Hana Shafi The Infamous BJ*

Let’s face it: high school sex-ed basically tells you two things: 1) wear a condom or you’ll get pregnant; 2) wear a condom or you’ll get herpes. High school sex-ed, which conjures up memories of a stinky and cramped portable situated in a puddle of mud, really ignores so many aspects of sex. Forget about pleasure and anything other than vaginal intercourse and heteronormative and cisnormative sex; clearly all the school board wants you to know about is STDs and unplanned pregnancies.

I always found it highly odd that based on what my PE teacher seemed to be saying, you were either fucking penis-in-vagina style, or you were engaging in no sexual activity at all. But alas, navigating through those adolescent years, two letters seemed to be audible through all the scandalized playground whispering: “BJ.” 

Ah, the BJ. Short form for blow job. I remember the first time I had ever stumbled across the phrase. I can’t recall exactly how old I was, but I just remember thinking, “Good god! People put it in their mouth?” My first reaction: total horror. Yes I know, that sounds highly immature, but children are so conditioned to believe that their genitals are dirty; I could never imagine why a person would want to put it in their mouth. I swore to myself that that would never be me. You’d never catch me giving a “BJ.”

And yet the older I grew, the more people seemed to be doing it. Finally, with the help of the internet, scandalous schoolyard tales, and hearing it straight from the mouths of a select few brave students, I stumbled upon a revolutionary piece of information. It. Felt. Good.

So that’s why they were doing it! 

If it felt good, why the scandal? If people were having fun, what was the worry? Yet despite this realization, something most of the population seemed to know, why were so many still so disgusted by it (or at least pretending to be)? 

Girls sucking dick are often seen as “lacking self-respect.” Boys licking pussy are sometimes tormented by their friends who say they’re “whipped by their girlfriends.” And believe me, no one ever wanted to discuss that LGBT*Q individuals were in on it too.

My theory is that all this drama over dick-sucking and licking pussy boiled down to two points: inherent misogyny in our society and this idea that in sex-ed class, we never tell kids that they can do something merely for the pleasure of it all. The misogyny stems from the fact that a guy who gets his dick sucked at a party is cheered on by his buddies, but the tales on monday morning of Stacy giving Bobby a blow-job are all followed by: “Stacy is such a slut!”

And as for the sex-ed classes and their constant censorship of the pleasure factor, well I speak from experience. Of course, not every sex-ed class works that way. But most of the time, reproduction and contraception seem to the only focuses of the sex-ed curriculum. 

With the help of some proper sex education, the infamous “BJ” is no longer the strange awkward concept that I initially saw it as.  Some may still feel that it’s not their thing, and that’s okay too. The main point is that we ought to start the oral sex discourse a hell of a lot earlier. No more BJ drama. 




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