Study debunks teen oral sex scourge myth

How many times have you heard that – whether it was on some terrible Dr. Phil episode or urban myths about “rainbow parties” – American teens were having tons of oral sex because they don’t consider it “real” sex? I’ve certainly heard a lot about it. Turns out, it’s not really so accurate.

Contrary to widespread belief, teenagers do not appear to commonly engage in oral sex as a way to preserve their virginity, according to the first study to examine the question nationally.
The analysis of a federal survey of more than 2,200 males and females aged 15 to 19, released yesterday, found that more than half reported having had oral sex. But those who described themselves as virgins were far less likely to say they had tried it than those who had had intercourse.

The report, from The Guttmacher Institute, notes that if teens are having oral sex, they’re probably having vaginal sex as well. Of course abstinence-proponents are using the study to argue that virginity-pledgers aren’t big oral- and anal-sex enthusiasts after all. (The fact that they’re less likely to use contraception doesn’t bug them that much, I guess.) But virginities aside, the real point of the study is that debunks these panicked myths about promiscuous teens.
The study’s lead author, Laura Lindberg, says the study “does not suggest that teens are hooking up around oral sex with lots of partners.”
In fact, the report showed that most teens who were engaging in oral sex – 67 percent – had only one partner. Certainly throws a wrench in all those media-created scare tactics about slutty teens. (I think it’s also worth mentioning that the sensationalized media stories always seem to focus on girls giving oral sex to boys, when studies have actually shown that reciprocity is the norm. And, naturally, same-sex relationships are dismissed altogether.)

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44 Comments

  1. Posted May 22, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Contrary to widespread belief, teenagers do not appear to commonly engage in oral sex as a way to preserve their virginity, according to the first study to examine the question nationally.
    I did. My mom talked to me early about ways my boyfriends and I could experiment and explore our sexuality without the risk of pregnancy. I waited for the rest of it until I was 18.
    I frankly don’t see it as a bad thing, but you’re right. The article dismisses gay and lesbian kids entirely and like all of these things takes vaginal intercourse as its only definition of sex. =\

  2. Posted May 22, 2008 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I just want to clarify that the thing I don’t see as being bad is waiting or engaging in other kinds of sex if you are a heterosexual teen until you’re ready for PIV sex.
    I do see the heterosexism of the article as bad, though.

  3. Thomas
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    What research I’ve seen is that the most sexually active teens are not those with multiple partners, but those in committed relationships. Hopefully most of the time that means that they are comfortable and have their need and limits respected and therefore explore more sexually with a stable partner (not that I’m saying there are not teens who can be respectful and mature with multiple partners, just that this isn’t the way it tends to go, both empirically and experientially).
    I actually think it’s a good thing if, as Cola says, teens deemphasize PIV in favor of other ways of getting off, because it’s a good risk reduction strategy; and also because I’m against the primacy of PIV.

  4. roro80
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Yep, I did too, Cola.
    I don’t feel too confident about this survey and its methodology, and I’ve already seen it sited by the ab-only crew as “proof” that ab-only doesn’t cause potentially dangerous behaviour like postponing PIV with oral or anal.
    In all honesty, practically nobody I know (or at least that I was talking with about such things during the teenage years) had good ol’ PIV sex before having oral to quell the urges until they were ready to go all the way.
    I guess what I’m saying is that the math is a little dubious. Out of 2000 teens in a 4-year age range (15-19), about half considered themselves virgins, and of those, a quarter had had oral sex; that makes an 1/8 of those surveyed are having oral but not PIV. If (and this is totally made up by me as an example), the average teen puts off PIV sex for 6 months by only having oral, then the pollsters would catch, oh, about an 1/8 (half a year times a 4 year age range, assuming a roughly equal distribution among ages) of the total teen population in that 6 month oral-only period.
    All in all, I think this survey does not disprove that teens are putting off PIV by engaging in oral. In fact, it looks to prove that over 12% are doing just that, and that it doesn’t last terribly long before they go all the way.

  5. iqonefiftynine
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I calling bull on this one. ” most teens who were engaging in oral sex – 67 percent – had only one partner…” only if you mean one partner at a time. From 15-19 is a long time for two thirds to have only been with one other person.

