On Head – Part 2

It’s been a long time since I wrote, “On Head – Part 1,” but recent thoughts have driven me back to exploring this action…from a philosophical standpoint.  In Part 1, my goal was to explore the arguments for why receiving oral sex may be more desirable than full-blown intercourse and try to defend them a bit.  There’s definitely merit to at least one particular argument, the “Sexually Selfish” argument – oral sex is designed for one person to climax (when performed as the main sexual action and not as any foreplay) and it’s a much easier climax to achieve compared to sex in terms of effort.  That is to say, when you’re getting head, you don’t literally do much.  You receive and relax.  There’s no reciprocal action going on.  And because of that “sexual selfishness” (though mutually agreed upon implicitly, barring some 69-type performance), it can be preferable to having full-blown intercourse because the receiver of head is the focal point and his or her pleasure is the sole aim.

That’s more or less a wrap-up of Part 1 (though if you haven’t read it, you should read it if only for the songs that I’ve cited).  So what will we do in Part 2?  Where can we go from here?  We go…deeper.

Part of the reason I got interested in this topic is because the underlying philosophical aspect of this appears to be kind of ethical – ought we prefer head over sex for this “sexual selfishness” reason?  Basically, if the arguments in Part 1 are strong enough to justify the claim that head can very well be preferable to intercourse (or at least grant this as a working hypothesis), then the resulting questions are, “Should selfishness be a justification for sexual preference?  Is the nature of sex such that all acts are selfish, even in pleasing your partner?  Can we really co-sign a theory of sex that assumes the nature of sex to be selfish?  What about the head giver and his or her pleasure?”  These are just some of the questions that come out of Part 1, and Part 2 will try to respond to them all…until I get tired, then just like in real life, you’ll have to give me an hour or two to recharge (har har).  So let’s start by trying to examine this sexual selfishness thing, shall we?

I never used “sexual selfishness” in Part 1 because I didn’t come up with the phrase until I just sat down to write this part.  I think it’s a pretty fair way to characterize the arguments in Part 1 – we want head because we want pleasure that is specific and particular to us without having to actively stimulate or even concern ourselves with the pleasure of the head-giver.  While this may be true, I’m not so sure this sums up oral sex.  In fact, I’m not even sure that sexual selfishness is a core aspect of sex in general.  I find it tough to believe that our general sexual practices are based on a desire for solely our own pleasure and not that of our partner.  But with regards to head…there cannot be denied a sort of self-interest at the very least, but is it really sexual selfishness?  I’m not sure yet, so let’s continue to explore.

As I said, there’s definitely sexual self-interest, which isn’t a bad thing at all.  We would do ourselves a disservice by not having self-interests sexually – we’d let ourselves be used by our partners for their pleasure but would not actively search our our own pleasure.  But where is the line between self-interest and sexual selfishness?  Why, the exact same line that we would normally draw between self-interest and selfishness.  Selfishness implies a disregard for others, or a sort of objectification that we would generally condemn as such.  Self-interest implies a level of care for one’s self while taking into account the feelings/wants/desires of others.

Back in Part 1, it’s pretty clear that I’m arguing that there’s a sexual selfishness, not a sexual self-interest, that drives why we would prefer oral sex over intercourse – it is, in fact, the absence of the desires of the partner (beyond the desire to perform) that makes head more desirable than intercourse.  With that said, I don’t wish to amend those arguments to include sexual self-interest – I do believe there’s generally, when considering between head or intercourse as the way to get a nut off, a preference for getting the nut off over having to concern one’s self with the physical needs of one’s partner that plays heavily into the favoring of head over intercourse.  That’s my descriptive claim.  My normative one?  We ought to change the mindset from the sexually selfish to the sexually self-interested when we desire head.

