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Bad blowjob behaviour 

Destructive criticism deserves a healthy dose of Tabasco justice, Savage Love wins again and fake letter apologies to devotees.

Q I am desperately in need of your help. After eight years of marriage, it turns out that the blowjobs I give are "good but not great" and are now getting "boring." My husband is unable to tell me anything specific that he wants me to do, just that I should do something different and "be creative." I've done pretty much everything I can think of over the years, fingers and hands included, so I have no idea where to go from here! My husband is my first partner, so I have no past experience to draw from, and porn hardly seems the proper inspiration: visually exciting (for a guy) but no visible technique other than some rather extreme deep-throating, which I am incapable of, as I have an annoyingly sensitive gag reflex. Is there anything nonstandard but fun that you (or your fans) could suggest? I'm not exactly vanilla, so I'm willing to try pretty much anything at this point. --Thought I Was Doing It Well

A Seeing as I think saying, "You're doing it wrong, do it better, but don't ask me how I want it done," is an asshole move, TIWDIW, I'm tempted to give asshole advice. Something like "take a swig of Tabasco sauce immediately before popping his dick in your mouth."

You seem like a nice person, TIWDIW: a good sex partner, GGG, open to constructive criticism. But "I grow weary of your blowjobs, they bore me---do something about it!" isn't constructive criticism. It's destructive criticism, the kind of feedback that can leave a sex partner feeling inadequate and self-conscious. To be constructively critical, your husband needs to come through with some suggestions and direction---something more helpful than "surprise me."

Now, maybe your husband has no clue what he wants you to do. But that's still no excuse. Your husband should've tossed out some suggestions, invited you to do the same and you two should've given 'em all a whirl until you found new tricks.

Minor unfairnesses slosh around relationships like water in the bottom of a canoe, of course, but "Be creative!" in this context isn't just unfair, it's paralyzing. Putting all the responsibility for busting out new tricks on the shoulders of the person whose blowjob/assfucking/bondage skills have been criticized rarely results in the criticized person busting out new and mind-blowing blowjob/assfucking/bondage moves. A destructively criticized sex partner is apt to shut down. So your husband isn't just guilty of unfair behaviour here, TIWDIW, he's guilty of self-defeating behaviour. Meaning, you may be able to give better head---we all have room for improvement---but this is not the way to go about getting better head from you.

Finally, TIWDIW, your husband was your first partner. How many women has he been with? If the answer is "not many," then I would suggest to your husband that his frame of reference may not be large enough to craft a truly informed critique of your blowjob technique. For all he knows, you give amazing head. But routine can make even the best blowjobs seem boring. So it may not be the how of your blowjobs that bore him, but the when and where. Give him head in a new and exciting place (outside?) or circumstance (hands tied?) and see if that doesn't make it exciting again.

And while we're on the subject of oral sex: How are your husband's cunnilingus skills? If they're not all they could be, now's the time to tell him.


Q I'm a straight guy into intense bondage (extended scenes, sensory deprivation, whole-body casting) and the only people who have the gear and are willing to do it for free are gay guys. I "laid my kink cards on the table" at three months, per your instructions, and told my girlfriend that I sometimes get tied up by guys. She understood. It turns out that she's been reading your column since she was 15. She's not worried that I'm gay; she didn't ask me to stop. Just writing to say thanks. --Only Gay For Bondage

A You're welcome, OGFB. Give my regards to the girlfriend.


Q I was upset by the letter in last week's column about the devotee who posted pictures of her disabled girlfriend's body and wheelchair online without permission. I cannot speak for all devotees, but I was disgusted by the behaviour of GIMP's girlfriend. I do not date people solely for their bodies and would never see my partner as "just a body" or post pictures of them online. As a devotee, I do find particular disabled bodies more attractive and sexually appealing than most "able" bodies. But physical attraction is only a starting point. In order for a relationship to move forward, there must be attraction on other levels and compatibility on an interpersonal level, and there must always be mutual respect. I wanted to put this perspective out there for people who, like GIMP, are wary of devotees. I'm sorry this happened to her. In any "group," there will be people who are perverted and disrespectful. But when a devotee acts up, it contributes negatively to an already largely misunderstood attraction. --Good Dev In Canada

A People typically write to me when someone has done them wrong or when they've done wrong. When the bad actor in a situation is someone like a devotee---the kind of person who is unlikely to be out to friends and family members about their deeply stigmatized sexual identity and/or interest---my readers can't weigh what they're learning about this one particular devotee against what they know about other devotees...because the other devotees they know and love aren't out to them about being devotees. It's something to bear in mind, when someone with a rare or deeply stigmatized sexual interest makes an appearance in the column. Remember: GIMP's girlfriend doesn't represent all devotees any more than TIWDIW's husband represents all straight men. With that said...

GIMP's letter appears to have been a fake. There's a disturbed person lurking on the web who pretends to be a woman in a wheelchair, as a number of readers wrote to inform me, and this person has peddled the story before. A fake letter is going to make its way into the column from time to time, and as every question is a good hypothetical to readers, I try not to get too worked up. But it is a problem when a fake question contributes to the negative public perception of a group of people whose sexual desires are already so stigmatized. My apologies.

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