  6. Thomas
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    IQ159, the study is not a longitudinal study of teens, beginning when they are 15 and ending four years later. It is a study of a sample group, each respondent being between 15 and 19 years of age. One might presume the median age is 17, give or take a few months. Since the mode of PIV onset is at 16-17, it is not only plausible but highly likely that most of the teens in the study who had any sex partners for oral, anal or PIV had just one so far. Among those teens in the top end of the age distribution, one would expect more mean partners; while one would expect the combined distribution of zero- and single-partner teens in the lower ages to be correspondingly higher.

  7. phyllisbarnaby
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Sure, they talk about oral sex – but what about aural sex?

  8. lu_lu
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    My first boyfriend was much more sexually adventurous than I was, but we definitely played with oral (him eating me out, actually. not the other way around) for a long time. We never did have PIV sex.
    And.. a school I work with now actually has had problems with boys ranking girls for blow jobs. This isn’t some rumour or urban legend. It’s happened in my community.

  9. lu_lu
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Another thought:
    A lot of girls I know (myself included) found oral to be a lot more personal or intimate than PIV and, especially early on, have been uncomfortable giving oral until they get to know the person a little more.
    and phyllis: good one. very nice. :)

  10. latarasoff
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    WOW!
    I totally agree with this study, give my own sex life alone. The guy I lost my virginity to GAVE ME oral sex before we had PIV sex, and it wasn’t until a few months after PIV sex that I gave him oral sex. This is all really interesting. I don’t want to speak for everyone in Canada but you “abstinence” (whatever that means) until marriage folk in the USA scare me. You can get sexually transmitted diseases from oral sex too, not just PIV or anal sex, especially if you are going around giving and receiving oral sex from a number of partners. As far as I know, there is a better chance that a guy will be wearing a condom during PIV sex than oral sex so it’s just as, if not more dangerous, pregnancy aside. And maybe this is just my opinion, but giving someone oral sex is a lot more degrading than PIV sex, so I think you really need to evaluate why you are giving oral sex before criticizing those who are having PIV sex or anal sex, because in most cases people having these types of sex are in relationships and actually care about each other. Just a thought. Giving and receiving oral sex is so much more impersonal than PIV. You need to think about the reasons you are having oral sex more clearly. How is it making you feel if that is all that is happening? Are you just doing it to please the other person?
    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoying receiving and occasionally giving oral sex, but it has to be for the right reasons, and you are the most important reason. If you are doing it to suck up (no pun intended) to your bf or gf or whomever as a way of getting around the sex before marriage thing than I don’t think it is for the right reasons.

  11. Thomas
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    latarasoff, who is the “you” you are addressing? As far as I can tell, you’re attributing to some or perhaps all of the commenters sentiments that I don’t believe any of us have expressed.

  12. lu_lu
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Thomas: It looks like the “you” in latarasoff’s comment is addressing the “abstinence until marriage people”
    “I don’t want to speak for everyone in Canada but you “abstinence” (whatever that means) until marriage folk in the USA scare me. You can…”

  13. phinneas8052
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s funny that a show like Family Guy has already explored this topic and shown how silly the “abstinence only” answer can be. I only wish that more people were like Lois Griffin.

  14. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Okay, if this study is truly nationwide, then it is not concentrated on the areas where abstinence only ed is most prevalent.
    I grew up in one of these areas, and I felt the general culture /was/ that girls should be giving boys blowjobs and not necessarily the other way around, and that PIV should be put off until marriage.
    I just wonder what would happen if you surveyed only communities in the bible belt, or something…

  15. Liz M
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    lu_lu, I completely agree with you! The first time I had sex, I let (okay, demanded) the guy go down on me after PIV, but I refused to go down on him. For me going down on a guy was a much bigger deal than PIV, mainly because I felt so submissive in giving him oral.
    The first person I gave oral sex to was my first serious boyfriend, and it took months before I felt comfortable with that even though we had sex very early in the relationship. Now it’s not really a big deal, but I agree that for some people at least, oral sex is much more intimate and personal than PIV.

  16. Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    But those who described themselves as virgins were far less likely to say they had tried it than those who had had intercourse.
    Well, yeah, but they would be, wouldn’t they?

