENER CAN AND IT WENT INTO RECTUM”

I mean....I have so many questions...
posted by biscotti at 4:13 AM on December 26, 2019 [4 favorites]


Similarly, Deadspin's classic series, the Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalogue, has also found its way to Vice this year.
posted by Merus at 4:18 AM on December 26, 2019 [7 favorites]


I mean....I have so many questions...

the answer to all of them is that they're lying though
posted by poffin boffin at 4:28 AM on December 26, 2019 [33 favorites]


> "the answer to all of them is that they're lying though"

The episode of House MD we wish we had.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 4:35 AM on December 26, 2019 [13 favorites]


they're lying though

Yeah. It's actually lupus.
posted by flabdablet at 4:41 AM on December 26, 2019 [44 favorites]


Narrator: "This December, eleven Toronto-based racoons presented a local wildlife control technician with one of his more challenging removals ..."
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:46 AM on December 26, 2019 [26 favorites]


Christ, what an ass haul.
posted by zamboni at 5:05 AM on December 26, 2019 [92 favorites]


"Everybody lies about putting stuff up their butts."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:32 AM on December 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Some sort of PSA campaign is in order here:

“Flared base, just in case.”
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:11 AM on December 26, 2019 [38 favorites]


“Without a base, without a trace!” has been a staple on Jordan, Jesse, Go! for years now.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 6:17 AM on December 26, 2019 [10 favorites]


Deadspin was a good website.
posted by ominous_paws at 6:25 AM on December 26, 2019 [15 favorites]


NOSE:
2 RARE EARTH MAGNETS
. . .
2 BUTTON BATTERIES
The second one in each case is the surprising part.
THROAT:
CAPSULE THAT EXPANDS INTO A FOAM DINOSAUR
How the hell did I make it through childhood without every considering trying to convince other kids to swallow them? I guess that's for the best.
THROAT:
CLEANING SOLUTION, RAZOR BLADE COVERED IN TOLIET PAPER, BROKEN PLASTIC SOAP DISH
Yikes. Some of these are less funny than the others.
posted by eotvos at 6:34 AM on December 26, 2019 [8 favorites]


I was scanning the list and saw the razor blade one. Didn’t notice the list covered various holes and hole-adjacent structures and wondered how a razor blade ever seemed sensible in the rectum. Even given the location, I think there was a bad child-related story with that one. I guess it is good to dilute the schadenfreude occasionally, but ... ow. Even my atrophied seventh-decade empathy hurts now.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:42 AM on December 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


CAPSULE THAT EXPANDS INTO A FOAM DINOSAUR

I laughed and laughed.

PLUNGER HANDLE

I am very confused by this.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:58 AM on December 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Rectum? Damn near killed him!
posted by entropicamericana at 7:05 AM on December 26, 2019 [7 favorites]


I used to find this funny. Now I suspect at least some of these incidents were likely non-consensual and it bums me out.
posted by kimdog at 7:07 AM on December 26, 2019 [13 favorites]


For a decade I've been chronicling our country's cavity misadventures, and I've learned several things. First is that it's dangerous to be horny. (The sheer number of sex toys removed in emergency rooms is too high to include on this list, for the most part.) Second is that men are far, far stupider than women when it comes to estimating what will fit and what will be retrievable. This is obvious, but it's nice to have the data to back it up. Third is that the human body is a wondrous thing, but the human imagination is even stronger.

Thanks, OP. I only discovered Deadspin just before it died, so I had no idea what I had been missing. I will say that while some of this list is amusing, some of it is scary and sad because I’m pretty sure a lot of it involves children and not only embarrassed, horny adults.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:09 AM on December 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


butts lol
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:39 AM on December 26, 2019 [6 favorites]


“Without a base, without a trace!”

This article is significant evidence that a trace is very much left....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:13 AM on December 26, 2019


Yeah the novelty has kind of worn off with this kind of thing over the years yanno?
posted by some loser at 8:29 AM on December 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


on the contrary my dude, butts are never not funny
posted by entropicamericana at 8:35 AM on December 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


Butts are funny, but it's mostly sad that people don't feel comfortable (or can't afford?) to buy safe and appropriately designed sex toys, instead of making to with air freshener cans and crayons.

