A lot to digest
It has all the elements of sexual drama--
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.
"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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
'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
Another of David's pals is into infantilism, and likes
to don diapers and assume the identity of a
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
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
"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
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. **
An interview with Rob, a 38-year -old lawyer
who lives in Philadelphia.
When did coprophilia become an interest for
About seven to ten years ago.
Was it something that you had thought about
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 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
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
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
How do you meet other people who are into
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
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
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
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?
Is that typical?
I don't know if it's typical. There are some guys
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
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
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
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
"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
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
|Author Profile: Bill Andriette
|Bill Andriette is features editor of
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