Last weekend, I saw Jacqueline Novak's show How Embarrassing for Her and in the moment I knew her set would be something I'd continue to think about for a while. It was incredibly brilliant, insightful, and it was the first time I'd heard my fear surrounding blowjobs articulated so well.
I felt so validated to hear someone on stage describing my almost exact thought process when gearing up for a BJ: (to bring out my inner Carrie Bradshaw) I'm always in my head about giving head.
I have some friends who love doing it -- for a multitude of reasons. The act itself, a sense of feeling in control, just relishing in their ability to make someone else feel good. I personally have always been quite averse (i.e. I avoid it and then feel awkward for avoiding it and then want to talk about it but then avoid it some more). And to be clear: you never have to do anything. Blowjobs are not at all this thing that all the cool kids (specifically the section of cool kids who have partners with penises) are doing and therefore you must do it too. I just have wanted to articulate for myself the what/why behind my aversion -- the physical and mental. I also would so love to not put that pressure on myself of "ok, I think now might be the right time in the relationship to explore that region?" -- or if someone goes down on me, to feel the pressure of needing/wanting to reciprocate when I may not be ready to. Again, all personal choices. This is just what my brain looks like.
I joke about the substances I wish cum could be: a lovely turnip bisque, ricotta cheese (the consistency would probably be cause for alarm but I love ricotta so we're going with it), white chocolate. But then, it's not just about the substances. It's the surprise attack of said substances. Yes, it is polite for your partner to let you know when to expect A RUSH OF LIQUID INTO YOUR MOUTH. I am scared of that though. Even when warned. Because I know it's going to happen and I don't really want it to.
Ok, so here I have identified a removable roadblock. I will opt out of swallowing or taking anything in my mouth. I am part of this situation and have a say in how it all goes down (now channeling Samantha and her single eyebrow raise + smirk).
Alright, so now I am imagining white chocolate and I will remove myself when the time is up OR use the blowjob as precursor to sex -- an option that fills me with such relief I can't even tell you. That is until the inevitable analysis happens:
How long do I stay down there / is it still technically a blowjob if he doesn't finish from it / what does it say about be as a person that I am not comfortable with this / am I not a giver / am I unable to relish in other people's pleasure / am I not 'fun' at sex? This will go on for a very long time. And to be very clear these are not the thoughts I'm having while going down on someone. These are the thoughts I have when I am making out and kind of moving towards the penis but then backing away because a week ago I decided today was the day and it needs to happen and I have to get over it.
Jacqueline Novak expertly discusses this type of mental tug of war with blowjobs. That Saturday night she officially became the only person I 'know' who goes through a similar conflicted mental gymnastics. She compared her personal analytic process to two other deeply relatable experiences for me:
1. Prepping to dive off a diving board -- and then changing your mind
You climb all the way up the very long ladder, get onto the plank, walk to the edge, do a few little bounces, bounce a little more, and then decide you no longer want to jump off and are faced with two not so great options:
- Throw caution to the wind and go for it, you made it this far
- Back off the plank and climb back down the ladder in front of everyone who witnessed your journey up said very long ladder (and will now watch your slow climb down)
As Novak notes, option 2 is always the path. It's a funny thing our brains do.
Not only did I relate to this metaphorical scenario, but I truly hated swim class growing up. I may be embellishing this a bit but my swim teacher when I was 4 looked exactly liked Ursula.
The dive was particularly stressful for me and I would often opt for a knee dive instead because I liked to look awesome apparently. When it came to diving, I was mostly preoccupied with the idea of water coming out my nose and choking me (a very relevant fear in the blowjob sphere as far as I'm concerned).
2. Your penis person observing you with their friends
Jacqueline related this feeling of being down there with a penis to being at a party with your partner's friends. You look up and see them from across the room as they're observing how you are interacting with their buddies. Somewhere up there with diving is being watched at parties. I would like to be the only person who knows the bizarre things I am saying or the weird way I am leaning or the way I am keeping tabs on where the dog is so I can talk to him instead.
Truly sweating just thinking about it. As my friend S would say "I am unwell. I gotta go".
I don't exaggerate when I say I have never related to anything more. Seeing Jacqueline discuss this on stage gave me the courage to talk about it here -- and also the notion that there are probably more of me/us out there. So there you have it. Cheeky's first sex post -- on blowjobs (my nemesis) no less!
A big thank you to Jacqueline Novak for being so fucking smart and kickass and hilarious.
Novak also has some crazily insightful remarks on and impressions of the penis itself and I cannot explain them because my explanation will ruin everything. Go see one of her shows if you can!