Pensive Prowler #16 by Dmetri Kakmi

Would That Which We Call an Arse by any Other Name Smell as Sweet?


“Are you writing about the whole butt or are you writing just about the hole?”

—Rochelle Siemienowicz


It need hardly be said that male buttocks have been around since antiquity. We need only look to ancient Greece and Rome to know that.

Narcissus 2

With the decline of paganism and the rise of the monotheistic religions, the arse sunk into a hole from which it intermittently came up for air over the centuries. Thanks, in part, to 1970s crusaders who flung their underpants out the window, the arse revealed itself with a vengeance.

Until the triple tidal waves of advertising, fashion, and pornography swamped the world, humanity believed that a man was nothing but a vehicle for the penis, that wounded bear closed in its sartorial cave, waiting to leap out and avenge itself on the world. With the arrival of the twenty-first century, however, we can expect to see the hitherto neglected male arse rise to iconic status. Look around; it’s everywhere. It can’t be avoided. Even if we wanted to, we could not avert our eyes from its hypnotic globules. The male rump has gone from being the body part that dare not unveil itself, to the body part that refuses to stop quivering in the sunlight.

For a man to drop his pants and expose his rear end is at once an offence, an affront, a condemnation, a humiliation, and an invitation. It is an incendiary act that makes the soul bristle.

The no underwear policy of today’s urban sex hunter makes quick and easy sex the number one priority. No underwear means, we’re ready anytime, anywhere. Yet even today for a man to expose his buttocks isneed I say it?a gesture capable of melting the social, religious, and political butt plug that stops the forbidden claret from breathing freely. And breathe it must, for it is only then that its pure musk can seep out.

An exposed masculine rump is a signal to the world that not only can a man be slutty, but that the secret aroma emanating from his chasm is worth bottling. Yes, it is time for fashion designers to bottle the fragrance. Eau De Butt Hole, Parfum De Derriere are just some of the epithets for the bottled essences.

Research in the field of aromatics has revealed that men of Mediterranean descent emit a rectal aroma for which there is no substitute. Should Armani wish to reproduce that unique effervescence, they would be wise to mix frankincense and myrrh with trickles of sweat gathered from the hairs of a Greek shepherd’s arse. A dab of pure truffle oil from Italy will complete the alchemy.

Far from being that singular entity known as ‘the penetrator’, a man now invites the pleasures of the gaze and of penetration in all their subtleties and variations. The smell he emits at the crucial moment is a bonus and a gift that cannot be equalled by poppers or luxury perfumes.

I like the English or Australian ‘arse’ better than the American ‘ass’. The former is dirtier, sleazier, up to no good. It needs a good spanking to bring it into line. The latter is clean and polished to a high sheen, ready for polite society. It belongs in Broadway or a Hollywood film. Not a brothel or a rough night on the town.

Whether it is filling out a bathing costume or a tight business-suit, the arse announces something few have dared admit until now: a man’s power resides not in the penis but in the feline planes of his bum. It is from here that the ointment of his lust calls out to the startled world.

The urban bicycle courier in his armour of sleek body-hugging shorts and fitted jersey is Emperor Gluteus Maximus. Raising his rump high in the air as he navigates the treacheries of footpath and traffic, he is hesitant yet full of bravado. Trumpeting itself from behind is a narcissistic coyness that can stop a heart. The soaking wet patch of the fabric at the juncture of the split is the inner eye weeping as it laments its imprisonment, while managing to give the admiring world a sly wink. It knows it will soon be free as a bordello.

I like buttocks pale and full as the moon. They are the pectorals of rear-end watchers. A sun-tanned backside is a sullied object, overexposed and too sure of itself.  A hussy. Its every movement transmits a repulsive arrogance. Furthermore, its smell is artificial, cloying. Compare that to a man who is browned all over, except around his soon-to-be-uncovered derriere, and you have a prize. He is at once delicate, virginal, shy and breathtakingly whorish. He delights in flourishing his glutes; raising them up high like a pale flag, and exposing that delicate tissue that lies waiting for whatever torments you care to lavish on it. And when you bring the prized vintage closer to the nose, it is the sporting field you smell, with a hint of barnyard and sea brine.


Dmetri Kakmi (Episode 158) is a writer and editor based in Melbourne, Australia. The memoir Mother Land was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia; and is published in England and Turkey. His essays and short stories appear in anthologies and journals. You can find out more about him here.