Oral fixation

Sometimes I think my boyfriend prefers blow jobs to intercourse, and it makes me uncomfortable.

By Cary Tennis
Published December 2, 2002 8:17PM (EST)

Dear Cary,

I've been dating a lovely guy for over a year now, and we have a wonderful relationship. We love each other dearly and have a very open, healthy relationship. I've never been happier. So here's the problem. When we started dating, he told me that he hated performing oral sex. I didn't see it as a problem at the time because I'm not too crazy about it, either. However, he loves receiving oral sex. I'm OK with that once in a while, but he can't get enough of it. Sometimes I think he'd prefer that to sex if he had to make a choice.

This is putting a strain on our relationship because I think it's really selfish that he wants to be on the receiving end all the time, without taking into consideration that I don't enjoy it. After all, I was able to accept his own desire not to perform oral sex. Does this make sense? We've talked about it several times, but he keeps asking for it every other minute and I'm starting to think that this may eventually turn into a bigger problem down the road. What should I do?

Worried Girlfriend

Dear Worried,

Well, at least he's being honest about his desires. I can just hear his mother when he was a kid, saying to him, "How do you expect to get what you want if you don't ask, already?" But maybe he had quit listening when she said, "Just don't make a pest of yourself, is all."

It is a quite selfish of him to keep insisting you perform an act you don't particularly enjoy, just because it happens to be his favorite thing on the menu. I don't think it spells the end of your relationship, however, unless he's unwilling to really hear what you're saying. You might have to say it kind of loud, but that's OK. Some guys are hard of hearing about stuff like this. He needs to know that he's putting undue pressure on you and it's making you uncomfortable, and that it's not funny. You, in turn, need to know that you don't have to do it if you don't want to.

Is feminist thought a part of your regular discourse, or is that seen as old-fashioned these days? There was a time not too long ago when women were still struggling quite hard for even the most basic of equal treatment, and subjects like this were hashed out in quite a spirited manner with their intimate partners. Because it dawned on women in the early '70s that the personal bore a passing resemblance to the political.

At that time, this would have been framed as an issue about male chauvinism. And he would have gotten his consciousness raised. I got my consciousness raised quite a few times over the years, although it didn't keep its shape very well and kept falling back down.

But there were always more women ready to raise it again.

You have a lovely relationship, and your boyfriend is being selfish. So you just have to set him straight. And if he won't listen, or doesn't get it, I don't know what you do then. I guess you have to throw him out, or maybe just withhold until he starts barking like a dog.

Cary Tennis

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