And that's the sexual ones; there are others in the list that sound more like mental illness or someone attempting serious self-harm.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:46 AM on December 26, 2019 [20 favorites]


Button batteries and rare earth magnets are quite dangerous to have inside you. It's an emergency to get them out before they do serious damage.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:03 AM on December 26, 2019 [9 favorites]


"Yeah the novelty has kind of worn off with this kind of thing over the years yanno?"

But it keeps getting refreshed by the internet noobs (like me) who keep stumbling across this stuff. "Internet Spring" just keeps going, but the waves are getting out of synch.
posted by aleph at 9:09 AM on December 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


every day, somebody is born who has never seen the flintstones "What Did We Get Stuck in Our Rectums Last Year?"
posted by entropicamericana at 9:18 AM on December 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many of these people's lives were ruined by medical debt after just trying to find a little momentary pleasure in this awful country
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:44 AM on December 26, 2019 [12 favorites]


You laugh, or you cry/scream. If you can choose.
posted by aleph at 9:50 AM on December 26, 2019


Yeah, I don't find these lists cool or funny any more. Butts are funny, sure, but these lists aren't really about how butts are funny and it's not as simple as that.

Breaking it down:

We're either making fun of people too socially shamed to buy a proper sex toy (with a flared base!);

And/or we're being homophobic and pointing and laughing at someone experimenting with what is basically queer sexuality because lol buttstuff;

And/or there's a lot of shaming commentary about "What, how the hell did they get that huge thing in there?" when there's people who play with toys much larger than that on a regular basis.

And/or we're gawking at sexual assault and non-consensual abuse;

and/or we're pointing and laughing at manifestations of mental illness.


At a more juvenile point in internet history access to this kind of information or medical lore used to be novel and unusual unless you worked in an ER. Today it just feels like a massive privacy and HIPAA violation.

And the end result is that people may delay or entirely fail to seek medical attention for inappropriately inserted objects which may result in bodily harm or death because they don't want to end up on a list like this.

Nothing about these lists involves being a decent, kind or empathic human being. It's all rather mean spirited, really.
posted by loquacious at 10:00 AM on December 26, 2019 [35 favorites]


It's the laughing at foolish people, foolish choices, that gets dark real quick.
posted by aleph at 10:02 AM on December 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I don't find these lists cool or funny any more

It's the laughing at foolish people, foolish choices, that gets dark real quick.


If only there was an especially apt idiom for taking something too seriously, something perfectly appropriate for this thread...
posted by ominous_paws at 10:08 AM on December 26, 2019 [8 favorites]


If you're poor and get an inanimate object stuck up your ass while alone in your shitty apartment you become a laughingstock for all to jeer at

If you're rich and rape children on Jeff's plane you become president
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:10 AM on December 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


And the end result is that people may delay or entirely fail to seek medical attention

Or, you know, if we're going this far into ludicrous hypothetical they could be warned off the act in the first place and have their lives saved. Why don't you want that to happen? Do you want people to die of having stuff in their butts? For shame. For shaaaaaame
posted by ominous_paws at 10:10 AM on December 26, 2019 [4 favorites]


"If only there was an especially apt idiom for..."

Well, it *starts* with laughing. At least for the non-mean ones.
posted by aleph at 10:15 AM on December 26, 2019


And then there's the ones for whom it's both funny *and* horrifying. And the...
posted by aleph at 10:29 AM on December 26, 2019


ludicrous hypothetical
I could have linked to reports of Majella Lynch but maybe just google if you care to. TW.
posted by glasseyes at 10:42 AM on December 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


Or, you know, if we're going this far into ludicrous hypothetical they could be warned off the act in the first place and have their lives saved. Why don't you want that to happen? Do you want people to die of having stuff in their butts?

Yeah, there's a bunch of better ways to accomplish safety in sexuality, like, oh, actual sex education, not criminalizing sex toys as they still are in many jurisdictions and, say, not shaming people for wanting to play with toys and buttstuff so much in the first place that they resort to bad decisions and dangerously improvised sex toys.

