A few years ago, I surveyed a group of my female friends who train capoeira, a Brazilian martial arts. At that time, my mission was to discover their fellatio turnoffs. Collectively, they came up with twenty-eight objections. I compiled the data into a charming little essay called “How Men Blow Fellatio.” I’ve read it at several venues, including the Austin Feminist Poetry Festival, where a lesbian couple laughed the most. At the end of the festival, a male poet challenged me to write a companion essay, after surveying guys about their cunnilingus turn offs. I assured the male poet that I probably couldn’t do that since I’m not one of the guys. I invited him to host such an evening himself, write an essay and then we could each read our findings at an upcoming Austin Writers Roulette.
A week later, I ended up at a house party and conducted the research over drinks around midnight. Since there were fewer participants than in the fellatio research, this essay is even less scientific. Plus, there were other women present while the guys responded, which added to the challenge.
Lastly, the whole experience proves that the universe conspires with me to write about things that need to be written!
Unlike their female counterparts, the men I surveyed about their oral sex turnoffs only came up with six objections versus twenty-eight from the women. Yet I had to tease the relevant data out of the conversation flow. Looking back, I should have recorded the conversation on my phone and typed up the transcript afterwards. Instead, I used my sparse notes and fiction writer’s talent to recapture the gist of discussion.
The first turnoff was not being warned that a woman was on her period. A woman who was present during this conversation defended the women’s side. “Sometimes, a woman starts her period during the act of having sex.” Another woman objected. “You can feel that coming on.” The debate among the women concluded with not all women experienced menstruation the same.
Then one guy mentioned how a woman once said to him, “I’m on my period; so we’ll have to have anal sex.” From there, the conversation digressed to how, among very religious women, anal sex was popular since their hymen remained intact for marriage and they still considered themselves virgins.
I got the conversation back on track by asking the guys if there was anything else that turned them off from cunnilingus. “No stink puss,” one guy answered. They also preferred for a woman to have groomed pubic hair.
One guy confessed to using a depilatory once around his genital area. All the women shouted, “It says right on the bottle you’re not supposed to do that!” One woman advised him to get laser hair removal since a few sessions provided a permanent solution.
Considering we were already talking indirectly about testicles, another guy shared how he gently tugged on his during sex to delay ejaculation. Although this was off topic, I had to ask a follow up question, “Just how much pulling tension should one use?” He told me that men had to decide that for themselves and women can’t do it for them.
Around this time, another guy asked if they could talk about the other side, the worst things about getting a blowjob. One guy screamed out, “No cheese grating!” All the women laughed. Even though the women agreed that teeth shouldn’t mostly be involved, one woman questioned if guys didn’t like some teeth thrown in. The guys winced and reported that only about 30% of the blowjobs they’ve received had been pleasurable.
At this point, I reread the cunnilingus turnoff list: not when a woman’s on her period, no stink puss, no excessive pubic hair. One guy added women shouldn’t choke a man with her thighs or kick him in the back. The conversation shifted into cunnilingus techniques such as massaging a woman’s feet, caressing her nipples and even reaching up to gently tug on her earlobes all while orally satisfying her.
One woman questioned the need to fondle earlobes and confessed that she didn’t like a guy going down on her since it just took time away from “the real act.” The other women said that they had no problems with a man making an effort to satisfy them.
At this point, one of the guys took his own survey when he asked the women, what was more important, length or girth. Unanimously, the women answered girth. The conversation splintered into penises that could be too big or small and the tallest, most massive man could have the tiniest penis. One woman pointed out that her best lover was smaller than average, but he made up for it with his creativity in bed.
I reread the list: not when a woman’s on her period, no stink puss, no excessive pubic hair, no thigh choking, no kicking in the back. One guy added women shouldn’t fart during the act although queefing is OK since that doesn’t smell bad. As a matter of fact, the only drawback to queefing, according to these guys, is when a woman overreacts to it.
The conversation returned to bad blowjobs. The guys expressed annoyance when a woman’s performing fellatio and just starts toying with their penis as if she’s more fascinated by examining it rather than pleasuring it.
For a final time, I reread the list: not when a woman’s on her period, no stink puss, no excessive pubic hair, no thigh choking, no kicking in the back, no farting. The guys looked at one another and agreed that the list was complete. At that point, around half past one in the morning, I said my good byes.