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In the wake of “box-gate,” a la an old interview with DJ Khaled on the Breakfast Club in which he adamantly mentions that he has not and will not perform cunnilingus on his partner, I started thinking about the ways we let men get away with doing the absolute least in the bedroom.

Last time I checked, sex is a mutually pleasurable activity between consenting adults — some might say the closest you’ll get to heaven on earth. It’s not primarily rooted in dominance or submission (and even if it were, is that necessarily a bad thing?). But not wanting to perform oral sex on a woman is something I’ve found to be somewhat prevalent among men of color. Somewhere along the line, someone planted the seed of emasculation as it pertains to orally pleasing a woman. There’s a stigma borne out of ignorance that allows men like Khaled the gall to openly use phrases like “I won’t go down on a woman” in the same sentence as the word “king” and we accept this as gospel.

I’ve heard stories of men shaming other men (#toxicmasculinity) for performing cunnilingus to flat-out denials of doing so among men I know whose wives and girlfriends would say otherwise–  you ain’t gots ta lie Craig, being a kitty lover is a good thing. Some say it’s the smell of a (healthy) vagina and the look as the reason for their aversion. I blame porn, macho male culture and misinformation. Of course, there are the few valiant men who don’t think twice about going down on a woman and who are skilled in the art of the vagina monologues. Know that we see you appreciate your very vocal efforts.

I fail to understand how pleasuring your partner via your head between their thighs is emasculating for one sex and a contractual obligation for the other? Ever notice that fellatio is never really a negotiable item at the stage where you and a potential partner are going through the initial run through of what you both like sexually? More likely than not, in the man’s ideal scenario he’s Dj Khaled with a “fupa” and misguided ideas of his actual skill set and you’re a hybrid of all his favorite porn stars (or at least you will be after your thorough research on the things he likes).

There is a pervasive expectation borne out of patriarchy that insists women need to be a lot more amenable to the sexual needs of men. That we are freaks of nature, able to twist like pretzels but not really expect reciprocity in equal measure. Because at the end of the day “things still need to get done.” What about what we need to get done? What about our pleasure? We are socialized to diminish ourselves in order to be chosen by a man only to further descend into dissatisfaction with partners who think highly of themselves enough to not perform certain acts that bring you pleasure. I don’t care how confident a man is in his stroke game, secure that orgasm on your own terms by any means necessary.

I speak for myself when I say that cunnilingus is a non-negotiable part of my sex contract. Yes, I have a sex contract. It’s more of an unwritten understanding and agreement as to what I must have and what I am am able to, willing to, and cannot do in the bedroom. Being the diplomatic lover that I am, of course, this is a mutually reciprocal agreement open to conversation and negotiation. More women need to have these kinds of discussions with partners. After all, would you willingly walk into an agreement without knowing the details in the fine print? I think not.

Be an active participant in your sex life. It’s 2018, and as I drink my water, eat my greens, mind my business and pour coconut oil over everything,  I’ll be saying no to struggle lovers and yes to amazing sex on my terms. #wethebest

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