Sexual Competence

Most of the participants in the recent blogospheric
about a Yale Press Daily article on the fine points of
either make crude jokes, dismiss the article as either a sophomoric
exercise in tweak-the-fogies or shocking evidence of the depravity of
today’s youth.

I think both are missing the real point. Well, OK, the
tweak-the-fogies camp is not completely off base, but there is
something the Natalie Krinsky who wrote this item of tweakery
understands that they don’t seem to. And that is this: today,
sexual competence is a mainstream virtue — part of the
normal toolkit of adults, like table manners or choosing appropriate

And by “sexual competence” I specifically do not mean just the
ability to get laid, but being good in bed once you get there. Sexual
competence includes the ability to give and receive sexual pleasure.
It includes the ability to express one’s playfulness, affection, lust,
passion, and love towards a sexual partner with physical acts; to give
pleasure with behavior that is considered, purposed, and conscious,
and which expresses pride in and enjoyment of one’s own sexual

In the dark and backward abysm of time (that is, before about
1973), nice people weren’t really supposed to work at being
good in bed. Only prostitutes, gigolos and sex symbols were allowed
the privilege of treating sex as a conscious art of pleasure.
Everybody else was, essentially, only allowed to be good in bed only
by accident of endowment.

There was a limited exception for married couples and other people
passionately in love. They were permitted to improve their sexual
competence as long as the goal was to affirm the relationship. The
idea that competence at giving sexual pleasure could be a good in
itself, even in a one-night stand, was simply not part of our culture.
The outraged critics of Ms. Krinsky’s article seem still to be living in
that world.

But the reality around them has changed. Alex Comfort’s The
Joy of Sex
was probably the breakthrough, nearly thirty years
ago now. Today’s college kids have grown up in an environment in
which questions of sexual competence (and expectations about it) go
way beyond “will-she/won’t-she?” and “can he avoid coming too soon if
she does?”.

Today, even teenage boys and girls expect each other to cultivate
sexual competence; those who don’t are simply not competitive in the
dating-and-mating game. Ms. Krinsky’s article may have been intended
to tweak the fogies — but it also describes learning behavior that is
perfectly adaptive for today’s environment, because oral sex is a
gateway behavior for the aspiring hedonist.

That is, learning how to give good head is usually the first
pleasure-giving behavior in sex that is not a straight-line
elaboration of instinct. Kissing, caressing, and intercourse are
wired in; one can refine technique, but the behavioral basis is
already present. Oral sex is the usually the first behavior sexual
hedonists acquire that has to be completely learned.

A significant and related fact is that taking pleasure
from giving head has to be learned, by a kind of transference from the
pleasure taken by one’s partner. Experienced fellatrices and
cunnilinguists may learn to take direct sensual pleasure in the act,
but that usually follows from and is conditioned in by the
transference effect rather than leading it. Thus, for beginners,
giving oral sex is a particularly unselfish and adult skill.

Finally, for most pairs of partners oral sex is the most important
method of orgasmic gratification other than vaginal intercourse. So
learning to give good head is not just a gateway behavior, it’s one
that tends to remain central in the adult repertoire.

Therefore, a teenage girl teaching herself how to give a good
blowjob is not merely learning how to give a blowjob. She is
declaring her intention to acquire the (now mainstream) virtue of
sexual competence. She is matter-of-factly reaching not just for a
particular skill that she knows will be expected of her as an adult,
but to learn the attitude and sensitivity that will take her
further on the path of sexual ability. She is growing herself

Looked at this way, it’s hard to see why anyone living in 2002
should find Ms. Krinsky’s report of her self-training exceptionable. One
might just as well object to her teaching herself how to cook, or drive,
or dance.

Blogspot comments

Categorized as Sex


  1. plz anyone can tell where can i download pamela anderson sex tape free free free at no cost .plz send me links to free free free celebrity website

  2. I found the article, and your blog, interesting. But there is an aspect to the “Spit vs. Swallow” question that I find even more interesting.

    As a male I will start off by saying that I enjoy receiving oral sex. Oh, Hell, I love it. But I am facinated by women who seem to enjoy performing this act. In my 40 some-odd years of life I have found that when it comes to giving head, there are those who will not do it for any reason on earth. Those who do not like to do it, but, who will do it, but only for the pleasure it brings their partner. There are those that are indifferent to it. They They view it as just part of the whole sexual experience, and must be done. Then there is the category of women that holds my facination. The group that truly enjoys giving head. The act itself is enough to bring them to orgasm alone.

    I have met 2 women in my life (They have never met each other, and do not know each other), who both have expressed such passionate enjoyment of giving head. Both have said that while they enjoy intercourse (Of course), most of the time they prefer sucking a guy off.

    It is from these kinds of women that I would like to here from. I would like to know what it is that makes blow jobs such an orgasmic experience for a woman.

  3. I just stumbled upon this posting, and found it very interesting. I also dated a women who, while she enjoyed vaginal intercourse, actually preferred giving head. She could not get wet without first giving head. It was really great, and if there had not been other issues it could have been a much longer relationship. I must admit that I really enjoy going down on a woman. Although I have never had an orgasm from performing cunnilingus, it gets me so pumped that I reach orgasm soon after initiating vaginal intercourse if I have engaged in protracted cunnilingus before. It is particularly arousing of the woman I am going down on is obviously having a good time. So I can somewhat relate to the women who enjoy giving head since I also enjoy going down on women. I suppose it has partly to do with the sensitivity of the tongue and all the tactile sensations as well as the sensual tastes and aromas. That coupled with having a lover squirming around under your control is also very erotic.

  4. I’ve got a very simple question.
    What do you think of girls that are so good at giving head? Do you think they’re cheap sluts or hos? I got a girl who does a great job of giving head but sometimes I feel uncomfortable with the whole idea. I feel she must have probably spent a lot of time practising sucking quite a number of dicks to achieve such level of perfection in the art.

  5. >I feel she must have probably spent a lot of time practising sucking quite a number of dicks to achieve such level of perfection in the art.

    Or maybe she’s just naturally talented and loves you a lot, fool. Doesn’t sound like you deserve her…

  6. I personally prefer girls that can give good oral, to get a girl that’s REALLY good at it is pure joy. I’ve had girls that couldn’t suck a lollipop and made the experience not so great but they all have to learn. I know the first time I went down on a girl I didn’t really know how but I tried!

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