The buttocks (singular: buttock) are two rounded portions of the anatomy, located on the posterior of the pelvic region of primates (including humans), and many other bipeds or quadrupeds, and comprise a layer of fat superimposed on the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles. The two gluteus maximus muscles stabilise the hip joint and are the largest muscles in the entire human body; responsible for propelling the entire body forward when running and walking, ensuring the proper functioning of the entire leg. Physiologically, the buttocks enable weight to be taken off the feet while sitting. In many cultures, they play a role in sexual attraction. Some cultures, such as that of Victorian England, have also used the buttocks as a primary target for corporal punishment, as the buttocks' layer of subcutaneous fat offers protection against injury while still allowing for the infliction of pain. There are several connotations of buttocks in art, fashion, culture and humor, and the English language is replete with many popular synonyms that range from polite colloquialisms ("posterior", "backside" or "bottom") to vulgar slang ("arse," "ass," "bum," "butt," "booty," "prat"). In humans the buttocks are located between the lower back and the perineum.
Buttocks of a female (upper) and a male (lower).
|Artery||Superior gluteal artery, inferior gluteal artery|
|Nerve||Superior gluteal nerve, inferior gluteal nerve, superior cluneal nerves, medial cluneal nerves, inferior cluneal nerves|
The buttocks are formed by the masses of the gluteal muscles or "glutes" (the gluteus maximus muscle and the gluteus medius muscle) superimposed by a layer of fat. The superior aspect of the buttock ends at the iliac crest, and the lower aspect is outlined by the horizontal gluteal crease. The gluteus maximus has two insertion points: 1⁄3 superior portion of the linea aspera of the femur, and the superior portion of the iliotibial tractus. The masses of the gluteus maximus muscle are separated by an intermediate intergluteal cleft or "crack" in which the anus is situated.
The buttocks allow primates to sit upright without needing to rest their weight on their feet as four-legged animals do. Females of certain species of baboon have red buttocks that blush to attract males. In the case of humans, females tend to have proportionally wider and thicker buttocks due to higher subcutaneous fat and proportionally wider hips. In humans they also have a role in propelling the body in a forward motion and aiding bowel movement.
Some baboons and all gibbons, though otherwise fur-covered, have characteristic naked callosities on their buttocks. While human children generally have smooth buttocks, mature males and females have varying degrees of hair growth, as on other parts of their body. Females may have hair growth in the gluteal cleft (including around the anus), sometimes extending laterally onto the lower aspect of the cheeks. Males may have hair growth over some or all of the buttocks.
The English word of Greek origin "callipygian" indicates someone who has beautiful buttocks. However, the qualities that make buttocks beautiful or well-formed are not fixed, as sexual aesthetics of the buttocks vary considerably from culture to culture, from one period of fashion to another and even from person to person.
Depending on the context, exposure of the buttocks in non-intimate situations can cause feelings of embarrassment or humiliation, and embarrassment or amusement in an onlooker (see pantsing). Willfully exposing one's own bare buttocks as a protest, a provocation, or just for fun is called mooning.
In many punitive traditions, the buttocks are a common target for corporal punishment, which can be meted out with no risk of long-term physical harm compared with the dangers of applying it to other parts of the body, such as the hands, which could easily be damaged. Within the Victorian school system in England, the buttocks have been described as "the place provided by nature" for this purpose. A modern-day example can be seen in some Southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore. Caning in Singapore is widely used as a form of judicial corporal punishment, with male convicts being sentenced to a caning on their bare buttocks.
In Western and some other cultures, many comedians, writers and others rely on the buttocks as a source of amusement, camaraderie and fun. There are numerous colloquial terms for the buttocks.
In American English, phrases use the buttocks or synonyms (especially "butt" and "ass") as a synecdoche or pars pro toto for a whole person, often with a negative connotation. For example, terminating an employee may be described as "firing his ass". One might say "move your ass" or "haul ass" as an exhortation to greater haste or urgency. Expressed as a function of punishment, defeat or assault becomes "kicking one's ass". Such phrases also may suggest a person's characteristics, e.g. difficult people are termed "hard asses". In America an annoying person or any source of frustration may be termed "a pain in the ass" (a synonym for "a pain in the neck"). People deemed excessively puritanical or proper may be termed "tight asses" (in Australia and New Zealand, "tight arse" refers to someone who is excessively miserly).
