The One About Blowjobs

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A pronounced cross-cultural difference became apparent to me as I was dating one of my first American girlfriends. When we got to the age-old sexual history question swap, I cringed a little, because I tend to tell the truth. It's also a widely held belief among men that women, as a rule, lie through their back teeth about this particular nugget of information, in order to present themselves as somewhat prim and angelic. Lord knows why. It's not like we aren't going to uncover the truth soon enough...

So when she said she'd had sex with five men, naturally I doubled the number and stored it in my little brain for future reference. The question of oral sex came up. I playfully asked her how many men she had performed fellatio on. She thought for a moment and came back with the number twenty-five. I catapulted backwards off my stool.

"You don't count a blowjob as sex?!"

"Not really."

"What is it then, some kind of Yank handshake?"

I should have moved here sooner. Being introduced to people at parties would be a lark, albeit ultimately somewhat draining...

I guess Clinton set a president here. Ponderous punning aside, I personally consider a blowjob more intimate than the ol' in-and-out. Am I alone in this? I mean, intercourse is intercourse - it actually serves a genetic purpose - but oral sex has no design other than to pleasure the recipient (or to accumulate jewelry). Surely then, it is more intimate?

Pleasuring someone for zero return is an altruistic act of saintly proportions, whereas shagging is underpinned by procreation; our genes drive us to it, so it's gift is lessened.

I asked the girl about this. She shrugged and said that sometimes, if she didn't want to have intercourse, she would give the guy a blowjob just to leave her alone. I honestly didn't know what to say to that.

Guaranteed blowjob, basically, so I stuck around.

There seems to be broad fluctuations between individuals in enthusiasm for, and mastery of, this particular activity. Some girls flatly refuse to even look at a penis, never mind touch it, while others seem to be able to breathe through their ears. Some will not allow it past the lip halo, and instead of sucking they lick it like a cat. Others pretend to be giving you a blowjob but are actually giving you a hand job and through some devious legerdemain make it look like they're outperforming even the most ambitious of porn-stars. I reckon this is why women traditionally have longer hair than men, in order to accentuate the illusion by hurling their heads around like a cork in a storm-tossed sea; great billowing swirling sheaves of flying hair obscure all manner of deceptions.

You sneaky buggers.

Another popular topic of debate is the "spit or swallow" contest. The number of times you'll be telling your buddies about some oral episode the night before, and one of them (always the same one, you'll come to notice) will spark up with, "So, did she spit or swallow?" I believe if we traced this question back to its source, we'd find a woman. Why? Because men don't care what you do with it. We're finished with it and are thinking about whether it would be easier to actually call Papa John's or order online.

Swallowing generates less mess, I suppose, so cleanup isn't an issue. Kissing might be, though, depending on how weird the guy is. I remember one time a girl asked me if I wanted her to rub my fresh ejaculate into her breasts.

I couldn't answer, as I was already on the bus home.

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