Putting it in my Mouth: Head, Autonomy and the Politics of Giving [Love, Anonymously]

by Anonymous1

The first time I gave head to a young guy, as a teenage girl myself, I loved it. The tastes, the feel, the rhythmic sucking, the skin on skin feel filling my mouth. I didn’t know what I was doing at first, but I learned, under the patient, steady and grateful tutelage I received at seventeen, the first time around. The attention to detail ended up lasting me throughout the rest of my dick-sucking endeavors. And I could suck into an oblivion, with gusto.

In the right angle and positioning, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience for minutes on end. I got adept with other techniques, incorporating hand stroking and squeezes simultaneously, using pressure, tongue tricks, reading his body and responses. I could be a self-conscious, timid fuck at times, (rife with beauty and self-esteem issues holding me back) but with giving head, I championed. I was confident and self-actualized and ejaculate was one of my rewards.

I was also a virgin for all of 22 years of my good, black Catholic-girl life and I only had sex for the first time, with that particular person (who knew I hadn’t had intercourse before) because I fell for the infamous “I promise, just the tip” ploy and next thing you know, the length of a penis was in me. Just like that, in the quick stroke successions of the blink of an eye, my v-card was revoked.

I only enjoyed the control of giving head later in life, in the early then toward my mid twenties. But more than that, I am a pleaser and I like pleasing my (a) man and making him feel good. I just enjoyed it, the process, the act. And I need to have free reign ideally, no heavy hand guiding my head and that shit. Just, you relax, let me do my thing — and I would. Somewhere between getting older, I noticed some guys repeatedly began demanding head. Requesting it outright and the autonomy of the act for me (even though I wanted to) seemed to
wane just because he required it.

“Gimme some head,” “how about some head?” Or something to that effect.

Like getting head was their damn birthright.

It seemed to quell the fiery enthusiasm I felt for cupping a flopping penis in my hand and stirring it to life in my mouth, how I wanted to, when I wanted to. The more I got asked for head, the less joy I got from the act — though I still did it. Of course. Ever the pleaser.

I gave head to guys who didn’t believe in eating the pussy of a girl who wasn’t their official girl or were against the act in general, to guys who I supposedly dated but not really — because we were “just friends” depending on who asked him and what time of the day (or night) they asked him. And I gave good head, regardless. Never, ever crappy head. If I went in like that, I went all in. I tried to live by the code that it’s better to give than receive, no matter what, but I couldn’t shake the feelings of being unfulfilled and worse yet, vilified.

The worst example was this guy who I used to sleep with regularly for some time. He was pretty-boy cute, the kind of guy I would never approach, claimed to only like ‘real’ hip-hop and out of nowhere, approached me one day for my number. We lived in different buildings of the same apartment complex, right near to one another. He was a younger undergrad and I had just started graduate school. In the beginning, we both got sexual intercourse out of it — oftentimes it was quick, the ubiquitous no strings attached script with zero foreplay — and very convenient, because of our neighbor status. It scratched an itch. But we also discussed birth control methods at length and I tried to have discussions about who he was doing otherwise. Not that it should matter but he was the only person I was sleeping with at this time, and he knew this, even as he remained guarded (or perhaps lying outright) about his own sexual dalliances. Outside of the hook-ups, we conversed and hung out informally on more than one occasion, in the presence of both friends of his and mine.

Then, one day, I gave him head. Somehow, the head-giving automatically translated a turn of events in the arrangement to him. Invariably, head took precedence and loomed over all our interactions. My willingness to give head became this fucked-up overarching defining factor for almost all further sexual negotiations between us. And I let it happen. And while it became a problem that I had trouble fixing, eventually I did. But not before it reached epic proportions.

I would like to think I’ve grown from the experience and I would like to think that I should still be able to freely engage in multiple areas of sexual activity without being maligned for it, subconsciously or otherwise, in the eyes of the guy whose shaft is in my mouth. Back to the guy, the way he talked to me too, changed, over time. Sometimes, all he came over for was head. Now he only came over, in passing, I never went to his apartment anymore. And he always requested it, in case I had missed the memo. The sexual tone and dynamic was different and it all revolved around head. Kind of ironic, since, the first time, he didn’t even think of asking; I just gave freely of my mouth because it was something that I liked to do. I spent many a time trying to examine the ways in which receiving head, for a whole generation of certain kinds of young men, always seems to equal some kind of debased female morality, or it gave them license to presume so. And you couldn’t give head to someone who wasn’t your boyfriend without some of the same implications coming into play.

One day, he had a male friend in town from Chicago and we spoke on the phone that night and he asked me if I was interested in giving him head. That was the straw that split the camel’s back wide open. How he made the leap from me giving him head, to being passed around like a head-giving machine — I will never know. But I suspect pop culture and popular references to running trains and devaluing the sexual black woman didn’t help me too much either. He explained the premise as logically connected simply to my willingness to freely give him head.

Which in and of itself, apparently means that I must want to give any and everyone head. Maybe even all his homies. Seriously? Heck, it
made complete sense to him apparently.

Navigating sex could be tricky inside this skin, that of a dark-skinned black woman, or any woman of any color to varying extents. I couldn’t imagine being 17 again now and having to deal with some of these dudes out here. In fact, I couldn’t imagine dealing with above-mentioned dude now. Somehow, being fresh into the start of my thirties means more insight but only marginally more sexual confidence where body images are concerned.

I’m still working on centering my needs about as much as I take care of others’ needs sexually. I feel comfortable in my skin, then it dissipates when I have to take my clothes off and I’m thinking about my sexual partner making comparisons — I’m still working on that too. I still find supposed, “grown-ass” dudes asking, and demanding to be orally serviced, and I feel completely fine with telling them no. As a male, sex is not simply a case of ask and ye shall receive. Nevertheless, I feel secure in the decisions I have made, the person that I am, and the person that I am (still) working towards being.