Pop quiz: What happens to a human body when you jam an object aggressively down its throat? The answer, as any medical professional will tell you, is “a rather unpleasant result.”
Porn stars, bless their hearts, learn to control this impulse, commonly known as “the gag reflex,” as part of their profession. Despite what many men might wish, most women are not porn stars. And yet it seems a large strata of the boy-sphere these days expects their sex partners to have ridiculous oral-sex abilities, and be willing to perform certain acts, that, when it comes down to it, are utterly unrealistic and run counter to what our bodies are designed to do. (Plus, us lowly non-porn-stars aren't even being paid for it.)
Why would a man expect any reaction other than gagging when his genitalia is inserted into someone’s mouth? And yet it's still expected that we, the people on the receiving end, will swallow and eject said genitalia happily and without mess, despite our bodies’ natural inclinations.
Let me be clear: This is not a rant against blow jobs. Many people enjoy giving and receiving oral sex. This is a treatise about the unrealistic expectations surrounding blow jobs, and the unfair reactions when said expectations are not met.
Case in point: Once, a recent, rather well-endowed ex-paramour insisted on pushing my head down quite vigorously for many minutes while I attempted to go down on him.
I did my best porn-star impression for him for as long as I could, but after minute number seven, I could contain my gag reflex no longer -- and yes, I puked all over him. Yes, it was incredibly gross. And yes, I was absolutely hysterical with embarrassment. This is not something that had happened to either of us before.
But what really put the smelly icing on that disgusting cake was the fact that this boy seemed to forget that this is what happens when you insert something into a person's esophagus. And I am a person; my body is a human body, not a sterile, fluidless sex toy.
Well, this was apparently unacceptable to said boy. There I was, sitting in the dark, suddenly covered in my own vomit, naked, my throat in extreme pain, and frozen in mortification. Instead of offering any kind of support — there was no “Are you OK?” — he said simply, coldly, “Go to the bathroom.” He became acutely distant and seemed not to register my repeated apologies.
Days later, after a sustained radio silence on his part, I received a text informing me that he just “couldn’t unsee what [I] did, and [I] didn’t even offer to wash his sheets.”
Ah yes, because somewhere during the process of being covered in the contents of my stomach, naked, in pain, etc, -- all of which was apparently 100% my fault -- I was supposed to think, “Oh, I hope his bed sheets are OK!" How inconsiderate of me. He offered several other lame excuses, then ended the relationship. Via text message. (As if I didn’t feel dehumanized before.)
Vindictiveness aside, this incident is an example of the unrealistic expectations some guys have about how women should behave in bed.
I could (and do) blame porn to a certain extent, but not fully. In my case, when faced with undeniable proof of my humanity, my boy suddenly had no desire or ability to see me as human.
Our bodies can be just as gross as yours, boys. No matter how much you objectify us and wish we would dress up nicer, be more hairless, or sweat less, the amount of sweat in our glands, blood in our systems, or chime in our stomach changes only moderately with the change in chromosomes and genitalia. Masturbating to women who appear not to display these qualities will not change the facts in bed. Effective and open communication -- i.e. preferably not via text message -- is the only way to bridge these gaps.