Sue Backshall

An oral history of the historic problems men have with oral sex

My daughter’s generation may believe they’ve made great progress regarding sex, but the truth is that they’re fighting the same problems I did.

 

 

 

This year is my 54th. Which is usually an age where someone retires sexually, or at least, is unable to comment on the challenges of modern sex.

Nope, and nope.

After a recent talk my daughter and I had about the oral sex situation, I discovered that the same old bullshit lives on.

You see, I lived (and humped my way) through the great sexual liberation of the 1970s. Prior to that decade, Australia was a nation of conservative action, both in society and in the bedroom. From the 1970s on, total expression of the body and sexuality was the way to go. It was abetted by the pioneering feminist minds of the time, as we all participated in an evening of the sexual seesaw; a great undercurrent that pervaded the bedrooms I sat in.

However, despite our new freedoms of body and mind, the same old sexual divisions remained. A problem I faced, and seemingly what my daughter and her generation does, circles around oral sex. We’re still confused, so we retreat to what existed before the great sexual revolution, retreating to what our parents taught us.

You see, there’s an expectation that the woman goes down. That’s a given, personal choice doesn’t really enter into it, unless you expressly say so. Which, you can, but I’ve found that is met by an oh, ok, which resets whatever progress we’ve made back to zero. It all operates on the assumption that thy would be done. Whereas, on the other side of the bed, that obligation doesn’t exist. That step can be skipped.

There’s a lot of bullshit that surrounds the act of pleasuring a woman orally. Television, music, everything, has hung a lot on it, making it grounds for humour. We’re confused, so we laugh. It’s car crash logic. But the humour plays on the fact that there’s a very obvious division. Those who can do it versus those who can’t.

 

It all operates on the assumption that thy would be done.

 

Should you do it if you’re bad at it? Yes, if you want to. No, if you don’t. But don’t automatically assume I’m as equally skilled/keen to stop at your third base.

However, those who can’t/don’t want to do it are not so much the problem. That issue can be solved with the above statement.

However, there’s a more clandestine level of bullshit that I first encountered in the 70s, which has now being rebranded as “the woke male” in 2018.

Those who don’t want to do it, but do it out of obligation, those we very subtly let you know that they’re doing you a favour. Anyone who has had sex knows these people. You can easily identify them with the lines they throw out: “I’m making this about you”. The fact that they subscribe to returned oral sex on the basis of obligation (and an expectation of the return) and not a personal want is the problem.

We females are subject to the same reverse.

Sex for both parties (especially in the casual realm), is conquest. Everyone has a need to fill, and they want to be memorable, to be told they’re good at it. But placing your value in someone on the basis of acts they really don’t want to do is how we got to this point.

It might not be overly sexual, or the thing to seemingly do on a first date when the lights go out for the first time, but I vote an earnest discussion of what is on the table and what isn’t is the way forward.

Don’t assume, ask.

It’s more fun that way.

 

 

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