In the 2010s, the reality TV star Kim Kardashian is famous for her curvaceous buttocks, which have appeared on magazine covers. Kardashian appeared on the cover, and in a pictorial in Paper's winter issue in 2014 photographed by Jean-Paul Goude. On the cover, her nude buttocks are featured above the caption: "Break the Internet", which generated considerable comment in both social and traditional media.
Certain physical dispositions of the buttocks—particularly size—are sometimes identified, controversially, as a racial characteristic (see race). A famous example was the case of Saartjie Baartman, the so-called "Hottentot Venus".
The Latin name for the buttocks is nates (English pronunciation /ˈneɪtiːz/, classical pronunciation nătes [ˈnateːs]) which is plural; the singular, natis (buttock), is rarely used. There are many colloquial terms to refer to them, including:
The 1880s were well known for the fashion trend among women called the bustle, which made even the smallest buttocks appear huge. The popularity of this fashion is shown in the famous Georges Seurat painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte in the two women to the far left and right. Like long underwear with the ubiquitous "butt flap" (used to allow baring only the bottom with a simple gesture, as for hygiene), this clothing style was acknowledged in popular media such as cartoons and comics for generations afterward.
An example of another attitude in an otherwise hardly exhibitionist culture is the Japanese fundoshi.
"Mr. Curtis Bennett deprecated caning on the hands and boxing the ears, and said they were exceedingly dangerous forms of punishment. Nature provided a special place for boys to be punished upon and it should be used.
Gluteoplasty (Greek gloutόs, rump + plassein, to shape) denotes the plastic surgery and the liposuction procedures for the correction of the congenital, traumatic, and acquired defects and deformities of the buttocks and the anatomy of the gluteal region; and for the aesthetic enhancement (by augmentation or by reduction) of the contour of the buttocks.
The corrective procedures for buttock augmentation and buttock repair include the surgical emplacement of a gluteal implant (buttock prosthesis); liposculpture (fat transfer and liposuction); and body contouring (surgery and liposculpture) to resolve the patient’s particular defect or deformity of the gluteal region. Moreover, in the praxis of sexual reassignment surgery, the prosthetic and liposculpture augmentation of the buttocks can be performed on transsexual and transgender women to enhance the anatomic curvature of the gluteal region in order to establish the markedly feminine buttocks and hips that project more (to the rear and to the side) than do masculine hips.Buttock cleavage
Buttock cleavage is minor exposure of the buttocks and the intergluteal cleft between them, often because of low-rise pants.
The crena is another formal term for the cleft between the buttocks, and the medical term is posterior rugae.Caning
Caning is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits (known as "strokes" or "cuts") with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed buttocks (see spanking) or hand(s) (on the palm). Caning on the knuckles or shoulders is much less common. Caning can also be applied to the soles of the feet (foot whipping or bastinado). The size and flexibility of the cane and the mode of application, as well as the number of the strokes, vary greatly — from a couple of light strokes with a small cane across the seat of a junior schoolboy's trousers, to a maximum of 24, very hard, wounding cuts on the bare buttocks with a large, heavy, soaked rattan as a judicial punishment in some Southeast Asian countries.
