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Why might blowjobs be considered degrading? Help me understand...

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Question - (18 January 2010) 10 Answers - (Newest, 23 February 2013)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, *ld-spinstah writes:

Hi All,

Blow Jobs being degrading is NOT a view I hold.

But I hear it mentioned often enough on this site to know that it's a view that many women do have. Usually it mentioned by "male askers" complaining that their partners won't give them head and "female repliers" who try to explain why that might be. I'm never convinced, though, that I have read a reply from a women that actually holds this view.

Don't get me wrong. I can fully understand why women might find oral sex distasteful

1) Not all guys penis's smell and taste good. By the time you've added latex, lubricant and spermicide etc. it can be even worse

2) I don't mind the taste of semen but it's hardly the most pleasant taste and texture. I can think of things that taste much better. I understand why some girls won't have it - after all, I wouldn't eat something that made me feel sick (prunes - yuck)

3) The fact that it often comes out unexpectedly

4) And sometimes explosively catching you on the back of the throat making you gag

5) You get jaw ache if you do it for too long

6) When you first try, it just seems like a sloppy dribbly mess of teeth and tonsils

7) When guys first try they can be a little inconsiderate and thrust a bit too hard or try to hold your head....

All that I can understand, even though I enjoy giving oral. But I have difficulty understanding why exactly it's considered DEGRADING. I don't mean to disrespect anyone's point of view but I'd just like to understand it better. If you don't know something, the best thing you can do is ask, right?

View related questions: lubricant, oral sex, semen, sperm, text

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A female reader, elise22 Netherlands +, writes (23 February 2013):

elise22 agony auntI found this post because I was a little concerned about blow jobs being degrading. Recently, the guy I'm dating asked me to give him a blow job during sex. He was really sweet and said I shouldn't do it if I didn't want to, but I wanted to pleasure him so I did it. It was my first time performing oral sex and I actually sort of liked the taste because it was him, and I'm crazy about him! But I did hesitate because it felt a little cheap and sluttish, and I don't know why, so that's why I'm here. I think I never would have thought about it like this if I hadn't heard over and over again that blow jobs are degrading to women. I think the only reason it would be degrading, is because some people say it is. I'd like to accept sexuality as a natural and fun thing though. I've never had any bad experiences and I don't want to be held back by some social prejudice.

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A female reader, sparkleeunicorn United States +, writes (30 September 2012):

I think a lot of people are missing one key element in this.... men have orgasms fairly easy (ok VERY easily lol) most have to meditate and focus on something else to keep from comming early hence the baseball joke. Women on the other hand need more stimulation.

We require mostly clitoral stimulation. that doesnt come from penitration most of the time although there are lucky ones.

So my point being, honestly, if i came from sex alone, i wouldn't even want him down there.

I like when both of us feel good at the same time. to me that is intimacy everything else is playing around. So yes girls can give head and not be degraded but i think women should get it tons more and the woman and man both should only give it when they want to it shouldnt be forced. I cant believe no one has said this!

I personally dont like getting it and only very occasionally like Giving it, but often times it is a necessary way of achieving orgasm for women. that is the difference.

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A female reader, Livinginthemoment United States +, writes (21 January 2010):

My current boyfriend actually feels that it is degrading to me and has never, not once, allowed me to perform it on him. He'll let me start but right when I get to the main act he freaks out. However he has no problem going down on me. I've never ran into this before and really don't understand myself

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A female reader, old-spinstah United Kingdom +, writes (20 January 2010):

old-spinstah is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks for all your replies folks - especially the two anonymous female posters who made the most salient points. I certainly agree that it should always be a matter of choice and never an obligation for either sex (Sorry, Bibu) If someone is truly repulsed by something they should not have to participate - If I had a boyfriend who despised cunnilingus, I wouldn't expect him to do it.

I also totally disagree that the type of women who consider oral sex to be degrading are "feminists". In that respect, I hold the totally opposite view. I feel that a women who, deep down, feels subservient (whether she actually is or not) is more likely to hold the opinion that her husband/boyfriend is degrading her when it comes to oral sex. (And I am talking about oral sex in the context of a relationship/marriage.) I consider myself to be a feminist and I love oral sex.

I'm still not entirely convinced that I've heard from a woman who DOES hold the view that oral sex is degrading so do keep the comments coming!

I have wondered sometimes if the "I find it degrading" is actually an excuse or cop-out so she doesn't have to say "Your d**k tastes really bad and it makes me want to heave." (most guys I think would feel very upset by that.)

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A male reader, bharat mehta India +, writes (20 January 2010):

bharat mehta agony auntThe reason 1 to 7 you mention for blowjob's degradations are true, without any argument. Even there are religious reason that also condemn blow job do not come in to consideration. Out side religious reason, the reason you show are true.And, now the question arise why? Why so?

