It seems like there’s been an awful lot of talk about cunnilingus in the news lately, which is interesting in and of itself because the licking of female genitalia used to be on the short list of things you could not possibly read about in the news. Whatever gets tongues wagging, I suppose.
First there was actor Michael Douglas making headlines by revealing his throat cancer was caused by contracting HPV from oral sex. Then he made headlines again by clarifying it was not from his lovely, disease-free wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, whom we can assume was positively thrilled to be the focus of a national discussion on whether or not she has a tumor-flavored vajayjay.
And this month researchers at Oakland University in Michigan reveal that cunnilingus may be an evolutionary adaptation that helps men prevent infidelity in their female partners. Between cunnilingus studies and vaginal ultrasound debates and Anthony Weiner, I wonder how many grandmas have blushed to death this summer simply from browsing AOL News.
The study out of Michigan was eye-opening, if only for its obviousness. Sure, going down on your lady prevents infidelity…your head is right there cock-blocking the entryway. Other guys would have to go in through your ear! But even as a big defender of evolutionary psychology, this study didn’t pass the proverbial taste test. The researchers based their conclusions on the fact that men are more likely to go down on their partners if they think their mates might be at risk of cheating. How did they determine risk of cheating? They asked the men a series of questions about how attractive their partners were. Leave it to science geeks to assume that the only predictor of infidelity is how hot a girl is. And heaven forbid you should ask some actual women about why men go down on them.
As silly as the study was, it confirmed one simple point: Men are more likely to perform oral sex on women they find attractive. But here’s where this spells trouble for ladies.
We men enjoy performing oral sex for a few reasons. Our lips are one of the most sensitive parts of our body, so kissing stuff generally feels pleasurable. And like most mammals, humans emit pheromones from their nether regions. While we’re down there, we can literally smell a woman’s attractiveness. And of course there’s just the emotional titillation of finally getting a peek at a lady’s most top-secret zone. It’s like the Area 51 of body parts, and we’re like horny Fox Mulders.
But at the end of the day, cunnilingus is just another service that men offer women to ingratiate themselves, like buying dinner or helping move furniture or programming the DVR. Oral sex is a fun chore, perhaps, but still a chore…not something either gender is rushing out to do for a living if they can help it. It’s a love language we use to keep our partners happy, and we enjoy it because it keeps them happy. Yet with every passing year, women are going to find it harder and harder to snag attractive men who will perform these services for them. The culprit, interestingly, is the economy.
“The Decline of the American Male” has been written about ad nauseum, and I’m sure you’ve heard the broad strokes: The Great Recession hit men much harder than women, and left the male population of this country a lazy, unemployed mob of slackers and stoners. 20% of young men don’t work at all. Women outnumber men on college campuses, and a good looking guy with a decent job is getting harder and harder to come by. In societies where good men are hard to find (we see this often in post-war periods, where many have died) the remaining males get pickier, they have higher numbers of sexual partners, they wait longer to commit in relationships, and generally don’t have to beg quite so hard to get laid.
And therein lies the problem, ladies: Begging men have been your main source of cunnilingus. If going down on a woman is a seduction tool, like buying flowers or writing poetry, then you’re going to see it become as infrequent a gesture as, well, buying flowers and writing poetry. I have spoken with a variety of female friends in their late 20’s and 30’s about this subject, and they have anecdotally confirmed: Men in this age group–at least the desirable ones–are going down less and less often, for shorter and shorter periods of time. I’m not saying it will disappear entirely, but it’s becoming more of a quaint formality; a rushed inspection of the cork before you drink the actual wine.
On the bright side, there’s still plenty of oral sex to be had…if you don’t mind college guys and men of a certain age. Apparently, those are the two male demographics most likely to plead for the opportunity to impress you with their quick tongues. The young guys, I assume, because they’re poor and it’s one of the few currencies they can realistically offer. The old guys, because they’re past their prime, and need to use every trick in the book. A lot of guys in their 60’s have back problems too, so lying in bed with their mouths agape is about as adventurous as they can get.
So get it while you can, women. Good head is an endangered species. And Michael Douglas telling everyone that vaginas spread throat cancer isn’t helping the cause.
Ladies, do you agree? Are guys in their 20’s and 30’s keeping their mouths shut? Do older men and young guys beg for the opportunity? Sound off in the comment section!