I’m guilty of reporting less-than-seriously on dubious claims about the medical virtues of ingesting semen; claims of better fetal health or antidepressive effect have floated around the internet in the past. (I have also, with even less seriousness, posted twice on the vital question of whether anal sex makes your butt bigger.) Now it seems that full-service blowjobs are apparently being floated in the British press as a cure for morning sickness, and Girl On The Net has posted a righteous rant against the sniggering anti-sex attitudes accompanying such reporting:

I take exception not to the research itself, but to the attitudes which accompany the reporting of it. Namely that:

a) women don’t like eating jizz

b) although women don’t like eating jizz, they have to every now and again to keep their man happy

Both of these things are fictional and damaging.

I like jizz – I know other women who like jizz. It’s not for everyone, and in fact I’d compare it to Marmite – some people don’t want it anywhere near their mouths, but others think that a small amount spread thinly on toast is the best way to start the day. You’re not abnormal if you like it, and nor are you abnormal if you don’t. To pretend that all women think alike is to believe that we are a species of indistinguishable automatons.

Moreover, if you don’t like eating jizz, then the idea that you should fucking have to just to keep your partner happy is insane and ridiculous and should fuck off back to the 1950s.

But, you know, here’s the thing. If you abstract this a bit, what we’re talking about is generalization and persuasion. Sure, it’s offensive and incorrect when a newspaper overgeneralizes and assumes that all women don’t want to do a sexual thing and that all men want that thing. But in a large population, there will be women who don’t want to do it and some of them will be with men who wish they would.

There’s nothing wrong with that, or with acknowledging it; indeed I would go further and argue that there’s nothing wrong with sexual negotiation, or the attempt to persuade your partner to do something that he or she isn’t initially keen on. Men and women alike engage often in such negotiations, and sometimes the methods chosen can be pretty funny. I personally think “Hey honey, the newspapers says that if you do [thing you don’t particularly like] with me, you’ll get [medical outcome you desire]…” is an exchange fraught with potential humor. That’s why I’ve twice posted about the ludicrous notion that anal sex is butt-expanding. That somebody would spread the idea (and that somebody else would even temporarily wonder whether it is true) strikes me as a deep statement about the essentially comic nature of human sexual negotiation. I don’t fault the newspapers for recognizing the comic potential of a link between semen ingestion and a morning sickness cure, even if their exposition of the notion is ham-fisted in that special sex-negative way that we’ve learned to expect from the so-called professional press.

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