It took me longer than it probably should have to get around to the idea of giving a blow job. As a teenager from an English-speaking Caribbean background, this sort of thing was considered taboo. When it was given it was typically seen as some sort of exchange. Something you gave to get some sort of concession, not something you did for your own enjoyment. It was almost framed as some sort of sacrifice, that you debased yourself (the visual of getting on your knees) in order to give your partner pleasure.
Part of it is also the idea that are genitals are dirty, impure, unholy and therefore to put a mans member in your mouth was logically disgusting. A man triumphed in getting you to do it and the woman would be considered a whore, a deviant for daring to do such a thing.
Conversely there was pressure to do it too. You were told that a man could never be happy if you didn’t do it (though you’d be unfair to expect him to reciprocate) and that it was to method to keep your man from cheating on you (lol cheaters ‘gonna cheat regardless).
Me and my husband were talking about oral sex recently and he revealed to me something that I had not before considered. He said growing up boys he knew were reluctant or opposed to receiving head from girls. This baffled me but he explained that it was out of fear that the balance of power was being tipped against them. A blow job did not require a girl to take her clothes off or allow the boy to feel any other part of her body. Only he would be exposed to her and he would be at the mercy of her temperament. She could clearly witness his face contorted in ecstasy as he climaxed while she could remain unaffected and indifferent. It’s clear then that the power dynamics pushed onto to sexuality prevent everyone from having a good time.
In my case, my decision to do it came without prompting. I had heard of all the downsides but I did it anyway. My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, was surprised to feel my mouth around him for the first time. He never pressured me or made me feel bad that I wasn’t open to doing it before. I had instructed him to close his eyes while I did something I never thought I would do. Back then I didn’t allow the negative messages to sway me any longer because I was in love and I was with someone I trusted with my life.
Getting used to it from then on proved a challenge. Sometimes it frustrated me how much work it took. Sometimes I stayed convinced I wasn’t doing something right. My hands would get tired, my neck and jaw would get sore and I treated it like an addition to foreplay rather than a main event in and of itself. The tips I read up on often seemed asinine and I was opposed to watching porn. With time I got better at it and through looking at things objectively I got to learn that I got a lot of things right in the first place (I guess I thought my husband was trying to be nice when he said he enjoyed what I was doing). I got over my aversion to excessive saliva and looking him in the eye when doing it.
For years now it’s something that I enjoy, not just because I’m making my husband happy, or because I’ve excelled in something, but because it’s a huge turn on. At the moment I’m working on further reducing my gag reflex (which has proved quite the challenge) and I’m looking forward to married life without it.
A big part of learning to enjoy it for what it was, was allowing myself the space and freedom to do so and not think of things solely as what I ‘should’ be doing. But I guess learning is a life long journey.