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The makings of a delicious feast?

 Magazine Feature Features Archive  
January 1999 Email this to a friend
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Exploring Coprophilia
A lot to digest
By Bill Andriette

It has all the elements of sexual drama-- shattering taboos, a pungent assault on the senses, and plenty of cozy warm wetness. Plus it involves rectum and anus, not just organs of elimination, but-- for gay men especially-- gateways to pleasure.

So why aren't more of us into shit play?

Nausea might have something to do with it. Even the most accomplished scat aficionados-- people who for whom smearing, wallowing in, and swallowing excrement makes them happy as the proverbial pig-- usually report that when they first tasted shit, they threw up.

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"Oh, it was a challenge!" recalls David, who is 38 and lives in Boston. "The first couple of times I got into mutual shit scenes, the minute I came I went running to the bathroom and puked. During the scene it was fine, but as soon as I came, the mentality wasn't there anymore, and the whole thing just grossed me out."

Even experienced scat lovers can find nausea at the borders of enjoyment. "The goal of every true shit eater is to see how much he can eat before he barfs," contends Rob, a 38-year-old Philadelphia lawyer.

"From the standpoint of pure taste, shit is bitter," says Neal, another Boston scat fan. "And of course you always have that odor wafting up your nose. The quality of the experience is such that after ten or 20 seconds, there's an almost automatic gag response."

Hardly glowing testimonials for shiteating-- coprophagy, if you want to get technical. But there's more to it, Neal insists, for those prepared to brave this not-absolutely safe form of sexual hijinks. "Shit has another taste, which is psychological. There is an incredible connection that occurs when you are lying down on your back and there is a guy who you are very excited about standing over you, crouched down, holding his knees."

Neal continues. "He's got his anus pushed into your mouth and he starts to defecate, he starts to push shit out of his hole. There is an amazing psychological joining that occurs. This place-- the bowels, the sphincter, the asshole-- has got a primeval, primitive connection to the most fundamental things inside a man. It's so goddamn intensely personal and sexual."

As much as from stimulating genitals, erotic pleasure comes from playing games with our minds. Sex fools around with one's sense of self, identity, control, and destiny. These are all issues for which shit is a running, if submerged, theme. The polymorphously perverse infant is pleasurably attuned to the tides of its bowels, their filling and emptying, tension and release. As babies, we bawl for food and defecate with blissful irresponsibility. Then civilization imposes itself. Via the scolds and scowls of parents, the primitive joys of shit and piss are transformed into disgust. Thus, to make a long story short, are pleasure-seeking babies extruded into anxious, responsible, career-minded adults.

For most people, shit emerges from behind closed bathroom doors only in sickness or at the end of life. The shit of bedpans and Depends greases the passage from adulthood back into infantlike dependency, and finally, out of society entirely. We complete fleshly existence as the excrement of worms and microbes. As much as it is the end- product of the plants and animals we eat, shit is a symbol of demise.

With its starring role in the drama of the self's origins and ends, it's no wonder that shit is as suffused with erotic potential as it is smelly, and that scat lovers wax poetic and mystical about excremenL David recalls he first ate shit as an initiate into a secret neighborhood club of fellow 12-year-old boys, the class of humans drunkest on ritual and magic. "Sharing shit is one of the most secret acts men have," relates Rob. "I've known guys who have actually thought of it as a sacrament."

Shit play takes on religious overtones in part because, like getting nailed to a crucifix or fasting on a pillar in the dessert, it's an extreme and testing experience. Putting shit in one's mouth is an attempt to resolve a paradox: how could something so intimately connected with the body and with food be so disgusting? It's a question as viscerally and intellectually compelling as that of God's existence in a world where millions perish agonizingly in gas chambers and AIDS wards. To believe in God or eat shit requires a courageous, and potentially unjustified, leap of faith. But only the latter can lay you low with a case of hepatitis.

As with faith, people approach shit play in steps. Cory, a 25-year-old gay man, says that starting when he was about 15, he used to fantasize about falling into the hands of a gang of straight toughs. "In my mind I would have them take control over me," he tells The Guide. "They would make me blow them, fuck me, completely dominate me, and then use me as a toilet."

When he was 17, Cory began to play with his own turds. "I would go into the bathroom, shit on top of the toilet seat or in a dish, and then while masturbating, I would lick it and smell it," he says. 'The orgasm was so intense." But afterwards came guilt. "I didn't know if it was right or if I should be doing anything like that. I still feel that way. I don't know why."

