Confession: I’m Relocating Oral Sex Past Home Base

baseballphoto by ShashiBellamkonda

Our contributor Abby Spector, who is double-majoring in English and Feminine/Gender/Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, has a confession to make:

From an early age, sex always seemed logical to me. Penis goes into vagina. Perhaps orgasms ensue. Perhaps a baby grows. Perhaps not. The end. It didn’t sound appealing, but it didn’t gross me out either. I saw sex as a way grown ups shake hands — simple, courteous, and an easy way to spread disease. Oral sex was a different story. Why would anyone want to put that in their mouth? At the time, I wouldn’t eat brussels sprouts. Penis? I’d pass. There I was, a fifth grader, taking a vow of oral celibacy.

I broke my vow six years later in the backseat of my boyfriend’s parents’ old Volvo. I gagged. He came. Maybe he came and then I gagged. He began to go down on me but I stopped him: “I don’t want to.”

That night, I didn’t know why I said no. I was an outspoken feminist who wanted to be pleasured as much as the next hormonally charged adolescent. And this was “just oral.” According to misinformed teenagers, “Oral sex isn’t actually sex.” That’s why it is an entire base before its penetrative partner, the “home run.” But lying in the back of Rob’s car with a seatbelt buckle pressing into my lower back, I had no interest in getting eaten out. We went out to eat instead. Thank God for the 24-hour diner.

My thoughts on oral sex have since evolved. I know my comfort level now. For me, oral sex is more intimate than intercourse. I view going down as one person sacrificing part (if not all) of their pleasure for their partner’s benefit. Let’s be honest, genitalia isn’t exactly the most appetizing course on the menu. I perform fellatio for my partner’s enjoyment. If I truly like the person, then knowing I made them happy makes me happy. It’s like giving a Christmas present to a friend and watching their face while they open it. (Cue Dick in a Box.)

In my world, oral sex reaches its peak intimacy when my partner goes down on me. My vagina is vulnerable. Inviting a guest for dinner takes a lot of courage. The most difficult part of being the recipient is knowing that it’s all about me. I have to let my guard down. It’s my turn to enjoy. This is harder than it sounds — I am an incessant people pleaser who, according to the tarot card reader I recently visited, fakes smiles for her companions. Sadly, smiles aren’t the only thing I fake.

I wish I had some brilliant oral moral to share. I don’t. I have been convinced into giving blowjobs by douchebag men who push my head towards their nether-region. I have swallowed under pressure. Hell, I even shaved everything just because a guy said that was the only way to make going down on someone “bearable.” The worst part about it is that I will probably continue to succumb to pressure. I am not proud of this, but I know myself well enough to admit the truth. I have trouble telling people “no.”

The one thing I have learned is that, when it comes to sexual acts, we all have our own comfort levels. Intimacy levels are determined by the individual, not society. In other words, there is no order of events. Sex isn’t baseball — it’s an interpretive dance.


  1. My spouse never enjoyed giving oral sex for years. I could count the events on one hand per year. I never forced her, asked, but never got the package. In a 69 position she would do it I guess because she got something back, but would stop prior to my squirt. A few years ago, and to my suprise and delight she got into it. She had a period of 6-9 months when she could not get enough. Today is is on occasion again.

  2. I agree that oral sex is much more intimate than intercourse. when I was younger I didn’t feel comfortable doing it so I didn’t. That all changed for me once I met someone I felt extremely comfortable with who showed me respect, now turning him on is a huge turn on to me too.

  3. You’re not totally the odd man out, Dana. I love giving oral to my husband and it turns me on so much better than receiving, but I also see it as something more intimate that intercourse. I even keep two sets of tallies in my mind, those I’ve had intercourse with and those I’ve gone down on. The latter is definitely the much shorter list, and I’ve never given head to someone I haven’t had sex with first. After all, that’s my mouth, I’d have to taste them! That’s a big deal. Not to mention, as so aptly put above, there is the issue of STD’s, and since I think it’s silly to spit, it’s certainly an issue to take to heart.