This isn't a ludicrous hypothetical, it's a current state of reality and why people are improvising dangerous sex toys and lying to their ER docs and nurses with stuff like "I don't know how it got up there, I just accidentally sat on it!" because they're facing societal shame even from their own doctors.

Sorry for spoiling the fun but I feel that it this point MetaFilter should definitely be better than this, and there are better, kinder ways to engage in humor about human sexuality.

For shame. For shaaaaaame

What a curious choice of words. Fuck shame.
posted by loquacious at 10:48 AM on December 26, 2019 [16 favorites]


A lot(?) of people believe shame is important for people. Finding what to shame about... there's the rub.
posted by aleph at 10:52 AM on December 26, 2019


A lot(?) of people believe shame is important for people. Finding what to shame about... there's the rub.

This is a tautology and I'm going to suggest you put it waaaaaay up in there, Morty.
posted by loquacious at 10:56 AM on December 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


A lot(?) of people believe shame is important for people. Finding what to shame about... there's the rub.

What's the utility of shame when all the people who should feel it are constitutionally incapable of doing so
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:56 AM on December 26, 2019 [9 favorites]


Fuck shame

Aside from as a tool to jump in on a thread and start playing site editor, apparently
posted by ominous_paws at 11:41 AM on December 26, 2019 [6 favorites]


Barry seems to have left a copy of his article and his own head off the list. Everyone should demand a correction.
posted by interogative mood at 11:41 AM on December 26, 2019


I'm gonna go with this the "this is bumming me out" crowd. I used to find it amusing. I think the world and this country in particular have just become so much of an uglier place that I'm less blissfully ignorant of the suffering and misfortune going on around me all the time. Or maybe I've grown up a bit. At any rate, now the list just seems like one more facet of that misery.
posted by treepour at 12:04 PM on December 26, 2019 [7 favorites]


Yeah. It takes a kind of innocence to find it amusing. Some would call it "childish/puerile" but still innocent in a way. Haven't been there in a while.
posted by aleph at 12:09 PM on December 26, 2019


Aside from as a tool to jump in on a thread and start playing site editor, apparently

I thought I was being pretty careful about not using shame and trying to objectively point out that these lists are basically "punching down" type humor.

I used to think this stuff was funny but not so much any more. This is actually the sort of pervasive "butt stuff is gay/queer and deserves mocking!" shit that queer and kinky people deal with all the time that the straight cis/het world thinks is normal, like all the fucked up anti-LGBTQ humor in, say, the TV show Friends or any time crossdressing or cross-gender behavior is used as a punchline.

If you're feeling shame about me calling this out or making the statement "I think MetaFilter should be better than this" and be held to higher standards, maybe that's on you? And maybe that's an appropriate and useful kind of shame?

I used to love tittering at these lists, but at this point and in this political environment I've seen way, way too many of my queer friends hurt by this kind of punching down humor.

And that now includes me and being a lot more self aware of the ways I've allowed myself to be policed by socially shamed about things that are none of their damn business to shame me about.
posted by loquacious at 12:18 PM on December 26, 2019 [15 favorites]


i printed this thread out and put it in my butt and i think everyone here should do the same bc god knows you all seem to need some kind of brief fuckin moment of happiness today
posted by poffin boffin at 12:40 PM on December 26, 2019 [13 favorites]


Man you do not want papercuts down there.
posted by loquacious at 12:43 PM on December 26, 2019 [9 favorites]


"... you all seem to need some kind of"

So *that's* how you do it! Thanks pb (real).
posted by aleph at 12:44 PM on December 26, 2019


"Man you do not want papercuts down there."

