"The few studies that exist on oral sex among teenagers indicate that although teenage girls perform fellatio more often than in the past, they do so without pleasure, usually to please their boyfriend or to avoid the possibility of impregnation."
Back in my early college days, in those oh-so distant late-1990s, I found myself reading and furiously disagreeing with a book called The Body Project. “An Intimate History of American Girls” is the subtitle, the author is Joan Jacobs Brumberg, and in as much as it crams close to 170 years of adolescent teenaged female sexuality into 214 pages, you can guess it’s a fairly swift read.
It is also a fairly conservative one. Well-meaning in content and scholarly in tone, the book nevertheless came down firmly in favor of the notion that, when it comes to sex, teenagers really don’t know what they’re doing, what they want, or what they are getting themselves into. A generalization which includes those who patently did. Either way, I have to admit, I came away from The Body Project with what I would describe as a seriously bad taste in my mouth. And not because of the things I’d been putting in there, either. Although, according to what I was reading, nobody would have blamed me if that had been the cause.
You’ve read the quote that opens this piece, and the second clause - yeah, I’d go along with that. Blowjobs are great birth control, provided you don’t kiss him with a mouthful and then have him go down on you. I’ve counted three “friends of friends” who got pregnant that way, and who am I to say it’s an urban myth? As excuses go, it’s a lot more interesting than the old burst condom.
The first clause? To please the boyfriend? Well, you can’t argue with that, either, because you’d hardly be doing it if you thought it would piss him off. (And we’ll get to that later.)
But “without pleasure?" Which leads into the author’s next assertion, that the first blowjobs a girl gives are usually a result of coercion....
Okay, them there’s fighting words.
A few years ago, I was interviewed about my erotic fiction writing and asked why so many of the stories I write focus on first time oral sex. I can’t remember how I responded at the time, but working on another project more recently, and rereading The Body Project in pursuit of some background, I think I know the real answer to that question.
I wanted to disprove that statement. Not for the benefit of the author. Not even for personal satisfaction. I wanted to disprove it because I cannot (or do not want to) believe that the majority of people receive such an unpleasant introduction to an act that is...fill in your own adverbs here, but I’ll go with “intimate,” “beautiful” and “fun.”
Now, I’ll admit I’ve heard some horror stories, and I brushed against one in another article I wrote here, recalling “the first time you were making out with a guy and he put his hand on the back of your head and... push[ed] your face down to his cock.”
Which can be traumatic (or so I’ve heard). But it can also be the hottest thing you’ve ever experienced.
Some girls resist, others shrug and say “what the hell.” Some will never overcome their initial distaste. Others get used to what are indeed an array of funky flavors and odors...my first time, my first shock was being sure that I could smell pee. Only faintly, but it was definitely there and I rifled through every past fantasy I’d ever had, and every word I’d ever read, for the tiniest hint of a warning that such a sensation awaited me. I never found one. But I mentioned it to a friend one day, and another and another, and the fact is - boys? I hate to tell you this, but...
I digress. Some girls resist, others shrug. And others still have been waiting all relationship-long for him to signpost his desires so strongly. Because, among the manifold signals that modern culture sends out about the importance of fellatio in a relationship (okay, it may not usually be phrased quite so politely), there are also a few that leave some room for doubt, and not only the (old-fashioned?) notion that nice girls don’t.
There was an episode of [italics|Friends] broadcast...I’m not sure when, but I want to say it was around the same time as I read that book. I don’t remember the title, I don’t remember the plot. But I do remember Monica making a remark that could be construed as a reference to her love of blowjobs, and Chandler responding that he was sorry, but he just didn’t like them.
Pause. Freeze frame. Collective intake of breath. A. Man. Who. Doesn’t. Like. Blowjobs.
It was a joke, right? An ironic twist, a thoughtful contradiction. Or...
...it’s true. Again, thanks to the predominant theme of my fiction writing, I have struck up e-mail conversations with a number of men who have admitted in the course of detailing their fantasies, the acts that they don’t consider fantasizing over at all. “I have never cum from a blowjob.” “They just don’t feel good.” “I let her do it because she wants to, but it doesn’t do much for me.”
Again, at first I thought such comments were a joke. But they’re not. And you know what? It must take an awful lot of courage for a guy to stand up, even via the anonymity of the internet, and admit that alone of his species in our super-sexualized world, he does not care for what every erotic writer, ever porn star, every learned sociologist describes as the gold at the end of the male sexual rainbow. Again: A man who doesn’t like blowjobs. Okay, and there are icebergs in Hell.
I’m not going to say that my first time was with a Chandler. Far from it, as it turned out. But I still waited until I’d been invited before doing what I’d spent so long dreaming of, and here’s something else you don’t read about too often. That first time, nobody expects the girl to be certain exactly “what to do next.” Well, I don’t believe guys are that sure, either. Not in my experience, anyway. And so the two of us lay clamped, unmoving, together, his cock in my mouth or my mouth round his cock, and both of us thinking “okay... what happens now?”
You figure it out fairly quickly, of course. It may take a few minutes, it may take a few tries. But you get there in the end and, so long as nothing takes place that you consider untoward, there’s a lot of other first times to look forward to. And many more to learn about from stories and pictures and clips on the tube-sites, but best of all from your own imagination. Yours and his.
But you don’t forget your first time, no matter how many times you do it in the future. That first breath, that first taste, that first stretch, that first thrill. The first scrape, the first bite, the first thrust, the first gag. The first spit, the first swallow, the first time you cum...
So here’s a thought. A couple of years ago, I was co-editor on an anthology called The Bad Girl’s Sweet Kiss, in which a couple of dozen fiction writers recalled (or invented) their first experience of either giving or receiving a blowjob. How fascinating would it be now to hear the same stories, told by our family of non-fiction writers.
To repeat what it says in The Body Project, “few studies...exist on oral sex among teenagers,” from the past or into the present. It’s time, I hope you agree, to change that dour scenario.