  4. Wow. Here’s yet another topic where I feel like the odd woman out. I absolutely love giving oral, and it shows up somewhere in most of my sexual fantasies. I actually become physically aroused (“get wet”) during the act. Of course, this is in the context of a 26-year monogamous relationship with a man who has always been generous, sexually and otherwise, to me, always told me I’m beautiful and that he loves me, and makes me feel like home could be anywhere as long as he is there.

    I suppose that’s a very different situation from the emotional/psychological complexities involved in more casual encounters, especially when there hasn’t been the time put in to establish real intimacy and trust. I have no moral issues regarding one-night stands and “hook-ups;” I just wouldn’t be able to do it myself because the level of personal caution and wariness required wouldn’t allow me to give myself over completely, which is part of really good sex. Someone above already mentioned this problem, along the lines of “Well, I’ll go ahead and have the sex, but I refuse to come because that’s so intimate and I don’t know you.” To me, that’s crazy.

    The real mystery to me about oral was that I would feel not only sexually aroused while doing it but also strangely calmed and soothed at the same time (weird), and I couldn’t figure out why. After studying evolutionary psychology in college, I came up with a quirky “oral gratification” theory related to eating food and the connection to pleasure centers in the brain, etc., and wrote out the whole thing as a sort of mini essay. The reasoning worked for me, but I did not follow through with this topic for my senior paper!

  5. I don’t know for other girls besides me, but I also view even just orgasming as a very intimate experience. When a guy only wants a hook-up, I don’t feel comfortable enough to let go (but I don’t fake it either). I still have “fun” of course, but part of me doesn’t want to give everything to a guy who’s not interested in sticking around. It’s almost like my second form of virginity (I’ve never seriously dated so make the connection yourselves…)

  6. Another great reason to move oral beyond home plate: STDs! When is the last time you’ve ‘wrapped it up’ before giving or receiving oral sex? I’d be willing to bet very few times. When is the last time you had the ‘STD talk’ before engaging in oral? Probably also few.

    Safety first, guys and gals! Protect that booty.

  7. OMG this was like reading my own thoughts. Well with a few edits, my views are the exact same however my actions are different. I’ve only ever given one blowjob in my entire life to my current boyfriend and it was performed with a condom. I have also only been eaten out once when I was extremely drunk (and just wanted to get off). Thankfully my boyfriend has a very similar view on oral sex and does not want oral from me (he says he sees it as degrading to me and the idea of kissing me afterwards grosses him out). I have a lot of anxiety surrounding being eaten out but I also feel like the exact reasons I am nervous shouldn’t be a problem (i.e. he shouldn’t want me hairless i’m not a 10 yr old, my taste should be sexy to him, him giving me orgasms should be sexy to him) but i still stress over these things.

  8. i consider myself an outspoken feminist and say take as much of a stance as you want. being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t try things for the sake of other people.
    anyway, i just wanted to say that i agree with you: oral sex is more intimate to me than “regular” (for lack of time to think of words) sex. it’s something i don’t do unless i’m dating the person, which is my own comfort thing.
    good topic!

  9. I understand how much pressure the male world (especially the young male world) puts on women in terms of the Mind-Blowing Blowjob as a natural ability. So it makes sense that you’d succumb to certain pressures in that regard.

    But as an “outspoken feminist” who’s also double majoring in women studies (and here I have some understanding, as I’m working in women’s history at the moment), I’m somewhat surprised that you don’t take more direct and firm stances against this shit.

    My last girlfriend had been in similar situations and flatly refused to go down on me for nearly a year. As long as she gave me wonderful handjobs, and after I convinced her to let me eat her out, I had no problem with this. Eventually her opinion changed, but on her *own terms*. Also, she would never have shaved for me (nor would I have requested it).

    My advice for women uncomfortable with blow jobs would be to simply STOP giving them; this may make them less popular in certain circles, but I have to think that building one’s self-worth is more important than being viewed as a good sex partner by someone who probably doesn’t deserve to be swallowed in the first place.

Comments are closed.