If that's what it takes, cheap price.
posted by aleph at 12:45 PM on December 26, 2019


what is this the 90s, it's a fuckin 3d printer
posted by poffin boffin at 12:45 PM on December 26, 2019 [23 favorites]


what is this the 90s, it's a fuckin 3d printer

Oh my god.
posted by loquacious at 12:47 PM on December 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


"what is this the 90s" lol, for some of us, considerably older.
posted by aleph at 12:47 PM on December 26, 2019


Tech moves on
posted by aleph at 12:48 PM on December 26, 2019


I have no idea how these people got their threads wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:54 PM on December 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


To clarify my statement up thread; put me in the grumpy and depressed about this article group.
posted by interogative mood at 1:23 PM on December 26, 2019


ahhhh finally. the only holiday tradition i really care about. seeing what people put in their butts
posted by Bwentman at 2:07 PM on December 26, 2019


My favorite ref on the subject. When he met (or decided on?) his future wife in the webcomic.
posted by aleph at 2:17 PM on December 26, 2019


We're either making fun of people too socially shamed to buy a proper sex toy (with a flared base!);

Not to discount the rightness of what you said about ass-play-shaming being a not good thing, but I was surprised to see a butt plug with a flared base make the list because the base actually broke off. I would not have considered that a danger before now which is ridiculous of me because I think that sex toys aren't exactly the best regulated item on the planet for safety.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:54 PM on December 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


Just from sheer numbers standpoint, surely more things get put into het butts than gay/bi butts.

I mean, If gay/bi folks are 5% of the population--even if all of them (which we know isn't true) are into butt stuff...you're telling me that in a group of 100 hets less than five have had stuff in their butts in a sex context? Not buying it.

And count me in the group that used to find this stuff amusing, but now it's just in poor taste.
posted by maxwelton at 4:15 PM on December 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Some of y'all have never seen a Michael Vegas* video (maybe you don't want to search for this) and it shows.

Note: even if you're not sexually into asses he does phenomenal stuff with his ass.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:38 PM on December 26, 2019


i printed this thread out and put it in my butt

Chuck Tingle, is that you?
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 5:45 PM on December 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


Two surefire* ways to make an end-of-the-year list:

1. Commit an unspeakable atrocity
2. Get something weird stuck in your butt

*not necessarily in order of effectiveness
posted by SoberHighland at 6:03 PM on December 26, 2019


I'm honestly surprised at the plunger. You'd think it would have a flared enough base to pull out.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:04 PM on December 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Aside from as a tool to jump in on a thread and start playing site editor, apparently

loquacious left a long thoughtful comment on how they think this kind of thing is ultimately a bummer and mean-spirited, with no quoting or other linkage to any specific poster here.

You got seemingly defensive about the idea that there's anything wrong with laughing at other people's ER visits.

I know which one looks more like telling other people what to say to me, but you do you.
posted by PMdixon at 10:10 PM on December 26, 2019 [4 favorites]


You know, I get that we're at the back end of an incredibly dark decade, one that's made us acutely aware of a massive hole in our society. And there's no improvement in sight and none of us know what to do about it, so we reach for the intellectual tools we have on hand to try to fill that hole with analysis. They're good tools, powerful tools, ones that have given us satisfaction many times before. And so when this hole in society becomes impossible to ignore, we try analysis again: what about class, what about economics, what about sexism and heterosexism, what about conservatism and shame, what about power structures and how humor can otherize and diminish. And these powerful tools seem to fit, at least at first. But... are they really the right fit here? And is it really a good idea to apply them as vigorously as we might in other cases, or would a gentler approach be better in this case?

We are humans. In the cradle of our species we searched for fruit, hunted meat, and developed complex societies requiring even more complex brains to understand. Somehow our ancestors caught the spark of language and tended it, and it rapidly grew in the tinder of our inquisitive social minds and became a blaze of culture. We left our cradle to explore oceans, tend crops, smelt iron; we use our minds to cure diseases, invent machines, walk on other worlds; we build societies of hundreds, then thousands, then millions: then link billions into one global human civilization.