How can I say this?  Because amidst this entire discussion, the standing of the head-giver as more than just a head-giver hasn’t even been explored and I think we’ll find that the head-giver has much to say on the difference between sexual selfishness, sexual self-interest, and what kind of pleasure gets derived from giving head, if any.  The head-giver has a ton of control in that he or she is the sole source of the recipient’s pleasure – if the head-giver chooses not to do a good job, the recipient cannot simply change positions; one must endure whatever is given.  Why do I make mention of this?  Because the head-giver is, in a way, indicative of what the head-receiver ought to be – sexually self-interested.  I’ll invoke the control aspect of giving head to try to explain what I mean.

I’m going to assume most every reader of this blog has either performed, been performed on, or has seen a porno and so are generally familiar with oral sex (if you aren’t familiar with it, Google it up and watch a flick – you’ll be up to speed enough).  I don’t want to go getting all graphic, but for those of us who have been fortunate enough to receive some oral sex in our lives, think back.  We lay back and are literally consumed by our partner.  He or she plays with, sucks on, licks, tickles, maybe even nibbles on our special places.

I know I said that I wouldn’t get graphic, so I won’t – I’ve enlisted the help of a friend of mine, tuesdaymidnight, to recreate the oral sex experience in words.  Here are a few excerpts from her work, it will hopefully remind everybody about what generally happens in an oral experience, and it will lead us into the discussion of the pleasure of the self-interested head-giver:

“[His] hips thrust forward involuntarily and both of his hands became laced in my hair…I peered up at him through my lashes and nearly moaned myself.  He looked fucking hot…

Eventually, I put my hands on [his] hips to stop him.

“Sorry,” he began.

I shook my head in response. If I hadn’t wanted him to fuck my mouth, I wouldn’t have let him.”

The finish to this particular scene:

“I picked up the pace then brought his cock back into my throat, swallowing once more.

This time, he tensed.

“I- I- I-” he chanted.

I pushed his hips forward and glanced up at him. I tried to give him a look of approval. He either read my expression or he just couldn’t take any more, because right afterward his eyes rolled back in his head and his cum spilled down my throat…

I licked my lips and sat back.

“Say it,” I ordered.

“That was the best fucking blow job I’ve ever had in my life.” He grinned down at me lazily, “I don’t even think it’s fair to call what I’ve had done to me before this ‘blow jobs.'”

Certainly, there are ways for the receiver to physically please the partner while receiving oral sex, but that’s not really where I’m trying to focus here.  The head-giver is willingly performing an act where there isn’t necessarily any simultaneous reciprocation involved.  So then why do it?  What pleasure is the head-giver actually receiving?

Why, the pleasure of power, of course.

Bear with me – I have asked a number of people who have performed oral sex in the past whether or not they enjoyed the act itself.  Most don’t enjoy sucking dick or eating pussy (or eating ass for those of you who enjoy the oral-anal sex).  It doesn’t make sense to actually do something that creates no pleasure for you when the goal of a sexual encounter that’s not designed for procreation is to, in fact, enjoy yourself.  While having genitalia in the mouth might not create a physical pleasure (though for some, surely it does), many of the people I’ve spoken to enjoyed the power and control they had over the head-receiver.  I should make the distinction that “having fun” and “being pleasured” are two different things.  Some people have fun giving head – it’s enjoyable in that childlike, exploratory manner where it’s totally new and you just don’t know what’s going to happen.  But that’s having fun with the experience, which is different from being pleased by the experience, I would contend.  Pleasure might involve fun, but fun certainly doesn’t have to give you pleasure.

So what’s actually possibly pleasing to the head-giver, which makes the head-giver a self-interested sexual partner rather than a sexually selfish one?  In the ironic twist, the control that the head-giver has over the head-receiver provides pleasure to the head-giver.  There’s something clearly deeper than fun going on when one enjoys giving head – it is because that person derives pleasure from an unparalleled level of sexual control.  If the head-receiver moans or groans (as noted in the above scene), it’s because of what the head-giver has done.  When the head-receiver is brought to a climax, it is because of the job the head-giver has done.  Literally, the head-receiver’s genitals are in the hands of the head-giver – this is control over some of the most sensitive areas on the human body.  Note the finish to the scene above – the head-giver forces the receiver to proclaim that it was the best blow job ever.  The head-giver earlier in the scene specifically says that if s/he didn’t want the forceful oral sex, it wouldn’t have happened.  Total control of an individual happens from the head-giver’s position.  They only allow things to happen that they want to have happen (note the “look of approval” prior to the orgasm – the head-giver is allowing this to happen with a look of “go ahead.”  Had the head-giver not wanted the orgasm to take place in the mouth, it wouldn’t have happened.) and this is tremendously pleasing to have that kind of control.

