I sat on the couch straddling him, our chests pressed together and my hands pulling softly on his hair as we kissed. For the past half an hour, we’d been slowly unpeeling our many layers of clothing and we were down to just my pair of lacy underwear and his boxer briefs. We’d had a lovely third date—I adored that he called me “Ringlets,” just like Sawyer dubbed Kate “Freckles” on “Lost.” As the conversation veered into sexual territory a few times, it became more than obvious that, tonight, we were ready to seal the deal.
“Shall we take this into the other room,” he said, pointing towards his bedroom. We stood up and he grabbed my hand, leading me down the hall. I sat down on the side of his bed, and he stood before me. Good lord, he was hot. I began to take off his Calvin Kleins.
“Can I go down on you?” I asked, looking up at him. As soon as I said it, the question struck me as strange. Had I ever asked this before? Was this a question with more than one answer? After all, on our list of “27 Things Men Never Say,” the phrase “I’m not really into blow jobs” came in at number eight.
“No,” he said.
I assumed he was kidding, but I just couldn’t tell. And I didn’t want to proceed without permission. “For real?” I asked, confused. He pushed me back slightly, lifting the waistband of his underwear back into place. He joined me on the bed where we resumed making out. The issue was off the table for the moment.
Maybe half an hour later, I decided to try again. “Now is it okay?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “It’s not personal. It’s just not something I really enjoy.”
Wow, I thought. That’s a new one. I could understand, and completely respect, not being ready to engage in oral sex with someone you’ve only met a few times. But that didn’t seem to be the issue here. So when a little while later he reached for a condom, I was just confused.
“I just don’t think we’re there yet,” I said. “Can we keep it rated R for the rest of the night?” I mean, how could I have sex with someone who wasn’t comfortable with oral yet? Wasn’t that generally a warm-up? I stayed over, but we only kissed and touched each other for the rest of the night.
The next day, I felt completely thrown off. If he didn’t “enjoy” receiving oral sex, how the heck was he going to feel about giving it? But I was worried about more than that. Him not wanting a blow job had felt like a serious rejection in a way. I couldn’t stop thinking about my relationship to blowies. In all honesty, it’s one of the sexual acts that I feel most comfortable with. While I’ve had intercourse with fewer than 10 men, I couldn’t even tell you how many I’d had oral sex with. It’s a skill I’ve been perfecting since I was 16 years old and it’s something that, frankly, I think I’m really good at. I can’t remember the last time I gave one without getting a glowing compliment. Why was he depriving me of showing off one of my sexual talents?
On our next date, I decided to bring it up over a drink. “The other night, when you said you don’t enjoy oral sex, what did you mean by that?” I asked.
“It’s just not my favorite,” he said. “It takes forever and I rarely get off on it. Plus, girls hate doing it anyway.”
“That’s so not true,” I said. “I love it. Maybe it’s just that you’re thinking about it as a means to an end. It doesn’t have to be—it’s just another thing on the sexual menu. Like an appetizer.”
He looked at me like I was speaking another language.
“Well, is it something you get comfortable with when you’re in a relationship?”
“No,” he said. “Really, it’s just not my thing.”
“And I assume that if you don’t like receiving, you don’t like giving either?” I said.
He shook his head no.
We got back into a less charged conversational flow, but for the rest of the night an alarm bell was going off in my head.
How could you be truly intimate with someone and not go there?
I stayed over at his house that night. The next morning, I told him that while I thought he was awesome, I just didn’t think we were compatible. He said he understood. I left and we haven’t talked since.
Was this a shallow reason to dump someone? Probably. In fact, definitely. But I just didn’t like the idea of being sexual with someone and having something so big be totally off-limits.
Did I do the right thing?