And yet our courageous curiosity is balanced by frightened ignorance, our unique compassion is balanced by peerless cruelty, our startling brilliance is balanced by shocking stupidity. The cooperation that builds civilizations also wages wars; the intellect that cures plagues also builds atomic weapons; the economic behavior that feeds millions also poisons our air. The human condition is complex and contradictory, and if anything the last decade has stripped away any illusions we may have held about this essential puzzle. For Americans, in the span of a single lifetime we saw our nation progress from Jim Crow to the first Black president, and then in the span of just a year watched as our fellow citizens elected (sort of) the living avatar of everything that is worst in our culture. For Britons, the same period saw their country move from two devastating wars with its neighbors to a peaceful political and economic union with those same neighbors, and from a colonial empire to a multicultural global capital, then in the span of months they watched as their fellow citizens voted (sort of) to abandon all of that progress for a fairy tale of nationalism and ethnic purity. And for people all over the world, there are similar stories. We live in times that leave the complex contradictions at the center of being human naked before us. It is confusing, it is demoralizing, it is frightening. Yet through it all, there is one thing that is constant, and comprehensible, and as ridiculous as it is absurd: sometimes we like to put things in our butts.

Is that what we're "supposed" to do, by any logic of biology or physiology? No, butts are for expelling, not inserting. Why do we do it then? Because (at least for many of us) it feels good. Why does it feel good? The science of human behavior remains unable to satisfactorily answer this question. Is it just a harmless little diversion then? No, actually it can be quite dangerous if you're not careful. Well, is it rare, then? No, actually this is really common, lots of people like to put things in their butts from time to time.

Many people here have voiced an opinion that a list like this is mocking those whose stories inspired it. You're entitled to your interpretation, but I don't share it. The man who explained to his doctor that he "SLIPPED IN THE SHOWER AND LANDED ON A METAL AIR FRESHENER CAN AND IT WENT INTO RECTUM," or the woman whose story of an object removed from her vagina is summarized as "JUMPED OFF COUCH LANDED ON SPOON," knowing full well that the doctor will not believe these stories but will at least appear to accept them for the sake of decorum? They are all of us. The man who "STUCK A 4 INCH BUTT PLUG UP RECTUM YESTERDAY, HANDLE BROKE. HE CONTINUED TO PUSH THE TOY IN"? I mean, christ, we've all been there, right? I feel like that describes my grad school experience.

So maybe you read this as an explicit or implicit mockery of people who get things stuck inside them. But I read it as a celebration of the sublime ridiculousness of being human. I am laughing at the stories these brief words evoke, but not in mockery. I can imagine myself in these stories, much as the folks in these stories could imagine various household objects in themselves. Not because I'm really into butt play (my preferences there are none of your damn business, dear reader), but because the ingenuity, creativity, and ridiculous stupidity displayed therein flow from the same wellspring of humanity that feeds my life and actions, and all of ours. To understand humanity, you must understand why we put things in our butts, and you cannot understand why we put things in our butts. And realizing this, you realize that all stuff is butt stuff.

I recognize that my perspective may not necessarily be one that is shared by others, even those who also laugh at this list. Are there homophobes out there dully chuckling at the words they slowly pick out through a thick fog of ignorance and hatred? I'm sure there are. But I refuse to let them dictate the terms on which I engage with human absurdity. Are there structural issues connected to when and how people insert things into their butts, and which objects they choose to do so? Yes, of course, but those structural issues are a part of literally everything in our society, and I refuse to let them obscure the lighter side of human stories like these.

So fine, judge me if you like, judge the Mefite who posted the FPP and the other Mefites who enjoyed it. Me, I'll just be giggling at how many butt play references I packed into the first paragraph.
posted by biogeo at 11:11 PM on December 26, 2019 [22 favorites]


Sigh.

I think this list is very funny. I laughed, and read some of them out loud to Mr. K. (He's a sensitive soul and finds a number of things too crude for comfort)

Please, please think again about taking the position "I used to find it funny, but things are so terrible I can't laugh at it any more." You may not find any humor in this list, but it's not because Things Are So Terrible Today. Believe it or not, things in the world have been a lot worse, and people have still laughed. Just say, nah I don't think it's funny. Period.

“'For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn? '” asks Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.
posted by kestralwing at 11:36 PM on December 26, 2019 [6 favorites]


count me in the group that used to find this stuff amusing, but now it's just in poor taste

Washing them thoroughly with hot water and a nice soap as soon as you're done using them might improve that a bit.
posted by flabdablet at 2:26 AM on December 27, 2019 [7 favorites]


Just say, nah I don't think it's funny. Period.