One might ask, “Well, it sounds like the head-receiver is sexually selfish but couldn’t the head-giver be considered just as sexually selfish if they’re only giving head so that they can relish the power they’ve got?”  A very good question, Invisible Sex Interlocutor.  My response is yes, there can be sexually selfish head-givers but I would contend that those are the people who like sucking and licking and get off on that by itself.  But I would also contend that the vast majority of sexually self-interested head-givers gain pleasure from a non-physical byproduct of the act itself and perform the act both from a desire to be in control (the self-interest) and a desire to please their partner (the difference between selfish and self-interest).

Let’s face it – I don’t know many people who literally enjoy the act of sucking dick or eating pussy.  But there is another non-physical (that can translate to the physical) pleasure of being able to please one’s partner.  It feels good to know that your partner is not only under your control, but that you are able to please him or her.  That’s part of the reason you choose to do the deed – it’s because you want to please your partner, right?  Will you gain physical pleasure from balls in your mouth?

No.

But can you gain pleasure from watching your partner’s eyes roll in the back of their head and see their toes curl?  Certainly; it’s the same kind of satisfactory pleasure with knowing that you’ve accomplished a job well done.

A few final remarks in closing: The final question is, “How can the head-receiver become sexually self-interested rather than being sexually selfish?  Isn’t that part of the nature of oral sex?”  I think this is a good point to wrap it up with (no pun intended).  It’s clear that the head-giver can display with relative ease his or her sexual self-interest when he or she puts dick and/or coochie in their mouths, knowing that it’s probably not a fun experience in and of itself.  How can the head-receiver approach that kind of position while being consumed?  By acknowledging the head-giver’s desires.  I haven’t (nor could I) given an exhaustive list of what desires the head-giver has, but one thing that I’m convinced is universal is that if somebody wants to give head, that person wants to do a good job and know that he or she has done a good job.  Remember that it’s literally not all about the head-receiver’s nut (which is the sexually selfish motivation) and instead view it as another means of being active with one’s partner.  Ultimately, one ought to enjoy the experience but also give attention to the partner beyond trying to use their mouths as means to an end.

Philosophy of Sex – On Head Part 1

A couple of years ago, I was listening to the radio in my car when a song came on that had the popular Atlanta upbeat tempo and 2 Academy Award winners working the mic.  Even with the words edited for radio content, I knew right away what the hook was: “I love having sex but I’d rather get some head.”  And with the DJ Unk created beat and the normal dark melody used by Three 6 Mafia, I knew it was a hit.  I downloaded the song later that night and still turn up the iPod if it comes up on my shuffle.  I am a huge fan of Three 6 Mafia, but all that aside there’s a huge philosophy of sex issue here.  Does one truly love having sex, but in the end would prefer just receiving oral sex?