Cory said that he had never talked with anyone about his interest in shit until he responded to The Guide's query for people interested in coprophilia He has engaged in shit play with only one other man. They connected over the phone lines, ostensibly just for vanilla sex. "We were sixty- nining and I was licking his ass. He said, 'What do you want me to do?' and I said, 'I want you to shit on me.' The minute I saw it start to come out I just put my mouth on it and I let him go right in my mouth."

Cory's fantasy had come true. "It was really thrilling having this guy let me eat his shit," he recalls.

"I felt like it was a privilege to do it for him. And I actually chewed it and swallowed."

Nonetheless, Cory says he remains deep in the closet about his shit interests. His lover doesn't have a clue, Cory says, and he has no plans to tell.

For Mike, who is 23 and lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, shit happened only gradually. The main theme of the sex he and his older lover have is dominance and submission, and scat developed out of their regular SM play, with Mike taking the bottom. "I would lay in the tub and he'd piss on me", Mike says. "Then later it got to where he'd shit on me. He'd piss on me first, and then he'd turn around, and I'd be eating his ass and then he'd do it."

But it was "just the other day," Mike says, that he crossed the Rubicon and actually ate his lover's shit. "You fantasize about it, and it sounds great until you actually do it," Mike reports. The gagging was intense, he says. "To me the taste was bitter, and the overall feel of it in your mouth is real thick; it's like, yechh!" Timing was part of the problem. "When he finally did it, I was too close to coming," Mike suggests, "otherwise it wouldn't have been such an automatically gross thing." But gagging aside, Mike says he is fascinated about trying to eat shit again, next time when he isn't so close to orgasm. But Mike adds that his lover feels ambivalent about shit play, and isn't sure he wants to do it.

WITH MORE than a few bowel movements to have passed his lips, David's puking days are behind him. The 38-year-old Bostonian is a player in the small but accomplished fraternity of scat. David says shit play is his main erotic interest and activity, one that he shares with his lover, who he met on the shit circuit. With the help of Jack's Number Two, a Houston-based magazine that is the Baedecker of gay scatology, David says he has no trouble finding scat buddies. "There are about 15 people in the Boston area who are listed, and I know most of them," David says. "From the list I've gotten together shit parties, with about a dozen people. That's when my living room gets wall-to- wall plasticized, we put on a couple of scat films, and just have a good time."

David has assembled a motley crew of scat friends. One guy he knows bakes aged turds into choco late chip cookies and makes his partners eat them. Not just any old shit will do: it has to be excre ment carefully aged in a jar kept in warm place, on the radiator or a sunny windowsill. "There's one time he came over the apartment," David recalls, "and I said, 'Well, I don't have any aged shit so let me zap it.' So I put some in the microwave, and it stunk up the whole building."

Another of David's pals is into infantilism, and likes to don diapers and assume the identity of a toddler. But he has a rep for not being able to dump on demand, the scatological equivalent of chronic limp dick. "I knew he was coming over so I didn't flush the toilet that morning," David recounts. "When he arrived, I just went in and grabbed a handful and put it down his diapers and slapped him around with it. That's how he got his rocks off."

The infantilist and scat scenes are overlapping but distinct. Neal says he enjoys having a few beers at a bar ("It has to be a cool bar") and just letting go. "I find it really-exciting to be in a public place and piss or shit in my jeans," he says, "maybe because I'm breaking away from that control society places on kids when they are toilet trained." But throughout the experience, Neal says, his self- conception remains resolutely that of a grown man.

Submission and domination is also a regular theme of shit play, but "top" and "bottom" can shift places. Shitting on a partner could be a definite turn on for a top. But being made to strip, squat, and defecate could be a bottom's wet dream, also. Last spring, a scandalized media brought the scatological exploits of Philadelphia insurance executive Ed Savitz to every American living room. Did the parochial school boys who dropped their pants to squat in Savitz's pizza boxes savor their submission? Or with adolescent swagger did they relish the thought of a middle-aged fag smelling and tasting their turds? Maybe both.

"What can go on between two people gets too complex to be usefully described by 'top' and 'bottom,'" says Neal. Some people into scat say that the sign of the true shit lover is that for them shit's erotic value gets disengaged from any sadomasochist or infantilist storyline, and just become a free-floating source of pleasure- shit for shit's sake.