No. Thanks. I know a fag joke when I see one.
posted by PMdixon at 5:38 AM on December 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Have heart that at least the popularity of these lists may also be serving as a PSA to only use things with a flared base.

(There might be better ways, but I'm not convinced they could get the sheer spread that base humor brings.)
posted by Belostomatidae at 5:44 AM on December 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


No, butts are for expelling, not inserting.

This is literally verbatim a recurrent homophobic "argument."
posted by PMdixon at 5:58 AM on December 27, 2019 [9 favorites]


Look, if you need to laugh at this stuff in private, do what you have to do to get through the night. By making this an object of communal sharing, you are reminding me that one of the types of sex people will assume me to have as a gay man is coded as inherently ridiculous and shameful. You are teaching some 14 year old that if they hurt themselves experimenting, even the doctors will mock them and further that is desirable. I never want to cause someone to think that being shamed by clinicians is acceptable. I don't want to be reminded how many people still only accept me provisionally, and how many feel no obligation to think about whether they are tacitly giving the OK to homophobia by loudly turning a blind eye. And yet here we are.
posted by PMdixon at 6:16 AM on December 27, 2019 [7 favorites]


... Which is all to say yes, I am judging those of you who have been loudly indignant at the suggestion that this is not cool. I am judging you as OK with me being marginalized and endangered.
posted by PMdixon at 6:19 AM on December 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


If MetaFilter were a constant stream of crypto-anti-gay jokes, this list would maybe be one cheek too far. But it isn’t, and (in my opinion) it isn’t. It’s a long list of funny stuff about butts, which have been considered funny almost as far back as we have records of humor. If you can’t laugh at butts, you can’t laugh... or you’re reduced to pulling from the Compendium of Inoffensive And Actually Funny Jokes, and that is one very slim book.
posted by cupcakeninja at 7:59 AM on December 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


There's laughing at butts and there's laughing at people seeking medical aid because they did something to their butt.
posted by PMdixon at 8:12 AM on December 27, 2019 [3 favorites]


If MetaFilter were a constant stream of crypto-anti-gay jokes, this list would maybe be one cheek too far. But it isn’t

Metafilter might—might—not be a constant stream of “crypto-anti-gay jokes” but the rest of the world frequently is. If you do not live someplace where there is a constant undercurrent of “hurr hurr, fags, amirite?”, you are very fortunate indeed. Are we really dismissing people’s lived experience in favor of the attitude of “anything for a laugh”?
posted by corey flood at 8:43 AM on December 27, 2019 [4 favorites]


Shit in the milkshake etc.
posted by PMdixon at 8:45 AM on December 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Homophobia is wrong and terrible, as is any practical “joke” of the shit in the milkshake variety. Personally I don’t really like practical jokes, nor do I have all that much interest in cheap shot joke lists — whether it’s this or Darwin Awards or the Beloit list or whatever. That said, there is a vast gulf — a widespread cleft, if you will — between real ugliness and a list like this.

Who among us has not had some weird moment of tension or discomfort in talking with a medical professional about their butt, their genitals, or the like? This content is almost the definition of universally relatable. To discount the value in it by arguing it is “[dismissive] of people’s lived experience” is to overlook — dismiss, even — the extent to which it jokes about the human experience.
posted by cupcakeninja at 9:52 AM on December 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


You read more empathy into it than I do. I see pointing and laughing at others from a position of felt superiority.
posted by PMdixon at 10:02 AM on December 27, 2019 [4 favorites]


This is literally verbatim a recurrent homophobic "argument."

I mean, you used scare quotes in your response, so you clearly know what they mean. Please respond to what I actually said rather than some idea I explicitly disavowed.

Look, if you need to laugh at this stuff in private, do what you have to do to get through the night. By making this an object of communal sharing, you are reminding me that one of the types of sex people will assume me to have as a gay man is coded as inherently ridiculous and shameful.

