There is a story over at Salon that details a mini "Pie Fight" going on between different blogs about the connotations of women performing oral sex. Since we are the home of the Pie-Fight, I thought this might make for an interesting issue to discuss, since at its core the issue is basically the same. Are women who are half-nude in a movie or advertisement, or otherwise "sexual", unwitting victims of a patriarchal society?
I actually think that issues like this are an area where some Feminists sound & look like Focus on the Family, but I'll get more into that after the jump...
How did the feminist blogs get into a raging debate about blow jobs, feminism and the patriarchy?
Well, funny story. Heh heh heh. See, best I can tell, Twisty at I Blame the Patriarchy kicked it off by arguing, in response to a post on One Good Thing advising a letter-writer on how not to gag while administering oral sex, that "no woman, since the dawn of the patriarchal co-option of human sexuality, has ever actually enjoyed this submissive sexbot drudgery. There's a reason that deep-throating a funk-filled bratwurst makes a person retch.* (*Reason, it's fucking gross.)" Twisty got 230 responses, many of them from women who argued that giving head is an empowering act. And so she followed up, sarcastically opining that she is "chastened." "I'd forgotten that when it comes to sex, it is the duty of the radical feminist to shut the fuck up," Twisty wrote. "Sex, which, along with religion ... is sacrosanct territory. It is anti-feminist to point out the ideological problems with certain patriarchal sexbot traditions because so many women enjoy patriarchal sexbot traditions ... Like Germaine Greer always says, if you wanna nail your nutsack to a breadboard and call it sex, it's A-OK with me! ... It is a well-known fact that most women spring from their beds every morning singing, 'O I hope I can blow some dude today!'" This post garnered 93 responses.
Amanda at Pandagon then followed up with a post that agreed in some respects. She argued that the "power imbalance" in heterosexual realationships and the "submissive" fashion in which oral sex is portrayed in porn, gives it a negative connotation. Now I have to ask how many people actually get the porn "facial" experience? Hell, there are women in porn that won't do it. Porn sex has about as much in common with most real sex as "The OC" is an accurate description of the real high-school experience.
I digress. Other blogs then jumped on to dispute the original post...
R. Mildred at Punkassblog opened her response with a succinct, "Do you know what Twisty? Bite Me" and went on to excoriate the anti-oral argument, noting that "those of us with two brain cells to rub together and an ability to actually connect in a sexually intimate way with other human beings of a male persuasion tend to be able to find ways to invite men into our beds without turning it into a threesome with the patriarchy." R. Mildred went on to explain that an anti-head stance actually hurts women. "Explain to me again why both this bullshit anti-sex 'feminism' of yours and The Patriarchy you talk about despising so much, both involve me, a woman, becoming abstinent? Why is everyone afraid of the horrors I may commit with my vagina or mouth if just left alone to challenge the patriarchy one cock at a time?"
I have real problems with Twisty's argument, since "free will" and choice don't really seem to matter. We're not talking about rape in this situation. We're talking about sex acts between consenting adults. If a woman likes or derives pleasure, Twisty basically argues that she's stupid or indoctrinated with a "sexbot tradition". How is this different than Islamic & Christian Fundamentalist groups who argue that women must be protected from themselves & popular culture? How can you argue that a woman has a right to control of her own body, but then say she can't show that body in public (as in the pie ad) or shouldn't perform certain sex acts in private if that's her choice? When radical feminists make arguments like this they are trying to mold society to their view of the way it should be, in the same way that Christian groups do. Both sides ignore simple human nature. That nature can't be wished away no matter how hard you try. People have "the right to be wrong".
Since we're talking about oral sex & in keeping with the diary title, I just have to post something I read. Conventional wisdom, as evidenced above, seems to believe that all men love the blow job. That isn't true. Just like men (and I guess by extension lesbian women) who couldn't find a woman's clitoris with a map & a flashlight, there are women (and again I would guess gay men) who don't know what the hell they're doing when it comes to oral sex. Over at the Something Awful Forums they have a thread that asked about what were people's favorite sex experiences. The thread turned into a whacked out version of Penthouse Forum, but this comment had me giggling for 10 minutes...
I love my girlfriend, but I think she really sucks at it-- wouldn't know for sure, since I've never had a "head" experience that impressed me, not with any girl I've dated. But when she heads south it's like being in a swimming pool. I dunno, does that sound sexy? I've gotten used to it, so I wouldn't know anymore. But I can tell you it's not particularly enjoyable the way she does it-- tons of saliva, while not using anything else in her mouth, then she pulls away and blows on it, which only makes it cold. After about twenty minutes of this I have to get her to stop because it's threatening to cause Seinfeld-esque shrinkage, and I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings.
Although, I find the thread with stories of rejection interesting too...
The coolest one I received, laid down in this thread's preferred format:
+<-- Attractive young lady that was often at the same social gatherings. Friend of a friend.
*: So would you like to go out sometime? Dinner, movie, all that?
+: I'm a lesbian.
*: Oh...wow. Really?
+: No, actually I was just trying to lessen the damage to your self-esteem. Congratulations on pressing the issue