Does oral sex really suck?

A blow job has nothing to do with God. Neither does it have anything to do with Deputy President Jacob Zuma, or any other politician.

This was the verdict of “sexperts”, consenting adults and people who sell sex for a living. They were reacting to Zuma’s comments, during question time in Parliament last week, that oral sex was “wrong” and “unnatural”, and that he could not “answer on wrong things that people do”.

Zuma features in a current loveLife media campaign to encourage people to talk openly about sex.
An African Christian Democratic Party MP asked Zuma whether he endorses loveLife’s sex education material, which advocates, among other things, “sucking, licking and kissing a person’s genitals” and “how a female or male can give a woman oral sex”?

A flurry of questions has flooded in Zuma’s direction.

“The question I have for Zuma”, said one human rights activist, “is where do you draw the line between what is natural and what is not? Is it oral sex when you stick your tongue up and around your partner’s ear? Sucking a nipple?”

What politicians and moral ponti-ficators do not realise is that oral sex is not only a subculture with reverent worshippers, young and old, but also that it has spawned a whole new vocabulary in sexual politics.

Boys talk of “muff-diving” (cunnilingus), whereas girls talk of “doing a Lewinsky” (fellatio), a name coined after White House intern Monica Lewinsky confessed to using former United States president Bill Clinton’s penis as a lollipop, in the highest political office on Earth.

Zuma’s utterances were in direct contrast with the extent of the sex- ual revolution and betrayed his ignorance of the subject, experts said.

“Conservatism will not help in the fight against HIV/Aids, where girls as young as 13 already know what cunnilingus and fellatio are,” said one expert.

Zuma might have been expressing a sentiment common among Africans that “we don’t talk about these things”. It is a refrain popularised by Nelson Mandela every time he has been asked about his love life. But the “African” approach to matters sexual simply does not work. Experts say it has contributed immensely to breakdowns in relationships.

Research by loveLife shows that many young girls, while still virgins, have experimented with oral sex.

“This is common, especially at girls-only high schools, where girls experiment with each other. Their curiosity takes them to boys, but they aren’t ready for penetration yet,” said a source at loveLife.

Word from the streets of Hillbrow, renowned for its abundance of “ladies of the night”, is: “If you don’t like oral sex, it’s dirty, but if you do, it’s good. That is why we have all these rich men coming to us just for blow jobs. Their women won’t do it, but the men know how good it can be!”

“Men are hypocrites,” complained another sex worker.

“I think it’s an extremely personal matter,” said a business executive. “It’s one of the most intimate displays of love for a person. It does not belong to public morality.”

Lesbian and Gay Equality director Evert Knoesen said Zuma’s “subjective notion of oral sex as an unnatural act comes as a surprise from Zuma who is a polygamist. All of the international psychiatric authorities, including the American Psychiatric Association, regard oral sex in hetero- or homosexual relationships as natural acts.”

Oral sex, read Knoesen’s statement, is a significantly safer sexual practice than the penetration that the deputy president, by implication, regards as natural.

“Zuma should apologise to the majority of sexually active South Africans who practise oral sex for demeaning and degrading their normative sexual practice.”

As the figurehead of the Campaign for Moral Regeneration, “Zuma should note with care that there are others who trade in subjective morality that may judge him and find him wanting.”

However, clinical psychologist Dr Dorianne Weil, popularly known as Dr D, warned that “you can get Aids from oral sex”, particularly if a partner has cuts inside the mouth or on the genitals. “That is what needs to be emphasised, the dangers. Otherwise it’s not fair for people to pronounce judgement on what others feel comfortable doing,” she said.

There was discomfort about dis-cussing oral sex in our society, Dr D said, “and there are all kinds of cultural prejudices as to what is moral and what is not. But oral sex is very much part of the current sexual culture.”

“Forgive these people [politicians],” said another heterosexual male, “their idea of sex is under covers, in the dark. They are too old to imagine the things that take place between and among sexually active people today.”

The sentiment was echoed by Pastor Agrippa Khathide, an ordained priest and graphic sex talk columnist, who prides himself on having connected God with sexual pleasure.

“There is nothing fundamentally wrong with oral sex as part of pleasure within the marital bond.

“My message comes against the backdrop of the spread of HIV/Aids, where you find married people secretly going to sex workers for a blow job. Why can’t husbands and wives please each other orally in their own private and covenant bond of marriage as part of enhancing their pleasure and building their relationship?” Khathide asked.

While it may not have been commonly practised in the black community, this did not mean that oral sex was wrong, Khathide said.

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