"It takes someone with a really good imagination to get into scat," says Rob, who has been in the scene for ten years. No one tells you how to eroticize shit, as Soloflex ads and Ryan Idol help us to eroticize buffed muscle-boys. In this jaded, media-drenched era where such taboo images as naked children or a man dying of AIDS are put to work selling Benetton sweaters, shit is the rare item: richly symbolic but unspoken for. Madison Avenue won't even touch shit's negative power. You'll never see Coca Cola denigrate the competition by sponsoring billboards showing Pepsi bottles with big turds floating in them, or Nike ads that show Adidas sneaks smeared in dog doo. When it comes to putting shit's latent meanings to work and forging new ones, scat lovers have the field to themselves. **

Doing Scat

An interview with Rob, a 38-year -old lawyer who lives in Philadelphia.

When did coprophilia become an interest for you?

About seven to ten years ago.

Was it something that you had thought about before then?

Well, I've always loved rimming, and when I was in law school I met a guy in Boston and he introduced me to it.

How did you start off?

It was a master-slave scene. One night he shoved a big dildo up his ass, pulled it out, and told me to lick it. I did, and I got sick.


I gagged and puked. And I felt very bad afterwards. I felt very bad that I had not successfully done what he had asked me. So after that I literally got down and begged him to do it to me.

The next time you had sex?

It took several more tries for him to do it.

Again you licked his dirty dildo?

Yes, and then he would shove hot dogs up his ass and make me eat them out. And then he graduated to just plain sitting on my face.

And spitting?


And you'd eat it?


The first time you tasted shit you say you threw up. What about afterwards?

Particularly when it was done with the hot dogs there was less of a gag because there wasn't as much shit. That's how I was introduced to it and trained.

And so as you continued eating shit, was it something that you wouldn't find repulsive in the same way you initially did?

It really depends upon the total scene, and whether there's real amyl nitrate available. With poppers it's easier to overcome all one's childhood training and inhibitions, and go for the more base instincts.

What does shit taste like?

A lot like Camembert cheese. It's a rich, bitter, intense flavor. Ideally, one doesn't eat it altogether; one savors it.

What's particularly enjoyable is literally tonguing it out of a man's hole and enjoying it bit by bit.

Has shit play for you been mostly in the context of a top-bottom scene?

Sometimes you find mutuals. And sometimes you find just plain scat orgies. Shit is very versatile. It makes an excellent lubrication for fucking; it's excellent for smearing, stroking, wallow ing in, belly-fucking. The ideal shit is one that has the consistency of wet clay. It can be tongued, eaten, it can be easily smeared, it can be an excellent fuck and jack-off lubricant. And it can be repacked. Harder turds are easier to repack, though sometimes not as tasty as softer ones. I prefer shit without a lot of corn or other undigested things in it.

How open are you in your interest in this to other gay people you know?

I'm somewhat guarded because it's an unknown how they'll respond.

What kinds of reactions have you gotten?

It depends on their interests. Some have been turned off, others have been turned on. Most guys, even if they're into SM, are not into shit. It takes someone with a really good imagination to get into scat even if they're into watersports.

Looking back, is shit something you're surprised you got into? Or does it seem of a keeping with your interest in SM?

I see it as sort of a perverse little fraternity. It's a sharing of one of the most secret acts men have, sharing almost the forbidden essence of man. Men essentially have three essences: sweat, shit, and cum. Two are commonly shared and the third is not.

How do you meet other people who are into this?

There are some correspondence clubs. Sometimes you see a name on a bathroom wall. Some people are bold enough to wear their brown hanky. Often just by sheer chance you meet guys who see that you have no aversion to getting your dick dirty, or they notice that when you rim them you're literally trying to suck it out. And they get the picture that that's what you're looking for.

As with any taboo sexual interest, it's hard for people to admit their curiosity. But most people rim, which gets you in pretty close contact with shit. Even if people don't talk about or do scat, I wonder how widely shared a fascination this is.

I don't think there's a guy alive who likes the taste of a sweaty ass who hasn't at least fanta sized about it. It's just something that we repress, because we've been told from childhood this is something you don't do. Shit play goes along with the idea of being a total rebel. But on the other hand, a lot of guys who are into shit are ready in very conformist occupations; they're accountants and actuaries.

What kinds of scenes have you taken part in lately?

I've been to a couple of scat flicks. They're amateur and usually done on the spur of the moment. By common agreement these films are shown only to people who are into the scene. You would not show a shit flick to someone who you didn't know liked to eat it as well.