The thin cane generally used for corporal punishment is not to be confused with a walking stick, sometimes also called a cane (especially in American English), but which is thicker and much more rigid, and more likely to be made of stronger wood than of cane.Cheek
The cheeks (Latin: buccae) constitute the area of the face below the eyes and between the nose and the left or right ear. "Buccal" means relating to the cheek. In humans, the region is innervated by the buccal nerve. The area between the inside of the cheek and the teeth and gums is called the vestibule or buccal pouch or buccal cavity and forms part of the mouth. In other animals the cheeks may also be referred to as jowls.Cultural history of the buttocks
Sexualization of the buttocks, especially of the female gender, has occurred throughout history.Dupa biskupa
Dupa biskupa [ˈdupa bisˈkupa] refers to several friendly card games in Poland. The name is a Polish phrase meaning 'bishop's buttocks'.Folliculitis
Folliculitis is the infection and inflammation of one or more hair follicles. The condition may occur anywhere on the skin except the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The rash may appear as pimples that come to white tips on the face, chest, back, arms, legs, buttocks, or head.Grinding (dance)
Grinding, (also known as juking, freak dancing or freaking wining) is a type of close partner dance where two or more dancers rub or bump their bodies against each other, most often with a female dancer rubbing her buttocks against a male dancer's crotch area. The male dancer will typically place his hands on the female dancer's waist, hips, or buttocks.Grinding gained widespread popularity as a hip hop dance in night clubs, and eventually moved on to high school and middle school dances in the US and Canada where there have been cases of administrators attempting to ban it due to its explicit nature.A predecessor to grinding as a sexually charged high-contact social dance was "The Bump", popular in the 1970s, in which the contact between partners generally involved the hips or buttocks of one dancer "bumping" those of the other dancer in temporary contact. Other predecessor elements of grinding may be attributed to the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, and the lambada, a brief dance craze of the 1980s that featured grinding actions, as seen in the films The Forbidden Dance and Lambada. A more explicit form of the dance is known as daggering.Intergluteal cleft
The intergluteal cleft, also known medically by various synonyms and colloquially as the butt crack or ass crack, is the groove between the buttocks that runs from just below the sacrum to the perineum, so named because it forms the visible border between the external rounded protrusions of the gluteus maximus muscles. The intergluteal cleft is located superior to the anus.Mooning
Mooning is the act of displaying one's bare buttocks by removing clothing, e.g., by lowering the backside of one's trousers and underpants, usually bending over, whether also exposing the genitals or not. Mooning is used in the English-speaking world to express protest, scorn, disrespect, or provocation, or can be done for shock value, fun, or as a form of exhibitionism.
Some jurisdictions regard mooning to be indecent exposure, sometimes depending on the context.Nevermind the Buttocks
"Nevermind the Buttocks" is the nineteenth episode of the second season of the American mystery television series Veronica Mars, and the forty-first episode overall. Written by Phil Klemmer and directed by Jason Bloom, the episode premiered on UPN on April 18, 2006.
The series depicts the adventures of Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) as she deals with life as a high school student while moonlighting as a private detective. In this episode, Veronica investigates the car that ran over a student's (Tommy Snider) dog, and it turns out that the case is connected to the bus crash mystery. Meanwhile, Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and Jackie (Tessa Thompson) start a relationship.Pelvic thrust
The pelvic thrust is the thrusting motion of the pelvic region, which is used for a variety of activities, such as dance or sexual activity.Rumpology
Rumpology, Asstrology or bottom reading is a pseudoscience akin to physiognomy, performed by examining crevices, dimples, warts, moles and folds of a person's buttocks in much the same way a chirologist would read the palm of the hand.Shirime
Shirime (Japanese: 尻目, lit. "buttocks eye") is a strange yōkai with an eye in the place of his anus.
The story goes as follows:
Long ago, a samurai was walking at night down the road to Kyōto, when he heard someone calling out for him to wait. "Who's there?!" he asked nervously, only to turn around and find a man stripping off his clothes and pointing his bare buttocks at the flabbergasted traveler. A huge glittering eye then opened up where the strange man's anus should have been.
