Why I Regret Learning How To Give World Class Blow Jobs

vulnerability

When it came to showing my vulnerability, to being authentic, I chose to hide behind a great technique more often than I chose to show up.

Months ago a friend posted the prompt: “I regret learning how to…”

I wrote the first thing that came into my head: “I regret learning how to give world class blow jobs.”

Let me pause and qualify what I mean by “world class blow jobs.” I mean that I learned from my gay male friends what they did and I practiced on my partners. Also, I learned to do a tongue thing that drives most men nuts. At the risk of sounding immodest, I have had guys fall in love with me for my blow jobs. I have even had an ex ask me to teach his new partner how to give a blow job using a vegetable of my choosing.

When I first set out to write this, I wasn’t exactly sure why I regretted my skill, I just knew that I did. Sexuality is a tangled enough web for women in our society. But I am also a survivor of sexual assault, and I grew up in a purity cult, so I was exposed to the sexual abuse that is rife in those cultures from birth.

For a while, I went down the path of thinking that perhaps my regret was linked to trauma. Of course, in some ways it is. It is silly to think that I could get away without my sexuality being in some way scathed.

But I have realized that this is about more than trauma. It is about a deeply human thing: vulnerability.

Among other things, being sexual can be about being adventurous and it can be about being vulnerable. Sexual adventurousness is about multiple orgasms, multiple partners, accessories, locations, and the list of wild and fun things goes on and on. Vulnerability is about one thing: reciprocal emotional connection.

I suppose that people could be adventurous and vulnerable at the same time. But I think it would be really hard. When I have been sexually adventurous, I refused to bear my heart, let alone that core part of myself that some call a soul. And that is the definitive requirement of vulnerability.

The minimum vulnerability we have to have in sex is that we trust the other person not to mock our body’s imperfections, that we place our pleasure in their hands. But for other people, especially women, there are additional vulnerabilities. This is the curse of rape culture. Even when you trust your partner implicitly, years of vigilance does not magically disappear.

In the last couple of months I have talked with both male and female friends about this subject. And I have discovered that many people have the equivalent of a world class blow job—a sexual maneuver that is more about emotional self-defense than pleasure. When we feel too seen, too vulnerable, or freaked out we hide behind our sexual performance.

And our society supports this. We almost never read articles about how to be more emotionally intimate during sex, but there is no shortage of articles on how to enhance our techniques.

When it came to showing my vulnerability, to being authentic, I chose to hide behind a great technique more often than I chose to show up. What I imagined as bravery ended up feeling like bravado.

There is nothing wrong with being sexually adventurous. In fact, I heartily recommend it. But it is no replacement for vulnerability.

The only problem with sexual adventurousness is that, unlike vulnerability, it never ends in intimacy. We think it will. We believe that doing something truly wild together will bring us closer together, and maybe it does…a little. But it does not build the emotional bond that many of us crave.

To be honest, I don’t entirely regret learning how to give world class blow jobs because I have given a lot of pleasure in my life and have had a blast doing it.

Mostly, I wish I had learned the difference between adventure and intimacy, between bravery and bravado. I wish that I hadn’t foreclosed on my vulnerability but that I had held on, breathed through it, and ridden it to greater intimacy with my body and with those I have loved.

Lynn Beisner writes about family, social justice issues, and the craziness of daily life. Her work can be found on Role Reboot, Alternet, and on her blog: Two Parts Smart-Ass; One Part Wisdom. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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