Look, the point I'm trying to communicate here is that each of us encounters something like this with our own expectations and preconceptions based on our own lived experiences. You see an identification of sexual pleasure from the anus with assumptions about gay male sexuality, and consequently humor deriving from anal sexual play with homophobic mocking. It is not hard for me to imagine some of the life experiences you have had to make that reading inescapable to you. I am also sure that I cannot begin to imagine other experiences you've had that have led you to this point. I do not argue with the truth of this perspective. But I do not share it. I am fortunate to live in a community with comparatively low levels of homophobia and sexual shame -- not that they are absent, of course, but their lower prevalence shapes my expectations of an article like this in different ways. For one, the insistence that anal sexual pleasure necessarily equates to a gay male's sexuality is weird to me. I mean, I know it's a thing that people think, but I have encountered too many people and writings from all sorts of backgrounds who talk frankly about liking anal stimulation in the context of heterosexual sex or solo sex, and too many gay men who disavow any interest in anal sex, for that to be anywhere close to the top of my mind when I read something like this. The idea that one would assume a man who has gotten into trouble through overenthusiastic anal play is necessarily gay strikes me as really weird. And of course the idea that there's something shameful about being a gay man who is, or isn't, into anal sexual stimulation is repulsive to me. That should go without saying, of course, but sadly I suppose it must be said.

My experiences and preconceptions lead me to read this list of objects extracted from people's butts (and other orifices) as a light-hearted celebration of human foible and frailty. Yours lead you to read it differently. The text itself contains no explicit information to favor one reading or the other, or any other. It is merely a list presented almost without comment. I think your reading is valid, but I also think mine is. What I don't think is okay is insisting that others who do not share your reading are guilty of accepting its negative implications.
posted by biogeo at 10:13 AM on December 27, 2019 [8 favorites]


What I don't think is okay is pretending that intent is magic and that the things we say in public don't have effects on the beliefs and attitudes of others.
posted by PMdixon at 11:59 AM on December 27, 2019 [6 favorites]


biogeo: Why does it feel good?

Nerve endings.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:15 PM on December 27, 2019 [6 favorites]


OMG. I feel like an idiot. I literally DID NOT think any of these jokes were about homosexuality. I thought they were about the things stupid people do and/or the stupid things smart people do.

I'm an elderly white woman, and I know I miss or misinterpret a lot of things these days. So to everyone who felt insulted or assaulted by this thread, please please just put my comments with the "smart people doing dumb things" category.

And I hope the New Year is less assaultive for all of us.
posted by kestralwing at 4:17 PM on December 27, 2019


Yes, I'm an elderly white man with similar struggles. I *do* believe there are people innocent enough to laugh at (at least some of) these without the derision/hate. I just think there are a *lot* more of the other kind(s). From what I've seen growing up.

And it's very hard to tell the difference a lot of the time. I want to say "why try?", but everyone has to answer those questions themselves.
posted by aleph at 5:06 PM on December 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think this is one of those cases where offense is in the eye of the beholder. And different people's eyes have seen different things in the past, and been trained by experience in different ways.

Here's what I see:

An "article" listing things that got stuck in various orifices over the course of the year. It is clearly organized for humor (christmas ornament is selected, and placed last on each list; small/large shampoo bottle placed next to each other in that order; etc.) and the humor is based on cringe/body horror, facepalming at people's objectively bad decisions, and/or "how does that even happen". Notably, they *don't* dwell on actual sex toys; of the three that were included, two are described for their deviation from *normal* use of sex toys. (The prostate massager one is the exception, and is a weak point both in the list and in my presentation of it, I will grant that.)

The title focuses on rectums, but the article covers 6 orifices. I read this as Vice being their usual sensationalist self, wanting the maximally click-attracting headline. (I'm actually a little surprised they didn't lead with penises.) It's also worth noting that Deadspin was apparently in the habit of posting two articles a year: One for penis injuries, and one for stuff stuck in orifices (all titled with "rectums", but having branched out over the years from just rectums to all orifices). I *think* this supports the shock value/body horror focus hypothesis.

I *personally* don't see butt-play as a gay-coded thing. In fact, most of the references I see are in the context of heterosexual encounters, mostly men talking about wanting anal sex with their female partner. However, I bet that about 15 years ago, I would have seen it differently! And I cannot blame people for seeing it differently from me. I think it is *highly* dependent on social surroundings, including what era you grew up in, etc.

