What does a woman have to do around here to get some head?
I’ve been in relationships almost exclusively since I was a teenager, and, until recently, had only ever slept with the men I’d been dating. I’ve since had a foray into the hellish casual dating game, and I’ve observed a phenomenon which makes the sex-positive part of me absolutely livid.
Women are basically expected to give a blow-job, but the chances of the favor being returned are slim at best.
Looking back, it’s something I (and countless other women) have experienced time and time again.
I can barely remember my first couple of high-school boyfriends offering to go ‘downtown’ at all, but I’ve always excused them because we were bumbling teens who were still so inexperienced and young, both learning about sex as we went, so I never held it against them.
My first partner as an adult never went down on me, except maybe a handful of times when we first got together, but he expected a blow-job every time we had sex, and almost daily as a rule. Upon reflection, he was a misogynistic asshole, and so I concluded this was why he never offered to return the favor.
My next boyfriend was much more even-handed with the oral sex. While the numbers still skewed in his favor (mainly because I actually enjoy giving head so much I’d regularly offer to give him one as it got me off as well), it still was in no way equal.
And don’t even get me started on how unfair casual hook-ups are with giving oral sex. In the seven month period I was playing the field and had a friends-with-benefits arrangement, I could literally count the number of times I was attended to on one hand, and I don’t have enough fingers or toes to represent how many times I was gently encouraged to go down on him.
Which is fine, and I’m not complaining about having to give a blow-job or two, but it’s the unfairness of the arrangement which really makes me frustrated.
In a study from The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, it was recorded that while over 63 percent of men recorded receiving oral sex as part of their last sexual encounter, the number sat at around 40 percent for women.
The same study also found that overall, between men and women, oral sex was far more pleasurable if given by a long-term partner in a committed relationship – sorry, single friends.
An informal poll of my closest girlfriends confirms there is definitely an oral sex gender gap. The girls in relationships say it goes both ways, but they definitely give more than they receive.
The ones who are single basically laughed in my face when I asked if they were getting an acceptable amount of oral sex.
“Unless I literally beg for it, guys avoid going down there with their tongue as if it’s going to kill them,” one of them told me.
Another went into more detail about why she thinks there is a bit of a gap. “When I hook-up with guys and they do go down on me, I’ve never orgasmed. I think it’s because I spend the whole time worrying about what they think of my pink bits and so I can’t completely relax because ultimately, they’re strangers and I’m not totally comfortable.”
She hits at the crux of the issue.
So many women are too worried about whether they smell alright, what they taste like down there or what someone might think of their vagina, that even when men do want to give a woman oral sex, she can’t completely relax and just enjoy herself. But it would be very rare indeed to come across a guy who was worried about the same if a blowjob was on the agenda.
Unfortunately, if you’re a woman, chances are you grew up being told that part of your body was, in some way or another, defective or not good enough. We have to live up to insane beauty standards which dictate that every part of our bodies must be perfect, and if it isn’t, we have to fix it. And our vaginas don’t get a free pass on this intense shaming and these insane standards.
It has to be hairless, but free from ingrown hairs. It must come in pretty, neat packages even though in reality, every vulva is different. Even though it’s basically impossible, there should be zero scent to the female genitalia at all, and ideally, it should taste phenomenal.
If your own personal private parts are any deviation from this mystical perfect vagina, you’d better feel terrible about it.
The constant shaming of women’s bodies is extremely damaging, not only for self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence but in forming intimate relationships as well.
I’ve had friends who have been in long-term relationships who have never let their boyfriends see them naked. And I mean, three years in and they’d never seen all of their girlfriends uncovered at the same time, because they were terrified they weren’t perfect enough.
No wonder women have deep-rooted insecurities about their vaginas.
I know that once I entered the dating scene, the fact that men seemingly avoided giving oral at all costs made me question whether everything was okay downstairs. And I’ve since come to the conclusion that more guys should be going down on women.
While closing the oral sex gap won’t really cure the constant and ever-present criticism of the female form, it might work to make things a little bit easier. Or at least, more women would be having orgasms, and that’s the world I want to live in.
And then, there’s the sexist inequality issue. The one thing about the oral sex exchange which causes the little feminist inside me to scream with pure, fire-and-brimstone rage.
A lot of guys are just selfish.
Maybe some men just don’t enjoy giving oral sex, the same way I know several gals who hate giving blowjobs.
And look, I understand that everyone has a preference, and if a guy tells me he doesn’t like going downtown, it’s absolutely fine by me. Sex must be consensual, and if he doesn’t want to do something, that decision has to be respected. No questions asked.
Problems arise, however, when five minutes after confessing this fact, he is pushing my head towards his crotch and expecting me to service him with my mouth.
The key word here is expecting.
If a guy I was seeing told me he didn’t enjoy going down on a girl, I’d probably still go down on him, just for fun.
But if he told me he wouldn’t be going down on me but would be expecting a blowjob, no negotiations, do not pass go, no chance of reciprocation, oh boy, you’d better believe I have an issue with that level of sexual hypocrisy.
These kinds of guys are everywhere.
One of these holier-than-thou men wrote a ‘think piece’ on why he, as a straight man, hated going down on women, listing off a bunch of different justifications for his decision – the smell, the taste, his personal revulsion at the apparent unappealing look of a vulva and the uncomfortable position oral sex forces him into – before finishing his article with, quite disgustingly, “to me blowjobs are a fundamental part of the sexual intercourse game.”
Hold up, mate. I have a problem with your incredibly selfish views on sex. Not to mention every word he wrote is a direct play-by-play of the concerns which scare women out of being able to enjoy oral sex in the first place.
Does he honestly think dicks smell like roses? Does he believe the taste of a penis or semen is like a delicious chocolate cake? Any woman who has received an unexpected dick pic to her phone can attest to the fact the male genitalia isn’t exactly a Van Gogh painting to look at, and sucking a dick isn’t exactly ‘comfortable’.
Oh, your neck gets sore when you’re between my legs? I’m so sorry! Now, please thrust your manhood into the back of my throat so hard it leaves a bruise, and don’t even worry about massaging my neck after I’ve been bobbing my head up and down for 10 minutes…
And of course, these kinds of men are highly unlikely to show any sort of consideration for the comfort of the woman they want to have orally attending to their manhood, while the same woman would have spent at least 30 minutes freshening up down there and internally freaking out about his comfort if he was going to head downtown with his tongue.
And while some people have a preference and may not enjoy oral sex, to demand your sexual partner perform the act on you if you’re not going to do the same is just selfish. And you, sir, do not deserve the pleasure my mouth can bring you.
So how about men and women agree to take a few wonderful steps towards sexual equality. The world is a better place when everyone is having orgasms, so unless oral sex isn’t your thing, we should all be putting our heads between some thighs more often.
And for the love of all that is sexual and equal, don’t demand oral sex if you’re not going to return the favor. It’s just polite.
Kassi Klower is a passionate and opinionated tea-drinker and cat-lover. She’s a proud feminist who is always sleepy, loves politics and lives for writing about social justice issues. Follow Kassi on Twitter and Facebook.
This originally appeared on SHESAID. Republished here with permission.