  17. iqonefiftynine
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Thomas,
    Thank you for trying to help me out. Obviously I wasn’t as clear as I would have liked.
    I never thought oral sex is used to prolong virgninity however I do take issue with the way the data is presented about teen promiscuity. It is a survey, which is why I’m not comforted by the statements at the 6 month mark and at the end of 3 years. What do you think?

  18. Jess
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    This study doesn’t speak to my experience at all. Where I come from oral is considered third base, and I thought that was true everywhere.

  19. iqonefiftynine
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    “And maybe this is just my opinion, but giving someone oral sex is a lot more degrading than PIV sex”
    Latarasoff,
    Can you explain what you mean? I’m curious why you feel that way.

  20. iqonefiftynine
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Jess,
    3rd base is oral where I’m from too. 1st is kissing and 2nd is handjobs and fingering.
    4th is PIV. Don’t know where anal falls. Lol.

  21. ellestar
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    *snickering at baseball analogies*
    When I was growing up, first was kissing, second was french kissing, third was petting, and home was PIV.
    Then, in high school, it switched from first was kissing (all kinds), second was petting over clothes, third was petting under clothes, and home was PIV. Oral and anal still didn’t figure.
    For me, oral sex on me is very personal and intimate. I used to would much rather do oral on him or have PIV than accept oral. Luckily, my SO kept insisting and I finally felt comfortable enough and woo hoo!
    As for blow jobs being demeaning, yeah, I completely get why some would think that. Mostly because this isn’t Deep Throat and blow jobs don’t physically stimulate most of the women’s sex organs. So while the guy is getting off, the woman isn’t. However, I do also find giving head to my SO completely erotic. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it empowering, but it is something I enjoy from time to time because it turns me on that I’m turning him on and gets me going.

  22. Thomas
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I am not “comforted” by any particular outcome, since the raw numbers don’t tell me what I think is important. What I want to know is, do these teens have sexual experiences where their limits are respected, that leave them feeling good about themselves and their partners, and that do not result in pregnancy or infection? That’s, to my mind, the end game. I don’t particularly think there is a “right” number of partners, age of onset, or even set or sequence of activities, though I think PIV, PIA, and to a lesser extent oral-genital contact are physically riskier than some other kinds of sex — but that can be strongly mitigated with contraception and barriers.
    About the timing, I think it’s actually very tough to tell from the press release (and the full study is not available yet) if the conclusions are well-supported. The grouping of intercourse and oral sex makes perfect sense, but in order to see if the conclusion is the right one I want to see more than just the number of virgins that had had oral sex. The press release seems to suggest that they asked some sequencing questions and I want to see what the data really says. I also agree with some commenters above that there may be regional disparities. But on the whole, I think it could easily be true on face value: that for most teens, sex arises in the late teens as a byproduct of an intimate relationship of some solidity where they feel comfortable, and that a cluster of activities including oral and PIV arise within a few months, with the same partner, and generally without other partners closely following. I think it’s a perfectly facially valid conclusion, but I’m not yet ready to say that’s what the data means.
    About the “base” parlance, I’m a little older, but when I was in middle school, first was kissing, second was breast touching, third was genital touching, and there was no separate base for oral. Anal, among het folks, was not on the map, and back in the Reagan administration there was on average one person every other or every third class in my (over 1000 student) high school out of the closet.

  23. corydalus
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    “reciprocity is the norm”
    Excellent….
    In my pre-sex male adolescence, say late 60s-early 70s, cunnilingus, if mentioned at all, was viewed with a horror nearly as great as contemplating being dragged under the surface of the Black Lagoon by The Creature. The first time I approached the reality of it (as a frosh in college) I was terrified that I might vomit or pass out from the fumes.
    Hell, childhood is just one long Urban Legend.
    After my GF finally dragged me away from between her thighs, because graduation was really not THAT far off, I spent days shaking my head at how utterly full of crap conventional wisdom can be.
    Despite the march of right-wing moronity, maybe some progress is being made after all.

  24. iqonefiftynine
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    “For me, oral sex on me is very personal and intimate.”
    I’m more like Liz, in that I would rather receive than give. I’m not sure if degrading is the right word for cunnilingus, but it may be how I feel. Massages though are exactly the opposite. I could work as a masseuse in a spa for free. Why did you mention the movie “Deep Throat”?

