chapter
Sex Practice: Anal Sex
Pages 4

Gay porno director Matt Sterling’s film Heatwave contains a sequence remarkable for what it suggests about anal pleasure and its complicated and sometimes contradictory relationship to genital sexuality. Following an extended orgy staged in and beside a swimming pool, seven men-young, muscular, and, as is typical of Sterling’s films, white-kneel on hands and knees along the edge of the pool, their asses facing the water. Using mammoth squirt guns, two actors swimming in the pool spray these asses with water. The seven men cover their flaccid penises and testicles with their hands while gleefully thrusting their asses in the air. The camera cuts in to reveal their anuses in extreme close-up, some of which react to the blasts of water by contracting, as well as to show us their facial responses to the blasts: they laugh and flinch. The action is accompanied by a sprightly contrapuntal tune played on a synthesizer, the music emphasizing the playfulness of the scene and signaling its almost baroque excess. Eventually, the seven men jump into the pool, capture their two buddies, then use the same squirt guns to pump water up their asses. The scene ends with a kind of perverse inversion of the boyhood peeing contest: as their companions cheer them on, the two men see who can expel their water farther. How might one make sense of such a sequence in the context of a porno film, given its lack of the usual signifiers of homoerotic visual pleasure-erect penises, oral or anal intercourse, come shots?