Pick a recent session you had. How did it unfold?

Well, one recently I had in New York. I was coming to fist a friend of mine who I get shit videos from, and when I arrived he was busy setting up his taping equipment. There was another guy in a suit and tie who was watching one of his shit flicks. I sat down and he asked me if I recycled, and I told him I did. Within minutes, a big hairy Italian ass was staring me in the face, and I was getting a blow job with the video camera firmly planted to get the scene.

And then you ate his shit?

Yup. There wasn't a great deal. I mean I do have my limits. These people who talk about eight- and ten- inch turds being eaten-- that's more fantasy than reality. The body has certain natural protective devices- "barfing brown" is one of them. The goal of every true shit eater is to see how much he can eat before he barfs.

Do people switch roles, from top to bottom?

Oh sure.

Is that typical?

I don't know if it's typical. There are some guys who like to remain top. I think it's more typical that a bottom wants to remain bottom than a top wants to remain a top. I think tops, if they really enjoy the shit, are willing to go mutual with the right guy. Bottoms generally tend to want to be just the receiver.

And does going mutual mean just switching roles and maintaining the basic top-bottom theme?

It can. But more often it just means two men enjoying their full bodies and their potential. I mean, if you're into shit, you like the smell of a ripe armpit or a raunchy crotch, the taste of sweaty nuts. It just becomes one more activity in the total enjoyment of another man.

Among people who would never define their erotic fantasies as having anything to do with shit, often in fact there is a negative fascination. It's very important to them that an ass is clean before they fuck it, or before they get fucked they want to make sure they're douched. In other words, there's a strong need to keep shit out of the sexual picture.

That's really a North American trait. It's really not so true in Europe or other places. Americans have an over-fascination with hygiene. I think that in Europe-- particularly Germany and the Netherlands-- it's more common that there are guys who see shit as an adjunct to heavy man-to- man play. Shit is not just a top-bottom activity. To many of us it's an adjunct to fully sharing of another man. Think about it- you've probably seen dozens of guys fucking, hundreds of guys masturbating. But how many guys have ever let you see them shit? There is a brotherhood. I mean, once you've eaten a guy's shit, there's no sense bullshitting him around anything else. It's a unique leveler. **

Is Scat Safe?

You are not likely to become infected with HIV through shit play, but there is a real risk of picking up other viral or bacterial infections, particularly if you eat shit.

HIV is normally not present in the shit of people infected with HIV-- unless they have blood in their shit, because of an ulcer or intestinal bleeding. "Even if there is blood in the stool, we know that the skin is an effective barrier to HIV," says the US government's National AIDS Information Hotline (800-342-2437). "So unless it gets in your mouth or on some mucus membrane, like your eye, or unless you have a cut or a sore, just getting shit on your skin is not something to worry about."

Here's how New York's Gay Men's Heath Crisis sums up matters:

"Scat and watersports are OK as long as you don't get piss or shit into your body through your mouth or asshole. Keep fingers out of mouths if they've come into contact with piss or shit. Cuts or open sores can be ways for HIV to enter the body. Make sure your skin is unbroken before you play, and wash thoroughly after you are done. Use your own sex toys (dildos, etc.). Never share toys that haven't been cleaned wit bleach or rubbing alcohol, or covered with a new latex condom for each person using them."

But HIV is not the only worry when it comes to shit play. Shit is a treasure trove of microbes, including potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses that are more easily transmitted than HIV. Particularly for those with compromised immune systems, playing with shit can mean exposure to dangerous infections, even if you are careful about not getting shit in your mouth or on a mucus membrane.

"With any type of fecal contact there's an increased risk of bacterial infections, or a viral infection like hepatitis," says the US government's National Sexually Transmitted Disease Information Hotline (800-227-8922). Shit play with a person from another region or country, particularly a nonindustrialized one, may mean exposure to bacteria, viruses, and parasites for which you have no prior immunity.

The risks of shit play lead some to take a cautious position. "What we say is stay away from scat altogether, because of the risks of infection, and the fact that there can be blood products in waste," says Boston's AIDS Action Committee.

As with many other questions about safe sex, deciding whether and how to engage in shit play means balancing potential pleasures and potential dangers.

Author Profile:  Bill Andriette
Bill Andriette is features editor of The Guide
Email: theguide@guidemag.com

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