  25. ellestar
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Why did you mention the movie “Deep Throat”?
    I’m assuming you’re asking me.
    I mentioned it because, from what I’ve heard, in “Deep Throat,” the leading lady’s clitoris is in her throat, thus making blow jobs orgasmic for her.

  26. latarasoff
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I don’t know if degrading is the right word. And yes, I know that PIV sex can also be very impersonal. I am speaking to the anti-choicers, the abstinences only people yes. I don’t want to get into the whole debate whether or not having oral sex means losing one’s virginity, because who knows what the hell virginity even means, but I just want to stress the point that oral sex can be just as dangerous health-wise as PIV or anal sex, and can also be damaging to one’s self-esteem or identity if one does it for the wrong reasons. Sure, we all experiment and want to feel pleasure but its important to know why we are engaging in the sexual activities we are engaging in – we need to do them for ourselves, do things that we feel comfortable doing, with people we feel comfortable with, who respect us, and who we respect.

  27. Posted May 22, 2008 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    latarasoff; you talk about oral sex like it’s this awful thing, but no one suggested that it’s fine and dandy to expect het. teen girls to fellate their male partners before vaginal intercourse. For one thing, I’m a woman, and I put off PIV deliberately by engaging in oral sex. Personally, I declined to receive it, but no dude that I dated back then had a problem offering it. Teen boys more often than not actually care about the experience of their partners.
    Fellatio, if it’s forced, is a different story, but to begin with, it’s not sex, it’s rape. We’re talking only about consensual acts.
    I realise you were first addressing the abstinence only crowd, but these were the issues that I took with your comment.

  28. latarasoff
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I don’t know if degrading is the right word. And yes, I know that PIV sex can also be very impersonal. I am speaking to the anti-choicers, the abstinences only people yes. I don’t want to get into the whole debate whether or not having oral sex means losing one’s virginity, because who knows what the hell virginity even means, but I just want to stress the point that oral sex can be just as dangerous health-wise as PIV or anal sex, and can also be damaging to one’s self-esteem or identity if one does it for the wrong reasons. Sure, we all experiment and want to feel pleasure but its important to know why we are engaging in the sexual activities we are engaging in – we need to do them for ourselves, do things that we feel comfortable doing, with people we feel comfortable with, who respect us, and who we respect. Personally, in some contexts I see girls giving guys oral sex as a kind of exploitation if its not for the right reasons and the “love” isn’t being reciprocated, because I really do think that there are more girls out there giving oral sex than girls who are receiving it – in a heterosexual context of course, and I don’t think they are all totally comfortable with it, but maybe aren’t ready or whatever to have PIV sex yet but are just doing that to please their bf or whomever. But that’s just me…

  29. Thomas
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Sure, we all experiment and want to feel pleasure but its important to know why we are engaging in the sexual activities we are engaging in – we need to do them for ourselves, do things that we feel comfortable doing, with people we feel comfortable with, who respect us, and who we respect.
    AMEN! These should be the yardsticks, not some arbitrary age or ceremony.

  30. timothynakayama
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Latarasoff:
    “…because I really do think that there are more girls out there giving oral sex than girls who are receiving it – in a heterosexual context of course, and I don’t think they are all totally comfortable with it, but maybe aren’t ready or whatever to have PIV sex yet but are just doing that to please their bf or whomever.â€?
    Granted I don’t come from a Western/American culture, but in my experience, sometimes there’s a disparity between girls giving oral sex and girls receiving oral sex, because even though the guy might be happy to give oral sex, the girl does not feel comfortable receiving it and declines, even though she’s eager and willing to perform oral sex on the guy. No doubt this is from how society views women’s genitalia and how it influences women in how they themselves view their genitalia. I’m not saying that all cases of the disparity is due to this, but the girl declining to receive oral sex is not that uncommon.
    All this is anecdotal though.

