Love & Sex

The Naked Truth

Blowjobs get a bad rap

If you caught SFR’s Love & Sex issue earlier this year, you already know a bit about who I am—your friendly local sex worker, a radical self-love enthusiast and now, occasional writer.

Although the work I do varies daily, the goal is to open a dialogue with my community. Sometimes the conversations are about serious things like legalizing consensual sex work or paying for porn. Other times, when the world is feeling a bit too heavy, it’s about breaking down stigmas in a fun and silly way. A dickstraction if you will…

So, let’s talk about blowjobs.

What’s sillier than that? Just the name alone is silly and...misleading. More like a suckjob, that, like, totally should not suck, OK?! A lot of us have sucked dick or had our dicks sucked, let’s keep it real, but how many of us are having a truly connected and enjoyable experience while doing it? Maybe, “they don’t call it a job for nothin’!” comes to mind?

It’s hard (ahem) to get statistics on blowjobs specifically, but according to a March 2020 survey from New York City’s Bespoke Surgical (the office of the highly respected surgeon Dr. Evan Goldstein)dubbed “The State of Oral Sex in America,” Americans engage in oral sex five times a month on average. The same survey states that even though 80% of those surveyed take pleasure in oral sex, over 25% said it makes them feel self-conscious, 13.5% said it’s uncomfortable, and more than 11% said it makes them feel dirty.

Clearly, oral sex means different things to different people, but does it have to mean anything? Many of us still carry around this imaginary rulebook for sex of all kinds, and it’s chock full of unhelpful tidbits about how women take no pleasure in sex, or how it can be weaponized and conditional. Society has made some real headway in that department, especially in the sex-positive community, but have we made any real headway in the head department?

My opinion has always been that a first-rate blowjob happens when the blower takes almost as much pleasure as the blowee. Sometimes that’s because it’s an expression of love, other times it’s just a fun and creative outlet. If we are approaching beezers with conditions like expected reciprocity or as a reward—or if we’re trying not to give too soon (for fear of being stuck in the dreaded blowjobzone) or only giving if we’re committed /in love, are we still open enough to take pleasure in the act?

Let me interject that the blowjobzone is a real-ass thing, and trust me—it’s much worse than the friendzone. It can happen early on in a relation/situation-ship when you give some really fantastic head and suddenly that’s all your partner wants anymore. The only way to break the cycle is to end things. This is by no means the giver’s fault, it’s more a strange combination of BJ coveting and ego on the receiver’s part. Receivers, please don’t do this—it’s weird and dehumanizing.

If you are out there rockin’ a cock, it’s time to start rockin’ some stellar BJ etiquette as well. It’s been time, but if you aren’t communicating and checking in with your partner in the moment, start now. I promise it won’t take away any magic. I mean, it can’t possibly take away any more than pushing our heads down. (Stop. With. This. Shit. Already!) I completely get and subscribe to the fact that a phenomenal BJ is sloppy and full of skull-fucking and deepthroating, all of which can and should be done with consent and communication. But take a beat and give your partner a chance to show you what they can do and enjoy doing. Nobody likes a pusher.

Some, meanwhile, may be so paralyzed by all the perceived rules to the point blowjobs are off the table. Relax. Breathe. Think. Your awareness and sensitivity can make you an amazing lover, so if you feel comfortable enough, try, try again. And, hey, if they just aren’t your thing, that’s completely valid and OK, too! I’m Team Blowjob all the way, but slobbin’ on a knob is not for everyone.

Which is to say that our issues around sex and intimacy can be so heavy, right? Let’s rewind and tackle one thing at a time. Clear your mind of conditions and forget what you think you learned from mainstream porn. Get silly and communicative. Blowjobs can be such a beautiful and intimate way to express love, so full of eye contact and primal desire. They can also be full of spit, watery eyes, gagging and have absolutely nothing to do with love whatsoever, and those are great, too.

Layla Asher is a local sex worker on a mission to spread radical self love to her community and the world. Have further questions about blowjobs after reading this? Want to ask your local sex worker their expert opinion on something? Let’s start a sex-positive conversation that keeps respect and confidentiality at the forefront and judgment a thing of the past. Please submit your questions to and include an alias that protects your anonymity.

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