A woman has taken a very public stand online against performing oral sex on the penis, deeming the organ admirably practical and sleek in design, but justnot for her. This bold declaration comes on the heels of years of being denied oral sex by men who were perfectly content to get theirs, while refusing to give in return.
Writing at Vice, Alison Stevenson lays out her feelings on the matter in no uncertain terms:
I don't suck dick. That's the deal, plain and simple. I know this statement is sure to enrage heaps of men, and even women, who consider blowjobs a mandatory part of anyone's sexual repertoire. I totally get that. Here's the thing, though: I fucking hate it. I've never enjoyed cramming a penis in my mouth.
Sure, it seems like Vice be trollin'—and they probably are—but wait! It gets even better:
I currently have a man in my life who I'm not exactly dating, but who comes over about once a week to eat me out. The only thing I give him in return is a pat on the back for doing a good job. Some might think this arrangement is strange, but I prefer to think of it as pretty damn close to perfect. It was on our second date that I first gave him the opportunity to suck on my clitoris. After thanking him for giving me a ride home, I simply said, "Want to come up to my place and eat me out?" He gave me an enthusiastic yes, and we got to it. I sat on his face until I came, then sent him home. This has been our arrangement for a little over two months now.
They don't fuck because she has vowed to not have intercourse until she's in a committed relationship. And she's not sure she likes this guy that much. But she still wants to be eaten out on the regular, because she needs it to get off and he's into it, so why not?
Since starting things with him, I have resolved to never suck a dick again. I have also resolved to refuse getting romantically involved with any man who doesn't want to eat me out. Even if he has passwords for both Hulu Plus and HBOGo, I will still find the strength in me to call it quits if he can't put his mouth down there. Am I being selfish? Probably. But I don't care. In fact, I firmly believe this perceived selfishness is owed to me. This selfishness comes from many years of having sexual encounters with men who rarely ate me out. If they did, all but two or three of them never bothered to do it long enough for me to actually come.
I'm going to stop right here and just ask that we all ponder this moment in history. A young woman has come forward to say, basically, I spent my life never getting eaten out to the point of orgasm. I would now like to not suck men off to the point of orgasm. While cries of selfishness from the author herself and the readership at large seem perfectly warranted on the surface, I would like to suggest that we dig a little deeper here.
A lot of people think going down on a woman and going down on a man is the same thing in the sexual bag of tricks. But it's categorically not! As Stevenson notes, she is among the 50 to 75 percent of women who can't orgasm from penetration alone. Going down on a woman is not the same as giving a man a blowjob.
It's simple logic. Here, let me lay it out for you:
- If a man doesn't eat a woman out, but they have sex = man gets off; a woman very well may not.
- If a man doesn't eat a woman out, but they have sex and she also blows him = man orgasms extra good; woman still may not.
- If a man eats a woman out and they have sex, but she refuses to go down on him = man STILL orgasms; woman likely orgasms, too.
If baseline getting off is the only criteria here, then—as you can see—the situation Alison Stevenson has devised is less selfish than it is equal. This woman is a hero, and hell, maybe even a mathematical genius? And I say that as a woman who likes blowjobs mighty fine!
Looked at in that light, when Stevenson takes the time to show how much she doesn't hate penises—that she's even jealous of their mostly worry-free existence compared to the daily trials of the vagina, she just doesn't want to blow them—I think we should applaud how polite and considerate her refusal really is.
Unsurprisingly, the Internet does not agree:
At least this one guy gets it:
The point being: whatever any couple negotiates in good faith is their business. The whole thing sheds light on how oral sex is often seen as obligatory for the woman to give, and generous for the man to give; in any arrangement where the man is willing to eat pussy every time, this usually just means both people get off at every sexual encounter. Imagine that!
Anyway, Stevenson acknowledges that sexual pleasure is negotiable, and that she is partly responsible for not having asked for more orgasms throughout her life. But in her defense, men don't have to ask to get off in sexual negotiations. In my experience with heteros, the expectation is that dudes will be coming, and women will be lucky to come. When everything is bookended by the man's boner and release, women are generally going to lose.
To prove this, I tossed this essay to a dude I know to ask him what he thought. He wrote:
Well I hope she's into open relationships because otherwise she's destined to be cheated on.
Ha! I asked him to address the elephant in the room, the selfish lovers who've driven her to this madness:
But you know it's not that simple. Some of those men might have been horrible, some just don't know what they're doing or intimidated by the likely failure to achieve the desired results. Look, I think any man who doesn't go down on their woman or work to give her an orgasm can expect to be cheated on as well. But it is, unfortunately for you people, a much more complicated process than a man's orgasm. There's a learning curve that takes a long time and you people are not always helpful with that fact. I mean I didn't really master it until my thirties. My point is I understand her frustration, but it's just not always as cut and dried as men failing to get 'er done. I mean, there have been times when women stopped me from trying to make them cum because they didn't want to fool with it. Believe me, I think there needs to be a cultural change about this but it's going to require a little proactiveness on teaching men and patience with our egos and confusion about the whole thing.
See? Proactiveness from women. Patience with male egos and confusion. But still making sure male needs are met in the hopes that one day female needs will be met.
It all sounds like women doing a lot more work to give men some extra pleasure—in the hopes that one day they will get some for themselves. Which come to think of it, is a lot like a blowjob. Cool arrangement. Perhaps until it's all sorted out, a little collective pausing of the beej is in order. After all, if you add up a lifetime of hetero women sucking dick without getting off, I'd say we've earned a little break.
Illustration by Jim Cooke
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.