Finally, I asked [Robert] if he was totally disinterested in going down. “I’m kind of scared,” he told me. He cited his experience with another girl who “tasted funny” and drove him away from trying it again. But as we continued to see each other, he insisted that if I gave him time to sort through his hang-ups, I would be rewarded for my patience. I agreed to wait and reasoned that he had to try it again sometime. Right?
She went on to state:
[…]I was desperate to have my body explored with eagerness rather than trepidation. I used protection and hoped that no one would feel betrayed.
As time passed, sex between me and Robert felt increasingly like a failed negotiation. My feelings of rejection subsumed any enjoyment I experienced from intercourse. I denied it for months. He cared about me, yet sensed that I would leave if he ever said “never” to oral sex. So he strung me along with half-hearted promises for as long as we could both keep up the pretense.
The two eventually broke up. For McCarthy, the lack of cunnilingus was a dealbreaker. She wanted and needed it. That alone seems a rather shallow position. It is one thing if Robert refused to have sex, it is another if he refused to perform one act, and an entirely different situation if they were in an open relationship. In her account she states that she had several other partners, so it sounds as if the issue was not that she could not get any oral sex but that she could not get any from Robert.
No one likes hearing that a person is disgusted by an act one likes, especially if one is on the receptive end of that act. However, no one is entitled to use another person’s body for their own pleasure. If you have a particular kink, no one is obligated to play to that kink. More so, who makes a relationship hinge on a sexual kink?
Jill disagrees. Not only does she think a woman is entitled to sexual pleasure and that her partner should try to please her, she also thinks that Robert’s refusal is sexist:
So of course you should never coerce or pressure anyone into a sexual act he or she isn’t comfortable with. But at the same time, I think it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage. […] Does a dude have a 100% right to be like, “I don’t like giving oral sex, and that is a boundary for me and I won’t do it”? Yes. Without some relatively good reason for why he doesn’t like oral sex (other than “it’s gross”), do women who enjoy receiving oral sex […] have a 100% right to be like, “That is some misogynist bullshit right there, and if you are not only unwilling to give me what I need to be sexually satisfied but you also pathologize my body then you are officially kicked to the curb”? YES.
I fail to see the misogyny in refusing to perform oral sex on women. Everyone does not like performing certain sexual acts. There are many women who find giving men blowjobs disgusting. If anyone argued that a woman who refused to perform oral sex was a misandrist Jill would call them all sorts of sexists, oppressors, and rapists, yet she finds no problem with shaming men who prefer not to engage in certain sex acts:
I mean, look: If you have a spine issue that makes the head angle excruciatingly painful, ok, I get that. I do not doubt that straight men exist who don’t eat pussy for some reason other than being misogynist assholes. But I don’t think, for the most part, neck injuries are why dudes refuse to give oral sex (although — and this may be related to the fact that dudes are somewhat hesitant to say woman-hating things around feminist bloggers — I have never actually met a dude who said he didn’t like giving oral sex. I have heard they exist, though, and they sound terrible).
Apparently not wanting to do it or finding it disgusting is not good enough. Worse, men who hate doing it not just misogynist assholes and “vagina-phobic”, but they are also terrible in bed.
Yet even that is not the troubling part. This is:
[He’s] not entitled to access to your body any more than he’s entitled to kick the neighbor’s dog. He’s not entitled to a pat on the head and approval of his sexist views, just because they overlap with your sex life (He’s definitely not entitled to blowjobs either). Sure, you have to respect his boundaries — but that doesn’t mean you have to keep on having sex with someone who doesn’t respect you, or that you have to keep your mouth shut as to why it’s offensive that he makes a gross-out face in response to your vagina.
While you’re obligated not to pressure him, I think you are entitled to be like, “Well, we appear to be done here.” And I think you’re entitled to tell him that his vagina-phobia is why.
That sounds remarkably like pressuring a man to give a woman oral sex by challenging his masculinity and threatening to end the relationship because the woman feels entitled to get what she wants.
Coincidentally, I am one of those “misogynists”. I have no good reason for finding the act disgusting, although I do have a reason: my aunt forced me to perform that act on her from the time I was a toddler until I hit puberty. I understand that is not a good reason to Jill, but my point is I do not see why I need a reason at all, let alone a “good” one. It is my tongue, my mouth, and my face. I get to choose what I do with them. That is not “misogyny”. That is like saying that women who do not give oral sex hate men. That is ridiculous. No one — including feminists like my aunt — is entitled to use my body for their pleasure.
But what I find most disconcerting is the notion that respecting my boundaries somehow disrespects women. Granted, I understand how feminists could reach that conclusion (thanks to my aunt), but it is quite odd. I cannot imagine Jill would agree with a man who said he felt disrespected because a woman would not give him oral sex. If a person thinks respecting someone’s boundaries is a dealbreaker, that person is not worth being with.
Yet this is the perspective Jill leaves the reader with, and her commenters completely agree with her, but only as it applies to women. It is a good reminder that plenty of women feel entitled to sex, and a great reminder that plenty of feminists have no problems using double standards.