Blow by Blow: A Guide to Highbrow Oral Sex Writing and Reportage

Almay Ad (Reproduced in John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, 1977)

“The oral-sex craze—and in particular girls’ insistence that blowjobs ‘aren’t sex’—has often been blamed on Bill Clinton and his semantic calisthenics during the Kenneth Starr investigation. But even if teen girls were looking to the White House for personal guidance, was it really Bubba they were trying to emulate? Girls’ private lives are always much more influenced by First Daughters, or even First Ladies, than they are by any pasty politico.” – Are You There God? It’s Me, Monica, by Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, January 2006. [via Powells]

“The idea that a blowjob is a dirty, unsavory chore persists. For some women, they’re used as an out when she doesn’t want to have sex (or as household quid pro quo: ‘If you take out the garbage, I’ll give you a bj’).”- Long Live Blowjob Nation, by Rachel Kramer Bussell, The Village Voice, April 21, 2006.

“Pardon the following intimacy, but performing oral sex has a lot to do with the unequal distribution of pleasure and power. It’s more satisfying for the recipient than for the bestower. Without love or emotional connection, it usually makes the bestower an instrument of the recipient’s will.” – AGAINST “SUCKS”, by Lee Siegel,, April 28, 2006.

“Girls and boys, it turns out, are about equally likely to give and to receive. Actually, at least among younger adolescents, boys overall reported more oral sex experience than girls, but both boys and girls were more likely to report receiving oral sex than giving it–which suggests a lot of respondents are fibbing.” – The Great Fellatio Scare, by Cathy Young, Reason, May 2006.

“There is another thinkable reason why this ancient form of lovemaking lost its association with the dubious and the low and became an American handshake and ideal. The United States is par excellence the country of beautiful dentistry. As one who was stretched on the grim rack of British ‘National Health’ practice, with its gray-and-yellow fangs, its steely-wire ‘braces,’ its dark and crumbly fillings, and its shriveled and bleeding gums, I can remember barely daring to smile when I first set foot in the New World. Whereas when any sweet American girl smiled at me, I was at once bewitched and slain by the warm, moist cave of her mouth, lined with faultless white teeth and immaculate pink gums and organized around a tenderly coiled yet innocent tongue.” – As American as Apple Pie, by Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair, July 2006. Blow by Blow: A Guide to Highbrow Oral Sex Writing and Reportage