realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In which Fellatio is Discussed

For someone who attended chastity speaker Pam Stenzel’s loud talk last night in Liberty Hall, I probably shouldn’t be interested in fellatio today.
But, despite the influence of my Valentine’s Day reading, I’ve been reading quite a few articles about fellatio in recent months.
The most recent, Christopher Hitchen’s discussion in Vanity Fair is a rather interesting history of the “blowjob” as a specifically American sex act (which is a little odd, they didn’t invent, did they?)
Starting with Vladimir Nabokov’s reluctance to name the act, Hitchens discusses the queer monopoly on blowjobs was the result of male anatomy, Victorian prostitutes and the below-job, marines, Puzo’s the Godfather and Deep Throat - Deep Throat was financed and distributed by members of New York's Colombo crime family, who kept the exorbitant bulk of the dough. Mario Puzo, then, had been prescient after all, and without his deep insight the Sopranos might still be sucking only their own thumbs. Needless to say, Mr Clinton’s activities are mentioned.
And it is in the light of Mr Clinton’s amorphous definition of the sex act, that people like Pam Stenzel worry about American teens. Last night, Stenzel talked about the line that defined sex (genital contact) and the problems she has in talking to teens who don’t think oral sex is actually sex – despite the STD risk etc.
I saw an episode of Oprah a while back where a group of mothers and teens sat in a circle and talked about the oral sex epidemic – Oprah even had some grainy security camera footage from school buses and the like.
Back in January, I got a little excited in linking to a Caitlin Flanagan article in the Atlantic entitled “Are You There God? It's Me, Monica”, where she asks the question How did we go from a middle-class teenage girl (fictional but broadly accurate) who will have sex only if it's with her boyfriend, and only if her pleasure is equal to his, to a middle-class teenage girl (a gross media caricature reflective of an admittedly disturbing trend) who wants to kneel down and service a series of boys?.  Flanagan acknowledges that the media seems obsessed with teen oral sex and wonders about what the girls are almost certainly losing: a healthy emotional connection to their own sexuality and their own desire. In this context all the unflinching medico-sexual naughty talk is but a cowardly evasion of a more insidious problem -- one resistant to penicillin.
And then last month, in Reason, Cathy Young thinks it’s all a big scare with the usual suspects - feminists saw girls as victims of male dominance, while conservatives blamed feminists and Clinton, whose bad example supposedly sent kids the message that fellatio was OK.
She points to the statistics from the CDC from September 2005, that found 25 percent of 15-year-old girls and half of 17-year-olds had engaged in oral sex and the slightly less well known fact from the study Girls and boys, it turns out, are about equally likely to give and to receive. Actually, at least among younger adolescents, boys overall reported more oral sex experience than girls, but both boys and girls were more likely to report receiving oral sex than giving it—which suggests a lot of respondents are fibbing.
Young then says Are some kids having sex too soon, and with too many partners, for their own emotional and physical well-being? Almost certainly. But the majority do not inhabit the sexual jungle of worried adults’ imaginations. The teenage fellatio craze exists mainly among adults. To those in the audience who are not worried parents, it provides both sexual and moralistic thrills; it plays both to the prurient fascination with teenage girls gone wild and to the paternalistic stereotype of girls as victims.
Young has a point about the stats, Flanagan about the emotional consequences of sexual promiscuities among teens and Hitchens thinks it has become, in the words of a book on its technique, The Ultimate Kiss.
Am I the only one who finds this really sad? Hitchens is fascinated with the “job” part of the act and the beautiful dentistry rampant in the land of the free – I am more interested in the “blow”. Casual oral sex seems more about blowing in the face of intimacy, reducing sexuality to instant gratification, given on the knees, if Hitchens is to be believed, on the first date than any mutually fulfilling “love”. (Just watched Nell McCafferty on last night’s Questions and Answers – she must have made a record for the number of times the word “love” was said on it).
Bruce Springsteen in his controversial song Reno from Devils and Dust, which deals mainly with anal sex, ends with “It wasn't the best I ever had, not even close.”  I wonder how the teens in the CDC study rank it, especially the girls.

3 Comments:

Blogger Fence said...

I wish I could think of somethin even vaguely intelligent to say (the post desrves it), but I'm just wondering what this post is going to do to your spam and referrals.

June 20, 2006 6:09 p.m.  
Blogger ploughman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 20, 2006 6:48 p.m.  
Blogger OisinB said...

I think BJs have been called 'America's contribution to sex" (certainly to gay sex) for many years, not only by Hitchens. The reason most likely is that Americans use more soap that Europeans. That may have been true in the past, now it probably applies only in France. Americans men are still more likely to be circumcised that European men as it is done in the US for other reasons than the religious.

Uncircumcised males need to clean their private parts fairly regularly. If not, putting your nose down there is not appealing. I can’t imagine Oscar W involved in any homosexual act other than kissing and buggering; not only lilies fester and smell worse than weeds, if you get my allusion. Sticking it in the rump of some willing lad or paid rent boy seems a lot more attractive a proposal.

June 28, 2006 3:33 p.m.  

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