For some women, going down on their man is the worst part of their sex life. For others, it's a way of getting close to the man they love. And men... well... many [most?] men seem to live to receive oral. But what of the common lament from men ("The fastest way to stop a woman from performing oral sex is to marry her!"), and what are the real motivators on both sides of this sexual equation? I asked 500+ women to get the real scoop on why they loved or hated oral sex. Anonymity was an option for the women choosing to respond, and nearly all were submitted without any identifying information, so the information is real... and raw.
Some of these women loved the inherent intimacy this personal act provided. It was an adjunct to their sex life, serving as a connection to their husbands/boyfriends when the day-to-day of life lingers and disallows spontaneity:
When I first started dating my husband, it happened all the time and I loved it. For many years—and when I had the luxury of sleeping in—it was always a lot of fun. And I also believe that it shows my husband how much I care for him still and only want to be with him. Nine years later, it's a little more challenging to get around to doing it as often as I'd like, but two young kids will do that to you. I still enjoy it and can tell that my husband does too. And it's sort of our sign to each other that tonight is the night to take our time and enjoy each other.
Some were disgusted by the entire prospect of oral sex ... period.
I HATE IT! I hate doing it, I hate the thought of it, I hate everything about it! Come on, that is where you pee from! He of course BEGS for it ALL THE TIME! Seriously, I tried to like it for him. I really did. I tried and tried and tried and threw up all over him (which completely ruined the mood!). And for the record, I am one of those women who enjoys watching porn! I just can't do it!
And some had the funniest stories:
I was crazy in love with this southern boy many years ago (he was the guy who I ended up liking drunk more than sober.) Of course, I wanted to ... you know... and well it didn't go over well. Without getting into too much detail, he basically told me I sucked ... literally! All I remember was that he looked up from the pillow, with his lips curled around his teeth, rapidly pointing at them mumbling, 'TOO MUCH TEETH! TOO MUCH TEETH! IT'S NOT A STRAW!' I was so embarrassed. I wanted to crawl under the bed and die. I thought I was really good. I think I was absent the day they taught that portion of Sex Ed in 8th grade.
As I read these private accountings, I noticed something: the "sweet-and-innocent" and "Eww!" stories were at opposite ends of the bell curve. The majority of respondents were in the middle, where the motivators for oral sex vary greatly.
The act of oral sex is filled with issues. Intimacy and trust spring to mind instantly... but the less discussed—and perhaps most important—issues loom like the proverbial elephant in the room: control and dominance.
A large percentage of a man's ego is built on his virility, as well as a multitude of other sexually-charged items: penis size, number of women he's bedded, sexual prowess and "skill"... the list goes on and on. And given the anemic economy, men who have lost their jobs are looking to improve their self-esteems, and rejuvenate their identities. I'm not suggesting that oral sex is a man's way of finding self-worth, but a when a man is in control, it can often counteract feelings of inadequacy, serving as a distraction to balance out any negative feelings. But is he truly in control when a woman is down on him?
A disclaimer: As long as everyone one is agreeable and having fun, then it doesn't matter. Sex and all things to do with sex are great. What I'm alluding to is the motivation for the act—the unspoken dynamics at play... silently, elusive control issues. While there are many reasons women perform/provide oral sex — love, connection, intimacy, wanting him to feel good — one thing was mentioned by over 80% of the respondents: She was in control, and he was her [apparent] cooperative, willing submissive.
I LOVE going down on my fiancé! It makes me feel very empowered to know that I am capable of giving him maximum pleasure!!!
I love it. I really do. It puts you in a powerful place for negotiating to get things done your way and I've yet to meet a man who would say no to it.
And some weren't so loving with their personal motivations — but they were clear on their need for control:
My friend told me how she gives her husband oral sex when she wants something big. I tried it, and it works like a charm. The trick is to hold out for a while ... like a couple of weeks. Then go for it, give him the best head of his life.
How do you think I am able to go shopping, slack on the laundry, and take bubble baths in the evening? Even hinting at going down will have him saying, 'Yes honey; whatever you want,' for a week... at LEAST.
In delving further with some of these respondents, we discovered that the truth—the seduction for them, if you will—of why they like performing oral sex was the power they gained... the control. Which makes complete sense when you consider the act. Truth be told, regardless of the physical position — he's holding the woman's head/hair, standing over her with her on her knees, whatever — he is still submissive. There he is on his back, arms stretched out, eyes closed, completely at the woman's mercy... with the most sensitive part of his anatomy exposed and defenseless (not to mention that it's placed in an area where it could be severed from his body). This is a man in control? Of course not. This sexual act is the epitome of physical and emotional vulnerability. He is 100% devoid of control. Nothing wrong with trust and vulnerability... but this is not a "strong" or "dominant" act.
What of the men who prefer oral sex to intercourse? I would venture that much of that is a fear of intimacy... but I can't help but wonder — could it be so many men put forth a false bravado, when in truth they are naturally submissive?