Carolinian – Features
Issue: 2/3/03

Neurotica: Blow
By John Russell

On a particularly dull Saturday afternoon, some friends and I were doing our weekly grocery shopping. As we waited in the checkout line, Lisa read to us from a magazine she’d been flipping through.

“Ten Sex Acts Men Expect,” she read. We all chuckled at the mildly amusing demands of America’s straight male population: anal sex, sex at the office, threesome with another woman (duh), threesome with another man (who’d have thought?). And last but certainly not least: Oral sex. I rolled my eyes. “Like I didn’t see that one coming.”

“Men really expect that?” Janey asked. We explained to her that there wasn’t a man alive who would pass up a blowjob.

“It’s just one of those things,” said Lisa. “They can’t live without it.”

“I think it has a lot to do with porn,” I added. “I defy you to find porn in which a blowjob does not precede intercourse.”

Janey mimed vomiting.

“I take it you can live without it,” I laughed.

The world, I reasoned later, is basically divided into two kinds of people: those who blow and those who don’t. Janey is one of the latter. Some find the act degrading, others just plain disgusting. Still others take absolutely no pleasure in it and see it as a waste of time.

Before experiencing oral sex I might have agreed with Janey. I thought it was gross, and something about being on my knees just didn’t sit well with me. But now, I have to admit I kind of enjoy it. There was a time when I would scoff at people who claimed to enjoy it simply because it gave their partner pleasure. I thought that was total BS! To me, sex was essentially a very selfish act and if you were not directly receiving pleasure I didn’t see the point. I didn’t see how oral sex enriched the sexual experience of the giver.

My view on the subject changed after experiencing it first hand. I would be lying if I claimed ’tis better to give than to receive, but there is pleasure to be had in giving. Part of it is the fact that I’m making my partner feel good.

But do men actually expect oral sex? Is it within anyone’s rights to expect anything from their sexual partner? And why the hell are men so obsessed with head? I got my answers two beers into a night of drinking with my token straight friend Kurt.

“Men are basically visual creatures,” he said. “It’s such a turn-on to watch a girl go down on you. Plus it’s really quick and easy. You get to sit back, relax and let her do all the work.”

Kurt’s best friend Jordan, a twenty-something tattoo artist nodded. “For me it’s a power trip,” he said.

“How exactly is it empowering to put yourself in the perfect position to have your penis bitten off?” I asked. “She’s literally got you by the balls!”

Kurt laughed. “She respects you enough not to bite it off.”

“She’s on her knees,” Jordan continued. “That’s a position of worship. It’s like she’s below you and you can look down on her.” The topic was dropped, suddenly, as the ladies in the room attacked Jordan for his semi-chauvinistic comments.

But I had to wonder how much of what he said was true. Was it just macho posturing or was Jordan right? Was everyone who’d ever given a blowjob putting themselves below their boyfriend? Or were the other half, the ones who won’t blow, simply terrified of the penis?

“Guys are so deluded,” Kurt’s girlfriend Justine told me later. “Even when they’re most vulnerable they find a way to convince themselves they’ve got the upper hand.”

“So you don’t mind giving head?”

“No,” she said, shaking her head. “It all depends on your attitude. If you think it’s gross then obviously you’re not going to enjoy it. But if you’re doing it with a guy you care about, and he’s reciprocating…it can be a lot of fun.”

To blow or not to blow? I guess it’s up to you.

John Russell has written a column on sexuality and society for The Carolinian since his freshman year at UNCG. Now a junior, John enjoys gender studies, erotica, expensive clothes and Fleetwood Mac.

His column, Neurotica, appears weekly in The Carolinian and is consistently one of the paper’s most widely read features.