This creature was so liked by the haiku poet and artist Buson, he included it in many of his yōkai paintings.Steatopygia
Steatopygia is the state of having substantial levels of tissue on the buttocks and thighs. This build is not confined to the gluteal regions, but extends to the outside and front of the thighs, and tapers to the knee producing a curvaceous figure. The term is from the Greek στέαρ stéar meaning "tallow" and πυγή pugḗ meaning "rump".Steatopygia, a genetic characteristic leading to increased accumulation of adipose tissue in the buttock region, is found in women of sub-Saharan African origin, most notably (but not solely) among the Khoisan of southern Africa and Pygmies of central Africa. It has also been observed among the Andamanese people, such as the Onge tribe, in the Andaman Islands of the Indian Ocean. This genetic characteristic is prevalent among women but also occurs to a lesser degree in men.Steatopygia would seem to have been a characteristic of a population which once extended from the Gulf of Aden to the Cape of Good Hope, from which peoples the Khoisan and Pygmies may be remnants. Among the Khoisan, it begins in infancy and is fully developed by the time of the first pregnancy. While the Khoisan afford the most noticeable examples of its development, it is by no means rare in other parts of Africa.
It has been suggested that this feature was once more widespread. Paleolithic Venus figurines, sometimes referred to as "Steatopygian Venus" figures, discovered from Europe to Asia presenting a remarkable development of the thighs, and even the prolongation of the labia minora, have been used to support this theory. Whether these were intended to be lifelike or exaggeratory, even idealistic, is unclear. These figures however do not qualify as steatopygian, since they exhibit an angle of approximately 120 degrees between the back and the buttocks, while steatopygia is diagnosed by modern medical standards at an angle of about 90 degrees only.The reputed freak show attraction, Saartjie Baartman is believed to have had this characteristic.Taylor Mead's Ass
Taylor Mead's Ass (1964) is a film by Andy Warhol featuring Taylor Mead, consisting entirely of a shot of Mead's buttocks, and filmed at The Factory.According to Watson's Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties, Taylor Mead had achieved a degree of fame that "inspired a backlash." One example was a letter to the editors at The Village Voice in August 1964 which complained about "films focusing on Taylor Mead's ass for two hours." Mead replied in a letter to the publication that no such film was found in the archives, but "we are rectifying this undersight." Two days later, Warhol shot the "sixty-minute opus that consisted entirely of Taylor Mead's Ass," during which Mead first exhibits a variety of movement, then appears to "shove a variety of objects up his ass." The film was Mead's last for Warhol "for more than three years", at the end of 1964, "Mead felt betrayed by Warhol for not showing the film."The film was described as "seventy-six seriocomic minutes of this poet/actor's buttocks absorbing light, attention, debris" by Wayne Koestenbaum, in Art Forum. In his book, Andy Warhol, Koestenbaum writes "Staring at his cleft moon for 76 minutes, I begin to understand its abstractions: high-contrast lighting conscripts the ass into being a figure for whiteness itself, particularly when the ass merges with the blank leader at each reel's end. The buttocks, seen in isolation, seem explicitly double: two cheeks, divided in the centre by a dark line. The bottom's double structure recalls Andy's two-paneled paintings . . . "In the 2006 film Idiocracy, a theatrical film from the year 2505 is depicted called Ass which, like Taylor Mead's Ass, consists of a closeup of someone's exposed buttocks for 90 minutes, and according to the movie, "it won 8 Oscars that year, including Best Screenplay".Turnout (ballet)
In ballet, turnout (also turn-out) is rotation of the leg at the hips which causes the feet (and knees) to turn outward, away from the front of the body. This rotation allows for greater extension of the leg, especially when raising it to the side and rear. Turnout is an essential part of classical ballet technique.Turnout is measured in terms of the angle between the center lines of the feet when heels are touching, as in first position. Complete turnout (a 180° angle) is rarely attainable without conditioning.
Various exercises are used to improve turnout by increasing hip flexibility (to improve movement range), strengthening buttocks muscles (to enable a dancer to maintain turnout), or both.Wobble Up
"Wobble Up" is a song recorded by American singer Chris Brown. It was released on April 18, 2019, as the third single from Chris Brown's ninth studio album Indigo, and features vocals from American rappers Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy.
General anatomy: systems and organs, regional anatomy, planes and lines, superficial axial anatomy, superficial anatomy of limbs
Surface anatomy and general regions of limbs
General anatomy: systems and organs, regional anatomy, planes and lines, superficial axial anatomy, superficial anatomy of limbs