“Black Girls Don’t Give Head!” Rethinking our Relationship to Oral Sex By: Alice Ragland
“Black girls don’t give head.” How many times have you heard that? I’ve heard it a lot, and it bothers me every time someone says it.
First of all, let me be upfront about the fact that I’m a Black girl and I DO give head. It’s not gross to me at all (unless they’re all sweaty), and I think that it’s an important way of expressing intimacy.
If black girls didn’t go down, that would have to include me and my Black girl friends, who also perform oral sex. Thus, this myth is automatically debunked. So, then, why is “Black girls don’t give head” even a thing? I’m sure that there are women of all nationalities who don’t give head for their own personal reasons, so why does this saying fall on Black women specifically? Are some of us lying about it? Are we ashamed?
Some of us might be lying about oral sex, but if that’s the case, why are we so ashamed of it?
To answer this question, we need to go back to the rules of respectability. These societal expectations are deeply ingrained in us as Black women and re-enforced by our churches, the slut-shaming in music, in our hoods, and from our peers and families.
Here are a few of those rules:
– If you have sex with anyone who’s not a long-term partner or spouse, you’re a hoe.
-If you enjoy sex for your own pleasure, you’re a hoe.
-If you have sex with anyone that’s not a man, you’re liable to be called a dyke and to be subject to other insults and harassment.
-If you have sex with too many people (which could be any number that’s more than 1), you’re a hoe.
-If you engage in other types of sex besides vaginal (including oral), you’re a hoe.
(Meanwhile, a nigga can get head from 50 women and have sex with 150 women in a year and he will not be subject to these labels. But that’s another article.)
So basically, anything that you do can earn you the “hoe” label. There is no happy medium; all sexual acts (including oral) we do outside of heterosexual marriage can easily cause us to be slut-shamed.
Combine that with our history of being exploited for sex since the times of slavery, the history that marks us as inviolable and has even caused us to be demonized when we spoke out about being victims of sexual harassment and assault (just think of Anita Hill). Black women have been seen as hyper-sexual and immoral throughout history, an excuse used to rationalize our rape by (mostly white) men. This hyper-sexual image, known as the “jezebel” stereotype, still exists in the depictions of Black women on TV and in music videos as sexual objects.
Speaking of music, oral sex, when discussed in rap music, takes on an extremely disrespectful “hoe suck my dick and make me cum” tone. The way it is discussed in many songs demotes us from human being to dick sucking object. Think of all of the songs that has a rapper talking about a woman giving them head and then them never speaking to them again and/or forgetting their name, a woman giving them and their entire crew head, and a woman needing to give head in order to gain access to rappers’ cars, money whatever else they feel they can offer us. It contributes to the double standard that men have about Black women, the whore/innocent dichotomy, and the subsequent disrespect shown toward us.
So, when considering those factors, I can understand why a lot of us might not want to admit that we go down. It’s even harder for some of us to admit that we enjoy doing it. But does it have to be this way? Must we feel so ashamed that we have to lie about it?
Hell no! Whether you give head or not is your personal preference. It does not make you a hoe. (Just remember that men will literally say anything in order to get some dome, so it’s really important to make sure you feel valued in your sexual interactions and that you are not being used.)
Remember, not everyone will enjoy giving head. Oral sex is a personal preference. All I’m saying is if you are doing it, or any other sexual act, there is no need to be ashamed. You don’t need to lie. You DO need to protect yourself, make sure you are being valued, and enjoy!