I'm not going to say "you can't find this offensive"; I see a fairly straightforward path to that reaction. But I also don't think it's correct to say "you have to find this offensive". It's thematically related to certain stereotypes, but I think it's clear that it's not actually a reference or dogwhistle to homophobia.

(Of course, as Deadspin in fact tagged all previous posts, this is "laughing at other people's pain". Some of the entries likely involve mental health issues or abuse, and a couple involve law enforcement. And I also know a doctor who doesn't like these posts because she doesn't want people to feel too embarrassed to seek medical attention. So there are certainly other sobering factors as well.)
posted by Belostomatidae at 6:12 PM on December 27, 2019 [3 favorites]


Not sure I'm buying the idea that people experiment with things only because they can't get quality sex toys for some reason. I'm pretty sure some people just want to try and put things inside themselves, and it isn't specific to any gender or sexual preference.
posted by bongo_x at 8:45 PM on December 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


PMdixon, I just want to say I really like and respect you and your contributions to this site. We may not see eye to eye here, but I appreciate your perspective and I will be thinking it over, most likely for the next several days.
posted by biogeo at 9:04 PM on December 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Not sure I'm buying the idea that people experiment with things only because they can't get quality sex toys for some reason.

If you live in or near a big city, the idea that people can't get quality sex toys may seem ridiculous. If you live in one of the states where they're basically illegal, it's not. Even if the laws have recently changed, there won't be a thriving competitive set of businesses available to cater to customers looking for sex toys. If local laws are something like "no adult materials within two miles of a school or church," businesses will have a damned hard time setting up shop.

And of course, the places that ban sex toy sales or work hard to restrict them, also tend to be the places with no sex ed in schools. The basics of "you need a flared base for anything going in the butt" are just not taught at all. For that matter, neither is "don't insert anything breakable" - because the only education is indirect, and assumes all sexual activity will be PIV, so there's no need to give any instruction whatsoever about other options.

So while some of these are likely "person decides to throw all common sense out the window and do something he knows is stupid," a lot more are probably "person has no functional criteria for deciding what's safe in which orifice, and finds out the hard way that this object & that orifice are incompatible."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:28 PM on December 27, 2019 [3 favorites]


biogeo, I appreciate that and want to say I understand you're working from a place of good faith and apologize to the extent I have allowed my frustration to inappropriately spill over.
posted by PMdixon at 5:50 AM on December 28, 2019 [4 favorites]


(Many thanks to PMdixon and biogeo for modeling a happier ending to MF disagreements than we often see. Much appreciated after an outing with screaming grandkids in tow. /end derail)
posted by Bella Donna at 8:20 AM on December 28, 2019 [3 favorites]


Honestly I didn’t even get to the part about butts because I saw:

2 WIRELESS EARBUDS

and the list did not specify whether this was in one ear or two and that’s a pretty important fact to leave out!
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:53 AM on December 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


biogeo: To be clear and friendly, I'm not really singling you (or anyone) out for the post.

I mean to be honest this is totally the sort of thing I would have posted at some point, and I've definitely laughed at them in the past.

And it's not simply because things are generally horrible right now that I don't think this is funny any more and I think I touched a nerve trying to articulate why it's been bothering me more and more.

Even without the butt stuff, the ambient homophobia coding and improvised and often unlikely or dangerous sex toys - we're using people's embarrassing private medical incidents as generally low grade "WTF!?" type humor and it's mostly a sort of drive by gawking way that isn't super great from the start.

And, well, the icky dark reality is that some of these may be from violent sexual assaults, or perhaps even self-abuse and harm to cope with abuse related PTSD and sexual dysfunction that goes beyond healthy kink or play.

Putting on my empathy hat if I somehow did find myself on one of these lists either on purpose, on accident or especially due to an assault I would probably feel incredibly humiliated and violated.

Sure, the stories/incidents have been scrubbed of identifying details but how likely is it that someone would recognize their own ER visit? Considering how unique some of them are due to the self-selecting nature and purposes of the list, it seems like it's pretty likely.

Sorry for spoiling the fun but I just don't think it's very nice or kind.
posted by loquacious at 12:17 PM on December 28, 2019 [7 favorites]


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