As much as I love to receive oral sex (when done well, it's practically my favorite bedroom thing), I hate how uncomfortable I have always felt about asking for it from any partner. It's hard to admit that I carry so much unnecessary guilt about sex and relationships even though I know better.
Seriously, I know better.
I know I'm not the only woman to date men who've had no problem asking me to suck their dicks, yet I habitually run into hesitation and embarrassment when I even think about asking a man to reciprocate.
I can’t help but feel like they’re doing me an enormous favor.
That's crazy, right? Given how commonplace and even expected a blow job can be, I really hate that I feel like it's such a goddamned big deal.
I'm no fan of fingering because um, fingernails. Most men have been rougher than I'd like despite my constant requests to be gentler.
And oral sex still seems to be the best way to help me reach orgasm, but let's face it. I have a ton of cultural hangups that say my orgasm isn't as important as a man's. As a result, I wind up feeling like I'm asking a dude for way too much.
I worry about making them uncomfortable.
Again, I can't help but feel that somehow, oral sex on a woman is a bigger chore than going down on a man. Though it's not as if sticking a dick in my mouth is the most comfortable thing in the world.
A man's cock is simply easier to "whip out." Easier for him. Me? I'm still the one dealing with awkward angles and jaw pain. Or even worse, that male partner who thinks it's so damn sexy to hold your head down and shove it wordlessly where they want it, while you gasp for breath and try to pull away.
I worry about them thinking I’m gross.
It's not as if men's pubes are known to smell like roses. Even so, there seems to be some cultural stigma that a woman's nether regions are inherently more disgusting.
It's not enough to be attractive on the outside--we find out that many men have specific pussy preferences too. A woman can apparently be too droopy, too flabby, too red, too asymmetrical. Too something.
Some men expect a tight vagina and a picture-perfect labia--whatever the hell that means.
So we worry about the look and feel of our natural bodies. Not to mention the scent of our vaginal secretions. Whether we should wax, shave, trim, or fly free. Some of us will spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to tame unruly body hair--just so we aren't "too gross" to have any form of sex.
It's even worse with receiving oral, since a dude has to get so... up close and personal. What if our period comes early? Perish the thought. As women, we've been taught to be so embarrassed by our own bodies that many of us go to absurd lengths just to avoid letting a man see us with a box of tampons or a pad.
I worry about taking too long.
Like many other women, I deal with anorgasmia. That's a fancy way to say I often struggle to achieve orgasm. When a man does go down on me, I am immediately aware of an unspoken need to perform.
How long is too long to expect a man to keep trying? When do I throw in the towel? And how do I let him down gently so he doesn't feel bad about his skills? Shit, how do I let myself down gently when I really fucking wanted to climax?
All of these questions bounce across my brain as I'm trying to enjoy myself, and you know... relax. And of course, none of those worries are actually conducive to relaxing at all.
I worry about being too "high-maintenance."
Is it high-maintenance to be a woman who wants her partner to try to please her with his tongue? That's what I frequently hear despite oodles of men expecting a regular blow job and a handy.
But women are often raised to be people pleasers, and it's unpleasant to ask a guy for too much. I was already taught that men who foot the bill for dates expect one thing, and "consent" wasn't even in my vocabulary until after I turned 30.
Where I come from, wives don't say no to their husbands. Girls don't wound a guy's ego by saying no. It's hard for some people to believe such mindsets still exist, but they're all across America. And not just among religious folk.
I don't think it's my fault alone.
Yes, I know it's up to me to make my desires known in the bedroom. My apprehension about asking for oral sex could easily be blamed on me at first glance. Except that I don't believe it's really so simple after all.
All of my worries and fears stem from the lessons I was taught from a young age. The lessons I still hear even now as a 36-year-old single woman.
These are lessons I (and other women) are actively unlearning, but I think it's fair to say that we could all use a little bit of help. We need more men who actually want to even the playing field and do their part to help close the gendered orgasm gap.
We need more men to be less selfish.
And we need better body positivity--so fewer jokes and stigma about women's bodies? That would be great.
Finally, we need to talk about the fact (yes, fact) that a woman's sexual satisfaction is no less important than a man's.
So I’m still awkward AF about this, obviously.
But maybe improvement starts with women like me being honest about that too. Some of us would really like to get oral sex onto the table without the guilt, and we also want to quit feeling bad for even having these conflicted feelings in the first place.
Who's down with that?