The reason for its degradation is philosophic. Primarily sexual experience relay on our sense of touch only. It is sense of touch give our mind the report of liking. In love making when sex organs, penis, breast, lips etc are involved they involve with sense of touch. And, it is sense of touch can judge the sexual pleasure, including smoothness, and softness of flesh. But, at the same time other senses like sense of smell give negative report about smell, that it is bad, if not clean properly. Sense of taste will give report about taste of flesh that it is not tasty, and sense of site sometimes give report that the posture so created in love making is not look beauty full.

After all, love making involve functioning mind. It is mind that can perform analytic function, it is able to abstract and conceptualize the pure sense of sexual pleasure, through performing certain function such as intention, concentration, and meditation. as a result of all these mind's function, some people's mind is powerful then he can do blow job perfectly without confusion. But, some mind is not able than it conclude that blow job is degrading for the reason stated above. We do blow job not for taste, not for smell, but for having better sex pleasure. Right? If you feel question, in spite of this presentation, then feel free to ask me personally through private message.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 January 2010):

To understand why some women might find blow jobs degrading I think you have to look at a broader context.

Sexual acts have been used to degrade women throughout history and across the world. Rape and sexual assaults on women are still a huge problems with so many instances going unreported or unpunished. I think that leaves a lot of women and girls (myself included) with the impression that society deems these things acceptable, in practice if not in theory and that to speak out against it or to not want to put up with it, really is just making mountains out of mole hills. Speaking personally as a woman, and yes a feminist, I think getting to grips with your own sexuality in this context can be a very difficult process. I heard a statistics once that 1 in 2 women suffer serious sexual abuse at some stage in their life and certainly in terms of people I personally know this is probably an underestimation.

This might all seem like it doesn't specifically relate to blow jobs but what I'm trying to say is that I think society plays a big part in how people define their own ideas of sexuality. I think the are massive connotations of subordination, degradation and power displays linked to the idea of blow jobs - there are countless films that show blow jobs being used in this way and this portrayal comes from a very horrible reality. Maybe some of the women you refer to have had horrible or degrading experiences involving blow jobs in the past. Because of my own experiences it isn't something I do unless I'm in a fairly long term relationship with someone i completely trust and am comfortable with. For other women it may be something they won't do at all. I think given the amount of sexism that still exists any decent man needs to be able to understand and accept that. Honestly I think any other reaction is insensitive, ignorant and extremely offensive.

I haven't seen the comments you refer to but i do agree that even if you personally find it degrading, it isn't a view you should try to enforce on other women and it certainly isn't something women should be judged for doing. That to me is the opposite of feminism. I honestly wish I had grown up in a world where blow jobs, and sex in general were always totally uncomplicated and fun for me and I'm happy for women who do feel that way.

Anyway I hope that maybe helps a bit.

Sorry for the essay!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 January 2010):

LonelyTwo: "I can only suggest that they are the feminist type who hate men and everything they stand for" Feminism has nothing to do with blowjobs. In fact feminism supports female sexuality, meaning we believe women are entitled to enjoy sex and have pleasure from it, as well as want it and desire it, without it being a taboo or something negative. Quite the opposite of calling something sexual as degrading! For feminism, any sexual act that women take part in is NEVER degrading, because she is a free being to do what she enjoys, and is allowed to enjoy it.

More so I believe it is a typical prudish christian thing to consider any sexual act as degrading.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 January 2010):

A lot of people are narrow minded and think that their opinion is the only one that counts. If they hate giving a blow job then they think that all women should hold that view. There is no right or wrong opinion, just different ones. That's why some people like oral, anal, BDSM or whatever and others hate it. My wife and I don't think it is degrading at all, just as we don't think that a guy giving oral to the woman is degrading. I wonder if the women who think it is degrading for them to swallow also think it is degrading for a guy to spend 15 minutes with his face buried between her legs. I'll bet not.

My wife agrees with old-spinstah. It is certainly not her favorite food, but the erotic feeling and excitement turns her on. By the way, not knowing when it is going to happen is half the fun for her.

For the women who think it is degrading to let a guy cum in your mouth, as the guy to kiss you while you still have a mouth full. Would that make it less degrading to you?

"You get jaw ache if you do it for too long"

Use your hand or have him help so you can get a little break.

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A female reader, Angzw Zimbabwe +, writes (18 January 2010):

If the guy loves, cares and respects you, then its great. BUT if a guy treats you like crap, calls you names and then expects a blow job, THEN its degrading. The circumstances that surround the relationship are what determine whether or not its degrading. For many women, when they give a bj, its like a special treat for the guy and an act of love to make him happy because he is so good to you. But if for example I find out my man is cheating on me, I imagine that giving him head is not only a degrading act of cleaning up another woman's pussy but its also a huge ego trip for the guy that all these women are worshipping his dick and therefore I would not want to do it. I hope this makes sense. And this is just one opinion.

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A male reader, CaringGuy United Kingdom + , writes (18 January 2010):

I think the idea of it being degrading is if the man hasn't taken time over personal hygiene for a woman, or if he's using her for nothing else. It#s not degrading if you're with someone who cares about you and isn't using you. Maybe that's what people are trying to say. I don't think it's degrading (to be fair, I am a guy), but at the same time maybe that's because I'm with someone I care about.

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