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ISSUE 118 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/15/2004

Oral Communication

By Jennifer Hancock
Contributing Writers

Friday, October 15, 2004

It is better to give than to receive. When it comes to Christmas presents, this phrase rings true, but what about oral sex? I have to admit in this case that I prefer to be on the receiving end. Just the other day my girlfriends and I discussed this topic as we drove up St. Olaf Avenue. I never want to give a guy oral sex, said one woman in the party. Another replied, But don't you want to receive oral sex? You know you have to give in order to receive. The woman who vowed never to give slumped back in her seat to consider the statement. She certainly didn't want to relinquish the opportunity to receive exquisite pleasure. The discussion continued, reaching the consensus that people would rather receive. But we never concluded whether one must give oral sex in order to receive it in return.

In the not-so-distant past, women discovered that they were most often on the giving end of oral sex, and many were not happy about it. It does seem terribly unfair, given the fact that it is much harder for women to reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse than men. Why should women be deprived of oral opportunities for orgasm? they asked. Women used the statement you must give in order to receive, as leverage to convince men to give them oral sex.

In this case, it seems perfectly fair to insist that men give if they expect to receive. Why should men be disgusted by the idea of putting their mouths on vaginas, when they are far from disgusted by women taking penises into their mouths? Clearly, there is a double standard when a man is willing to receive oral sex, but he will not give it to his partner. In recent years, women have asserted their right to receive oral sex, and it seems that they have achieved some success. Indeed, today there exist women (like my friend) who expect to receive oral sex without reciprocating.

So what if a woman refuses to return the favor of oral sex? I have just said that men who expect oral sex should not refuse their partners; however, I must admit: that my first thought when I encounter a woman who refuses her partner oral sex is: well, if she is uncomfortable with giving a man oral sex, then she should not feel obligated to do it. Talk about a double standard! To be fair, I suppose I must say that a woman must also.

That is not to say oral sex must always be exchanged in equal doses during each lovemaking session. As always, variety is of the utmost importance. Oral sex would become boring if it were a matter of one partner receiving oral sex and then assuming the role of giver out of sheer obligation. This arrangement could become the oral equivalent of the missionary position, and that would be a national tragedy. In addition, women should receive comparatively more oral stimulation than men, simply because it is so difficult for women to reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone. While men often complain about women's low sex drives, I attribute this phenomenon to an overall lack of female orgasm that could be improved by more oral sex. So, men, take matters into your own hands, or rather, mouths, and help your woman out. It just might improve her sex drive -- and that means more sex for you.

But what about the comfort factor -- what if someone is uncomfortable with giving oral sex? I'm sorry, but get over it. Or at least, try. It is not nice to continue receiving oral sex while ignoring the needs of one's partner.

The bottom line: if your partner wants to receive oral sex and you do too, then you are obligated to give it to each other. Enjoy being on both ends. Unless, of course, you or your partner has no desire to receive -- why, the world may never know -- oral sex is a two-way street. It seems, in this case, the majority of people would rather receive than give, but there certainly are people out there who prefer to give. (Lucky is the one who finds such a partner.) If such is the case, take all the oral pleasure you want, but be sure to give an equal amount of pleasure back to your partner the way he or she likes it  a nice massage, whatever. As with most things in life, in oral sex-equitte there are no hard, fast rules. But it can be good like that -- hard and fast.

Any comments about this column or other sexual issues on campus may be sent to

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