I'm obsessed with butts. Not just my ass, but all of them.
2015 was supposedly the year of the booty, so can you blame me? Butts are the one body part you always notice on other people without ever knowing what your own looks like. Unless you're super flexible, that is.
Naturally, I'm also fascinated by all the things we do to get our asses looking like Nicki Minaj's circa "Anaconda." Namely, anal bleaching. No longer the domain of the Kim Kardashians of the world, bleaching your butthole is now for us normal people, too.
Get ready for the low-down.
1. Is it just girls who bleach, or do guys get their anuses whitened, too?
Sorry, dudes, but the girls are way more into bleached heinies than you are.
“Nine out of 10 are women,” Ramirez says. “Some come for the anal bleaching, while some come in for both the anal and vaginal treatment."
Face to Face NYC also refers to anal bleaching as the “New Ring Tone,” (get it?) which, while slightly cheesy, is definitely cuter than any phrase involving the word "anus."
However, the California-based Pink Cheeks salon has a more gender-neutral clientele.
“Everyone does it,” Esser-Thorin explains. “Women mostly, but it is becoming popular with men, too. Yes, mostly gay men, but some men who might have a 'secret life' purchase it, too."
Secret life, you say?
2. So, what exactly is it? Am I pouring Clorox down my butthole?
At Face to Face, the bleaching effect is a result of a fruit acid peel.
Pink Cheeks, on the other hand, uses a Kojic acid peel that's way less scary than it sounds. Kojic acid is actually a byproduct of the rice fermenting process (AKA sake). It's used in both food and cosmetics to preserve and change the color of a product.
Chances are, if you've ever used a cream for acne scarring or anti-aging creams, you've probably already been exposed to the stuff.
No Clorox involved.
3. How long will I be in there? Should I block out my entire afternoon?
No need to cancel your evening plans. Ramirez says the treatment takes about two minutes.
“You don't even need an appointment,” he explains. “Most women just walk in."
During your next lunch break, you'll have plenty of time to hit up the salon. The process is essentially just one step, the application of the fruit acid peel. Then, leave the peel on for at least two hours while your skin absorbs the acid.
You can go about your day normally during that time. Or, you know, as normally as you can while knowing you're wearing a butthole peel.
4. What if you're DIY-ing it?
Get ready for commitment. If you don't want anyone getting up close and personal with your anus (in which case, why are you having your asshole bleached at all?), opt for an at-home version.
"You apply the product every night,” says Esser-Thorin. "If you are newly using it and it tingle-stings a little bit, put it on every other night until your anal area gets used to it."
In this case, more is certainly not better. Your body can only absorb so much at a time, Esser-Thorin explains, so wasting it doesn't make any sense.
A word to the wise: Don't let the creme get inside your labia. If you do, it will “thump” in there "for about three days," according to Esser-Thorin. "The bleach will be trying to draw the “dark” out from inside you."
Well, that's a horrifying thought.
5. I'm ready to get bleached. How long will it take me to achieve porn star status?
It depends on the darkness of your butthole, so pick up a hand mirror.
“For some women it may take one to three treatments,” explains Ramirez. “Others may have to sign up for the entire six-series treatment."
It all depends on how light you want to go.
6. How pale should I go?
Don't try to be Casper and make your anus transparent (also, ew).
"We ask you to go up two shades, any more and it will begin to look weird,” Esser-Thorin says. "The lightness will blend [nicely] with your own skin."
I'm not entirely sure what an unnaturally light asshole looks like, but this definitely makes me question things. To Google, I go!
7. Will I feel the burn?
Both Esser-Thorin and Ramirez firmly insisted that the process is totally pain-free.
“It's not painful at all,” Ramirez exclaims. “Just a minor tingle and boom, a whole new ring tone."
8. Why do people do this? Who will even see your asshole except for some dude from Tinder?
"People do it for both themselves and others,” explains Esser-Thorin.
She says her customers take pride in knowing they're clean and well-groomed, even downstairs. The idea is appealing to partners, especially those who get a little squeamish. Some even like to pretend they're naturally blessed with perfect, pinky-brown buttholes.
To be fair, a lighter asshole doesn't necessarily mean a cleaner asshole. Bleaching isn't a substitute for keeping things scrubbed down there.
I don't particularly care if a man (or woman) is turned on by a bleached tuchus. I'd be doing this for me.
Besides, no pickup line works as well as this old favorite: "Hey, I bet my asshole is lighter than yours."