  31. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Forced blowjobs among teenagers may not be any more common than forced PIV in teenagers, but I happen to know a few teens who its happened to.
    And whoever said it’s rape, you’re right. At the same time, I’d be willing to bet that teenagers would still report it as sexual activity in a study like this. (A lot of teenagers don’t know what boundaries they’re supposed to be allowed in sex in general, and a lot who know of rape as porced PIV penetration don’t realize forced oral sex is also rape) So it’s definitely worth looking at how teens view those activities…

  32. Rock Star
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure the girls giving but not receiving idea is a myth. I know men (as in, not boys, college-aged individuals) who have gotten numerous blow jobs, but say that they should get blow jobs, but that they shouldn’t have to go down on the girl because “it’s different”. Apparently you’re only supposed to do the reverse with someone you’re dating. I know one guy who actually has never gone down on a girl, but has gotten blow jobs from people (some of my friends included). It’s some fucking bullshit.

  33. Posted May 23, 2008 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I read the study mentioned above and what’s disconcerting is that there is not mention of the link between oral/anal sex and HPV. Although most of the discussion of HPV vaccines has centered around cervical cancer, it is clear that oral, anal, and penile cancers, and possibly prostate cancer as well, are caused by certain strains of HPV. I doubt straight males are using dental dams when they perform oral sex on female partners, but they should.
    See my blog for information on a recent conference at Rutgers that discusses these issues.

  34. iqonefiftynine
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    “I mentioned it because, from what I’ve heard, in “Deep Throat,” the leading lady’s clitoris is in her throat, thus making blow jobs orgasmic for her.”
    Lol. OMG! Learn something new everyday. So my girlfriend and I BT’d clips last night. We laughed our asses off. That this was film was ever considered porn or controversial left us scratching our heads. Thanks for the pop culture lesson.

  35. SarahMC
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Iqonefiftynine,

    I would rather receive than give. I’m not sure if degrading is the right word for cunnilingus, but it may be how I feel.

    Didn’t you just incredulously ask Latarasoff why she finds it degrading to perform oral sex on men?

  36. orchid
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    ellestar wrote:
    “However, I do also find giving head to my SO completely erotic. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it empowering, but it is something I enjoy from time to time because it turns me on that I’m turning him on and gets me going.”
    I agree. (I am a man) – I enjoy very much pleasuring my female partner with oral sex. Don’t find it “degrading” in the least, or empowering really, but simply one of the ways I show her that I care for her and am interested in giving her pleasure.
    I think there is a contact “high” but I prefer focusing on her pleasure instead of my own. For too long men have done the opposite, and this pattern does not display anything remotely like affection, much less love.

  37. spike the cat
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Interesting.
    Just a few thoughts media portrayals of oral sex:
    I think people have consciously or sub-consciously picked up on cues from popular culture.
    Artists like snoop and 2$hort love to talk about the hoes and b** sucking the d. There doesn’t seem to be much reciprocity, and mutual respect is not implied at all.
    Also we talked about catcalling but let’s not forget the charm of being told something like “suck my ****, bitch” or “suck my balls” just because you as a woman have spoken up about something.
    I could go on, but I think folks get the point. I personally don’t think oral sex is inherently degrading, but there are definitely some different messages out there.
    And if you want to see what kids have access to these days, just take a quick trip on google.
    Certainly an impressionable mind, with limited access to unbiased sex ed, could conceivably come away with a bad taste in her mouth regarding oral sex (pun intended).

  38. enhancedvibes
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I really like this topic so thank you for its inclusion, Jessica.
    Like some other posters said, I too find oral sex to be more intimate than PIV sex. I enjoy the hell out of getting it but I like giving it so much more to a SO than to someone I am just casually dating. That being said, I didn’t see anyone mention on here the whys of this disparity between males and females and the ways they view oral sex – a guy should get it but not give it, a girl should give it because its expected of them but they shouldn’t expect it in return, and all the other reasons mentioned on here. I think a lot of it has to do with the prevalence of porn. Teenagers have very easy access to porn on the internet. Blowjobs are so ridiculously common in hetero porn (and more common than women getting eaten out) that teens think it is a regular part of sexual activity to the point that they DO expect it. Point keeping or rating of girls in school or those schools whose students were playing the color band sex game where each colored band around their wrist signified their experience with a sexual activity. Sex is a game to them and thus there is some disconnect between their emotions and the physical aspect of it. I am not saying oral sex is bad or anything, holy hell far from it! =), but the idea that teens think oral sex is less intimate than PIV sex is just really hard for me to understand. Damn, forgot where I was going with this (how dare work distract me!), but I’ll leave it at that for now.
    When Bill Clinton told the world that he did not consider oral sex a sexual relation or part of sex conservatives went off the deep end saying that he was telling our nation’s children that oral sex was ok, go do it! I wonder why it took so long for some organization to conduct a study about it AND if there were any studies done during Clinton’s time in office after the debacle I wondered who conducted them then to prove that teens were having more oral sex.
    OK, stupid at math time for me. Does the quote below infer that teens are more likely to engage in anal sex than oral sex? Cause if so, WTF?!?!?
    “Sexually experienced teens were almost four times more likely to engage in oral sex and 20 times more likely to engage in anal sex than their peers who were virgins.”

