*Names have been changed to protect identities.
I met my first serious boyfriend in school – as most kids do. We spent our two years together texting into the darkest hours, anticipating the final Harry Potter film and a few awkward family trips to Butlin’s. Ours was one of those romantic teen puppy-loves straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. We couldn’t get enough of each other. And soon enough, we began exploring each other’s bodies and our own sexuality.
The first time he went down on me was delightfully tormenting. As he eagerly began shifting his body down, a hundred thoughts went running through my mind. Does it look weird? Is there a smell? A taste? What if I missed a patch shaving? It was impossible to give in and let my body relax. Yet, the anticipation to finally feel a pleasure that I had only witnessed in films was enough to let him continue. With a surge of nerves and embarrassment, I placed a pillow between our faces to allow myself the privacy to freely absorb the new experience. I never did feel that wave of alleviation. At least not with him. It took a few years to feel comfortable enough to let that kind of pleasure take over my body. But when the feeling of euphoria finally hit me, there was no going back.
As proud owners of a vagina, we’ve come a long way in society. We now have the power to vote, unlimited access to contraception and a plethora of career options. Even something as simple as sex is now a figure of our freedom. Many women’s magazines rightly publish guidance on exploring our sexuality. With the help of abundant step by step guides, we can now attempt mind-blowing orgasms with sensual positions inspired by Game of Thrones. It’s become so normal to talk about ways to enjoy sex that we never hear of those who don’t. Articles fill our brains with ‘new positions for receiving oral sex’ and ‘how to make him better at giving oral’. Unlike the common fact that some girls hate anal or giving blow jobs, it’s almost impossible to believe there are those out there who hate cunnilingus. And why should we? Magazines fail to acknowledge it. Films don’t show girls lying in bed bored and uncomfortable unless their partner is doing a bad job. Instead, we are told how to do it and why you should enjoy it. Maybe it’s time the sexual liberation steps in to help those who feel like failures for not complying to societies norms.
There are many reasons why women hate receiving oral sex. It doesn’t come straight down to sensation and their ability to cum. While it does take patience and focus to discover the intense tingle with the perfect combination of pace and pressure. For some women, that kind of sensation simply doesn’t entice them. For Frankie*, she found penetration more of a turn on. “My ex would start going down and for the first minute or two, I would be sort-of into it. But every minute after that seemed like boring torture waiting for him to finish”. As some appreciate anal or bondage as erotic, others see it as a sexual repellent. Charlotte labels the sexual act as the equivalent of a back or foot massage. As oral sex is more slippery with less friction, it doesn’t provide her with much pleasure. Like Frankie, she too finds it boring and favours the touch of a penis or a finger.
Meanwhile, Emily’s dislike for oral sex stems from feeling passive whilst her partner tends to her. “Maybe I have trouble just lying down and being serviced without being a participant”. Sex isn’t a one size fits all. We all have our own likes and desires that get us in the mood. Could it all be due to the many pleasure points of the mysterious vagina? Studies suggest that those who easily orgasm through intercourse are less likely to enjoy oral sex. As someone who has never orgasmed in intercourse, it seems quite likely. The majority of women who have each expressed their dislike for oral sex find an aura of ecstasy through penetration.
Whilst popular magazines continue to tell women and men to enjoy oral sex, many are left feeling isolated and stupid for not being a part of the norm. “Every woman I tell this to thinks I’m crazy because oral sex is the best thing ever”, says Aimee. But it’s not just them it’s affecting. Charlotte explains her boyfriend thinks it’s personal when, in reality, she has never enjoyed it with anyone. We are wired to believe that if our sexual partner doesn’t like something, it is automatically us. It hits us like a ton of bricks. Our minds race back over the moments leading up to the act. Forever wondering what it is that we could have done so wrong and how we can fix it. So, as women, to stop our partner from feeling this kind of embarrassment and shame, we do what we do best – fake it.
Above all, we should discuss our likes and dislikes more openly for both genders to feel at ease with their sexual performance. One oral-outcast is refusing to let the stigma ruin her sexual experiences. Sarah learned the hard way that her body was hers to please. “I have had enough guys ‘try and convince me’ that they can change my mind on it…if he doesn’t understand that, his ego is too big and you’re better off with someone who will listen”. So let’s get talking for both men and women. No one wants to feel like they’re abnormal or bad at something as natural as sex. It’s an expression of love and shouldn’t leave so many feeling unworthy of it.