To give or to receive: Why both is better

The following scene is described from the perspective of a female. You are in bed with a significant other and you are both in the middle of foreplay. Things are intensifying and you’re ready for the next move when he tells you he needs “a little help.” You immediately know what he’s referring to. With a mental eye-roll, you head down south. After your sore jaw and his moans indicate that you’re finished, you look back up ready for your turn—except he’s already putting on a condom. Asking to “return the favor” when being intimate with your significant other shouldn’t be taboo. When it comes to oral sex, pleasure should be mutual. Sex in general is a mutually intimate act. It seems more common and expected for a female to go down on a male rather than the other way around. The very phrase “eat out” brings a not-so-pleasant taste to the mouth, if you will. Why is it that after giving him a blowjob, you get nothing in return? Even if the guy isn’t in the mood for it, it doesn’t seem fair that your needs are completely disregarded and unacknowledged.

When he does finally take it upon himself to go down on you, it is rare that he knows how to work his mouth in your favor. The anatomy of your vagina is a foreign land to him. A penis is pretty straightforward; there are only so many directions in which you can go. A vagina, however, requires a little more sensitivity.

It is deep, complex and can be worked in a multitude of ways that some might not be aware of. Brown University Health Education states that women are most likely to experience orgasm through clitoral stimulation rather than through vaginal penetration, making it important for a female to become familiar with her vulva and unafraid to voice her likes and dislikes.

There is a surprising discrepancy between the giving and receiving of oral pleasure among male and female sexual partners. For this, we have the media and the college “hook-up culture” to blame. Most young men are only exposed to these sex acts initially through film, television and, of course, pornography. In all these, the context is the same; all a man has to do is thrust upon a woman and he’s done.

It takes much more than just thrusting. It is rare for a film or a television show to show a female being pleasured, but references and scenes of male oral pleasures are everywhere. The media tends to ignore the giving and receiving aspect of oral sex and completely disregards the dynamics of sex education, making females more self-conscious and awkward about even asking, especially if they barely know the person they are intimate with.

According to a 2013 article by The New York Times, research done by Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute biologist Justin R. Garcia and researchers at Binghamton University found that among 600 college students, “women were twice as likely to reach orgasm from intercourse or oral sex in serious relationships than in hookups.” The study showed that young men are more focused on their own sexual pleasure rather than their partner’s due to the casual nature of the sex.

If this is what men and women have to reference for oral sex, then perhaps we should start thinking about bringing a sex education class to campus. Going down on a girl shouldn’t be a taboo topic of conversation. It’s a very attractive and empowering thing to know how to pleasure someone other than yourself, and actually succeed at it.