  39. roro80
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    enhancedvibes — no, not necessarily. Among teens who said they were not virgins, there are a certain number who have also had oral and a number who have had anal. Among teens who said they WERE virgins, you also have some who say they’ve done oral, and some who say they’ve done anal. What the statement means is: if you said you weren’t a virgin, you were 4 times more likely to say you had had oral sex than someone who said they were a virgin. Totally separate from any oral sex stats: if you said you weren’t a virgin, you were 20 times more likely than a “virgin” to have had anal sex. These particular stats don’t imply any conclusion as to the number of teens having oral versus the number having anal.
    In fact, unless far more non-virgins were having anal than oral (a statistic I didn’t see provided), one could conclude from the data that many fewer non-virgins are having oral than anal.
    Hope that makes sense.
    (Ah…I can see the math word problems already…”If 45% of non-virgins have anal sex and 93% of non-virgins have oral sex, then what is the ratio of virgins who have anal to virgins who have oral?”)

  40. roro80
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, should read (at the end of second paragraph) “many fewer VIRGINS are having ANAL than ORAL”…geesh, I’m no help at all.

  41. iqonefiftynine
    Posted May 23, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    spike,
    If snoop and some obscure rapper lyrics can make fellatio seem degrading to some impressionable girl, why wouldn’t that same impressionable girl pick up the way more common “guys don’t like sluts” media theme and therefore think PIV was even more degrading?
    What fascinates me most about the comments is that several posters (I’m in that group) had very unique feelings about each type of sexual activity. I’m still left wondering why.

  42. rhowan
    Posted May 24, 2008 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    @iqonefiftynine The difference between PIV and felatio in the media is that the slut theme is balanced out by the idea that PIV is “making looooooove” and is the “ultimate expression of romantic affection”. There just aren’t that many positive or “romantic” depictions of oral sex in mainstream pop culture.
    I definitely picked up on the “people think performing felatio is degrading” meme. All the “Down on your knees bitch!” porn culture bullshit. Which is why although I give oral sex, and I enjoy giving it, and I don’t consider it inherently degrading, I can’t bring myself to do it in a kneeling position.

  43. Justin Kalm
    Posted May 24, 2008 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    This article is good news. All these tales of rampant teen oral sex were making me feel that I really missed out by going to high school in the 80′s.

  44. spike the cat
    Posted May 24, 2008 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    @iqonefiftynine: “If snoop and some obscure rapper lyrics…”
    First of all these lyric examples and the accompanying themes in some hip hop and rap are not obscure. This is mainstream stuff. I’m not saying everybody listens to this type of music, but record sales indicate that the music cuts through many segments of demographics.
    “why wouldn’t that same impressionable girl pick up the way more common “guys don’t like sluts” media theme and therefore think PIV was even more degrading?”
    Well some girls certainly do pick up on the “guys don’t like sluts” theme as well.
    But continuing what rhowan said, I’d like to make a distinction about blow jobs.
    Blow jobs are often portrayed as something a boy could get from a girl without the boy having to reciprocate anything—-no feelings, no reciprocal touching, nothing.
    Now this could happen to a lesser degree with PIV sex as well but, here there is a risk to the boy. And that is loss to his reputation for being shit in bed (e.g., a 2 pump chump).
    And consequently in the same popular music you hear the common theme of males bragging about pleasing women in bed.
    Whereas oral sex is almost never something the boy does solely for the girl’s pleasure, and is usually something the girl does to the boy in the manner similar to what other posters have described.

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