In doing research for this little project, I noticed just how many songs articulate the preference for head over intercourse and how many of them are actually hits.  Just in years past, we had the Ying Yang Twins’ “Georgia Dome,” which could be where the colloquial term, “Dome,” originated.  Then we have Cam’Ron featuring Lil’ Wayne with “Suck or Not,” which features lines like, “Got somethin’ for ya face, fuck Proactiv,” and “Would you like a tissue/you gon need it for the cum in your nose baby girl cuz you’re suckin my cock.”  Lyrical genius, I tell you.  Of course, the aforementioned “I’d Rather,” has a brilliant line, “She told me she was hungry/So I told her she could come/And I didn’t feed her nothin but some dick and bubblegum.”  Again, beautiful lyricism from DJ Unk.  And most recently, Plies, “Becky,” which also has a quality line, “Keep that pussy/I want yo throat.”  From the female perspective, we’ve had Khia’s “My Neck, My Back,” which has an emphasis on oral sex and oral-anal sex (ass-licking, for those who couldn’t put it together) and features the line, “Then you roll your tongue/from the crack back to the front/then suck it off til I shake and cum.”  Lil Kim’s “How Many Licks,” was not evasive in its content, by any means, featuring, “He used to like me to spank him and cum in his mouth.”  Even Missy Elliott with, “Work It,” had some praise for the oral sex, “Go downtown and eat it like a vulture.”  Let’s face it folks; there’s been a lot of songs that showcase oral sex as pleasurable and at times preferable to sexual intercourse.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the aptly named, “Put It In Your Mouth,” by Akinyele, which was probably my first introduction to oral sex music.  And things haven’t changed – people are still making music about getting something sucked and licked.  So the question has merit – is it better to get head than have sex?

I think I’ll address this from a few perspectives.  First, I’ll defend the theory that it is better to get head for some practical reasons and some physical ones, and even a couple of psychological ones.  That’s what Part 1 is for.  We’ll see how I develop this theory as I go through multiple parts, but we’ll begin with the defense of oral sex as better than intercourse.

BE ADVISED – When I say intercourse, I’m referring (perhaps unfairly) to non-oral sex, in my mind, involving penetration.  Certainly there are other forms of intercourse (mammary, back of the knee, with foreign objects, etc.), but for men when I say intercourse I refer to them penetrating (or in the gay male’s case, possibly being penetrated), and for women when I say intercourse I’m referring (yes, from a heteronormative point of view) to primarily penetration, but for all intents and purposes for those of you reading this – when I say sexual intercourse in general I’m referring to men pumping or being pumped into, and for women the multitude of ways they can have non-oral sex (which include the heterosexual sort, and that’s where my emphasis will be placed).  ALSO, and this is a key point, I’m not referring to oral sex as foreplay but as a sexual end of itself – you’re going to bust a nut in this comparative example.  So keep that in mind when you see my comparisons.

The easiest practical reason why head is actually better than intercourse is that it’s a completely selfish thing and both parties understand this.  When a man or woman is getting head, there is absolutely no concern for their partner’s pleasure.  They are completely engaged in the pleasure they’re getting and loving every moment (if their partner is handling business, that is).  When Josh is getting good head from his partner, there are no concerns about the partner’s pleasure – in fact, the goal of the entire endeavor is for Josh to get one off.

Compare this to sex, when (good, at least) partners are genuinely endeavoring for mutual pleasure.  They’re not solely after their own nut, but they’re after their partner’s nut also.  The goal is for everybody to win, and that means you have to put in work and move in sync and heave and thrust and ride and sweat, etc.

The next set is the psychological aspect, and this is certainly (like most of my work) is up for debate.  As I spoke with some friends on their opinions of receiving oral sex, the guys especially mentioned how good it feels to look down and see a (in their case woman, but I imagine it still holds true for gay men) partner sucking their phallus.  It’s empowering apparently, and feeds into the “well-known” male ego.  I imagine the same thing goes for women, to a certain extent.  Looking down, seeing someone work your genital region; they’re in a submissive position.  Their only job is to pleasure you – they’ve been transformed into a sex toy that happens to be a real live person, and you have them under your control.  You tell them what to do, all for your pleasure.  You tell them what you want, and it’s their job to give it to you.  In a sense, they’re yours.  And that, for some people, helps get them off.  So again, the sheer positioning of the person, physically beneath you or on their knees, helps get people off in a way you can’t get with basic intercourse.

In the end, my pleasure is all that matters in this sexual act.  All I have to do is sit back and relax, give a few pieces of advice that might help me get some pleasure, and enjoy the time.  On the flipside, when going with full blown intercourse, I have to be in tune with my partner, have to try to give my partner pleasure, and we’re both trying to bust one off.  Just from a purely selfish standpoint, isn’t it better to just receive pleasure rather than try to give and receive?

Part 2 will give the counters to part 1, but what do you all think – is head actually better than sex?